Justice, Equity, Diversity, and


Our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) program inspires us to build a beloved community that is courageous, self-reflective, and intentional in its pursuit of social justice, equity, and inclusion.


The program builds upon Nueva’s focus on both social-emotional learning and design thinking by fostering empathy, encouraging innovative solutions, and promoting critical thinking skills. All three programs are rooted in a belief that empathy is a crucial mindset and that reflection and action are two sides of the same coin.


Our Beliefs

We believe that justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are fundamental parts of an enriching educational experience and that all students benefit from learning to value, engage with, and understand difference. We celebrate our community’s multiple and intersectional identities, and welcome a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and lived experiences. Accordingly, we believe our students will be equipped to become engaged citizens in our democracy and to participate and communicate effectively in our interdependent global community.

Finally, we believe that transformation is the ultimate aim of social justice and of education. In both arenas, the work often doesn’t reap immediate rewards and requires a profound faith in others. We know that our work at Nueva will be simultaneously rewarding and deeply challenging. Nevertheless, we believe that we are beholden to our students to build a better world. We do so by fostering a beloved community that openly acknowledges the ways in which all institutions, schools included, perpetuate inequality; and, in so doing, confronts this truth with the willingness and conviction to construct an entirely different system and world.

Enacting Our Beliefs

We are committed to enacting our beliefs in a myriad of ways, understanding that people come to the work of social justice from many different backgrounds, experiences, and comfort levels. Part of our work is to help move students, faculty, staff, and community members forward in their understanding and support of issues of equity and inclusion. To that end, we offer:

  • a range of educational and professional development opportunities

  • a support program for historically underrepresented students
  • a number of other related programming and events

Please read below for more details on our various offerings and efforts.


JEDI in Action

Building a Present Tense of the Ohlone People

Second graders spent weeks researching the Ramaytush Ohlone to understand their culture, history, and impact on the land before culminating their learning by writing their own land acknowledgements and turning them into posters to be displayed around the Hillsborough campus. 

Sharing Identities Helps Second Graders Build Class Community

As part of creating a beloved community, students in lower school classes begin the year by creating sets of class agreements and sharing things about themselves with their peers. In the second grade, students participate in an identity project, reflecting on who they are and what is important to them before creating their own self-portraits. 

Reflections on Ramadan and Eid

When I explain Ramadan to people who aren’t Muslim, I’m often met with incredulity and disbelief—while the general idea of fasting for 30 days from sunrise to sunset is simple, it’s often hard for people to grasp what that looks like in practice. 

History, Culture, and Colors Pop on Upper School Field Trip

It’s a rare occurrence for it to be sunnier in San Francisco than in San Mateo, but upper school students in Chelsea Denlow’s Postcolonial Latin America history class experienced sunshine and blue skies, which made the vibrant colors of the Mission District pop as they visited the neighborhood last week.

Third Grade Religious Studies Unit Provides New Perspective into Culture

The study of culture is deeply embedded in the third grade curriculum. As part of this exploration, third graders learn about two distinct civilizations: the Mali Empire and ancient Egypt. It was through these two studies that Erin and Priscilla initially recognized the need to include a study of religion to help students better understand their cultures. The religious studies unit has blossomed into an exploration of the foundations of the five major world religions: Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

In Memoriam: The Black Leaders Who Inspire Me

In this essay below, sixth grader Julian D. shares the history of three important Black people from around the world, who have inspired him.

"These great men have all passed away in the past year, so I wanted our community to remember their stories," he writes. "When you read about them, I hope you’ll agree with me that they were great and inspirational people."


Meet the JEDI Team

bell hooks
American author, feminist, and social activist

"Learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom with all its limitations remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom."