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About Léman

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Léman

As a diverse, international school dedicated to preparing students for a global world, Léman is committed to our mission of being an antiracist institution that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion. Léman provides a learning environment that enables social justice, activism and advocacy for our BIPOC members. Our programs include alliance and affinity groups, extensive professional development for faculty, events and discussion groups for parents, and a Values and Beliefs Committee made up of stakeholders including parents, faculty, administrators and students.

Inclusion Statement

Léman Manhattan Preparatory School is a community of diverse cultures, languages and countries of origin, which draws unity through the acknowledgment and celebration of our differences. As a mosaic of individuals who believe everyone should feel safe and respected, we strive to facilitate opportunities for meaningful engagement with openness and empathy. This process of communication is integral to fostering a just and harmonious place of learning.


Ours is an inclusive school where students, families, caregivers, faculty and staff are supported equally and where each unique identity, voice, ideological viewpoint and experience is valued. We honor all members of our community, diverse in: ability, age, appearance, belief system, citizenship, culture, family structure, gender, gender identity, language, learning style, national origin, political view, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic level and all other protected characteristics.


Committed to sustaining an environment free of harassment in any form, including bullying and discrimination, we maintain that the work of inclusion is a responsibility held by all and done for all, person to person. We embrace this challenging yet rewarding opportunity and understand that this is an evolving work which enriches our lives.

Calendar of Inclusion & Diversity SY23-24

The Léman community embodies a mosaic of individuals diverse in culture, language, ethnicity, and countries of origin. Throughout the school year at Léman, we aim to take advantage of opportunities that promote awareness and understanding of our community at large. The calendar below should be used with mindful intent to recognize and commemorate events and issues reflective of that and the world around us.

Download Calendar

Values and Beliefs Committee

The Values and Beliefs Committee runs during the academic school year. The committee has the responsibility of establishing and protecting the overarching purpose of the Léman Inclusion Statement and the school's fundamental values and ethical principles. All Léman students, faculty, staff, and parents/guardians are welcome to join. The Committee is committed to ensuring that one student from each affinity group (Black Student Union, Gender & Sexuality Alliance, Asian Culture Club, FEM Club, and more) attend regular V&B meetings.

We invite any Léman community member interested in joining this committee, hoping to form a new sub-committee related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) or wishing to share related new ideas, to reach out to the Chair of V&B Committee, Lakiya Burrell

Meet Our Chair

Lakiya Burrell, MSEd
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator

Affinity and Alliance Groups


Lower School Students

5th Grade Student Council / DEI Representative

The 5th Grade Student Council plans and conducts activities that foster school spirit and community. The Student Council consists of representatives from the 5th Grade. As liaisons between the students and the Lower School Administration, members are responsible for representing the student body’s interests and supporting community service activities. Members of the Student Council are elected in the fall for the following positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, Community Service Representative, Diversity and Inclusion Representative, and Class Representatives (number dependent upon class sections). Students serve for the entire academic school year, meeting approximately twice a month. The Student Council is led by a member of the Lower School faculty or administration.

Upper School Students

Asian Culture Club

The Asian Culture Club is open to all students wishing to celebrate, bring about awareness, and learn more about Asian cultures. It aims to provide an introduction to the variety of Asian cultures and to broaden members' perspectives with worldwide-related discussions. Activities include music, art, languages, traditions, hosting an inclusive Lunar New Year dinner, and more.


Black Student Union (BSU)

The mission of the Black Student Union is to allow students to express their views and concerns about current events and issues regarding race. Though our focus is to raise awareness of the challenges and injustices that the Black community faces, the Black Student Union welcomes all Léman students and aspires to build understanding between people of all races. By engaging in respectful, honest conversations regarding race and other social justice topics, we aim to affect positive change at Léman Manhattan.


The Brazilian Association of Léman

The Brazilian Association of Léman is directed toward exploring and learning more about the culture from Brazil, a country that is very present in the Léman community. We will explore the different areas of the Brazilian culture, for example, food, celebrations, movies, etc.

The Chinese Culture Club

The Chinese Culture Club brings students together to embrace and celebrate traditional Chinese holidays. It organizes events that highlight the beauty of Chinese culture, including tastings of authentic Chinese food and engaging activities. Most importantly, this club brings a piece of China to those of us who are halfway across the world from home.

