Harvard-Westlake strives to be a diverse and inclusive community united by the joyful pursuit of educational excellence….

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential parts of educational excellence and data shows that it improves critical thinking and cognitive skills.  To that end, the Harvard-Westlake Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is committed to ensuring that every single member of the Harvard-Westlake community is celebrated, appreciated, and included. Harvard-Westlake’s DEI efforts are multifaceted and far-reaching, impacting students, alumni, faculty and staff, parents, and the greater Los Angeles area. We recognize that striving to be a diverse and inclusive community is an ever-evolving imperative that requires empathy, an open mind, and a willingness to engage in crucial and, at times, uncomfortable conversations.


  • Janine Jones
    Janine Hancock Jones
    Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    Janine Jones
    Janine Hancock Jones

    Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    Janine Hancock Jones joined the Harvard-Westlake community in 2012 as a parent. In 2015, she began working in the admission office as associate director of admission. Prior to Harvard-Westlake, she worked as a lawyer at several large law firms and served as senior advisor/deputy legal counsel to former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. Janine’s primary role is to oversee and lead the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This includes coordinating professional development for faculty and staff, working with department chairs to ensure a diverse curriculum for students, programming for the entire Harvard-Westlake community, and assisting with the hiring of a diverse faculty and staff. In the admission office, she works closely with prospective families throughout the application process and coordinates the Student Ambassadors program. Janine's husband, Chris Jones, is an upper school dean and their daughters, Taylor and Avery, are current students.
  • Damaris Saenz
    Damaris Saenz
    MS Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    Damaris Saenz
    Damaris Saenz

    MS Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    Prior to joining the Harvard-Westlake family in 2016, Damaris taught middle and high school English at La Sierra Academy in Riverside, CA. While at La Sierra, her interest in DEI work found an avenue in the restructuring of the writing and literature curriculum. She worked with both middle and high school teachers to create vertical and horizontal alignment in the writing program and successfully pushed for the inclusion of a diversity of authors and texts across both campuses. Damaris has quickly integrated herself into the Harvard-Westlake community. She serves as an English and Robotics instructor, but also enjoys working with student leaders as a sponsor for LAHSO (the Latin American Hispanic Student Organization), advising new ninth graders, and serving as a coordinator for the HW Bridge program. Damaris, her husband Miguel, and canine-child Bobby are SoCal natives who love the easy access to beaches, deserts, and mountains.
  • Nate Cardin
    Nate Cardin
    US Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    Nate Cardin
    Nate Cardin

    US Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    After completing his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Stanford, Nate joined the Harvard-Westlake community in 2011 as an upper school science teacher. At Harvard-Westlake, he has served as faculty advisor for the Gender & Sexuality Awareness (GSA) and Science Bowl clubs, guest-lectured on topics of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in sophomore Choices and Challenges classes, and co-led a work group studying the relationship between gender and science course enrollment among students at Harvard-Westlake. Alongside his PhD work at Stanford, he co-founded a community/advocacy group for LGBTQ+ graduate students and was selected as a member of the inaugural class of Stanford DARE (Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence) graduate fellows. Nate currently lives in Studio City with his husband, Benjamin, an entertainment lawyer.

Southern California Diversity Recruiting Fair 2019

On Saturday, February 23, 2019, Harvard-Westlake hosted the inaugural Southern California Diversity Recruiting Fair. In addition to the 40 participating schools and employment agencies, more than 150 job candidates attended the fair.

Learn more about the fair >



Student Groups
Asian American Student Club
Asian Students in Action (ASiA)
Black Leadership Awareness and Culture Club (BLACC)
Christian Club
Gender & Sexuality Awareness (GSA)
Jewish Awareness Club
Jewish Student Union
La Femme
Latin American Hispanic Student Organization (LAHSO)
Middle Eastern Student Association
Ms. “Simon Says” Girls Club
Portuguese Club
Women’s Empowerment, Rights & Knowledge (WERK)
Alumni Groups
Harvard-Westlake African-American Alumni Network (HWAAN)
Harvard-Westlake Korean-American Alumni Network
Harvard-Westlake LGBTQ Network

