New Directors Named to Lead Diversity Office

Dr. Lisanne Norman ’94 and Ms. Kinyette Henderson will become co-directors of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) next year — an important step towards expanding the office’s impact on campus among both faculty and students.

They will replace the current director, Mr. Yassine Talhoui, who recently announced his decision to step down and accept a new position as the Director of Enrollment Management at The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts.

After graduating from Hotchkiss, Dr. Norman attended Harvard University, earning a degree in African & African American studies and social anthropology. She now teaches in the Humanities and Social Sciences department and is a dorm affiliate in Dana.

Ms. Henderson, currently an instructor in English and assistant director of diversity and inclusion, graduated from George Washington University. She came to the school in 2021 as one of the first Walter Crain Fellows, a role that allows her to pursue a degree in private school leadership from Columbia University while teaching at Hotchkiss.

Although Dr. Norman and Ms. Henderson will separately address the faculty and students respectively, they will coordinate DEI initiatives for the larger community. Together, they hope to increase communication and transparency, serve as a support system for students, and guide the community on how to best address matters of racism, cultural appropriation, misogyny, and prejudice of all kinds. They also hope to more effectively establish a culture of acceptance and inclusivity among new students.

Additionally, they hope to bring back inter-school events to promote DEI within the broader boarding school community. These events between schools, such as mixers and conferences, would encourage the exchange of ideas between students and increase awareness about stereotypes and misconceptions that students may have about each other.

Dr. Norman and Ms. Henderson will officially become the co-directors of the DEI Office at the start of the 2022-23 school year