We believe that an Inclusive Community embraces cultural agility, civic action, and a broad definition of human potential.
Seattle Academy nurtures empathetic connections between people with different life experiences. We are committed to recognizing and addressing the causes and effects of bias and discrimination, as well as the historic and ongoing relationship between privilege and power. We strive to see, hear, and value all members of the community and work to build a strong foundation for meaningful dialogue, informed advocacy, and effective action.
Seattle Academy Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion 2019-2020 Year in Review:
This year we established student affinity groups in middle and high school. This was a very welcome addition to our student programs and we hope to continue to add more spaces for students to talk about issues regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.
Student Affinity Groups:
- Middle school
- Black Student Union
- Upper school
- Black Student Union
- Asian/Pacific Islander
Our affinity groups continued to meet online during remote learning, providing a space for students to connect throughout the isolation of quarantine. During this remote time the Black Student Union brought in Elmer Dixon, from the Seattle Black Panther Party, for all of the affinity groups to hear from. Elmer had an incredible presentation for our students who left saying they felt empowered to walk the talk. We invited the University Prep High School Black Student Union to this talk and found it to be a great community building opportunity.
In December the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) held their annual People of Color Conference (POCC) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Seattle. Seattle Academy sent 28 faculty and staff members of color, the Head of School, Board President and, the SDLC maximum, six upper school students. There were two workshops led by SAAS Administration: Head of Upper School led a ‘how-to’ on continuing the work started at POCC and SDLC and Assistant-Head of Middle School, Danae Howe with Head of School, Rob Phillips, and a panel of faculty and staff, talked about a new way to think about hiring. Both sessions were very well received and some positive connections were made with folks around the country.
Faculty and Staff Professional Development:
During our end of year meetings we had mandatory faculty and staff anti-racist teaching sessions. Head of Upper School opened the day with an all faculty and staff anti-racist exercise. The following sessions were then available for people to choose from:
- Taylor Kanemori and Danae Howe (DEI team) - Grow Your Critical Conversation Facilitation Skills
- Hannah Chapin (Science) - After implicit bias: Uncoupling Bias from Action
- Rachel Edelman, Patrick Kuster, Magda Buikema, and Eileen Lai (Humanities)- Building a Social Justice Curriculum
- Lise Lalonde (World Language) and Lauren Johansen (Science)- What does it mean to be a white educator?
- Alison Ray (Dean-Humanities)- Grading for Equity: Rethinking Best Practices for Assessment
- Jasmine Johnson (Coordinator, Rhetoric)- Support roles and spaces for Faculty, Staff, and Students of color
- Alyssa Fogel (English)- Creating Anti-Racist and Social Justice Curriculum in the Middle School
- Giselle Furlonge (Head of Upper School)- Open Discussion Debrief
Every summer the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team at Seattle Academy assigns reading for all faculty and staff to be ready to interact with when we return for Opening Days in August, this summer it was Teaching Tolerance “Let’s Talk” a guide for having critical conversations. This reading includes a self assessment on comfort level around different critical conversation topics and we are looking forward to working with each other this year to continue to make safe spaces for students and adults in our community.