Windward DEI Newsletter: Fall/Winter 2020

Page 1

FALL UPDATE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSIVITY

Fall Semester 2020-21

A dynamic, engaging education. A nurturing, inclusive community.

IN THIS UPDATE DEI Lens Affinity & Open Space Affinity and Open Space For Parents/Guardians - 2021 Cultivating an Anti-Racist and Anti-Discriminatory Learning Community POCC/SDLC “Visibility” Student Voices

Diverse Perspectives

UPCOMING EVENTS

DEI LENS

January 20, 2021 | 5:30 p.m. Jeff Miller: Pop Culture Images and Race

January 22, 2021 | TBD

Movie Night hosted by the U/S Student Diversity Leadership Board

March 10, 2021 | 5:30 p.m. JP DeGuzman: History of Los Angeles

February 2021 | TBD

Rosetta Lee: Courageous Conversations & April 2021 Cultural Competency

A dynamic, engaging education in a nurturing, inclusive community is the heart of Windward’s mission statement and the School’s Strategic Plan. Windward’s Goal of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, has been one of three goals at the center of the School’s work for the 2020-21 school year. Building off of our work surrounding the theme of Communication in 2019-20, in collaboration with all members of our community, we have created opportunities this year for individuals to explore their own identity and gain awareness, affirmation, and an understanding of oneself, to serve as agents to stand up against racism and oppression. The process of creating a diverse, informed, and supportive community is never done. In the following pages, you’ll find programming from our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity team intended to further the understanding and allyship of our students, parents, and faculty.

March 2021 | TBD

Tales at the Table Virtual Event

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSIVITY

–1–


AFFINITY SPACE EXPERIENCES

AFFINITY & OPEN SPACE

• Affirm Identity

In the Fall of 2020, Windward began offering opt-in affinity and open spaces once a month during seminar or community time. Our focus for affinity and open space work was to build on the work done through the reading of “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria” and Dr. Beverly Tatum’s ABC’s of inclusion:

Jas Sudds ‘22 “Personally, I think that the Affinity Space is a great add on for the the Windward community in regards to diversity and inclusion but more importantly personal connection between the students and staff. It allows many of the students to connect to those who look like them and may or may not have gone through the same experiences. This space is an astonishing way to cancel ignorance and encourage bonding; it bridges certain intervals of inclusion in order to make the Windward community stronger and further ready for anything that comes our way in regards to race and other identifiers. Takeaways that I have gathered from this opportunity is simply that others share the same experiences as me and also that I have somewhere or someone to go to who I know would understand where I am coming from. This allowed me to be able to see things from a different yet familiar perspective which will help all of us— both students and teachers— grow further.”

• Building Community • Cultivate Leadership

We hope that these groups will be a place for Community members to come together by:

• Engaging in meaningful conversations and activities related to their identifiers (i.e race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status);

• Raising awareness and appreciation of the cultural identifiers that distinguish us from one another and identify common ground that binds us is work that is ongoing;

Jaden Anselmo ‘23 “Affinity groups have been an incredible opportunity for me to connect with members of our diverse community that I have shared experiences with. Oftentimes, I feel isolated and unable to relate to my peers from different backgrounds. In a large community, it feels difficult to find students who have similar backgrounds as me and connect with them. Last year, I attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Seattle. The activities that I participated in were extremely eye-opening and knew our Windward community would benefit from them. In my mixed race affinity group, I found peers and students that shared experiences and backgrounds identical to mine. Open Spaces and Affinity groups allow one to shed the feeling of isolation and meet students you wouldn’t have otherwise.”

• Strengthening our wider community by welcoming the voices of all its constituents;

• Building capacity for cross group dialogue and more inclusive spaces while engaging mindfully and thoughtfully in ongoing learning about the values, experiences, perspectives, and identities of diverse cultures in order to foster respect and equity in their actions, relationships, and communities; and • Discussing issues that support Windward’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity goals and priorities.

Beginning in October, our Community held the first affinity and open space sessions led by faculty and staff volunteers for students. Each of the facilitators felt a sense of belonging or connection to the spaces they led through identifiers or interest.

