CENTERING DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & BELONGING
Hispanic Heritage Month, Intergeneration Month, National Self-Care Awareness Month, National Recovery Month, National Suicide Awareness Month
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month ! September 15th - October 15th
Hispanic Heritage Month is a small but necessary step in acknowledging the many contributions that Hispanic and Latinx communities give to our communities and especially our district.
Do the Work: It’s important to better understand the history of Latin American communities in the US – that includes not only the oppression that we’ve been talking about today but also the advocacy and contributions of those who have been instrumental in shaping this country and countries worldwide.
Get Involved: Many narratives surrounding Latin American communities in the US are around immigration. There are dozens of agencies fighting for reformed immigration policies that will protect and value the rights and dignity of each person matriculating through these systems.
Ask people how they identify: Labels such as Hispanic, Latinx, Latine, Latin@, Afro-Latino, must be understood in their historical context. One approach to ensure you’re being inclusive when speaking to someone from the Latin American community is to ask how they identify. There are many countries and cultures that fall within the categories that we group people in. To recognize and appreciate the diversity of identities and experiences, we can ask what country, culture, or community someone identifies with.
Look into local figures: There are many impactful local artists, scientists, writers, athletes, and advocates that identify as members of Latin American communities in the US and in our tri-state area. For instance; Quiara Alegría Hudes an American playwright, producer, lyricist and essayist who went to Central High school located in the city of Philadelphia.
Further, there are a lot of resources online. Be curious. Seek out and be intentional about wanting to learn. Opening our eyes to different people also opens our eyes to different ways of seeing the world. The internet is a really great place to start, and there are a plethora of books/Podcasts/documentaries and other resources available to be explored.
Big Ideas and Plans for the Year!
The Washington Township Public Schools are humming with activity. Our department has officially been open for one full year. It is a privilege to join the team as the District Climate, Culture , & Anti-Bullying Specialist. I am thrilled to be joining a school community that has embraced diversity, inclusiveness, equity, and a sense of belonging.
To preserve our DEIB plan and ensure WTPS's success, I look forward to establishing collaborations with administration, students, and community members.
Within a month, I will have met with all school administrators to explore the culture and climate of each school. By analyzing the data and needs of each schools within our district, I will be able to assist administrators, teachers, and students in maintaining DEIB initiatives.
My plan for the 2022-23 academic year is as follows:
- Meet with all of the district administrators to discover what our school community needs as it relates to culture and climate.
- Introduce our WTPS School Climate and Culture data driven process and collaborate with each buildings climate and culture committee.
- Ask students, staff, parents, and members of the community about the school climate on a regular basis, and provide staff, students, and families the opportunity to join "Climate and Culture" workshops that focus on climate and culture.
- Provide resources for teachers, administrators, parents, and community members through training, presentations, and workshops on how to take a whole-school approach to addressing harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
- Create and distribute monthly reports to district stakeholders on the status of climate, culture, and preventative anti-bullying training and any recommendations for improvement.
District Climate, Culture & Anti-Bullying Specialist
WTPS is a public school district with realities that are composed of various experiences, motivations, and identities that should be celebrated daily. The Department of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) will assist with identifying interconnecting opportunities that support the WTPS community and promote diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging by developing and sustaining meaningful and collaborative relationships. These collaborations will result in creating a more diverse and inclusive community and centering the voices of our community to drive District-wide, culturally sustaining initiatives and equitable opportunities.