Welcoming A New Bear into the Berkshire Community: Akilah Edgerton, Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Sofie Fisher ’21

 As a graduate from Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Akilah Edgerton already had the proper knowledge of life at a boarding school. With her past experience in this atmosphere, it is clear that her work at Berkshire will be out of understanding and patience. 

 After high school, Edgerton went on to claim a major in social work and a certificate in global studies, graduating in the top 15% in her class at North Carolina Agricultural and Tactical State University. 

 As the “one and only” black female at her middle school, Edgerton was never introduced to a diverse community such as the one found at Berkshire School today. Without an inclusive environment, Edgerton experienced racism and discrimination during her early life. 

 Responding to a question regarding how her experience was at the beginning of her educational career, Edgerton replied that “to see everything that was happening, it was appalling, it was eye-opening, and I could not just sit silent and allow students to be discriminated against, because if I sat silent, that meant that I was okay with what was happening.” 

 With her inside knowledge of what inclusion should look like and feel like, Edgerton strives to share it with the rest of our community today. 

 Currently, Edgerton’s main goals at Berkshire are to closely work with the affinity groups found on campus, act as a support system for others, and build long term relationships with students and faculty. 

 Edgerton’s transition from working at Miss Hall’s School to Berkshire has been a successful shift so far. Responding to the question, “How are you currently enjoying it here,” she replied, “It feels like this is a community, and I am a part of it.” 

 It is important to remember that Akilah Edgerton will not only contribute as a faculty member but as a friend. Edgerton has established that her doors are always open, and she hopes that people will follow her own personal core value of  “always be yourself.” 

 Outside of her role as the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, she hopes that both students and faculty willingly come to her with whatever problems may arise. It is important to Edgerton that she can be an ally for people who feel as though they don’t have a voice. She also believes that the best atmosphere comes from a place where people can be their authentic selves, whatever that means to them. 

 As a final message to our school, Akilah Edgerton wants the Berkshire community to know that she has a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and she is looking forward to working with this school. Thank you Ms. Akilah Edgerton, and welcome to Berkshire School.