Boarding and Day · Co-ed College Prep · Grades 6–12 & Postgraduate · Hebron, Maine

Diversity, Inclusion & Community

 

At Hebron Academy, we have always believed that the ideal learning community is one in which diverse voices are represented, valued, and nurtured.

Today more than ever, we embrace the globally connected nature of our world and all of the exciting opportunities it brings. We are therefore very proud of our welcoming multicultural community, in which curious students from all around the world come together to learn the cross-cultural skills that they will need to achieve ethical, sustainable, and successful lives.

These skills are actively taught in our classrooms, through our extracurricular offerings, and during community-wide events and celebrations. By learning these skills and expanding their cultural horizons, Lumberjacks are prepared to be the next generation of leaders who will creatively and empathetically work towards a more just and compassionate world.

“This is about the intersectionality of cultures — making sure everyone has a seat at the table, a place to share their stories and a place to have them heard. If we can start having these conversations, then we stand a chance of making it happen.” 
— David Ruiz, Director for the Albert Lepage Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Albert Lepage Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Hebron Academy was established to develop the values of global cultural awareness among trustees, faculty, staff, students and parents, enabling all associated with Hebron Academy to become leaders for equity and social justice.

“In the summer of 2020, after the George Floyd murder, there was a push here at Hebron Academy to take a stand and do something, “ says Lepage. An Advisory Council was formed with members who were former and current trustees, former faculty members, former parents and current administrators. “Thanks to Zoom and an aggressive schedule, our team was able to do about two year’s worth of work in about six months. We have created and rolled out an impressive plan to ensure our community is more diverse and represents the range of backgrounds and viewpoints that everyone brings to the Hebron Academy campus.”

 

Albert Lepage '65 joined the family baking company shortly after graduating from Tulane University. He became president in 1978 and chairman in 1983. In 2012, Lepage Bakeries merged with Flowers Foods and Lepage became co-chairman. He served until his retirement in 2014 as chairman of Quality Bakers of America Co-operative, the national licensor of Sunbeam Bread, and as treasurer of the American Bakers Association, the baking industry's leading national organization.

Embracing the Difference: Hebron's Path Forward

Over the years, Albert Lepage ‘65 has given back to Hebron Academy in many ways, as a trustee and as a philanthropist. According to Lepage, he attributes the teachers and fellow students he met here with making him a better person.

His generous gift of $5 million to create the Albert Lepage ‘65 Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is rooted in his days attending Hebron in the 1960s, where he also found acceptance

“I always have believed that a lot of my positive life experience started here at Hebron, when I met people from all over the country and the world, representing different ethnicities and backgrounds,” says Lepage. “I came from a small town in Maine, where being of French-Canadian-American ancestry was difficult. Although we were a majority, we were treated like a minority. So, after coming to Hebron, I soon realized that exposure to diversity was contributing to my becoming a better person.”

One member of the Advisory Council is Samuel Stafford ’68, a judicial member of the 8th Circuit Court. When Stafford arrived on the Hebron campus in 1964, he was the only person of color in the student population. Raised in Gainesville, Florida during the height of segregation, he recalls the many levels of change he faced at once. “Everything was unfamiliar. People with far different backgrounds, new ways of learning, and, especially after Halloween, the kind of cold weather I’d never experienced,” he says. But one thing that made the transition easier was the kindness of his teachers and class- mates, including a certain fellow student.

“I remember Albert Lepage clearly,” says Stafford. “He was kind, he was outgoing. Even as a young man, I recognized that his heart was in the right place. It’s a big reason I was excited and honored to join the initiative he introduced to Hebron.”


“It’s very exciting that we did this all ourselves,” he says. “We didn’t hire any consultants. We simply rolled up our sleeves and got it done. We established metrics for success and we are moving forward. The goal
is that when every student leaves Hebron, they will have a broader, more global social
perspective that will benefit them, their community and, ultimately, the world.”

Advisory Council

Albert Lepage '65 Deacon William Barrows Trustee Emeritus
David Ruiz, Director, Albert Lepage Center for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Jarrett Brown
Samuel Stafford, Esq. '68
Felicia Coney P'18
Mary Warner, Acting Head of School

Mission Statement & Goals

Mission Statement:

The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Hebron Academy was established to develop the values of global cultural awareness among trustees, faculty, staff, students and parents, enabling all associated with Hebron Academy to become leaders for equity and social justice.

Goals:

  • Develop a comprehensive approach to Hebron Academy’s curriculum and student experience to embody values of global cultural awareness. 
  • Recruit, attract, develop and train a faculty and staff which is more representative of our diverse and inclusive society and its underrepresented members.
  • Ensure students’ understanding and appreciation of global issues, cultures, and perspectives through curricular initiatives and Academy activities.
  • Achieve and sustain a diverse, equitable and inclusive student population representative of global cultures and perspective.

How are diversity, equity, and inclusion supported at Hebron?

Anti-racism Resources

Diverse voices should be represented, valued & nurtured.

helpful links & resources

LGBTQ+ Resources

Helping heighten awareness and sensitivity

helpful links & resources

Notable Figures

John Brown Russwurm

John Brown Russwurm was born in Jamaica in 1799, son of a wealthy Virginia planter named John Russwurm and his black housekeeper. He lived in Jamaica until he was eight, when his father sent him to school in Quebec. Although there is no primary evidence (the early treasurer’s records were lost in a fire in 1819), it is generally accepted that John Brown Russwurm attended Hebron Academy sometime between 1812 and 1819. His stepmother and her new husband offered financial support, and he entered Bowdoin College in 1824. While at Bowdoin, John was invited to join the Athenaean Society. In 1826, was the second black man to graduate from an American college. With others, he started a weekly newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, and was soon the sole editor. 

Sam Stafford '68

Judicial magistrate for the Eighth Judicial Circuit In Florida (1989 - present)  and professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law (1988 - present).

He and his wife, Harriet, were awarded the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Award in 2018 for their fighting for equality in education and working to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Jesse Owens-Dwyer Fields dedication in 1963.

The sprint star from the 1936 Olympics was the featured speaker at the Dwyer Fields dedication in 1963.

During the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics, the world record in the long jump was broken by Bob LeGendre, while he was competing in the pentathlon. Bob LeGendre’s 1924 long jump record was then beaten in 1936 by the immortal Jesse Owens, who spoke at Hebron Academy in 1963 at the dedication of the Dwyer Fields. Charlie Dwyer was, of course, Le Gendre's football coach in 1917.

Chris Rogers '02

Chris' artistic passion was accompanied by his love for soccer and ice hockey, both of which he played at both Hebron Academy and William Smith College. After graduating for Hebron in '02, Chris gradually gained momentum in his artistic pursuits which include painting live, commercial and residential mural work. His most recent contribution to Austin's art scene, “If HE Can’t Breathe, WE Can’t Breathe,” is a powerful mural tribute to victims of police brutality. Rogers says one of his main goals with the project "is to bring as many different people from as many different walks of life, people that normally wouldn’t mix, to establish truly safe spaces in which we can be honest, patient, and vulnerable, so that we can collectively begin to deal with OUR reality, learn from one another, and, ultimately, forge substantial and sustaining change."

NEWS & STORIES

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