A main focus for our school is ensuring we are thinking with an equity mindset to best support all of our students. This is a community effort. Students, staff and parents have profound impacts on one another. Expanding our understanding of ourselves and others is how we build our empathy for one another and build a strong community. This year we are starting a staff and a parent Seeking Education Equity and Diversity (SEED) group. SEED is a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. (Later in the year, we are creating an equity team and would highly encourage anyone interested in joining to participate in SEED as well.) Please read below for more information and how to sign up.
Have a great day,
What is SEED?
SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) is a group process of sharing our own stories and listening to the stories of others. For staff and parents, SEED offers us the opportunity to; a) revisit experiences around gender, ethnicity, race, class, and sexual identity that have influenced our perspectives and to; b) become aware of other views and perspectives on a personal, institutional and societal level.
SEED is about learning how to be an ally to others, both those similar to and different from ourselves. It is about recognizing that inclusion means knowing that we are global citizens who all deserve respect and fairness in our lives, whether or not our particular face or opinion is represented at any given moment. Getting to this point may cause participants some discomfort as we uncover and validate that there are injustices and inequalities, even in our midst. Yet by seeing this and learning to be unafraid we can honestly begin to imagine a wider, more equitable world, the one we want for our children and our students. To move towards such a world is our goal.
What makes SEED different?
● SEED believes that each of us is an authority on our own experiences and that cultivating spaces for self-learning and peer-sharing leads to meaningful conversations and change toward equity and diversity.
● SEED acknowledges each participant’s intersecting identities and the ways these multiple identities are both personal (our own) and political (socially shaped). ● SEED asks us to reflect on and share our own stories of identities and wellness and to consider how they are connected to others, as a necessary prelude to creating more inclusive learning spaces and communities.
● SEED takes a systemic approach to oppression and privilege, rather than seeing them only in terms of individuals making individual choices.
● SEED acknowledges that justice work is an ongoing process, professionally and personally, not a one-time exercise or experience.
● SEED honors and develops participants rather than bringing in outside “experts” to lecture. SEED facilitators guide participants in experiential, interactive exercises and conversations often stimulated by videos and readings.
● SEED uses methods of intentionally structured group conversation, developed over more than 30 years, to create effective learning environments that include input from all voices.
● SEED work is not about blame, shame, or guilt about one's location in societal systems. It is about deepening awareness of and our sense of responsibility for the existence of these systems.
● SEED builds agency and capacity for change by asking what the justice is that we need individually, relationally, and systemically, and by committing to enact that change from our positions within our SEED cohorts.
● SEED is deeply grounded in recognizing the time it takes to self-reflect, to be in authentic conversation, and to design systemic change for justice. SEED seminars put in place an ongoing constructive conversation about sometimes polarizing issues. SEED is therefore not a quick fix for a crisis but makes communities more competent to deal with crises when they do occur.
● SEED’s storytelling approach can complement other diversity programs by preparing participants to be more aware of their own experiences with privilege and oppression and to listen more effectively to the experiences of others.
Important information to note:
● Staff SEED meetings will take place once a month on Tuesdays, 3:45 - 6:15 pm. ● Parent SEED meetings will take place once a month on Wednesdays, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm.
● We will meet virtually using zoom.
● There is a 3 strikes and you’re out rule, meaning that if you miss more than two sessions you are out.
We would like to emphasize that by joining SEED, you are making a commitment to the whole group that you will be present (physically, spiritually, and mentally) for every single session, as best you can.
Sign-up for SEED using the following link: Skinner North SEED Sign-Up
Staff SEED Dates: 10/27, 12/1, 1/12, 2/9, 3/9, 4/13, 5/11, 6/8
Parent SEED Dates: 10/28, 12/2, 1/27, 2/10, 3/31, 4/21, 5/12, 6/9
For more information contact Principal Magnuson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Assistant Principal Kimbrough at Dkimbrough@cps.edu. You may also visit www.singlestoryinc.com and www.nationalseedproject.org to learn more about Single Story, Inc and SEED.