This fall, faculty and staff at MICDS began their year-long equity and inclusion education courses, which Head of School Lisa Lyle and Director of Faculty Equity and Inclusion and Student Activities Erica Moore officially launched on Friday, August 11. This year, the work focuses on building their capacity to best serve the needs of each and every child, and the programs explore bias, anti-racism, whiteness, culturally responsive teaching, current events, social justice, personal lived experiences and experiences of others that impact how we see and live in the world—and how that affects educators as they engage with students.
“This is an important piece of our ongoing work to make our community one where each child feels valued, affirmed and included. Faculty and staff are eager to continue this work as we better ourselves and best serve our students—students who will need to be fully prepared to meet the complex challenges of this world and stand for what is good and right. As educators, we have an obligation to prepare the world’s future leaders in this way,” said Moore.
Head of School Lisa Lyle also shared, “The world our students enter will demand sophisticated cross-cultural and critical thinking skills that can only develop through intentional interactions with folks whose life experience and perspectives are different than their own. All children benefit from an educational environment in which they develop both deeper self-awareness and a better understanding of how others see the world. Only within a diverse community of learners can that happen, and while necessary, diversity alone is not sufficient.”
Opportunities for MICDS faculty and staff include using current events to explore issues of bias, mini-culture tours of St. Louis and various studies of books such as Waking Up White, Anti-Bias Education for Young Children, Courageous Conversations about Race and the film I’m Not Racist, Am I?
For the 2017-2018 academic year, 34 percent of the MICDS student body identifies as students of color, students come to MICDS from 65 different zip codes across the greater St. Louis area, and 39 different languages are spoken in students homes.
Read Lisa Lyle’s blog, The Case for Cultural Competence.