Students and faculty attended the National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Nashville, Tenn.
Diversity & Inclusion
Berkshire School strives to create a global community that reflects the world around us and the backgrounds, experiences, identities, genders, perspectives, races, religions and talents that each member brings to our school. We believe that a diverse and inclusive community supports and respects all cultures, ethnicities, languages, philosophies, political views and sexual orientations that exist within and beyond our school.
- Affinity Group
- Cultural Competency
- Multicultural Education
- Cultural Identifiers
The term affinity group is used as a bringing together of people who have something important in common, e.g. race, gender, profession, or special interests. Any significant historical movement or everyday social interaction could probably be traced to the actions of people who share a common experience and passion.
Cultural competency is the application of a defined set of values, principles, skills, attitudes, policies, and behaviors that enable individuals and groups to work effectively across cultures. Cultural competence is a developmental process (and continuum) that evolves over time for both individuals and organizations. It is defined as having the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct assessment of self, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and apply cultural knowledge, and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities in which one lives and works.
The concept of diversity embraces the wide range of human characteristics used to mark or identify individual and group identities. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, ethnicity, race, national origin, age, personality, sexual orientation, gender, class, religion, ability, and linguistic preferences. Diversity is a term used as shorthand for visible and quantifiable statuses, but diversity of thought and ways of knowing, being, and doing are also understood as natural, valued, and desired states, the presence of which benefit organizations, workplaces, and society.
Equity exists as a condition that balances two dimensions: fairness and inclusion. As a function of fairness, equity implies ensuring that people have what they need to participate in school life and reach their full potential. Equitable treatment involves eliminating barriers that prevent the full participation of all individuals. As a function of inclusion, equity ensures that essential educational programs, services, activities, and technologies are accessible to all. Equity is not equality; it is the expression of justice, ethics, multi-partiality, and the absence of discrimination.
Inclusiveness means encompassing all; taking every individual’s experience and identity into account and creating conditions where all feel accepted, safe, empowered, supported, and affirmed. An inclusive school or organization expands its sense of community to include all; cultivating belonging and giving all an equal voice. Inclusivity also promotes and enacts the sharing of power and recognition of interdependence, where authorizing individuals and community members share responsibility for expressing core values and maintaining respect for differences the spirit of care and cooperation.
Multiculturalism refers to the presence of many distinctive cultures and the manifestation of cultural components and derivatives (e.g. language, values, religion, race, communication styles, etc.) in a given setting. Multiculturalism promotes the understanding of, and respect for cultural differences, and celebrates them as source of community strength. Multiculturalism is also defined as set of programs, policies, and practices that enable and maximize the benefits of diversity in a school community or organization.
Multicultural education is an approach to education that is grounded in the ideals of social justice and educational equity. It is dedicated to facilitating educational experiences in which all students reach their full potential as learners and as socially aware and active beings in the local, national, and global arenas. The objective of multicultural education, simply stated, is to help students learn how to live in an ethnically and culturally rich, diverse society.
Cultural identifiers can be used to assist in recognizing and understanding the unique aspects of individuals based on their backgrounds, values, experiences, traditions, and the contexts in which they are expressed. There are countless demographic markers and ways people identify, and these categories are changing and emerging with the times.
SEEKING EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND DIVERSITY
The National SEED ProjectSM is a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. Through the organization's methodology, SEED equips participants to connect their lives to one another and to society at large by acknowledging systems of oppression, power, and privilege.
To date, 125 students, faculty, and staff at Berkshire School have participated in SEED. Student and faculty/staff led seminars are held during the school year on a month basis.
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME
I AM MALALA
ONE TEACHER IN TEN IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
Collins, Caprice & Govan, Ilsa
THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS
RACING WHILE BLACK
SEEDING THE PROCESS OF MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
Nelson, Cathy L. & Wilson, Kim A.
A DIFFERENT MIRROR: A HISTORY OF MULTICULTURAL AMERICA
Ngozi Adichie, Chimamanda
LET'S GET REAL EXPLORING RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER IDENTITIES IN THE CLASSROOM
Caldwell, Martha & Frame, Oman
ON BEING INCLUDED
WHY GENDER MATTERS
AMERICAN BORN CHINESE
Yang, Gene Luen
CRAZY RICH ASIANS (CRAZY RICH ASIANS TRILOGY)
TOWARDS COLLECTIVE LIBERATION
NO ASHES IN THE FIRE: COMING OF AGE IN BLACK AND FREE IN AMERICA
Moore, Darnell L
SMALL GREAT THINGS
WE GON' BE ALRIGHT
BLINDSPOT: HIDDEN BIASES OF GOOD PEOPLE
Banaji, Mahzarin R.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE: A NOVEL
WAKING UP WHITE, AND FINDING MYSELF IN THE STORY OF RACE
THE NEW JIM CROW: MASS INCARCERATION IN THE AGE OF COLORBLINDNESS
WHAT IS WHAT
THE GUIDE FOR WHITE WOMEN WHO TEACH BLACK BOYS 1st EDITION
Eddie Moore (Editor), Ali Michael (Editor), Marguerite W. Penick-Parks (Editor)
THE HATE U GAVE
EDUCATED: A MEMOIR
THE RACE BEAT: THE PRESS, THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE, AND THE AWAKENING OF A NATION
Roberts, Gene and Klibanoff, Hank
Students in the Slave Narratives and African American Studies classes traveled to the @brooklynmuseum today to view the “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” exhibit. The exhibit features over 150 pieces that address the social conditions facing Black Americans. pic.twitter.com/xTu7yw0ntY— Berkshire School (@BerkshireSchool) November 15, 2018
Poet Dr. Joshua Bennet, author of The Sobbing School and Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man, finalist for an NAACP Image Award, recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the William F. Milton Fund, and the Ford Foundation, visited Berkshire on February 13th to give a reading of his poems to the School and work with our students on the craft of writing.