University School of Nashville Organizes Third Grade ‘Activist Club,’ Staff Attend ‘White Privilege Conference’

Eight year old girls head home after after school rolling their backpacks down the school
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The University School of Nashville (USN), a private school affiliated with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), organized third grade students in a “Young Activist Club,” while staff attended conferences such as the “White Privilege Conference.”

Information about the club on USN’s website, which has been archived here, explains that the club began informally when third grade teacher Sarah Wiley started “encouraging interested students to write letters to Gov. Bill Lee that urged him to take down the statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.”

The site goes on to explain, “According to Wiley, the activities and focus of the club have been primarily student-led. To start, they each shared the social justice and activism issues they were most passionate about.”

“While many issues were discussed, the club’s 11 members landed on three key issues that they all agreed were pressing: Nashville’s growing homeless population, systemic racism, and climate change,” it continues.

Faculty Attend ‘White Privilege Conference’, ‘People of Color Conference’ as Students Organize on Campus

The school, which costs nearly $30,000 a year for high school students, also appears to have a robust diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program that pushes the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT), including the belief that Western society is deliberately structured to give white people privileges and advantages over other racial groups.

A DEI report from 2021 provides “recent student and faculty efforts” and goes on to include a list “of professional development opportunities that USN faculty and staff have attended annually since at least 2015.” One such opportunity is the “White Privilege Conference,” which “examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work towards a more equitable world.”

Faculty also attended the NAIS’s People of Color Conference (POCC), an annual conference that teaches attendees how to embed Critical Race Theory into private school classrooms throughout the country.

Breitbart News previously published an investigation revealing that a former diversity director at Maryvale Preparatory, a Catholic, all-girls school in Maryland, gave a talk at the POCC where she advocated for racial segregation in order to protect nonwhite students from the “white gaze.”

“It’s necessary for BIPOC students to have space away from white gaze and that it is absolutely okay to give black and brown students things you’re not giving white children because the white children are fine,” she remarked in her presentation at the POCC. The former diversity director, Kalea Selmon, later resigned following the investigation from Breitbart News. 

When asked about USN’s staff attending these conferences, communication director Juanita Traughber responded, explaining that “what guides our thinking at University School of Nashville is the development of an inclusive learning environment that fosters a sense of belonging for all of our students. Our mission informs what we do, including professional development and curriculum.”

Breitbart News also specifically asked whether the concept of white privilege was embedded in USN’s curriculum and if so, how early it was introduced to students. While Breitbart News did not receive a direct answer, Traughber stated, “Our curriculum is grounded in educational best practices and research. The Lower School identity curriculum consists of age-appropriate lessons that are natural extensions of the work already done around diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

While faculty have attended the White Privilege Conference and the People of Color Conference, USN’s report also states that students in the lower, middle, and high school have also taken an active role in advancing the DEI agenda. 

The high school, for example, has a feminist club, as well as a Gender and Sexuality Alliance, which seeks to “raise awareness of issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and other non-binary identities.”

Critical Race Theory Embedded into Curriculum, Training, and Hiring

Meanwhile, USN’s Strategic Plan for Diversity demonstrates how leadership at the school is pushing Critical Race Theory. The plan states, for example, that one curriculum goal is to “establish expectations and guidelines for teachers that enable them to effectively incorporate assignments into their classroom/course curriculum that specifically address issues of race, class, power, privilege, and other dimensions of culture.”

They also seek to “Encourage students to explore interlocking systems of advantage and disadvantage, discrimination, and other forms of oppression,” the plan states, a reference to the concept of “intersectionality” coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a pivotal figure in the creation of Critical Race Theory.

The report also lists several staff development goals, which include ensuring that hiring practices attract “a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse candidate pool for each opening. Make every reasonable effort to ensure racial and ethnic diversity among the finalists for every position.”

USN also hopes to “establish institutional membership in personnel recruiting firms that specialize in placing candidates of color” as well as to “increase the number of faculty of color each year until the (teacher and administrator) ranks meet or exceed the percentage of students of color K-12.”

USN also intends to “provide annual, on-campus professional development in multicultural education theory and best practices for teaching and counseling in culturally diverse settings” which would include topics suc as “anti-racist, anti-bias pedagogy” and “sexual orientation and the challenges for LGBT students/families.”

USN Encourages Kindergarteners to Read Books Endorsing Child Transgenderism

USN also published a list of “identity books” on their website, which they encouraged their students to read. One book on the list, called Jack, not Jackie by Erica Silverman, was labeled for K-4 students. 

The book focuses on a young girl who identifies as a boy. The description reads, “In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realizes that her little sister, Jackie, doesn’t like dresses or fairies-she likes ties and bugs! Will she and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as ‘Jack’?”

Another book, written by Sarah Hoffman and titled Jacob’s New Dress, was also featured on the list. The description reads:

Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can’t wear “girl” clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by children who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.

The Google Document where the book list is featured is owned by Juanita Traughber, USN’s communications director.

Breitbart News asked why transgenderism was being promoted to children at the school, and if parents were aware that their children were being encouraged to read books that promote transgenderism.

Traughber responded that “families can participate in an in-depth walk through this identity curriculum through parent education workshops, during which they peruse the books read in class. Faculty share insights on how parents might have conversations on these topics with their children at home.”

USN and the National Association of Independent Schools

The University School of Nashville is a member school of the National Association of Independent Schools, which has a history of pushing both Critical Race Theory and “queer inclusive,” transgender ideology on young students, as Breitbart News has revealed.

A covert network of concerned parents called Undercover Mothers has formed to fight back against the indoctrination of students by the NAIS, America’s largest private school accreditation service.

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at


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