Diversity

DEI in September Part 2

What's been happening in September

In the Littlest Reds...
  • Students in our little reds 3-year-old class made self-portraits, representing the diversity of our 3-year-old room. Stop by to take a look at their portraits outside of the 3-year-old classroom!
In the Lower School...
  • 4th grade students wrote poems about who they are, their hobbies, and what makes them unique. They performed them before an audience, including HOS, Caroline Blatti! Looking for books to read at home that empower girls? Try the “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” series or the “She Persisted” series. They are great for K- 5 students!
  • Upper school students have continued to visit and read books about Hispanic Heritage with lower school students! By the week of Oct. 8, they will have visited all K-5 classrooms. Looking for books that represent diversity among Latinx people? Try this list of books that contains Afro-Latinx characters.
  • Starting this past week and continuing for this coming week, members of the Jewish Heritage Club will be coming to lower school classrooms to read books about Sukkot (though the holiday has already passed -it was Sept 23 to Sept 30 this year- we continue to recognize and remember that learning about all cultures is a year-long activity)!
In the Upper School...
  • On Wednesday, September 26, Upper School Faculty had their first DEI Professional Development session of the year! We sparked conversation about various quotes related to diversity & inclusion, and considered how to address DEI-related matters both within and outside of the classroom using scenarios.
  • Under the guidance of Lisa Diver, the Semis create bulletin boards representing a musician of the cycle. There has been a specific focus on music by different Hispanic musicians during National Hispanic Awareness Month, and the first group was assigned to do a board reflective of Gloria Estefan.
  • Upper school students have continued to come visit and read books about Hispanic Heritage with lower school students! By the week of Oct. 8, they will have visited all K-5 classrooms. Looking for books that represent diversity among Latinx people? Try this list of books that contains Afro-Latinx characters.
  • Starting this past week and continuing for this coming week, members of the Jewish Heritage club will be coming to lower school classrooms to read books about Sukkot (though the holiday has already passed -it was Sept 23 to Sept 30 this year- we continue to recognize and remember that learning about all cultures is a year-long activity)!
In the Middle School...
  • There was a day full of wonder and learning on October 3 as the middle school spent the day engaging with their all school read, Stella by Starlight. The book discusses an 11-year old girl growing up in the segregated south. Prominent themes that the students learned about were racism, civil rights, community, kindness, and fairness. The 8th grade team coordinated the day, and it included a workshop about community & intersectionality with Akailah McIntyre, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, to start. Then, students had conversations in small groups about community experiences and worked on community posters. They then had the pleasure of watching a live actress from the Lewis museum portray Civil Rights leader Juanita Jackson Mitchell. Finally, they ended the day with a panel of speakers who talked about what life was like for them under segregation. The panel included Yvette Matthews (MS after-care coordinator), Dr. James Fuller (uncle of Elisha James, Dean of Students), and Janice the Griot (the actress from the Lewis museum). It was a blast!
  • Looking for more books about civil rights? Try this book list!

    In the Community...
    • The Parent Diversity Committee, a collaborative effort between the Parents Association and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is getting started! It is being chaired by parent Shannell Cockrell. An introductory meeting will be held on Oct. 29 in the Faissler library at 6 PM. Interested in joining the committee? Email parentdiversity@rpcs.org. More details to follow!
    • As a branch of the Employee Inclusion Council, we are happy to announce that we have created three task forces to work on specific initiatives related to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. They are: The student task force, the faculty task force, and the community task force. Nine employees, across divisions, are members. They will begin meeting every other week starting this month.