The Equity Club

The Equity Club is a club designed to expand Léman students' knowledge of equity and social justice issues happening at Léman and the world. The activities include publishing pamphlets, creating posters and communicating with students about issues of equity and social justice. In addition, the club aims to work towards creating advocacy opportunities for students by raising awareness about happenings in New York. The club has three departments: Communication & Publicity, Art, and News.

The Fem Club

The Fem Club is a female empowerment club that aims to address and educate the community about women’s rights and to break down the stigmas associated with feminism and female gender stereotypes. FEM seeks to create an environment where all students feel welcomed and safe to share their experiences and concerns regarding current women’s issues in our community and beyond.

Girls in Stem

Girls in Stem was founded by students Zuri Adelekan and Katherine Harvey. It is open to girls in grades 6-12 who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, with an emphasis on biology, medicine, and coding. The group seeks to host STEM-related workshops and discussions and hopes to implement STEM field trips and volunteer opportunities.

The High School Model UN

The High School Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and an academic activity club in which high school students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. The MSMUN will focus on training students on how to be MUN delegates and participate in Middle School MUN Conferences in NYC. The club also has a debate focus.

The Hispanic Latino Club

The Hispanic Latino Club seeks to explore the different cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and of the Hispanic/Latino community in the U.S. in order to promote awareness of their cultural diversity. We encourage everyone to learn and engage in important issues affecting the Hispanic world, including the local Hispanic/Latino community here in NYC.

The Intercultural Club

The Intercultural Club was founded by student Ai Omae. The purpose of the club is to bring people of different cultures together to speak, learn and better understand each other’s differences and to break down cultural barriers. Following its motto, “building bridges between cultures,” it offers its members opportunities to become involved in intercultural community service activities. The club welcomes all high school students.

The Intergenerational Club

The Intergenerational Club is an after school volunteer club in partnership with an organization called Alive Inside, which brings music therapy to people with dementia. Monthly, student volunteers provide music therapy at Brookdale Battery Park, a local senior care facility.

The International Students Association

International Students Association is open to all upper school students and is a place for students at Léman to form a community away from home. It aims to make full use of Leman’s richly diverse student body by promoting intercultural understanding amongst all students. The club seeks to help international students better understand how the international school system works, in addition to providing opportunities for students to work with event coordinators to plan Léman events with international foci. The club hopes to lead the spread of internationalism within the Léman community.

The Jewish Student Union

The Jewish Student Union welcomes Jewish and non-Jewish students to explore the culture of Judaism while also providing opportunities for students to learn about the problems facing the community.

The Léman Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

The Léman Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) provides a safe space for students to discuss and learn about issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. The Léman GSA welcomes all high school students, including those within the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, without passing judgment or making assumptions about identity. Through open, respectful, and candid discussion, the group seeks to educate members of the community, create knowledgeable allies, and make Léman a safer place for people of all identities.

The Middle School Model UN

The Middle School Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic activity club in which middle school students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. The MSMUN will focus on training students on how to be MUN delegates and participate in Middle School MUN Conferences in NYC. The club also has a debate focus.


The UNICEF Club engages students in dialogue around global humanitarian issues and participates in related hands-on activities. It aims to educate people on various humanitarian topics and to plan fundraisers to help raise money and awareness for monthly humanitarian causes.

Faculty & Staff

Agents of Change Communities (AOC)

Agents of Change Communities are required individual small groups of faculty and staff that gather monthly to engage in mindful dialogue and activity focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). Participants collectively work to actualize the Léman Antiracism Plan and with DEIJ lens, analyze course of studies and operations for ways to implement DEI best practices. Groups are heterogeneous, comprised of faculty and staff from varying departments, divisions and backgrounds. Founded by Lakiya Burrell, co-founded by Paschell Sutton and led by both.


Léman Adults for Racial Equity (LARE)

Léman Adults for Racial Equity is open to all faculty and staff of any race and will focus on issues of race and inclusion through discussion, sharing resources (video, articles, books, etc.), and planning collective action. This group exists in close partnership with the Léman Professionals of Color (LPC) affinity group as well as the Values & Beliefs Committee to continue our ongoing efforts toward creating a more inclusive, safe, and welcoming community at Léman. It aims to provide a space where all adults in the Léman community can engage in moving the essential work of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice forward through reflection, education, and action. Founded and chaired by Ryan John and Andrea Yost.


