We believe that an Inclusive Community embraces cultural agility, civic action, and a broad definition of human potential.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
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.
Reminders & Upcoming Events
Seattle Academy Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion 2021-2022 Year in Review:
An affinity group is a group of people with common interests, backgrounds, and experiences that come together to support each other. The most common types of affinity groups are one’s based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, where those that identify as that group can meet to share experiences, issues, and culture that is specific to their identity. Affinity groups are for individuals who identify as members of the group and can speak to the experience of being a member of the group from the “I” perspective.
Our student affinity groups meet every other week at lunch with faculty advisors present to help facilitate.
Student Affinity Groups:
- Alphabet (LGBTQIA+)
- Adopted Affinity
- Asian/Pacific Islander
- Black Student Union
- Alianza Latina
- Asian/Pacific Islander
- Autism Affinity
- Black Student Union
- Sexuality and Gender Affinity (SAGA)
- Trans Non Binary Student Union (TNSU)
The People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference are National conferences held annually by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). These two conferences run simultaneously and include four days of BIPOC focused workshops and affinity spaces for all attendees. In 2021 the conference will once again be virtual to allow for more accessibility for folks across the country and our NAIS schools abroad. We hope to continue to send the maximum of six students and support a large group of faculty and staff attending the conference moving forward.
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.
Summer for 2019: Learning for Justice “Speak Up at School” strategies for responding and interrupting biased remarks in real time and helping students to do the same. This tool helps us understand and recognize intent versus impact and gain valuable skills for creating a more inclusive and accountable school.
Summer 2020: “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.
Summer 2021: reading was focused on creating a common language and understanding of what DEIJ work looks like in schools and some specifics around the work in Independent schools. We asked everyone to come back to school in mid-August ready to participate in the conversation around "what is the work" for them in their specific role within the school. All faculty and staff participated in a core values conversation around what our four values of Trust, Respect, Responsibility, and Integrity look like on an individual, department, and school level.
The pieces we read were:
Diversity Work in Independent Schools: What is the Work?, Why do the Work?, Embarrassing on the Work, The Four Ps of an Inclusive School Community
The New Art and Science of Teaching: Building Relationships
Learning for Justice: Social Justice Standards
On top of the readings above, the Equity and Inclusion Department created an optional summer reading list and bought a book off the list for each interested faculty and staff member. Reading groups for each book will be run by a faculty/staff member throughout the year.
Summer for 2022: The reading focused on two main ideas: Resilience and Active Listening.
Onward - book by Elena A. Aguilar 2018 (for faculty)
To Sustain the Tough Conversations, Active Listening Must Be the Norm - article by Christopher Howell, 2020 (for faculty/staff)
The Onward book focuses on resilience and educator agency when it comes to building it. It offers many tools, strategies, and concrete actions teachers can take to do the identity, reflection, and communication work needed to be present for kids as positive models of behavior and being.
This work of resilience building is essential to serving kids for more equitable outcomes. The book provides a monthly framework, identifying both habits and dispositions per month, that we will use as a guide for faculty meetings over the 2022-23 school year.
The Howell article is meant to start a conversation about Active Listening as a skillset. The community will have opportunities to build on these skills as they gather in different groups during 2022-23.
Optional reading list:
- Braiding Sweetgrass-Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Caste-Isabel Wilkerson
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
- Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism by Laura E. Gómez
- On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Tomorrow Will be Different by Sarah Mcbride