What does Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging mean for PEF?
The mission of PEF is to provide sustained financial support to Piedmont schools through fundraising and community engagement. We put as much value in the community engagement portion of our mission as we do in fundraising for our schools. Therefore, it is up to each and every one of us to listen, learn, and support. We are confident in the education our students receive, but a complete education has to include learning to accept and include others. Teaching diversity helps students to counter discriminatory stereotypes by understanding a variety of social groups and cultures. This provides students with a better understanding of how to be better citizens in our community and beyond.
A healthy community is an essential part of maintaining a welcoming, supportive environment for children and adults. In the coming months, PEF will be joining with parent groups and PUSD to find ways we, as a community, can come together to heal our differences and build back better.
In the classroom, we will help fund programs that will help develop trust, create healthy relationships, and strengthen a sense of belonging.
Through community engagement, we can create a safe space for the exchange of ideas, promote conversation over conflict, and maintain a healthy, supportive environment for children and adults.
What does Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging mean for PUSD?
Below is a transcript of PUSD School Board President Cory Smegal’s remarks at the May 25, 2022 School Board Meeting on the Board’s commitment to making Piedmont an anti-racist school district.
So when I initially wrote these comments a few days ago, I was going to talk about the mass shooting in Buffalo. But then there was another shooting just yesterday in Texas at an elementary school where 14 children and a teacher were killed. While the motivation behind yesterday’s massacre is yet to be determined, the incident in Buffalo was clearly a hate crime against Black people – 10 people were killed all of whom were Black and three others were injured. I wish I could say that these events are unfathomable, but the truth is events like this have become far too common. Closer to home in our own community as mentioned, a swastika and the word Hitler were written in chalk by Binks Gymnasium. These events and so many others make me feel sick and sometimes hopeless. But we can’t lose hope and we can’t give up. The only way forward is to stand up to hate in all its forms. I don’t pretend to have any answers, but I do know that we have to continue our anti-racist efforts. Dr. Wozniak has a quote in her email footer that resonates with me. It’s by Angela Y. Davis, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” We must also support measures to stop gun violence and prevent hate-filled individuals’ access to such lethal weapons.
That is the point of our Board policy on racial equity. That is the reason why we are working to make sure that our curriculum and our faculty and our students reflect the diverse communities and cultures in the East Bay. That is why we as a board have made a commitment to our own learning journey beginning with a series of anti-racist governance workshops. The reality is that we all need to take action to make Piedmont a more welcoming and inclusive place. Small communities like Piedmont – where our connections are close and trust is high – can be a force for tremendous good. As Dr. Marks mentioned, today teachers and community members organized an event at Exedra Plaza to publicly show our commitment to uphold values of equity and justice in Piedmont.
On the flip side, our close knit ties can also be a force for negativity, where gossip and unfounded rumors proliferate, and where the rush to defend our own results in protecting rather than correcting bad behavior. We as a community need to reflect on how we conduct ourselves. We need to make note of when our behavior is serving a higher good and when it is neither helpful or productive.
When the School Board passed its racial equity resolution and racial equity policy, we made a public statement that this school district is committed to being anti-racist. We are aware of past history and more recent incidents that challenge this assertion. Reputations are made or broken based on what we say and what we do. And in order to set ourselves up for success. We must be intentional about how we welcome newcomers when they enroll their children in Piedmont schools. We must be intentional about how we welcome visitors who come to our schools and our town. And we must be intentional when we have new faculty or staff who say yes when we extend an offer for them to join our team. It is to our benefit to be welcoming.
So, let’s help spread the energy from today’s solidarity event and work intentionally to ensure that Piedmont is an anti-racist school district.
In Board Policy 0415.1 Racial Equity, the PUSD School Board details their intent to ensure that the policies and practices of PUSD produce equitable outcomes of educational excellence for all students. Below is a top-level overview of the goals and objectives leading toward racial and educational equity at Piedmont schools. PEF is proud to be partnering with PUSD on this initiative. Click on the goals below to learn details on each objective.
PUSD Racial Equity - Goals and Objectives
- Adopt a comprehensive district-wide anti-racism education curriculum.
- Develop the District’s Strategic Plan to include Racial Equity
- Create infrastructure with defined roles that will provide ongoing support of racial equity work.
- Foster and maintain a district-wide culture of inclusion and belonging for students who identify as BIPOC.
- Advance the representation of individuals who identify as BIPOC in our schools.
- Conduct a full review of programs and policies through the lens of racial equity.
- Invest and support the mental and physical well-being of students and staff who identify as BIPOC.
- Ensure finances and personnel are prioritized to result in racially equitable outcomes for all students.
PUSD Educational Equity - Goals and Objectives
- Enable equity-focused policy, planning, and resource development decisions.
- Provide all students with equitable access to district programs, support services, and opportunities for success while promoting equity and inclusion at PUSD.
- Ensure all students have equitable access to curricular and extracurricular courses, including advanced placement and college preparatory courses and other student activities.
- Build a positive school culture and climate that promotes student engagement, safety, sense of belonging and inclusion, and healthy identity, and that provides academic, behavioral, and social-emotional support while addressing the academic outcomes and performance of all students on all indicators.
- Ensure curriculum and instruction materials accurately reflect the diversity of student groups.
- Ensure all students have access to appropriate and necessary resources and support services.
- Employ and retain a diverse staff reflective of the student demographics of Alameda County.
- Fully integrate culturally responsive instructional practices.
- Address the academic outcomes and performance of all students on all indicators.
If you would like to learn more or help with this important work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 510-653-1816.