After a global search, Oldfields is excited to welcome Dawn Anderson as our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She has hit the ground running and has already been a valuable resource as we continue the work to create a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for everyone. Dawn's sessions with the students during orientation and faculty during opening meetings demonstrated the depth of her knowledge and empathy when it comes to complex DEI issues.
Dawn, she/her, hers, expressed her excitement to join Oldfields and shares that she accepted the position after “clicking” with the search committee and current student and All-School President, Jadisha '22. She was impressed with the DEI work that had already been started and felt like this was a place where she could truly have an impact and be effective.
Dawn was born and raised in eastern North Carolina (which, according to Dawn, has the best BBQ). She studied journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a fan of all things Tar Heels. While there, she performed in musicals (like The Wiz), danced in various groups (İQué Rico!, Bhangra Elite), pledged Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc., and went to many, many, many games. Her favorite acronym is, of course, GDTBATH! (which stands for Good Day To Be A Tar Heel.)
After college, she spent a year in Washington, DC, before moving to New York where she spent almost 20 years at the Trevor Day School doing college counseling and diversity work. She also coached an undefeated 6th-grade girls basketball team, varsity cross country, varsity indoor track and field, and a championship-winning varsity track and field team—all before she began running herself (turns out it’s much easier to coach than run).
Dawn’s greatest hope is that the work she does here expands outward, transcending Oldfields and impacts the community, state, country, and beyond. She states that the greatest challenge will be to motivate the community to be life-long learners because the changes will keep coming. She shares a favorite quote from author Octavia E. Butler, “All that you touch You change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God is Change.”
Dawn loves animals, which makes her right at home in the Oldfields community. She has a 22-year old tuxedo cat named Blanca and an over ten-year-old silky terrier named Pinot. She volunteered at the Animal Care Center of New York and PAWS NY (Pets Are Wonderful Support), running the 2016 TCS New York City Half-Marathon to raise money for this cause, a feat she plans to accomplish again this fall.