Diversity Committee

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee supports the Parents Association by advocating for, and supporting school policies and practices that animate the Lab School Diversity Statement and empower families as partners and collaborators in furthering that mission. The three chairs of the Diversity Committee in 2015-2016 are Beth Richie, Amanda Lewis, and Veronica Anderson.

Members of the PA DEI committee also serve as parent representatives on the Lab School Diversity Advisory Committee. This Advisory Committee, chaired by Ken Garcia-Gonzales, Lab’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is additionally comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives.

After relaunching in the fall of 2015, the Committee solicited parent input and worked with subcommittees throughout the winter to prepare a complete list of recommendations. The document, Diversity & Inclusion Recommendations, is a streamlined compilation of parent discussions and ideas. The committee intends this to be a living document and welcomes feedback. Email your thoughts to the committee chairs: Beth Ritchie, Amanda Lewis, and Veronica Anderson.

Previous Minutes

October 17, 2016

December 29, 2016


PA Diversity Committee Co-Chair Bios

Beth E. Richie

Beth is a Professor of African American Studies and Criminology, Law and Justice at The University of Illinois at Chicago. The emphasis of her scholarly and activist work has been on the ways that race, ethnicity and social position affect women’s experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors. Dr. Richie is the author of two books, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation and Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women. In addition to her work on race, gender, violence and crime, she works as a volunteer and consultant with local and national groups working against institutionalized racism and for equity around issues of gender, class and sexuality. Beth and her partner, Cathy J. Cohen, are the parents of Lab 4th grader Ella Cohen-Richie.

Amanda E. Lewis

Amanda is the Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and an Associate Professor in the Departments of African American Studies and Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on how race shapes educational opportunities and on how our ideas about race get negotiated in everyday life. Her book on how race shapes everyday life in elementary schools, Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the color-line in classrooms and communities (Rutgers University Press 2003), has received several awards and was featured in a number of media outlets. Her research has appeared in a number of academic venues including Sociological Theory, American Educational Research Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, Race and Society, and Anthropology and Education Quarterly, The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and The Du Bois Review. Her new book with co-author John Diamond, is titled Despite the Best Intentions: Why racial inequality persists in good schools (Oxford University Press, 2015). She lectures and consults regularly on issues of educational equity and contemporary forms of racism. Amanda’s daughter, Nyla, is in 3rd grade.

Veronica Anderson

Veronica Anderson is a strategic communications consultant with expertise in education, public policy and nonprofit management. She advises leadership teams on strategic planning, visioning, organizational advancement, effective messaging and reputation management. Her background is in media and publishing. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, and she sits on the boards of several Chicago area nonprofits. Her daughter, August, is a 6th grader at Lab.