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The 2004 Conference for Assistant Heads and Division Heads New York State Association of Independent Schools Gene Batiste Vice President, Equity and Justice.

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Presentation on theme: "The 2004 Conference for Assistant Heads and Division Heads New York State Association of Independent Schools Gene Batiste Vice President, Equity and Justice."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 2004 Conference for Assistant Heads and Division Heads New York State Association of Independent Schools Gene Batiste Vice President, Equity and Justice Initiatives

2 NYSAIS Session Format:  Session Goals  Diversity Theory  The Why Defines the What  Exercise – PGPs for Equity and Justice  Current Issues  NAIS Equity and Justice Services

3 NYSAIS Session Goals: To provide suggestions for building your knowledge of and commitment to diversity, multiculturalism, equity and justice To share diversity initiatives, issues, programs, and strategies Practical applications of diversity Feel free to think aloud!

4 NYSAIS What vehicle does/do your _____(head, faculty, parents, students, etc.) remind you of? Why? Used by Sandra Hughes, Board Source Board member, “We’re like a Hummer – we’re bigger and stronger and we don’t know why.”

5 NYSAIS Diversity Theory

6 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice

7 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Diversity = the numbers, quantity

8 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Multiculturalism = quality, establishing and sustaining community This is when the school, after deciding that it wants diversity, deals with giving up some of what is “ours” (?) to incorporate some of what is “theirs”(?). One of the first things a school community would want to notice when discussing bias or bigotry is the splitting of the community into “we” and “they” or “those” vs. “us”. (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

9 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Multiculturalism = quality, establishing and sustaining community The school community will ask itself a three part question – What types of diversity feel comfortable and supported here? What types of diversity feel uncomfortable and unsupported? Is the school community ready to embrace new types of diversity? (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

10 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Multiculturalism = quality, establishing and sustaining community Are support mechanisms in place to support students, families, and faculty/staff of color and those from other underrepresented identifiers? (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

11 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Multiculturalism = quality, establishing and sustaining community It feels safe to talk about issues of diversity. This is where every aspect of school life and diversity initiatives affects every constituent in the school community. (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

12 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Equity & Justice = empowerment and co- ownership/responsibility Are all constituents in the school community empowered to confront lapses in judgment? (racial/ethnic/cultural slurs, jokes, comments, discrimination, etc.) Diversity work is every constituent’s responsibility. (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

13 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Equity & Justice = empowerment and co- ownership/responsibility What is the level of trust and willingness to talk about the difficult issues or opportunities in diversity? Are any issues or topics of diversity verboten? Why or why not? (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

14 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Equity & Justice = empowerment and co- ownership/responsibility Are students, families, faculty/staff of color, and those of other underrepresented groups asked what they need to feel comfortable and empowered, or does the community guess or assume without even asking? (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

15 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Equity & Justice = empowerment and co- ownership/responsibility Just because an initiative or effort worked this time does not mean that it will necessarily work next time. (based on an article by Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, 2003)

16 NYSAIS Diversity – Multiculturalism – Equity and Justice  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs Diversity, multiculturalism, equity and justice should not be view as a goal, but as a process. This work never ends. It is not easy nor without setbacks, which are inevitable. The important thing is to learn from the teachable moments.

17 NYSAIS Dimensions of Diversity “The Original Big 8 Cultural Identifiers”  Ability  Age  Ethnicity  Gender  Race  Religion  Sexual Orientation  Socio-economic Status (Class) Dimensions of Diversity “The Big 8 Plus” or “The Diversity Umbrella”  Body Image (“lookism”)  Educational Background  Family of Origin, Family Make Up  Geographic/Regional Background  Language  Learning Style  Beliefs (political, social, religious)  Globalism/Internationalism  ?

18 NYSAIS Diversity work arouses passion and emotion because it involves our values. Diversity is an issue of understanding.

19 NYSAIS Typically the response to dealing with diversity is fear – fear of saying something wrong, fear of stirring up latent feelings of hostility, fear of losing power, etc. How do we reframe diversity work to diminish the “fear factor”?

20 NYSAIS For diversity work to be effective it has to be transparent and interwoven within all areas of the school. It’s about experience – the more varied (diverse) the experiences, the more learning all in the school will experience.

21 NYSAIS A Vision Without Resources is Just an Hallucination Sister Ramona

22 NYSAIS The Why Defines the What. Pearl Rock Kane

23 NYSAIS THE “WHYS” OF DMEJ  The decision to embrace inclusion, diversity, multiculturalism, equity and justice as priorities is a profoundly strategic one fundamental to the mission of independent schools.  Inclusion is the way of the future: both current demographic realities as well as predictions for the future demand that students be prepared to live and work in an increasingly diverse universe.  Diversity initiatives ultimately enable our schools to produce successful, well adjusted future leaders with good problem solving strategies and an empathetic attitude.  There are direct academic and social achievement benefits for students in a diverse and inclusive independent school community.  Diversity initiatives require institution-wide commitment for success.  Opportunity to form strategic alliances based on respect.

24 NYSAIS THE WHYS - CAUTIONS  There is often a financial cost associated with a diversity initiative that may not seem to merit the highest budget priority.  Marketing and future funding from established donors may be impacted negatively in some communities.  Political correctness has made dialogue somewhat problematic as people are reluctant to engage in frank conversation for fear of offending others, or of being labeled negatively.  Political correctness has become a negative issue in itself.  It is difficult to risk unsettling a stable school culture.  Issues of inclusion may adversely affect the academic viability or rigor of the school.

25 NYSAIS NAIS PRINCIPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR EQUITY AND JUSTICE

26 NYSAIS NAIS Principles of Good Practice for Member Schools Equity and Justice Schools have found that the process of creating and sustaining an equitable and just community requires commitment, reflection, conscious and deliberate action, as well as constant vigilance. These principles of good practice for equity and justice provide the foundation for such a community by ensuring the inclusion of a diversity of individuals and groups in the many aspects of school life. June 1996

27 NYSAIS As we review each principle, consider:  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

28 NYSAIS The school respects, affirms, and defends the dignity and worth of each member of the school community.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

29 NYSAIS The school lays the groundwork for its commitment to equity and justice in its mission statement.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

30 NYSAIS The school establishes, publishes, implements, and monitors policies that promote equity and justice in the life of the school.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

31 NYSAIS The school supports the ongoing education of the board, parents, and all school personnel as part of the process of creating and maintaining an equitable and just community.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

32 NYSAIS The school ensures a bias-free environment by addressing issues of equity and justice in pedagogy, assessment, curriculum, and programs.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

33 NYSAIS The school values each and every child, recognizing and teaching to the varied learning styles, abilities, and life experiences.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

34 NYSAIS The school uses inclusive, bias-free language in written and oral communication.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

35 NYSAIS The school distributes resources equitably.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

36 NYSAIS The school adheres to local, state, and federal laws and regulations which promote equity.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

37 NYSAIS The school provides appropriate opportunities for leadership and participation in decision making to all members of the school community.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

38 NYSAIS The school engages parents as partners in the process of creating an equitable and just community.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

39 NYSAIS The school develops in its students a sense of responsibility for equity and justice in the broader community.  What are we doing now that we need to do more of to apply this principle?  What are we doing now that we need to do less of to apply this principle?  What aren’t we doing that we should be doing to apply this principle?  What are we doing that we need to stop doing to apply this principle?

40 Institute for New Heads 2003 Emerging Issues

41 “Just the Stats, please!” based on statistics Percentage of Students of Color in Independent Schools 20% Percentage of Administrators, Faculty, and Staff of Color in Independent Schools 13.3%

42 Midland School Issues for Faculty/Staff of Color  “Qualified” candidates of color  “Positive” role model  Pedigreed school background  Internal message of having to prove worth, having to be better (faculty/staff of color are reminded of this cultural identifier daily)  Tokenism and being forced to serve as the arbiter for the entire race/ethnicity

43 Midland School  Lack of opportunities for connections outside of the school community, particularly in areas not well represented  Condescension  Who is recruiting faculty of color for your school community?  Are we nurturing our alums of color for teaching in our schools?

44 Midland School Issues for Students and Families of Diverse Backgrounds  Why do families of color and other underrepresented groups choose your school? Are they aware of the risks?  Is diversity at your school a matter of numbers or perspective?  For whom is your school working? (in terms of function and success)  Disloyalty to one’s culture vs. the privilege of attending an independent school  Becoming vs. living as an inclusive school community  What does welcoming mean?  Is your school welcoming of students, faculty/staff, and parents of different backgrounds or does your school tend to be welcoming of a diversity of students who already fit an idealized mold?

45 Midland School Issues for Students and Families of Diverse Backgrounds  Analyze your school’s diversity records for students and faculty/staff of color and other underrepresented groups (grades, failures, extra-curricular activities, athletics, awards/recognition, retention, attrition). Opportunity does not always lead to results.  Student Stakeholders – Who are they? Are students key to the achievement of your school’s diversity initiative? How do your students express themselves regarding diversity and inclusion? Are your students involved in the decision-making process regarding diversity celebrations and initiatives.  Classism as an issue not exclusive to students  The notion/stereotype in assuming that students of color are on financial aid  Increased focus/awareness of the needs of multi-racial students and families  Increased focus/awareness of the needs of non-traditional families (same- sex, single-parent, extended family, etc.)  Increased focus/awareness of the needs of differently-abled students and families

46 NYSAIS Class Diversity – The Difficult Questions  Are families of modest means thriving or isolated?  Are the wealthiest families healthy? (The problems of the rich are equally as insoluble as the problems of the poor – Judd Blain, Eaglebrook School)  Are families in the middle struggling?  Are we vigilant against class shame and envy?  Has class diversity advanced throughout the curriculum and school community?  What can schools do to promote and sustain class diversity?

47 NYSAIS Class Diversity – The Suggestions  Schools must full determine their budgets and make realistic choices between needs and wants.  Schools should ensure that families are provided with full disclosure of the cost of attendance, including all costs for extracurricular activities and fees.  Include miscellaneous expenses (books, meals, uniforms, supplies, activities) as part of a family’s financial aid package  Offer coupon books to all families with discounted prices for school activities with percentage off and “two for the price of one” deals.

48 NYSAIS Bullying* 1. crosses all lines of cultural identification (but can be the 2. basis for bullying/being bullied) 3. rumors, revealing secrets/confidences, smear campaigns 4. purposely ignoring or disparaging, name calling 5. purposely not inviting or “uninviting” 6. ostracizing (“We hate ______”) *Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls ( Harcourt, 2002)

49 NYSAIS Boys tend to bully or be bullied physically, girls tend to bully or be bullied by “alternative aggression”. Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls ( Harcourt, 2002)

50 NYSAIS How widespread is bullying? In a recent national survey conducted by the Families and Work Institute of 1000 fifth to twelfth graders, two-thirds of the students reported that in the past month they had experienced some form of “emotional violence” defined as “being teased or gossiped about in a mean way”. Almost one-third had been bullied in the same time period – and in turn, 23% of them bullied someone else. In 2001, a national survey of 823 students by the Kaiser Family Foundation, representative of kids between the ages of 8 and 15, showed that 68% of those 12 and older ranked teasing and bullying as a bigger problem than racism, AIDS, or the pressure to have sex. Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls ( Harcourt, 2002)

51 NYSAIS Results:  depression  poor grades  eating disorders  Suicidal thoughts *Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls ( Harcourt, 2002)

52 NYSAIS “Bullying certainly isn’t a problem at our school”(!) or (?)

53 NYSAIS What can schools do?  take the issue seriously  expand anti-harassment policy to include anti-bullying  openly discuss forms of bullying and the damage bullying/being bullied causes  listen without overreacting (I’m calling the school right now!) or trivializing (Don’t worry, it happens to everybody.)*  with alternative aggression, discipline may not be the answer as much as counseling and emotional support* *Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls ( Harcourt, 2002)

54 NYSAIS Affinity Groups The NAIS Perspective

55 NYSAIS The term affinity group is used as a bringing together of people who have something important in common, e.g. race, gender, profession, or special interests. Any significant historical movement or everyday social interaction could probably be traced to the actions of people who share a common experience and passion.

56 NYSAIS The term affinity group is used as a bringing together of people who have something important in common, e.g. race, gender, profession, or special interests. Any significant historical movement or everyday social interaction could probably be traced to the actions of people who share a common experience and passion.

57 NYSAIS Affinity groups allow for the following: building community, identifying issues, sharing successes, promoting ideas for action, and preparing for deep and honest cross-cultural dialogue with other affinity groups. Participation in an affinity group also provides opportunities for affirmation and celebration. A large number of diversity initiatives in independent schools across the country originated out of conversations in these groups.

58 NYSAIS NAIS has long supported the development and operation of racial/ethnic/cultural affinity groups. The overarching vision for NAIS affinity group work is to provide a safe space for all participants to identify salient issues and common concerns through dialogue, using our individual voices to bring about affirmation, fellowship, connection (networking), and empowerment: to come together for sharing and listening and offering support in the service of greater understanding.

59 NYSAIS Affinity Group Challenges* *Adopted from an article by Patti DeRosa, ChangeWorks Consulting, Randolph, MA

60 NYSAIS  False Parallels (“The same thing happened to me…”) in resistance to initiatives for affinity groups  Inverting the Injustice (“By focusing on affinity groups YOU have offended ME…”) in reacting to plans for affinity groups  Outright Dismissal (“Race has nothing to do with it…”) of the need for affinity group initiatives  Minimization (“It really isn’t a program for them/us here…”) in response to affinity group proposals

61 NYSAIS  Righteousness (“We’re a good school so we can’t be racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-Semitic/etc….”) as a defensive response to the notion of affinity group work  Colorblindness (“People are people – We don’t see color/gender/religious/ability/sexual orientation..”) in a well meaning but misguided and dismissive response to proposing affinity group work

62 NYSAIS  Identify the SWOTs of designing affinity group work  Identify and affirm (or arm) allies to support the design and implementation of affinity group initiatives (No effort is successful without the support of those outside the target group.)  Identify the opponents to affinity group – outside and within the affinity group. Examine the manifest and latent reasons for opposition

63 NYSAIS  Providing time, space, and programming for individual affinity groups is only 50% of the task – the other 50% comes from mixed affinity group and community building activities for all members of the school community

64 NYSAIS NAIS Equity and Justice Services

65 Institute for New Heads EQUITY & JUSTICE TEAM Team Motto: Empowering unity through diversity Team Mission: Serving independent school administrators, boards, associations, and diversity practitioners by offering state of the art diversity programs and services for building and sustaining inclusive school communities.

66 Institute for New Heads 2003  INH Diversity Training  Leadership Through Partnership  People of Color Conference  Annual Conference  Summer Diversity Institute  Call-to-Action  Delegation for Diversity  Globalism/Internationalism  Diversity Listservs  Teacher/Administrator of Color Retention Project  Customized Presentations, Trainings, and Consultations

67 Institute for New Heads 2003 NAIS Website  examples of best practices in equity and justice  resources and links to resources for diversity practitioners  links to state and regional association equity and justices committees and programs  conference, institute, and workshop highlights and announcements  promotion of agencies that promote access to independent schools.

68 HELP NAIS CREATE AND STRENGHTEN THE NEW STORIES OF DIVERSITY, MULTICULTURALISM, EQUITY AND JUSTICE!


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