Photo: Chon’tel Washington
After years of discussion and delay, the Belmont Public Schools has its first director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with the hiring of Chon’tel Washington.
Coming from Berry College in Georgia where she held the position of director of Diversity Initiatives, Washington will be responsible for developing and equipping staff at all levels with the skills, tools, strategies, resources, and support to be effective leaders and advocates for racial justice in their work so that they can confront situations of inequity and injustice.
She will also advocate for the necessary resources to promote equitable practices of diversity and inclusion, and assisting all Belmont teachers to weave social, racial, and economic justice into their work processes, projects, and relationships will be key parts of this role.
Washington will also partner with the Belmont Public School’s District Equity Team, The School Committee’s Equity Subcommittee, the town’s Diversity Task Force, Belmont Educators of Color & Allies (BECA), Belmont Against Racism (BAR), the Belmont Human Rights Commission (HRC), and other school and community groups to builds strong relationships.
The district will hold an “welcome coffee” to formally introduce Washington to several of our community groups. Washington will begin her position on Sept. 1.
A Boston native, Washington matriculated at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in 2008. She then received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Brandeis University.
At Berry College in Georgia from 2018-21, Washington provided leadership as a campus-wide advisor, collaborating to provide a dynamic DEI vision and foster an inclusive environment. She served as their subject matter expert on DEI, successfully facilitating courses on diversity and inclusion and addressing racial incidents on campus.
Before Berry, Washington worked at Framingham State University as their Director of Inclusive Excellence Initiatives and the Assistant Director of Admissions, Diversity & Recruitment from 2014-2018. In these roles, she helped develop the university’s DEI strategy and oversaw their resource center, which focused on campus-wide inclusion programming. She also work with the Boston Scholar Athlete Program from 2011-2012 where she managed more than 40 student-athletes, which required collaboration with principals, administrators, and parents to support academic success.
“All of these prior work experiences will serve her well in this new role in Belmont. She brings much expertise to the challenges we face and the goals we hope to accomplish as a district,” said Michael McAllister, director of Human Capital for Belmont Schools.