Parent Groups
Harvard-Westlake Chinese Cultural Club (HWCCC)
Harvard-Westlake Cultural Heritage and Arts of India Club (HW CHAI)
Harvard-Westlake French Club (HWFC)
Korean-American Parents Association (KAPA)
Latino Parents Association (LAPA)
Parents of African-American Harvard-Westlake Students (PAAHWS)

Cultural Responsiveness: The application of a defined set of values, principles, skills, attitudes, policies, and behaviors that enable individuals and groups to work effectively across cultures. Cultural responsiveness is a developmental process (and continuum) that evolves over time for both individuals and organizations. It is defined as having the capacity to: (1) value diversity; (2) conduct assessment of self; (3) manage the dynamics of difference; (4) acquire and apply cultural knowledge; and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities in which one lives and works.

Diversity: The presence, acceptance, and appreciation of varied cultures.  The concept of diversity embraces the wide range of human characteristics used to mark or identify individual and group identities. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, ethnicity, race, national origin, age, personality, sexual orientation, gender, class, religion, ability, and linguistic preferences. Diversity is a term used as shorthand for visible and quantifiable statuses, but diversity of thought and ways of knowing, being, and doing are also understood as natural, valued, and desired states, the presence of which benefit organizations, workplaces, and society.

Equity: A condition that balances two dimensions: fairness and inclusion. As a function of fairness, equity implies ensuring that people have what they need to participate in school life and reach their full potential. Equitable treatment involves eliminating barriers that prevent the full participation of all individuals. As a function of inclusion, equity ensures that essential educational programs, services, activities, and technologies are accessible to all. Equity is not equality; it is the expression of justice, ethics, multi-partiality, and the absence of discrimination.

Ethnicity: A social construct that divides people into groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group identity, values, culture, language, history, ancestry and geography.

Implicit bias: The attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.  Everyone is susceptible to implicit biases.

Gender: Socially constructed categories of masculinity and manhood, femininity and womanhood that goes beyond one’s reproductive functions.  Gender is distinct from one’s sexual orientation.   

Gender expression: This is the way we show our gender to the world around us through such manifestations as clothing, hairstyles, and mannerisms to name a few.

Gender identity: A person’s internal sense of themselves as a specific gender.  A cisgender person has a gender identity consistent with the sex they were assigned at birth.  A transgender person has a gender identity that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.  Gender, however, is a spectrum and is not limited to just two possibilities.  A person may have a non-binary gender identity meaning they do not identify strictly as a boy or a girl. 

Inclusivity/Inclusiveness: Encompassing all; taking every individual’s experience and identity into account and creating conditions where all feel accepted, safe, empowered, supported, and affirmed. An inclusive school or organization expands its sense of community to include all, cultivating belonging and giving all an equal voice. Inclusivity also promotes and enacts the sharing of power and recognition of interdependence, where authorizing individuals and community members share responsibility for expressing core values and maintaining respect for differences in the spirit of care and cooperation.

Microaggressions: Microaggressions are subtle words, cues, and/or behaviors that insult, invalidate, or exclude traditionally marginalized group members. The long-term effect of microaggressions can be a significant negative effect on one’s health.

Multiculturalism: The presence of many distinctive cultures and the manifestation of cultural components and derivatives (e.g. language, values, religion, race, communication styles, etc.) in a given setting. Multiculturalism promotes the understanding of, and respect for cultural differences, and celebrates them as source of community strength. Multiculturalism is also defined as set of programs, policies, and practices that enable and maximize the benefits of diversity in a school community or organization.

Privilege: Systemic favoring, enriching, valuing, validating, and including of certain social identities over others. Individuals cannot “opt out” of systems of privilege; rather these systems are inherent to the society in which we live.

Race: A social construct that divides people into groups based on factors such as physical appearance, ancestry, culture, history, etc.; a social, historical and political classification system.

Racism: A system of advantage based on race. This advantage occurs at the individual, cultural and institutional levels.  Racism can also be defined as prejudice plus power.

Sexual orientation: A concept referring to a person’s sexual desire in relation to the sex/gender to which they are attracted; the fact of being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or pansexual.

Social class (as in upper class, middle class, working class): Refers to people’s socio-economic status, based on factors such as wealth, occupation, education, income, etc.

Sources for these definitions include the National Association of Independent Schools, The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, Lakeside School, and Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum’s Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria.