Authentic Diversity

In a school that mirrors the socio-economic, cultural, and racial diversity of Los Angeles, New Roads students are challenged daily to question their own worldview, assumptions, perspectives, and righteousness. New Roads was founded with inclusivity and access at its core. In the article "Diversity Makes You Brighter," Sheen Levine, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, and David Stark, a professor at Columbia University, found that an authentically diverse community stimulates cognitive friction in and out of the classroom, which “prompts better [sharper] critical thinking.”

New Roads’ students themselves further substantiate the findings of Levine and Stark. Our academic and co-curricular programs require our students to engage, make sense of and synthesize multiple and diverse perspectives. Middle and Upper School Speech and Debate teams advocate for a position while acknowledging the arguments of the opposing side. Upper School Drama and Humanities students grapple with the humanity of characters with conflicting views in The Laramie Project. Math students are asked to approach problems from multiple perspectives to identify the most effective and efficient solutions.

We are inspired by the promise that our students represent for the future of democracy. At New Roads, students understand the validity of opposing positions on critical issues so that they can develop the habit of formulating complex solutions to the opportunities and challenges their generation will inherit. It is our hope that our students will move us beyond gridlock and onto a road where diversity and respectful debate will be at the center of the next chapter in the American story.

Authentic diversity must start at the top. When an institution is committed to being a place that represents the voices and experiences of everyone in the community, it must lead by ensuring a diversity not only of students, but of leadership, administration, and faculty. Additionally, it must use its resources to democratize the opportunities within its walls, using financial assistance to ensure equity in education. These statistics highlight those two essential New Roads commitments:
40%
of families receive financial aid
Provides more than twice the financial aid of peer schools
34%
of '17 graduates became first-generation college students
LGBTQ representation on Board & socio-economic diversity on Board
40%
Teachers of Color
50%
Women on Board, including Board Chair
Educates students from 85 zip codes (and counting!) around Los Angeles
28%
Board Members of Color
Has invested $110 million of tuition in financial aid since its founding in 1995
45%
Students of Color
Offers a unique Spectrum Program that elevates opportunities for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their classmates
42%
Administrators of Color