Inclusion, Diversity and Equity for All!
Teacher Chair: Cara Turnbull Parent Chair: Lauren Kesner O’Brien
Join the Book Club!
The PS 29 IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity for All) Committee invites the school community to be part of a book club reading of Me & White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad. The 1st meeting is taking place on Wednesday, October 14th @7:30 pm via Zoom. Here's the link to join. The reading expectation for the 1st meeting is to read The Forward, Part 1 and the Appendix .
If you are joining the book club, please take a moment to complete this form to help us plan for our 1st meeting. And if you weren’t able to attend our meeting last week, here’s the presentation which outlines our focus and the anti-racism work planned for the school year.
The goals of the PS 29 IDEA Committee are:
To serve as a springboard to discuss and respond to issues of race, identity, equity, multiculturalism and class that affect the school community;
To assist administration in providing diversity-oriented professional development to all teachers and staff;
To support the efforts of administration to increase the number of faculty from under-represented backgrounds (i.e., race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality);
To initiate and support efforts to create a diversity-oriented curriculum and extracurricular activities that will give our students the skills to think critically about issues of race, identity, equity, multiculturalism and class in ways that will enhance our community and help our students make sense of the world around them.
PS 29 is committed to becoming a diverse learning community. Early exposure to diversity creates empathic, forward thinking, socially conscious global citizens. To make that happen there must be continuing discussions within the community; a revolving door of varying ideas, perspectives and events.
Aspiring to achieve this goal will be an ongoing process, a journey we all take together. How we facilitate the process and handle the impending changes will help to shape the values of our school community.
Below is how we hope achieve these goals…..
Host a workshops for parents & caregivers. We recognize that this work has to be done on all levels within the community so we want to continue to provide education. It is important that we continue to work with professionals who are known leaders for their work in this field because we know that in the end it will help us grow our work at PS 29.
Provide professional development to all staff. As stated above, this is work that has to be done on all levels, and ensuring that our teachers and staff are equipped with the tools necessary to appropriately teach, respond and react to issues of diversity is paramount.
Purchase, create, develop and/or implement a diversity-oriented curriculum that will be utilized and taught in the classroom. Diversity education should not only take place when “teachable moments” arise. It should be seamless within the academic curriculum.
Continue to host free school-wide social events (e.g., bi-annual Taste of PS 29 Potluck event) that everyone in the community can attend.
Continued education of the IDEA Committee. This includes attending conferences and also the purchase of literature & films that will keep members of the Committee at the forefront of ideas, practices and trends around issues of diversity. The education gained will be used in shaping the diversity work taking place at PS 29.
Assist in the recruitment of faculty from underrepresented backgrounds. To live and function successfully in a global community, education must include learning from teachers whose backgrounds, beliefs, lifestyles, and perspectives reflect the true diversity of our city.
Facilitate school-wide participatory events, activities, celebrations around diversity-oriented topics (e.g., theatre performances, collaborative visual arts piece, etc.).
Highlight diverse leaders, thinkers, and visionaries in our ongoing Did You Know? series, including a centralized bulletin board and newsletter to classroom teachers.
Recommended Reading from Presenter Lori Ridick
from Raising Race Conscious Children
We are the living proof of why diversity and inclusion matters. We are a group of passionate and committed parents on a mission to develop an anti-racist and anti-biased school community, starting with ourselves. We do this through sharing our experiences, resources, and questions with each other. We are not experts, but we bring resources. We are not mediators, but we strive to be brave in difficult conversations. We do not have all the answers but - together with you - we can be the solution.
Every month we will share articles and resources for parents to explore. We welcome your feedback and participation. Contact us!
Learn about how, and why, it’s so important to talk to young children about subjects like identity, social and physical differences and discrimination. “A healthy sense of self requires that children know and like who they are without feeling superior to others.” The authors also include book suggestions to navigate these subjects with young children.
What’s on your bookshelf? Take a look with this checklist and see what you find. What else can be added to the checklist (disability, multiple languages, many family structures, etc.)? Want to expand your library after the review? Check out these Black-owned Bookstores.
Video created by the Indigenous community sharing briefly on why Columbus Day supports white supremacy and why many are working to change October 12th to Indigenous Peoples' Day.
Want to get involved? Join the Book Club, connect with parents to compile these resources or connect on related topics.