Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School

DEI COMMITTEE MANDATE

Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Mandate 
Adopted by Faculty + Board of Directors April 22, 2021

“A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living.” 
–Rudolf Steiner

Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School is committed to fostering a community of students, families, faculty, and staff that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe there is value in cultivating deep interest in one another and learning about, understanding, and elevating diverse histories and lived experiences.

We acknowledge that systemic racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression and marginalization are real and embedded in our society and institutions, including our schools. We feel these must be named if we are to earnestly assess, recognize, and change that which serves to perpetuate systems of inequality within our school and broader communities. Only then can we make the necessary shifts toward social renewal that uplifts and serves all of humanity.  

Purpose: 

The Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee exists to foster cultural competence, accountability, empathy, and sense of belonging in our school and broader communities. The committee’s three main areas of focus include education/training, curriculum support, and recruitment/ retention of diverse populations.

Goals: 

  • Provide anti-bias educational opportunities and resources for parents, families, caregivers, and educators
  • Create and provide updates to the DEI resource page on the PRWS website
  • Strengthen relationships with the broader community by promoting inclusion and increased access to Waldorf education in our region 
  • Create an environment of safety and inclusion for diverse populations
  • Attract and retain diverse families, faculty, and staff
  • Offer support to faculty-led efforts to develop diverse curricula and seasonal festivals
  • Explore ways to highlight, foster meaningful relationships, and share resources with the global community of Waldorf schools, families, and teachers
  • Acknowledge and honor native tribes and lands our school and community inhabit (integrate native community and history) PRWS LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Governance: 

The DEI Committee shall consist of at least one member of the PRWS Faculty, Board, and Parent/Caregivers of PRWS children. We welcome the participation from Alumni students as well.

The DEI committee will work in consultation with the PRWS Faculty and Board.

The DEI committee will meet at least once monthly, provide a committee report to the PRWS Board ahead of each monthly board meeting, and an annual report by the end of each fiscal year.

DEI Committee members shall serve a term of at least one year and attend the majority of meetings.

PRWS welcomes opportunities to create a more accessible, inclusive, and just learning environment for all. 

 

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Pleasant Ridge is a Waldorf School in the heart of southwestern Wisconsin, part of the Driftless  region. This area is rich in beautiful ancient limestone formations, vast coulees, and clear water  creeks and waterfalls. The Pleasant Ridge community thrives and grows in this immense  beauty. The school is preceded in a history that is formatively significant. We wish to honor this  history by acknowledging the following: 

Centuries before we arrived, this area was inhabited by the Ho-Chunk Nation. Other tribes such  as the Meskwaki and Sauk passed through the region, but the Ho-Chunk called this land  home. Many generations of their people thrived among this rugged landscape. Its caves,  natural cold water springs, and trout streams were their home, and the lives of these tribes  were not separate from the land on which they lived. 

The lives of these people were changed when colonizers arrived. They were forcibly displaced and sent to reservation land which did not observe or respect their culture or needs. Schools were formed to indoctrinate Native peoples into White culture. Many years later, however, today’s Ho-Chunk Nation is a thriving community with rich traditions and stories that should be  respected, and fostered by all people living in the Driftless area. 

As PRWS looks into the future together, the actions of students, faculty and families are vital to ensure respect and honor of the indigenous nations still thriving here today. We accept and recognize accurate history, based on the accounts of Native people, and we acknowledge that the harmful consequences of cultural appropriation and actions that tokenize Native individuals still persist in education.

To ensure this acknowledgement is truly living, we commit to continued consultation with Ho Chunk leaders to understand, teach, and celebrate the stories of First Peoples along with the  land’s rich and complicated history. Together we can envision and create a more cooperative  future.

 

GET INVOLVED

If you’re interested in getting involved with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, please email us at [email protected]

The committee meets every other Monday at 3:30pm. (For the 2021/22 winter season, the meetings will be virtual.)