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Last year, several students teamed up with our admission officers to record video information sessions for prospective students and families — not an unusual move, particularly when the pandemic made campus visits complicated. The wrinkle? They recorded those sessions in Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese — four languages commonly spoken in our students’ homes.

Inclusion requires action. It is necessary, but not enough to be kind, polite, and friendly. In making our admissions information sessions available in multiple languages, these students understood that, particularly for the families of our first-generation American students, we could remove a barrier and meet them where they are.

We work hard to actively create an inclusive community across the school: a holistic financial aid program that covers not just tuition but so many of the incidental expenses that pose challenges to full community engagement; affinity spaces for students and alums who identify as people of color to be together and share their experiences; a Gay-Straight Alliance serving both as an informal affinity space and one that generates ideas for community education; parent and student cultural celebrations where they can share their stories and experiences; a seminar for all 9th and 10th graders where we talk directly about about identity, bias, privilege, and action.And we have more to do. Inclusion is a core value at BUA, and I’m proud that no matter what structures we put in place, the focus shifts to what else we can do to make sure that this place feels like home for any student or parent who walks through our doors — or joins us by video.

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