–2–


AFFINITY AND OPEN SPACE FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS - 2021 • Starting in 2021, we are very excited to be launching our Parent/Guardian Affinity and Open Space groups. We know that our list does not cover every possible affinity group and space that can be, but our goal is to continue to expand each year based on the feedback that we receive from our community members.

• If you are interested in participating in one of these spaces, please fill out THIS form. It will remain open until Monday, January 4th, 2021. • To learn more about Affinity Groups please check out our Affinity Group FAQ

CULTIVATING AN ANTI-RACIST AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATORY LEARNING COMMUNITY In September, all Windward Community groups—students, faculty, parents, reviewed and discussed a policy to clarify expectations and processes to support a renewed commitment to anti-racism and anti-discrimination. This policy, now published in our Student Handbook, helped move us toward four specific goals: • A shared understanding of what’s not acceptable

• A consistent and reliable way for students to let administrators know when something unacceptable happens • A consistent and reliable way for administrators to respond to individual incidents • An opportunity for the whole community to learn and grow

A completely new feature of the policy is an additional way to report incidents of discrimination—students may now submit concerns directly to our DEI leadership through a Google form. For example, this year students used the form to report an expression of intolerance toward another community member’s identity. Students not only reported the incident, but also spoke up in the moment, reducing the likelihood of greater harm. As always, we thank upstanders and acknowledge the positive response of those who own their mistakes, and work to build empathy across differences, work which is ongoing for all of us. We encourage everyone to pause and think critically about how we can meaningfully contribute to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Windward.

–3–


“VISIBILITY” STUDENT VOICES

POCC/SDLC

Defining Features of an Ally By Alina Newman ‘23

For the first time ever, the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference was held Virtual. The conference took place from Monday November 30th-Friday, December 4th. The mission of the conference is to provide a space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.The theme of the conference this year was “New Decade, New Destinies: Challenging Self, Changing Systems, and Choosing Justice.” Windward School was able to send the largest cohort ever this year, 15 faculty and staff members ranging from administration from every division, Co-Directors of DEI, and teachers from the history, athletics, and counseling Department. Windward also sent five Upper School students to attend the SDLC. The SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9-12) from across the U.S. and abroad. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. After the week was completed Joy Cheng 21’ said: “It was really empowering to meet so many people who are passionate about dismantling prejudice in their communities and who are willing to truly listen to your experiences and share their own. I feel so inspired and touched by everyone’s stories that I heard, and I am looking forward to working with the diversity team to bring some ideas to life at Windward.” We are excited to bring the two cohorts together to discuss our experiences at the conferences and continue to work together to bring our learning back to Windward.

As a bisexual person with a multitude of straight friends, family members, and a variety of other relationships, I have had plenty of opportunities to find the definition of an ally. The textbook definition of what it means to ally someone is “combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) for mutual benefit.” (Oxford languages) And yet, I have found that to be an ally to the LGBT+ community, one leaves behind textbook definitions, leaves behind set “rules.” This is not due to the fact that being LGBT+ is “breaking the rules,” rather because there is no one way to be an ally to someone. One person needs to be allied in a different way than the next, and this is because each LGBT+ person has their own journey that needs supporting. Be this as it may, there are still a vast sea of ways one can be some of this support when they are not sure how. I have found that one of the most consistent methods of being an ally is simple; walk beside me. A confusing statement, but effective when put into action. By “walk beside me,” I mean march with your LGBT+ friend in a pride parade. Rather than jumping ahead of someone who is questioning or still in the closet, be there with them as they wait for the moment they feel comfortable. To not leap ahead of someone and pull them into the world of LGBT+ culture before they are ready. “Walk beside me” means having the ability to keep up if someone frequently changes their pronouns or re-labels their sexuality, and respecting each change. Although it may seem like a repetitive situation for the ally, each new discovery of self comes with uncertainty to the subject. This uncertainty can feel like a road that never ends, and by “walk beside me,” I mean stick with me, because going through it alone is a grueling experience. However, the most important way you can be an ally is to ask how you can help. Although it may feel uncomfortable, educating yourself is always helpful.

