DURHAM – Superintendent James Morse is pleased to share that the Oyster River Cooperative School District will soon welcome its first Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice.
Rachael Blansett has been selected as Oyster River’s DEIJ Coordinator, tasked with working collaboratively with stakeholders to define, assess and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice districtwide. She will work most often with faculty and staff toward the goal of prioritizing and implementing DEIJ initiatives in core areas like curriculum and professional development. Blansett will also work to advance Oyster River’s cultural competency.
Blansett joins Oyster River following a career in student affairs in the higher education sector. She’s worked in residence life at the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkley. Most recently, she’s served as the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at Sterling College and College of the Atlantic.
“Rachael brings both an impressive background and a diverse perspective to the district, which will combine to directly benefit our students and staff alike,” Superintendent Morse said. “Her lived experience makes her uniquely qualified for the challenges this position brings, and will ultimately empower her to make a tangible positive impact on teaching and learning throughout our school community.”
Blansett holds a master’s degree from Iowa State University in higher education and higher education administration, which she pursued while working as a graduate assistant in the university’s multicultural programs. She’s conducted research in the areas of student activism and agency, challenging anti-Blackness and colonization ideology.
In addition to her work in higher education, Blansett has worked with New Hampshire Listens — a civic engagement initiative at the University of New Hampshire — as well as the Mount Desert Island, Maine School District’s Anti-Racist Task Force.
“I’m excited to pivot my skills in DEIJ to a new context and build relationships with the community,” Blansett said. “The backbone of my academic and professional career has been rooted in building relationships and creating supportive spaces for students, faculty, and staff so I’m looking forward to doing this work and furthering our efforts of educational equity in Oyster River.”
To learn more about Oyster River’s work in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, visit the district’s dedicated web page at www.orcsd.org/about_us/deij