Equity & Inclusion at CDS
Carolina Day School is committed to equity and inclusion by cultivating a culture that values a variety of experiences and perspectives. Our commitment is to exist as a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive organization that aligns with and supports our students, faculty and staff, and community.
A key component to this commitment is understanding how equity and inclusion relate to one another. These concepts mean many things to many people. To us…
Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and parity in access to information and resources for all. We believe this is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.
Inclusion is building and sustaining communities in policies, programs, and practices. It is the deliberate act of welcoming diversity and creating an environment where all different kinds of people can thrive and succeed.
So what are we doing?
We have taken a number of concrete steps to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our academic and internal systems.
During the 2014-15 school year, Carolina Day embarked upon a comprehensive examination of its strengths and opportunities for growth in order to generate a strategic plan. With input from hundreds of constituents across all areas of our community, a new mission statement and nine core beliefs were developed.
As a way to promote more equity and inclusion at Carolina Day, an Equity and Inclusion (E&I) Committee was formed to focus on increasing awareness of diversity in curriculum, systems, and in our institution as a whole. Activities of this committee in 2017-18 included hosting educational events (such as professional development and a community forum featuring speaker Rosetta Lee); creating engagement opportunities for families of color; and participation in events, conferences, and a variety of professional development opportunities for staff and faculty. In the 2018-19 school year, we are evolving the structure of the E&I Committee to include leaders and their teams across campus, with the aim of permeating the culture of CDS with the multicultural competence we seek to achieve institutionally.
We’re learning about best practices for achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion, and sharing that knowledge with faculty and staff at CDS. Our work is informed by our active participation in the The National SEED Project a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity.
In the curriculum, our goal is to provide windows (new viewpoints) and mirrors (reflections of known experiences) for all of our students. We recognize the need for students to be exposed to the breadth of human experience in order to navigate the world.
We’re strengthening our processes to recruit and retain staff and leadership from diverse backgrounds, and we support efforts to advance equitable and inclusive practices across our community more broadly. CDS is a member of the Western North Carolina Diversity Engagement Coalition (WNC-DEC), a network of some of western North Carolina’s largest employers. Through WNC-DEC, participating organizations build and support a more diverse workforce in WNC.
We work to ensure that people of all abilities can access and engage with school resources and information.
Strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion across CDS is an ongoing process—and so our work in these areas continues to evolve and grow.