I want to personally thank everyone who was able to make the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) meeting yesterday. Between in-person and Zoom, we had thirty-one people in attendance!
To provide a recap, we used a community circle to get introduced to each other and then used the same circle to answer the question “Why are you here?” We shared our reasons, and that helped us to know each other even more. We then gathered and looked at the data from the Thought Exchange that committee members completed prior to our session. The top three responses to the Thought Exchange question are attached, as is a “Word Cloud” that has the words used most frequently in the responses organized by size (the larger the word, the more the word was used in responses.) I will be printing color copies for all of you so you will have a graphic reminder of the work we are doing.
In terms of the survey responses, the working “group think” definition of diversity, equity, and inclusion is “to know, understand, and celebrate the differences in our community. To welcome people who are different than us and to welcome their perspectives. Our perspectives are limited to our one experience, so the experiences of others can help us learn new views that we have not experienced.”
We then reviewed the original diversity, equity, and inclusion presentation that was used over the summer. When asked if there were any questions about the presentation, there were none, so we moved on to new work.
The new work involved reading pages 11-13 of the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework and thinking, as groups, about one thing that was agreed upon as a group, and one thing that the group was still struggling with. The groups were given ten minutes to complete the task. Group members recorded their thoughts on large chart paper and at the end of the ten minutes, each group spoke out about their group discussions. Attached are pictures of their actual work for your review. Hard copies of the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework were handed out at the meeting (the electronic version is in your agenda from yesterday.) If you would like a hard copy, please let me know, and we will get one to you.
Once that was completed, we agreed on the next meeting date and time (November 18th from 3:45PM-5PM on Zoom and in the high school library.)
Between now and then, the group was asked to read the piece of the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework that applied to their stakeholder group (beginning on page 17). Board of Education member Phyllis Frantel received the most amount of homework, due to her multi-faceted role, so she will be reading the sections labeled District Leaders, Families and Community Members, and Education Department Policy Makers.
Between now and the November meeting, each stakeholder group will be given an assignment to complete based on their reading, and the first order of business, after introductions, at the November meeting, will be to group share the results of that work.
Also, and in the meantime, I will be sending artifacts and resources for you to consider reading or listening to related to the topic of DEI and our work. These are not mandatory assignments, but rather a way to extend your learning if you choose to do so.
I will also follow up with an anonymous survey of how you thought the meeting went so we can make adjustments for the next meeting, if necessary.