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Parent Affinity Group Updates

The parent group Families for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion met on Friday, October 8 and had a productive conversation about setting goals for the coming year. Here are the highlights from that meeting.

Purpose

The meeting began with an overview of the history of the group and its purpose:

  1. To create a space where parents/guardians can share personal experiences and strategies with parents and staff related to raising children in a multicultural world.

  2. To identify strengths, challenges and opportunities and take action to support the school in achieving its mission as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion.

  3. To ensure clear communication within, and beyond, the Foote School community regarding the school’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Parent Affinity Groups

The co-facilitators of the Parents of Children of Color affinity group, Martin Nguyen and Christine Kim, shared an update on their meeting. Eleven parents attended the POC affinity space; the co-facilitators laid out what the group is about and gave a brief history. They are meeting again on October 22.  This group is open to anyone raising a child of color.

The Raising Anti-racist White Children affinity group is co-faciliated by Bill Rankin, Meredith Mira and Rob Hames. This meeting was very well attended (18 participants total) and well received. 

The Latino/a/x affinity group, which is bilingual, is hosted by María Ospina and Sabrina Marques. Their first meeting will be held on Oct 22 at 7 p.m.

Board Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force

Head of School Aléwa Cooper is working with the task force to identify consultant(s) to potentially work with the Board, parents and faculty and staff.

Activities/Goals for 2020-2021

The group engaged in a brainstorming discussion to identify the kinds of activities and topics they would like to explore this year. The participants agreed that remaining committed to the school’s mission as it relates to DEI continues to be a priority despite COVID-19. The activities fell into several categories.

Building Community

  • Sharing culture through music and food, Rob Hames offered to explore ways to share cultural heritage through music.

  • How to ensure authentic inclusion within the community, is there an opportunity for partnership with admissions as parent ambassadors? 

  • Participants could host social events at their grade level. 

  • Shift focus of work to developing cultural competency (instead of diversity); this might capture a broader audience among the parent body.

Enhancing Communication

  • Beth and Andy Bromage, Director of Communications, are working on the school website to make it more robust and reflective of ongoing conversations and to document the history of the school’s efforts and progress moving forward.

  • The groups would like to break down any barriers to joining this group by providing more information on the website.

  • The idea of developing a video or video(s) for the website was discussed.

Exploring and Enhancing the Student Experience

  • Opportunities to more intentionally celebrate Black History Month

  • Explore more student experiences and strategies to discuss socioeconomic diversity.

Admissions and Hiring Practices

  • The group would like more information about admissions processes and outcomes as well as information about recruitment and hiring practices and faculty and staff demographics.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the conversation. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12 at 8:45 a.m. The agenda will include an overview of the website and admissions data.

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