Indigenous Peoples have made essential contributions to the history, culture, and economy of Minnesota. Today, we honor the experiences, resiliency, and rich legacy of Indigenous Peoples across the country. Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
On behalf of Breck, I am embracing this moment in our school's story to ensure we live up to our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.Natalia Rico Hernández, Ed.D.
Head of SchoolSeptember 18, 2020
Following a year-long discovery process with equity partner Design Impact, Breck has developed our Community Commitments. These are specific action steps that were developed by community members, for community members and articulate our work toward a school culture of equity and belonging.
Following a year-long discovery process with equity partner Design Impact, Breck has developed our Community Commitments. These are specific action steps that were developed by community members, for community members and articulate our dream for our school culture and practice of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. For a quick summary, check out this document.
We know as an educational institution that the practice of healthy discourse is essential to the learning environment. Over a two-year period, we spoke with students, teachers, and parents about what discourse should look and feel like. Our Discourse with Dignity document outlines our commitment to honor the dignity of one another as a part of our culture of discourse.
On Saturday, March 5, Breck hosted the 2022 Minnesota Independent Schools Diversity Career Fair.
The Witherspoon family shared about their family, what Black History Month means to them, and what they hope to see at Breck in the future. Read the full interview below.
Faculty member, Marlin Jenkins, shares his Black History Month interview responses with us. Read the full interview below.
Head of School, Dr. Natalia Rico Hernández, answered interview questions for Black History Month this week. Read the full interview in the news post.
Upper School Director, Dr. Troy Baker, shares a video interview on what Black History Month means to him, his pride in the Oasis students as they shared in US Chapel, and what black stories he wants to see in told in the future.
Breck alum, Kimberly Wilson '77 visited her alma mater on February 16, 2022. Her visit included a presentation to Grade 4 students in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, an interview with Kyle Parsons, Director of Alumni Affairs and Giving, and a performance of her one-woman show, "A Journey" in the Cargill Theater.
This week, Oasis led Breck’s Upper School Chapel. The affinity group members reflected over the past calendar year and shared important events and themes month by month.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the ceiling-shattering legislation that protected individuals from discrimination in athletics based on their gender and paved the way for female-identifying athletes to play and compete in athletics. Breck is taking time to reflect on the opportunities Title IX afforded our community and the extraordinary accomplishments of our athletes.
Happy Lunar New Year! We enjoyed spending time with students across all divisions at Breck as they did activities in their Chinese classes. We also met with the Asian Affinity Group for MS & US to talk about identity and vision cast for the future.
The Upper School and Middle School Jewish Affinity Group students presented during their chapels to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Today Breck celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at our MLK All School Chapel and MLK Symposium (Upper School).
Breck recognizes and celebrates November as Native American Heritage Month. This month gives our school community an opportunity to do much-needed narrative change work, to learn about the culture and history of Indigenous peoples in the United States, and to grow in our allyship with the original peoples of this land.
On October 8, Breck's Middle School chapel featured Indigenous identifying students presenting about Indigenous Peoples' Day and sharing why they are proud to be Native.
On September 24, Breck partnered with our friends Vusumuzi and Nothando Zulu of the Black Storytellers Alliance (BSA) to co-host the 31st Annual Black Storytellers Alliance School Festival.
Breck is committed to the values and work of diversity, equity, and inclusion within every aspect of school life. We know that a thriving community is one that is diverse, embracing the richness of varying perspectives and leaning into the discourse that comes with difference. While diversity is an expression of different identities, both visible and invisible, equity is the work to ensure that all of our community members have access to all the opportunities our institution provides. And inclusion is the work to ensure that every community member has a deep sense of belonging within our school community.
We believe that it is only through a commitment to DEI work that all of our graduates will embrace a life of intellectual curiosity, self knowledge, and social responsibility. When this is not achieved for one, this is not lived for all.
- Diversity: is the makeup of the community. It is quantitative data and is most readily determined by race, gender, culture, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and appearance
- Equity: refers to fairness, justice, and access for all people — while recognizing the historical and present-day barriers that deny and/limit access for marginalized people groups to equal opportunities. Equity acknowledges the root causes of disparities and the just and fair distribution of resources.
- Inclusion: is the effort of the community to make space for each member of the community to experience safety and belonging.
- Belonging: Feeling seen, heard, understood, and respected.
- Dominant Narrative: The primary lens through which history is told; primarily through the perspective of White, or dominant culture. What society considers, "normal," or "expected."
- White Privilege: The unearned societal privilege afforded to Whiteness, and often proximity to Whiteness; rooted in European colonialism.
- White Centering: To intentionally, or unintentionally put the wants of White, or White-presenting folks in front of the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Institutional Racism: “Institutionalized racism is defined as the structures, policies, practices, and norms resulting in differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society by "race." Institutionalized racism is normative, sometimes legalized, and often manifests as inherited disadvantage. It is structural, having been codified in our institutions of custom, practice, and law, so there need not be an identifiable perpetrator. Indeed, institutionalized racism is often evident as inaction in the face of need.” - Camara Phyllis Jones
"an active and conscious effort to work against multidimensional aspects of racism," - Robert J. Patterson
“An antiracist is someone who is expressing an antiracist idea or supporting an antiracist policy with their actions” - Ibram Kendi
Breck has adopted these terms from Work Beyond the Work, LLC. You can find more about them at https://www.workbeyondthework.com/.