At Wheeler, we recognize that our school exists in a community, state, country, and world represented by a multitude of cultures and viewpoints. Therefore, diversity and multiculturalism imbue all that we do. From academic programs to athletic programs, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities, Wheeler endeavors to create an environment that includes people and viewpoints from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and ways of life.
The Office of Unity & Diversity, led by Director Princess Sirleaf Bomba, supports the ongoing efforts at Wheeler to incorporate multicultural approaches to both existing and new practices. We provide resources to the Wheeler community in the areas of community education; consultation to faculty, staff and families; and developing inclusive practices. Wheeler’s diversity education program is about having respect for others, regardless of age, gender, race, ability, sexual orientation, economic status or religion. The curriculum utilizes texts and materials that give voice to those people and perspectives previously unheard and includes sensitivity on the part of our faculty, staff and administration to the circumstances that affect the lives of our students, families, and colleagues on a day-to-day basis. Adults at Wheeler engage in ongoing professional development opportunities in the area of multicultural teaching and learning, and in cultivating and maintaining a multicultural community.
The Student Support Program
Under the auspices of the Unity & Diversity Office and College Counseling Office, the Student Support Coordinator leads the initiatives of the SSP to encourage, assist and celebrate the achievements of underrepresented students throughout high school and into college.
The Wheeler Diversity Conference
Wheeler faculty and students attend local, regional and national conferences to further their work in these areas. Wheeler is the host of a regional conference each April as part of the Pollyanna network of DEI conferences. Learn aboutfor students, alumni, parents, heads, trustees, faculty, and administrators of independent schools.
Fast Facts on DEI at Wheeler
The Wheeler School and its Students Involved in Cultural Awareness (SICA) club are pleased to recognize Omar Bah, the Founder and Executive Director of the Refugee Dream Center, Inc. (RDC), with this year’s Wheeler Community Spirit Award.
Bah is a torture survivor, former journalist, and refugee from The Gambia in West Africa. He is also the author of the book, Africa’s Hell on Earth: The Ordeal of an African Journalist. Bah founded the RDC, which is based in Providence, along with his wife, Teddi Jallow. Through the center, refugees learn new skills, receive case management support and job training, and network in a diverse setting as they work towards self-sufficiency in their new communities and integrate into American society by interacting and sharing their unique cultures and skills.
Each year since 2004, the Wheeler Community Spirit Award has recognized a person in the Providence community who advocates for those with fewer opportunities. They are selected based on their efforts in four key areas: passion for equity and social justice, both locally and globally; appreciation for and promotion of the benefits of education; commitment to creating opportunities in the community for those who otherwise might not have a voice or an advocate; and resilience in the face of challenge and adversity.
Omar Bah will receive the 2022 Community Spirit Award in a ceremony at The Wheeler School on Feb. 11. The event is sponsored by Students Involved in Cultural Awareness, the Office of Unity & Diversity, and the Wheeler School Parents Association.