With social and political discourse occurring all over the United States, it’s not surprising that these issues have (rightfully) entered the workplace. This has correlated to weekly Equity trainings for the Enrollment Team in addition to a “Navigating our current National Climate” Microsoft Teams meeting I joined on my second day at the job. These meetings helped define the workplace culture and how issues of race/ethnicity, power, and privilege would be discussed.
During the first meeting, DPSCD held an open forum so that people could give their personal experiences as it related to the protests, police brutality, COVID-19, etc. This hour-long meeting was stated to be the start of a series in how these issues related to the district, its students, and the community. Following my first week, there was a standing meeting time each Wednesday on bringing equity into DPSCD. I found this to be a great way of incorporating these social issues into long-lasting talks, especially since these meeting included fundamental themes that people would need to understand in order to gain deeper appreciation for social change in the district. For example, in the first meeting the host demonstrated a distinct difference between equity and equality. This was imperative because when I had learned about the difference before, especially in the context of educational disparities, it became alarmingly obvious that people needed to ‘fight for equity’ instead of just equality. In subsequent talks, we spoke about ‘what it means to have privilege,’ ‘how most people have some kind of privilege’, and ‘what it means to have power.’ As we tackled these questions, the meetings were held in an open talk format that allowed people to speak to their experiences, the transferability of social change into the classroom, etc. The workplace environment, from my experience this summer, actively sought to delve into these social issues and remove any boundaries that may actively separate the social issues of the community from the classroom.