The Gunnery is pleased to announce that LaDarius Drew has been appointed Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the 2020-21 academic year. In addition, Drew has been named Co-Chair of The Gunnery’s Executive Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, along with Emily Gum, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. Members of the task force represent the Board of Trustees, Administration and Faculty. Its mission is to steer ongoing work related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to create an environment on campus that is truly inclusive of diverse people and viewpoints.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Drew joined The Gunnery in the fall of 2016 as a member of the History Department faculty. He teaches U.S. History and Public Speaking for juniors, which is part of The Gunnery LEADS program. He is Head Coach for varsity football, Head Coach for boys thirds basketball, serves as Director of Student Activities and is the faculty coordinator for the Black Student Union (BSU).
At The Gunnery, the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion works collaboratively as a member of a large team of dedicated adults to emphasize the school’s commitment to pluralism (rather than tolerance), and sees efforts to build diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities and curricula as critical to the school’s work with students. The director is responsible for critically evaluating current programs with a vision to how the school can move forward as an institution in furthering this mission. Drew’s ongoing intentionality in this work resumes the body of progress The Gunnery has made so far.
“The title includes diversity, equity, and inclusion to provide criteria that are critical to the well-being of all students,” Drew said. “Diversity work is truly a task of its own, and we'll all be working on that together. Equity and inclusion provides space for The Gunnery to work with our community on how to help students improve as global citizens after they leave campus.”
One of his first initiatives in his new role was to moderate a conversation with alumni and a current student, who reflected on the Black Lives Matter movement and shared their hopes for the school. Drew also will host a new forum for students and faculty titled, “So, What Now?” that will seek to bolster an understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to everything from academics to student life, student leadership roles and community.
After completing a post-graduate year at The Loomis Chaffee School, Drew received a bachelor’s degree in government, with a concentration in international politics, and a master’s degree in arts, with a concentration in social sciences, both from Wesleyan University. He played football and competed in track and field at Wesleyan and served as the football and track and field representative on the university’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC coordinated with other NESCAC schools to provide a better space for the community surrounding the schools and the athletes themselves. Prior to joining The Gunnery, Drew was the track and field graduate assistant at Wesleyan University.