Greenhill’s Director of Equity and Inclusion Says Goodbye After 15 Years on the Hill

Jack Moses

Concluding a 15-year run at Greenhill School, Director of Equity and Inclusion Karen Bradberry has accepted a similar role at the Galloway School in Atlanta.

“Dr. Bradberry has a tremendous impact on Greenhill, and we will all miss her terribly,” Head of School Lee Hark said in a spring email announcing the news to school employees. “

Reflecting on her time at Greenhill, Bradberry said in an email interview that she her work with the belief that “I was taught that if I put forth the effort, I could accomplish anything I wanted. However, experience has taught me that genuine DEIB [Diversity, Equity Inclusion, and Belonging] work is a learning journey that honestly, never ends. The typical concept of ‘DONE! I succeeded. Check off that box!’ so to speak does not apply to DEIB work. To me, success is defined by my commitment to stay on this learning journey, no matter how fulfilling and/or exasperating it may be.”

Bradberry said she believes there are always improvements to be made in this area, at Greenhill and elsewhere.

While Bradberry said her objective was to promote a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment at Greenhill, her work included addressing situations that had caused hurt for students or faculty.

“Too many times, we’ve found ourselves in ‘reactive’ mode as opposed to ‘proactive’ mode,” Bradberry said. “Unfortunately, reactive mode means that hurt, harm, and damage has already been done, and no one ever wants or intends that for anyone.”

Under Bradberry’s guidance, efforts to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community became a core mission at Greenhill, Head of Upper School Trevor Worcester said.

“E/I work is embedded in everything we do, and we should strive to have E/I at the forefront,” Worcester said. “It’s not separate – it’s a part of our DNA.”

Building a diverse environment was only the first step toward the ultimate goal of an inclusive community, Bradberry said.

“While diversity is definitely a part of our foundation, I wanted us to understand that diversity was only intended to be our beginning, not our end,” Bradberry said. “We now must be courageous enough to make sure all our policies, procedures, programs, and pecuniary practices are equitable for all community members.”

Beyond her work on the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, Bradberry also distinguished herself by her support for her co-workers and students, Worcester said.

“For me, she has been a rock and helped me in the Upper School on numerous occasions, both personally and professionally,” Worcester said. “She has left an indelible footprint and I am grateful for all the work she has accomplished.”

Bradberry said she pushed for all students and faculty to embrace who they are, and for Greenhill to be an environment where they will be accepted for that.

“She has forced us all to understand how to be true to ourselves and understand the vast differences we all bring to our community,” Worcester said. “She has challenged us to be better, and left Greenhill, and its people, in a better place than before.”

Bradberry credited her successes to the willingness of the larger Greenhill community to open itself to new ideas, and to devote time and effort to becoming better.

“I am most proud of the people in our community who are not only committed to diversity work, but more pressing, the equity, inclusion, and belonging work that must be done if we are to ever actualize our mission and core principles,” Bradberry said. “When I think about the faculty/staff who have committed to increasing their levels of cultural competency by reading extra books, staying late for book club meetings, and/or participating in events aimed at dismantling oppressive, life-threatening systems of inequity.”

As she leaves Greenhill, Bradberry said she hopes that she instilled a sense of belonging and an understanding of what the school’s purpose is.

“I hope every student believes that Greenhill belongs to them; it is their community. Even more, I hope they feel and believe that they belong at and to Greenhill,” Bradberry said in her email response to questions. “I hope each student understands that the purpose of Greenhill is to provide an excellent learning experience, one that can only be achieved through meaningful engagement with diverse cultures, perspectives, and experiences.”