diversity in education

CLWS stands in solidarity with protesters across the globe in their fight for justice. We are fully committed to racial justice and equity in education. #BlackLivesMatter

Letter to our community in response to the murder of George Floyd | May 29, 2020
Read Our Statement

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Waldorf education is founded in a worldview that acknowledges the spiritual nature of all human beings. City of Lakes Waldorf School strives to advance equity in education and nurture a diverse learning community of children, teachers, families and staff; recognizing and valuing individual differences while promoting and celebrating the richness in our local and global communities.

  • We honor the freedom, equality, individuality and unique capacities of each child, and categorically reject racism and discrimination in all its forms.
  • We are dedicated to creating an inclusive community that respects and affirms each of its members, honoring their diversity of culture, ethnicity, race, religion, family structure, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical abilities, and unique learning styles.
  • Our educational pedagogy fundamentally values the many peoples and perspectives of our community and the world. We are committed to equity in education and recognize the need to develop an anti-racist curriculum that directly challenges and confronts prejudice.
  • We believe that a diverse community and the practice of inclusiveness strengthen the educational experience and foster the essential element of respect that prepares students to live and work in a global environment, and contribute to the well-being of all humanity.

Read the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America’s (AWSNA) statement of inclusion and equity here.

Anti-Racist Action Plan

While we have at various moments in our school’s history recognized the need to implement plans and advance strategies to work towards racial justice and educational equity in our community, we’ve oftentimes moved much too slowly and without a sense of urgency. We recognize these shortcomings. We have to come to terms with our own inaction, privilege and bias to do the necessary work of challenging school norms. This process requires that we transform ourselves, our school structures, and our curriculum—to ensure that we are not complicit in upholding racism and that we are actively engaged in the process of antiracism. And that begins by examining our role in perpetuating racial injustice and by implementing real systemic change.

Our Board of Trustees and College of Teachers, led by our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee are working on an Anti-Racist Action Plan. Together we will formulate steps that we will take over the course of the coming school year to transform our curriculum, our hiring and enrollment practices, and the cultural norms of our school traditions. While this list is not exhaustive, it reflects a number of steps we believe are necessary to truly bring about substantive and meaningful change. It is our hope to share this plan with you before the beginning of the school year.

City of Lakes Waldorf School has the capacity to make the changes necessary. To our families and students of color, the time for change is well overdue. But we are committed to ensuring this school is a place of equity and inclusion for all. It is with your support and commitment that we will see this change through.

Anti-Racism Resources for Parents

It is an important time to talk with young people about race and abuse of power in a developmentally appropriate way. Here are several resources that you may find helpful in speaking with your children about racism.

  • Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice is designed to help parents teach their children to honor the differences in themselves and in others, and offers strategies for talking to kids often and honestly about tolerance — and intolerance. Click here to read more and download the PDF.
  • This animated reading of the book Something Happened in Our Town talks directly about an incident of police shooting a black man. Parents may wish to watch and draw on the conversations the parents have with their children in this story, about racial injustice and breaking patterns of inequity, or may choose to order this picture book for their family, or to share the video directly with their children if they feel it is age-appropriate. Click here to watch.
  • We Are Kid Lit Collective Summer Reading List 2020: The We Are Kid Lit Collective selects books by and about IPOC (Indigenous and People of Color), with attention to their intersecting. Chosen books are thoroughly selected, discussed, and vetted by two or more members. Read more.
  • Anti-Racism Resources: An online resource for white people and parents to deepen anti-racism work, and includes a list of books for children and adults, podcasts, articles, videos, and more. Read more.
  • My Grandmother’s Hands by local therapist and advocate Resmaa Menakem is about the historical and current trauma between white, black and police bodies. He is currently offering a complimentary e-course for adults for free. Directed at adults. Click here to learn more.

Get Involved

In the summer of 2019 our faculty and staff read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and participated in a book study. We are now offering this as a community-wide book study and invite all interested community members to join. Please contact neela@clws.org for more information.

Our active and dedicated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee includes members of our parent body, faculty, and administration. To get in touch with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, please email dianna.myles@gmail.com.

Waldorf Community of Color Affinity Group

The Waldorf Community of Color Affinity Group, facilitated by Christina More, parent at the Green Meadow Waldorf School, has been created for Waldorf community members to share and support each other in racial conversations. This affinity group is open to current and past Waldorf parents of color and any individual of color affiliated with Waldorf education in North America. To learn more and to register, please click here.