Léman Professionals of Color (LPC)

Léman Professionals of Color affinity group serves as an active gathering place for people of color, that promotes social and cultural competence and positive race relations throughout the Léman Community. The group provides a platform where attendees can safely and constructively express their ideas, concerns and experiences. Members will actively support the well-being of one another and of all students, in particular students of color, as well as engage in leadership and school-wide activities that kindle networking and fellowship among families and professionals at Léman. Founded and chaired by Lakiya Burrell, co-founded by Ryan Barker.


POCC, Parents of Children of Color

The Léman Parents of Children of Color mission is to empower families with children of color while helping to advance the goals of the Léman community in embracing equity, diversity and inclusion. To bring awareness and address the unique needs of Léman’s globally diverse student body.

Meet Our Chair

Chieftess Olufemi Yeshua EL
Parent Coordinator, Parents of Children of Color


LCA, Léman Community Association

The Léman Community Association (LCA) is a non-profit parent organization that fosters a sense of strong community at our school and enriches the experiences of all Léman students, parents and faculty. Through a wide range of events and fundraising efforts, the LCA generous contributes to the life of our school and the experiences of our families.

Led by a dedicated and committed Board of Directors, and supported by many parent volunteers across the school, the LCA plays an important role in connecting families across academic divisions, welcoming new families to Léman, fostering school pride, and funding horizon-changing opportunities for students and faculty.


White Ally Group

The goal of Léman’s White Ally Group is to provide families who identify as white opportunities to discuss and process the topics of race and racism as well as learn about the BIPOC experience. This group hopes to build bridges between communities by hosting book groups and online gatherings where families have a safe space to build perspective on racial injustice and reflect on white privilege.

The Léman Families of Jewish Descent (LFJD)

The Léman Families of Jewish Descent (LFJD) seeks to support the school’s environment of inclusiveness, understanding, acceptance and respect by building a community among families with Jewish students and/or heritage. LFJD's goal is to build, foster and celebrate a vibrant Jewish community within the school by promoting an active sense of citizenship, kindness and regard for the common good.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources for Families


Guides to talking with your children about racial injustices and social inequities:

There is no such thing as "quick tips" or foolproof advice when it comes to discussing the complexities of race. But there are better ways to go about it and each parent/caregiver will have to decide for themselves what makes the most sense for them and their family (Parent Toolkit). However, do remember to remind children of your family values, allot time for expression of emotions, revisit facts, and seek professional assistance when needed.

100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child to Advance Racial Justice | Raising a Race Conscious Child – This list models language that has been used in a conversation with a child regarding race (and other identity-markers such as gender and class).

Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent's Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice | Teaching Tolerance – Whether you are the parent of a 3-year-old who is curious about why a friend's skin is brown, the parent of a 9-year-old who has been called a slur because of his religion, or the parent of a 15-year-old who snubs those outside of her social clique at school, this book is designed to help you teach your children to honor the differences in themselves and in others - and to reject prejudice and intolerance.

George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. What do we tell our children? | USA Today – This article explores why it is important to talk with children about what happened to George Floyd and other incidents of police brutality and racism in the news.

Talking with Your Children about Islamophobia and Hate-Based Violence – Discusses Islamophobia and hate-based violence against Muslims with children. This fact sheet highlights, for parents and caregivers, strategies that can be used to facilitate effective conversations, age-specific guidelines, and actions families and communities can take before an event occurs. The strategies can be adapted to talk with children of other cultures about hate-based violence.

Table Talk: Family Conversations About Current Events – Provides parents and family members with the tools they need to engage their families in conversations about important news stories and other timely discussions about societal events. Each guide includes a topic summary, questions to start the conversation and dig deeper, ideas for taking action and additional resources.

Resources for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence with Kids – Compiled by the Center for Racial Justice in Education to support children.

Stock Your Library with Equitable and Inclusive Children's and Young Adult's Titles

Beyond the educational benefits, books have the power to instill empathy, affirm, teach, transport and inspire action. Books matter. ADL, 2015.

Adult Support

Talking about race, racism, prejudices, and trauma does not come easy for anyone. Utilize these resources for learning about how to talk to your children:


What the Covid-19 Crisis Tells Us About Structural Racism – Talking Race With Kids. Recorded, April 16th

Explore the Léman experience for your child.

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