Eleannor Maajid is Latin's Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She will explain more about the institutional goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.
How did Latin come up with the goals?
Based on all of the feedback that Latin received, in addition to the climate assessment that was taken in the spring of 2020, we took all that data and we were able to put the goals in five different categories. There's the category of representation, accountability, professional development, education, inclusion and curriculum. As we go through these goals, you will see things that you will think, “Oh, well, I thought they were already doing that. Or how could they not have been doing that already?” I just want you to know that this is something that these are goals that are, there are some ongoing goals that we've always been working on, and that we recognize from all the information that we've been given that we need to spend more time really focusing in on these goals because we do need to do better in these areas. You're going to see some things that you may be surprised to see, or that you may have questions about. And again, we are open to feedback if you have it.
Goal - Representation: Hire and retain more faculty and staff of color.
The first goal is in the representation bucket, which is around hiring and retaining more faculty and staff of color. When I think about hiring or retaining more faculty and staff of color or we do need to do a better job of hiring and also retaining our faculty and staff of color. We're at about 22% faculty and staff of color. And we have about 39% students of color throughout the school. It is our goal to increase the number of faculty and staff of color. One of the ways that we can do that is by conducting implicit bias training for everyone who is involved in our hiring process and having everyone have the same goals around hiring, the same understandings around hiring and why we hire the way that we do and what kinds of things we need to question about our processes. We are going to work with department chairs, staff directors, senior administrators, etc., to work on implicit bias training. We also want to review the places where we actually receive our resumes and our potential leads for teachers and staff. Because sometimes those talent equity acquisition sources don't always have the representation that we're looking for around faculty and staff of color. Based on the climate assessment data, you'll see here that there was a expressed need for more Asian teachers in the lower school. And then in the climate assessment, again, more expressed needs for Black and Latino teachers in the middle and upper school. We also want to continue evaluating and create additional internal support structures to retain faculty and staff of color. So not only is hiring important, but retention is important as well. And our current faculty and staff of color, are going to be essential in that process, accountability.
Goal - Accountability: Create a culture of accountability for racist and discriminatory behavior.
This is one of them I mentioned earlier about the students who were part of demanding accountability. This is the place where so many of their goals came from. Their demands came from around accountability, right? So creating that culture for accountability, for racist and discriminatory behavior. We have done that in many ways. We've actually kind of started some of that process already with the implementation of the bias incident reporting in the middle and the upper school. And we have found, and we have started to have conversations around introducing restorative justice practices, which feels like the right collaboration between the incidents of bias reporting and the restorative justice practices. That feels like a good way to bring that educational piece into our community. And so we are making efforts in those ways as well. And then making sure that there are educational pieces for faculty and staff, as well as students and really everyone around the school, because we also recognize that this is not just accountability for our faculty and staff and our students, but it's accountability for everyone in our community.
Goal - Inclusion: Create strategy for improving feelings of inclusion for Black and Latino/Latinx students.
If we're going to create an inclusive space, we have to be better about holding each other and our community members accountable. And then also making transparent the policies and practices related to that. So everyone has an understanding of what they should and should not be doing and how we as a school will handle that. We look at inclusion. Here's one that is probably the hardest to measure and the goal that we'll take more creativity and more time and more effort really around creating the strategy for improving feelings, for inclusivity, for Black and Latino, lead next students. This came directly from our climate assessment data. Dr. Derek Gay has already spoken to our faculty and staff, our senior admin team and our board and a part of our parent association. And we'll speak to the rest of the community in December to share the climate assessment results. But in the climate assessment, it was very clear that our black and Latino students were having a very different experience from any of the rest of their peers. And so it's tough to measure inclusion, but we are working with the ways around, and you can see the action steps here, evaluating feedback mechanisms, audit current support structures, and then evaluate the programs and initiatives through those lenses of protecting and incorporating the perspectives of these underrepresented identities. So this is one that, again, it doesn't stop any work that we're doing in any other way, but it does say this is something that we really need to focus on, because this is very important right now in our community professional development and education. You will see you've seen throughout the action steps that there seems to be some kind of professional development, some kind of education in each of our different goals, but it's really important for us to have that as its own bucket, to make sure that we are focusing and giving it the attention it needs.
Goal - Professional Development/Education: Embed DEI work into Latin’s culture by committing resources to programming and education for all constituencies.
So around embedding DEI, work into our culture by committing resources to programming and education for all constituencies. And so we have already been doing this for a number of years, but also ramping up in ways and really tailoring it to what we need right now. And so parents at work with the parent association board of trustees, alumni board is something that we are going to continue to implement and where it's not they're actually implemented and then continue to provide those, the training for our larger parent guardian community. And then the intentional onboarding for new employees parents and guardians and students upon their arrival to Latin. And then we have already started to incorporate DEI professional development for faculty and staff and admin that is embedded into their, their day, like their school day, their workday and we can hope to continue to make that something that is ongoing.
Goal - Curriculum: Examine and adjust curriculum to better reflect/represent/include underrepresented perspectives school wide across all disciplines.
And the last one is curriculum, and that's around examining and adjusting curriculum to better reflect, represent, include underrepresented perspectives. School-wide across all disciplines. This also was a very big theme within the demanding accountability demands. They really, you know, in the classroom, do students feel a connection to what they are learning, are their identities represented in our curriculum and what do we need to do better in order to make sure that happens? And so we adopted teaching tolerance as social justice standards in 2017. But we want to continue to work with our faculty to make sure that is incorporated in a way that is felt by all students. And also that all teachers are able to teach in their classrooms. And then we want to look at our scope and sequence of our diversity equity and inclusion work throughout the curriculum and find out where we need to do more in that way. And maybe, you know, where we need to get more professional development education for our teachers.