Plural Commons

An environment where each person's whole Self is welcomed, cared for, and seen as essential to the common good.
Plural Commons will honor each of our unique characteristics while bringing us together to create a cohesive and connected community.
Cultivating Inclusive Community at Greenhill School
Greenhill School’s mission statement affirms that our students flourish when each individual experiences meaningful belonging. Our philosophy for inclusive community is centered on interpersonal and institutional relationship-building that values diversity and encourages equity. Strong relationships will create the conditions in which each person’s whole Self is welcomed, cared for, and seen as essential to the common good.
Greenhill Definitions:
  • Diversity – the host of characteristics and identities that inform our human experience
  • Equity – having what one needs to participate fully in the life of the school coupled with the opportunity to reach one’s full potential
  • Inclusion – encourages respect and appreciation for differences resulting in a sense of belonging

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  • What is Plural Commons?

    Plural Commons is about relationships – how do you get them? How do you grow them? How do you trust them? Plural Commons is also about surprises. Are you open to the new? Are you curious enough to learn anew? Yes, Plural Commons is about relationships and surprises with people. And, Plural Commons is about relationships and surprises with knowledges, ideas, and perspectives.
    Plural Commons is the philosophy; relationships and surprises are the practice. The more formal definition is an environment where each person’s whole Self is welcomed, cared for, and seen as essential to the common good. In essence, Plural Commons invites everyone with all their stuff to be part of something greater, together.

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  • Why does Plural Commons matter?

    Societies across the globe are struggling to be together and not simply because of the physical distancing associated with the coronavirus health pandemic. Silos and echo chambers seem more attractive and “safe” to people; cultivating relationships without the aid of technology seems a lost art. Plural Commons aims to create space for learning about our Self, one another, and the broader world of which we are a part. Plural Commons hopes to help us be better together.

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  • How is Plural Commons similar to and distinct from more traditional ideas and approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion?

    The term “diversity” has been around long enough to become a buzz word and is readily associated with race, representation, and affirmative action. As this area of work has evolved to include a host of identities and viewpoints, the field has become more professionalized and modernized to reflect our rapidly changing contexts. Plural Commons aims to honor the history of diversity work while pointing toward a more inclusive approach to building community. The Plural Commons philosophy makes space for us to celebrate what makes us unique and whole (plural), and it invites us to bring our full Selves into a community of relationships that helps us all be better (commons).

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  • How may I help with Plural Commons?

    The journey toward Plural Commons is personal, interpersonal, and institutional. It begins with intentional reflection about what makes you you. As this personal discovery unfolds, it informs the relationships that we forge with others. Greenhill has a commitment to creating opportunities for learning about our Selves and one another with an eye toward enhancing the experience of community. In the upcoming academic year, there will be two headline invitations to join the journey – Listening@PluralCommons and Gathering@PluralCommons; the former is a community reading initiative, and the latter is a series of social events. Stay tuned for details.

Upcoming Experiences

Date Experience
Now: Community Reading of A Search for Common Ground (focus for the spring is chapters 6-11, and 13/Closing)
From November 2021 Partnership with Dr. Paul Gorski & the Equity Literacy Institute (associated with the Plural Commons Venture “Inspire a More Equitable and Inclusive Academic Experience”)
February 16, 2022 Greenhill School Family Inclusion Council Meeting (please alert Council Members of any relevant topics you would like explored)
February 22, 2022 Greenhill School Employee Inclusion Council Meeting (please alert Council Members of any relevant topics you would like explored)
April 13, 2022 A Conversation with Pedro Noguera & Rick Hess, authors of A Search for Common Ground (4:00 PM) - Join here
April 14, 2022 Plural Commons: Building an Inclusive Community - RSVP here
Spring 2022 Community Engagement of A Search for Common Ground (chapters 6-11, and 13/closing)

Listening @PluralCommons

The Art of Listening Panel Discussion

Greenhill School officially launched Plural Commons with a panel discussion on "The Art of Listening" hosted by Dr. Marcus R. Ingram on Tuesday, September 28, in Rose Hall. The panel discussion featured the voices of Greenhill students and faculty along with Board Chair Augusto Sasso and Dr. Ruben Habilto, Zen Buddhist Teacher and SMU Professor of World Religions and Spirituality.

Community Read

As a community, we will read and engage the book A Search for Common Ground. In hopes of modeling effective communication across difference, lifelong educators and authors Rick Hess and Pedro Noguera invite readers into their intimate conversation about some of the toughest questions in K-12 education. If you would like to join the employee community and the Board on this reading journey, please CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR BOOK and use the discount code COMMONGROUNDGREENHILL2021 to secure 15% off and free shipping.

Plural Commons Ventures

Our drive to realize Plural Commons is about enhancing the quality of the school experience, and about fulfilling our vision of a world made more hopeful because of the Greenhill community. Our Plural Commons Ventures constitute a multi-year plan that offers a sustained systematic approach to enhancing each person’s sense of belonging.
Our vision is clear.
Our mission is strong.
Our work awaits.


Greenhill School

A coed independent day school for prekindergarten – Grade 12
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