Mr. Mason West brings more than 20 years of experience in DEI work to Rabun Gap
Mr. Mason West has joined the senior leadership team at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School asDirector of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
After a comprehensive national search, Mr. West was hired last November to begin his role thismonth for the 2020-2021 school year. He will work closely with Head of School Jeff Miles andother school leaders to develop DEI programming and initiatives as Rabun Gap continues itsmission to build a community that values diversity and honors people from all backgrounds.Working with faculty and students, Mr. West will lead efforts that celebrate the many voices ofthe Rabun Gap community and ensure that equity and inclusion are exercised for all.
Mr. West brings a wealth of experience in diversity and inclusion work. He has spent nearly twodecades in independent schools, including in leadership roles at Randolph School, BermudaInstitute, and most recently the New School in Atlanta. In addition to his leadership in schools,Mr. West has an impressive background in creating community-centered programs across theglobe and is the founder and CEO of his own consulting group, which specializes in communityand academic-based programs.
“We are thrilled and blessed to welcome Mason and his family to campus,” said Head of SchoolJeff Miles. “After an extensive national search this past fall, we feel fortunate to have securedone of the leading international experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion. His experience,wisdom, and leadership will be instrumental to the success of our community for years to come."
Mr. West is an award-winning community builder who specializes in fostering unity. This is evidenced in his development of community-based programs, including a specialized leadershiptraining program for 50 youth in Egypt and an arts program in the U.K. for youth that facilitatesthe identification of their talents and development of marketable skills. While working in Belgium, he created Nation Builders, a program that brings youth from America and Belgiumtogether to implement advocacy projects. He has created important bridge-building initiatives,including the Interfaith Conference in Belgium, that brought together youth and religious leaderstogether to develop and maintain peacebuilding initiatives. On a more local level, Mr. West wasawarded a grant from the Department of Justice to create a crime reduction plan to improve thePeoplestown community in Georgia, and grants from the Annie E. Casey and CommunityFoundations to develop youth leadership programs in Atlanta.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Oakwood University, a master's degree inUrban/Regional Planning and Community Development from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, and is pursuing his EdD in Learning and Leadership from the Universityof Tennessee Chattanooga.
“I am excited to join the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School family as Director of Diversity, Equity,and Inclusion,” said Mr. West. “I believe I am joining the journey of a prolific institution that iscommitted to encouraging youth at every age to see the best in themselves and the best in others.It is a special place where students are encouraged to apply what they learn in the classroom tofulfilling needs and solving problems in society. These incredible elements of this institution areaccomplished in an environment where diversity of experience, inclusion of every voice, andequity in community are cultivated. I am honored to join this family and thrilled to join thisjourney.”
Mr. West lives on campus with his wife Shamica and their daughter Megan ’25. Within his administrative role, Mr. West will teach a class, coach, and serve on a residential life team to support boarding students.