Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Mission

Our mission is to build community, in accordance with the PS87 philosophy of One Family Under the Sun, so that our families feel included, like they belong, and are valued.

Background

Although the idea of a DEI Task Force has been discussed for a while, the catalyst was a Culture and Community event held remotely in May 2021. The families that attended were a combination of new and existing families, and shared experiences - good and bad - including that they didn’t feel like they belong or are valued in our community. While we recognized this was perhaps exasperated by the pandemic, this was the moment we decided to form the Task Force.

Who We Are

We are a voluntary group of parents, administrators, and Afterschool staff. We welcome everyone from the PS87 community to take part in our meetings and offer suggestions.

Community Survey

We started the school year with a community-wide survey, to hear from families, what is important to them. We are in the process of collating the results and they will be available to view here soon.

Although this is an evolving list, some of the themes that came up, that matter to our community (listed in alphabetical order) are:

communications in a preferred language and with transparency, culture, employment status, family construct, financial status, gender identity, learning or development, proximity to school, race or skin tone, religious practice, sexual orientation, thought or opinion.

Resources and Progress so far

Here are some deliverables since the start of the 2021 school year:

  • We have this dedicated page on our website, where over time, resources and more information will be available
  • Communications are now going out in multiple languages, for example messages from the DOE have language links
  • There is now a language toggle on our website, as well as for BPN
  • We have anxiety resources, for example, Dr. Elizabeth Cohen gave a talk ahead of the December 2021 holidays
  • We held community building focus groups around communication, empathy and belonging, and in-person events
  • Ideas for bringing together our communities are being rolled out, such as after hours childcare and free-access wristbands to enable more community participation

Defining Three Pillars to Build Community

In order to build community, and create an atmosphere where our families feel valued, included, and like they belong, we came up with three pillars to focus on:

  • Be Celebrated (ensuring curricula acknowledges families from different backgrounds)
  • Be Heard (outlet or resources for families with feedback, comments or concerns)
  • Be Included (programming during the day and after school)

Defining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Diversity – acknowledging the many vibrant, unique, and different backgrounds within our community
  • Equity – enabling families to have the same level of involvement, knowing that everyone’s experiences are unique
  • Inclusion – creating a warm and welcoming environment where everyone feels like they belong, and are a valuable member of our community

Measuring progress

The DEI Task Force is a long term commitment that is essential to our practice of the four tenets (be kind, be wise, be brave, be honest), and our community philosophy of “One Family Under the Sun.” Both short term and longer-term goals will be determined and actioned over time. These may include for example, two surveys, at the start and toward the end of the school year, to monitor, benchmark and build on ideas to build community.

How to get in touch with us

We would love to hear from you, so please do feel free to reach out with any thoughts, comments or ideas. Our email address is: DEITaskForce@ps87.info

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