Keira Lapsley is ready to help start a new chapter at the Chilmark Community Center’s summer camp.

The new executive director of the camp comes to the Island with nearly 25 years of teaching and summer camp experience. Currently Ms. Lapsley lives in New York city where she chairs the middle school history department at the Ethical Cultural Fieldston School.

She takes the helm at the camp following an incident last summer involving two white children and a black child that stirred controversy and led to an in-depth examination of the Community Center’s summer programs.

“I’ve spent time really talking to people and getting to know people,” Ms. Lapsley said in a recent interview with the Gazette. “People really want to learn and do a better job of serving the community.”

She arrived on the Island last week and is gearing up for camp to start in early July, she said. Camp will finish up in the middle of August.

A Massachusetts native, Ms. Lapsley has been visiting the Island on and off throughout her life and said she is excited to spend a full summer here.

“It’s a place that I love. It’s a place that feels like peace and a sanctuary,” she said.

There is a 15-year gap between Ms. Lapsley and her youngest sibling, meaning she played the role of an educator long before she officially became a teacher, she said. Tutoring gigs and working in after-school programs as a student at Wesleyan University also made teaching a natural fit.

“If there’s such a thing as a calling, this was probably my first one,” she said.

At Fieldston Ms. Lapsley redesigned the history curriculum around diversity, equity and inclusion, she said. During lessons she asks students to consider the context of an historical era as a way to show who was being excluded and what impacts that had on society.

“When we’re talking about the constitution and the founding documents ­— who were those documents created for? And then what did it mean to gain citizenship?” she said.

Such questions are better suited for class discussion than summer camp, Ms. Lapsley said. But there are ways to center diversity, equity and inclusion in an environment where no one wants to think about school. As an example, she mentioned a game where people stand in a circle and step into the middle when they identify with a question.

“If you have 10 or 15 minutes of transition with a group or we’re doing a quick morning activity, you can do something like that to slowly start to help kids build empathy and some vocabulary around identity,” Ms. Lapsley said. “And then they go and they play tennis and do whatever.”

There is not enough time in a seven-week summer program to instill all the best practices Ms. Lapsley has learned over the years, she said. But there are a number of things she is planning to help create an inclusive culture. She said staff training will focus on implicit bias, anti-racism and safety. In addition to the identity game, campers will participate in activities meant to teach about ally-ship and inclusivity in age-appropriate ways.

“Part of what calls me to the work is really trying to figure out how we make those culture shifts and move the needle so that we really are creating more inclusive spaces,” Ms. Lapsley said. “Whether that is around racial diversity, socioeconomic diversity, gender diversity ­— all of it.”

She is also involved in the discovery process.

“The beauty of being an educator is not only that you get to help young people or even adults grow and learn and shift their thinking,” she said. “If you’re doing it right, that’s occasionally happening for you as well. I’ve learned so much from my students . . . I’m definitely not the same educator I was 20 years ago or even two years ago.”