We hope you found the articles and interviews shared by Native American members of the Breck community insightful this month and that as a community we all learned more about Indigeneity. Our last highlight of Native American Heritage Month is an interview with the Sixkiller family. We are thankful for them and for their continued engagement in the Breck community!
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
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.
During the month of November, we are introducing you to Native American families who are part of the Breck community. You can learn more about Indigeneity during our weekly updates throughout the month of November, which is Native American Heritage Month. This week’s spotlight is on the Goze families.
Thanksgiving is a national holiday, deeply embedded into our culture and national identity. Practices of gratitude paired with family gatherings make for an important time and space for connection and meaning.
Each week through the month of November we are providing information and resources in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.
We sat down with Breck student-athlete Keya Hunt '22 to ask her some questions for the November Meet a Mustang feature.
Breck recognizes the month of November as Native American Heritage Month. In our weekly newsletter, we're sharing more information about Indigenous communities.
Courageous Conversations: Racism and Anti-Racism at Breck will be hosted by the Parent Association on October 28, 2020.
During faculty and staff workshop, over 200 Breck faculty and staff members attended a training facilitated by the Center for Racial Justice in Education
All Faculty and Staff Summer Read: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Anti-Racist.
Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership Director, Heidi Kim facilitated workshops for faculty and staff, entitled "Reflections on Racism and Privilege."
In August the Breck Senior Leadership Team (SLT), Academic Leadership Team (ALT), Counselors, and Deans participated in a diversity, equity, and inclusion training called Building an Equitable Table.
Over the summer the Upper School faculty readThe Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang.
- 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.
- 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/.
Breck's Inclusion Committee is a standing committee of the board charged with ensuring that appropriate resources, policies, and practices are in place to support the Breck community in its aspiration to set the standard, in both philosophy and deeds, for an inclusive culture that embraces one of our core values - that each student's life is enriched in a diverse community where differences among people are recognized and celebrated. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee will:
- Partner with the Head of School (HOS) to determine relevant priorities, policies, and plans that align with the school's mission, values, and strategic goals.
- Provide periodic updates to the Board of Trustees to ensure that key issues, priorities, and activities are understood and supported.
- Support inclusion goals of the administration, faculty, and Parents Association with visible leadership and adequate resources.
- Partner with the HOS in working toward an inclusive school community that is safe and welcomes all contributions from employees and families.