Upcoming Work with Sarah Bellamy of Penumbra Center for Racial Healing

Dear CLWS Community,

As we continue our journey towards becoming a more welcoming, equitable, diverse and inclusive school environment, we look forward to working with Sarah Bellamy, President of Penumbra Center for Racial Healing (formerly Penumbra Theatre). Following affirmation by the Board of Trustees and the College of Teachers in November and December 2021, we engaged Sarah Bellamy to conduct an immersive analysis of our school community. Her diagnostic process will involve meetings with all key constituents and is designed to help us discern what challenges and opportunities are currently present at City of Lakes Waldorf School in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The process and the report will be shared with the community and is intended to increase transparency, connection, and trust amongst staff, faculty, students, and parents towards the creation of a more inclusive and supportive culture at City of Lakes Waldorf School.

We trust this immersive analysis will provide us with a real-time snapshot of where the school is at this moment in time, and assist us in defining our work moving forward (both internally and with outside partners) to best fit the needs of our community and in a manner that is unified, focused, and productive.

About Sarah Bellamy
Sarah Bellamy is a nationally renowned racial equity facilitator and practitioner of racial healing. As President of Penumbra, her stewardship of the organization strikes a purposeful balance between a vitalized future and a reverent past. Under her leadership, the company has produced critically acclaimed art and racial equity training programs that inspire the heart and guide responsible social action. She has taught at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, and served as Visiting Professor of Theater and Culture at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Sarah has been awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award, a Bush Foundation Fellowship, and served on the Board of Directors for Theater Communications Group. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Jerome Foundation, supporting early career artists in MN and NYC.

What can we expect? / What will this work look like?
The diagnostic process will include interviews of stakeholders—in our case, faculty and staff, board members, 7th and 8th grade students, and parents; exploration of curriculum materials, policies, and procedures; and personal conversations with those who request them. Conversations with focus groups will be held over the course of 3 weeks beginning the week of March 14.

  • Faculty and staff: All coworkers will be invited to participate in focus groups in job-alike related groups. A BIPOC affinity group will also be offered for interested BIPOC staff.
  • 7th and 8th grade students: Sarah will meet with the 7th grade and the 8th grade classes in order to hear about their experiences. She will also offer personal conversations or potential affinity groups for any students who are interested.
  • Current CLWS Parents: Parents will be invited with an eye to diverse perspectives alongside centering underrepresented voices. In forming the parent focus groups, we will seek input from the Parent Association and school faculty; please let us know if you would like to participate.

In addition, Sarah Bellamy will be available for some one-on-one conversations and may also speak to alumni families and staff.

How is this work related to the work with Alma Partners?
The work with Sarah Bellamy is an immersive climate analysis of the school and community designed to give us a reflection of what is living in the community right now. The work with Alma Partners has been focussed thus far on content training, curriculum revision, one-on-one staff support, and policy review. Based on her diagnostic analysis, Sarah will make recommendations and help us define the best ways to move forward with outside partners (including Alma Partners) and leverage internal and external resources.

Our ideal outcome for this work
The ideal outcome of this work will be for us to gain a clear and common understanding of the needs for growth within our current school community in order to support a truly inclusive and equitable school environment. From this unified perspective we hope to strengthen our collective resolve around newly identified priorities and strategies and to chart out next steps to support growth and development that involve all members of the school community.

Please feel free to contact us with any thoughts or questions.

In service,

On behalf of the College of Teachers and the Board of Trustees,
Marti Stewart, Administrative Director, Johanna Garcia, Faculty Chair, Jeanne Dorado, DEI Coordinator, Neela Bettaglio, College Facilitator

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