At the Heart of Our Identity: Being Episcopal, Being Inclusive

At the Heart of Our Identity is an NAES initiative making the connections between Episcopal Identity and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

My belief is that so many teachers, families, administrators, and other members of our school community still do not necessarily see the need for this type of work in our schools. They may not completely understand the bigger issues revolving around DEI in schools. It is extremely difficulty for some people who are trying to make changes in their schools if they do not have the support of those around them. If NAES continues to make this a priority, it will really help all involved. Knowing that we are getting our directions from NAES gives us feet to stand on.

— NAES Diversity Practitioner and Conference Attendee


NAES believes that there is a natural connection between our shared identity as Episcopal schools and the vitally important work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. By extension, there can be a powerful alliance between the role of the diversity practitioner, and that of the chaplain. Following discussions with diversity practitioners, NAES set about to create a new professional network, with a goal of bringing diversity practitioners together to discuss common challenges, share resources, and, working particularly with Episcopal school chaplains, to equip them with effective language that will help schools understand and communicate the natural connection between Episcopal identity and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The initiative began with a generous matching grant challenge from the Edward E. Ford Foundation in 2017, which NAES exceeded. Months of planning then led to the following steps being taken:

  • NAES facilitating periodic webchats and conference calls, bringing together diversity practitioners from around the country to share successes, discuss challenges, and learn collaboratively.
  • Holding the first NAES Diversity Conference in March, 2020.
  • Launching a new online community to bring together diversity practitioners on a digital platform.

NAES looks forward to the continuation of these new initiatives and is resolute in its commitment to this vital work. If you have questions about this initiative, or how to get involved, please contact us at or (212) 716.6134.

More NAES Resources for Diversity & Inclusion

More resources for diversity & inclusion are available in the NAES resource library. Use the filters in the left column to view all items tagged for “Equity & Justice” or “Diversity & Inclusion.”

All upcoming diversity web chats will be posted to the NAES events calendar.

Connect with your colleagues through the NAES Online Community.

NAES DEIJ Conference 2022

Are you in the midst of developing a DEIJ plan for your school? Are you interested in working alongside other schools at similar stages of development in DEIJ work? Are you looking for opportunities to learn from the experiences of schools with established DEIJ initiatives?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” please join us in San Francisco for an intensive exploration of DEIJ in Episcopal schools.

Related News

NAES Announces Matching Grant

NAES Exceeds the Edward E. Ford Foundation Challenge

Sandi Hannibal to Lead Edward E. Ford Grant Initiative

NAES Launches New Online Community and Website Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Places of Alignment: Episcopal Identity and Inclusion