Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
Thank you to the committee volunteers who contributed wonderful energy to our work: Pam D., Natasha, Anji, Melissa, Pam O., and the dance volunteers. Apologies if we forgot anyone.
Congrats to all of the students for finishing up another school year! A special shout out to the clubs and student liaisons we worked with this year: JSA, QSA, BSU, Latinos Unidos, the Equity Board and the leadership class.
Drawing inspiration from the blooming wildflowers all around us, the collective beauty we see across our majestic hills is formed by each flower being exactly what it is. To quote Ola Joseph, "Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another's uniqueness.” Like the hillsides giving space to every wildflower, DEIB work is centered around creating capacity. If there is something in your landscape that gives you pause, try to explore it. See you next year!
You Are Influential to Your Children and Your Community – Stand Up to Hate
In addition to producing events that help us connect, learn and grow, the DEI committee is also here to support parents. As we head into United Against Hate Week across Lamorinda, it feels like a good time to take a pause from our regular style of communication and acknowledge that the work is heavy and sometimes slow to yield results. We encourage you to keep going and to reach out if you need support. Try to approach equity work in a way that brings results, such as opening up a discussion with your kid(s). Our parent community is making a difference and our work is valuable.
Hate crimes occur right out in the open. Over the last few years, violent Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise here and nationwide. Last month, Ye issued strong anti-seminitic statements that were intended to be divisive and harmful. These are just a few examples of hate speech and hate crimes taking place in our nation. In order to effectively fight structural racism and discrimination we have to have purposeful conversations with our communities and with our children. Did your family talk about what Ye said or discuss increased assaults on Asian Americans in our area? Perhaps your family talked about how those behaviors circulated on social media and maybe even how it showed up in your daily lives?
While often difficult to corral your kid for another “important” discussion (yep, we get the teen eye rolls, too) we feel it is vital that you make time to talk about discrimination and acts of hate this week. An easy way to open up a conversation might be to simply ask if your student knows that the City of Lafayette observes a United Against Hate Week. You don’t need to supply all the content – it isn’t a lecture, just start the discussion. Our kids are intelligent and thoughtful. You can be honest that you find these conversations challenging, deep, difficult, confusing, frustrating and fill in the blank. It is tough but ok to be in discomfort for a few minutes. Those sticky, tricky moments are where people may find the most growth.
We encourage you to keep building community and celebrating our individuality. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
The APC is committed to working with our Acalanes parent and student community as well as our staff and our school and district administration to promote a positive school climate at Acalanes that encourages a culture of inclusivity and belonging for all. It is not enough to denounce acts of racism, we must also work to challenge ourselves and our students to be anti-racist every day. The scope of this committee will encompass the full spectrum of diversity including gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and mental and physical ability.
Our vision is a positive school climate in which all members of our school community feel welcome regardless of their differences and in which students feel empowered to enter the world as engaged and active global citizens.
We are dedicated to identifying, implementing, and supporting a strategic approach to building an empowered school community that celebrates diversity and actively opposes discrimination of race, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, or any other aspect of one’s identity.
- Create a safe and healing space for our school community to communicate with one another within the scope of DEI (social issues, identity, current events, school culture)
- Facilitate parent educational opportunities for DEI
- Support and promote cultural events organized by Acalanes and its students
- Partner with Acalanes and District Administration to support and advance school and district efforts