OUR COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE
As an Episcopal school, we are rooted in the values of compassion for our human family, the strength of dialogue to promote understanding, and a commitment to inclusion. Our Episcopal roots further challenge us to create an environment—both within and beyond our school—that recognizes each person’s lived experiences and where everyone thrives and is valued.
We recognize that we must actively work to create and strengthen a community steeped in diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist actions. In order to grow our intentions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (DEIA) to actionable steps, we outline here our commitment to justice.
WE COMMIT TO:
- Anti-racism as both a philosophy and practice that benefits all.
- Actively build individual and collective capacity to grow in strength, understanding, and empowerment to act as anti-racist members of the OES community and beyond.
- Making decisions based on principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (DEIA).
- Creating department-level plans of action that are designed to strengthen the OES movement towards principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.
- Creating consistent, collaborative spaces in which all members of the OES community are heard, seen, and respected. OES leadership is responsible for seeking out, reflecting on, and responding to this feedback at regular intervals.
WE ARE GUIDED BY:
OES Leadership (Board of Trustees, Head of School, and Administrative Team) is responsible and accountable for facilitating and co-creating opportunities for the OES community to learn about and engage in topics of DEIA. OES Leadership is available to hold time and space to hear from community members and provide resources for ideas to move into action.
Every member of the OES community (student, board member, family member, faculty/staff) is responsible for committing to engaging with topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti- racism, and acting with this learning in mind.
Every member of the OES community agrees to be accountable for cultivating an inclusive community, one where all members are accepted, safe, empowered, supported, and affirmed.
We make decisions based on diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism principles, knowing that this benefits the entire community.
"Our Episcopal roots further challenge us to create an environment—both within and beyond our school—that recognizes each person’s lived experiences and where everyone thrives and is valued."
DIVERSITY: Diversity means all of the ways humans are different from one another, especially as these differences relate to social categories such as ability, class, color, ethnicity, gender identity, language, marital status, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation. Diversity should not be used as a synonym for people of color, but should refer to a group consisting of multiple individuals who are different from each other in some socially categorized way.
EQUITY: As an outcome, equity means the elimination of differential consequences based largely on one’s social location such as race, class, and gender. As a process, it requires our school community to address root causes of inequity, especially as they relate to race (racial equity), and not just the manifestations of inequity.
INCLUSION: Co-creating an environment where all individuals—especially those who have been historically and systematically excluded—feel accepted, safe, empowered, supported, and affirmed.
ANTI-RACISM: Anti-racism approaches happen on both a systemic and individual level. At an educational institution, such as OES, anti-racism means actively working for racial equity in all areas of a school: for example, employment, curriculum, discipline, fundraising, and enrollment. An anti-racist school, among other things, is intentional in design and action as it keeps the impact and salience of race at the forefront of decisions and practices.
NEXT STEPS/CALL TO ACTION:
We recognize that naming our organizational commitments and equity principles is just the first step in our collective journey to operationalize and embed this work within our organizational culture. This is a living document that requires us to apply these commitments and principles to our individual and collective work. Our school community’s ongoing success in this work will require our continuous reflection, actions, and learning from all of the work that we move forward.
By our active participation in this work, we can move toward the true vision of our OES community.