–4–


“VISIBILITY” STUDENT VOICES Black History in School By Isis Ginyard ‘23

In school, when it comes to learning about black history, we tend to focus on slavery and the civil rights movement, but that this such a small piece of black history. The first slave ships arrived in The United States of America in 1619 and the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed until 1776 so black people have been here long before the founding of this country. We have over 500 years of history that is subjected to only two lessons which focus on slavery and the civil rights movement. However we learn about “American history,” which is essentially just white history 90% of the year. This teaches African American students that all they can do is overcome, but never be great. Black history should be called American history because that’s what it is, it is the history of people who have built this country. While it is important to teach everyone about slavery and the civil rights movement, it is also important to teach children about African American accomplishments that have shaped this country. Other African American students and I are tired of everyone staring at us when we talk about slavery and the civil rights movement because it is embarrassing. We want the opportunity to be prideful when our history is brought up, I want to be able to smile when we learn about our accomplishments. African Americans have a very rich history filled with suffering and triumph, there is plenty of opportunity to talk about the triumph like the black battalions that fought in the American revolution and the Civil War. We have been here for all of our country’s best and worst moments. Teaching all students about every aspect of black history will not only give everyone a better understanding of African Americans positive contributions to society, but it will also give us the opportunity to learn about the black people who not only built this country, but changed it for the better. In our country there is no national curriculum for teaching black history, which means there is plenty of room for change and improvement. We need to be learning about Sojourner Truth, an African American woman and a freed slave who traveled around the world speaking to people about her book, in which she wrote about equal rights for people of color and women. If we don’t teach children about all of our history, we will continue to live in a society of ignorant people who only know half of the story. Everyone should know about Ralph Bunche, the first black man to win a Nobel Peace Prize and Daniel Hale Williams, a black man and the first person to perform open heart surgery. Education is everything and knowledge is power. Students of color shouldn’t be the only ones learning their history. Everyone should learn black history because it is our country’s history. Not teaching African American history in schools is part of the institutionalized racism that is so prominent in this country. Everyone in our country needs to be educated in order for us to prosper.

Sojourner Truth

Ralph Bunche

–5–


“VISIBILITY” STUDENT VOICES Women on Wallstreet By Sean Champa ‘23

When you think of a generic entrepreneur, there’s a good chance you’re not picturing a woman. Instead, you’re probably imagining a rich white guy in a sleek modern office. And in most cases, your assumption would be correct. A majority of U.S. businesses are owned by men, but that’s quickly changing. According to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express and Ventureneer, women now own 42% of businesses and may reach parity with men within the next few years. In 1972, only 4.6% of businesses were owned by women, meaning they’ve made a lot of progress in the past 48 years. However, as more and more women are starting their own businesses, they often run into difficulty getting funding. According to a study conducted by Biz2Credit, a leading online credit marketplace for small companies, men receive an average loan of $70,000 while women receive only $48,000. This causes businesses led by women to have lower sustainability levels. Despite this, women-led businesses generate a 10% higher cumulative revenue over a five-year period. Furthermore, private tech companies led by women achieve a 35% higher return on investment. In a perfect world, this would make investors and capital firms more interested in investing in female-led businesses. However, according to Harvard Business Review, only 2.2% of venture capital went to female entrepreneurs in 2018. But one company is trying to change that. Chloe Capital is a venture capital firm committed to investing in women-led businesses primarily in the technology sector. Founded in 2017, the group has grown at a rapid pace. It now has 10 companies in its portfolio with a total value of over $60 million. Chloe Capital is a major player in the movement to #InvestInWomen. It has over 13,000 active supporters who help grow the firm’s companies, and it’s also partnered with numerous organizations to create programs that boost the fundraising experience for female founders. According to Kathryn Cartini, Co-Founder of Chloe Capital, investing in women is just good business. “Despite recent progress, less than 5 percent of women-led companies receive venture capital in the U.S.,” said Ms. Cartini. “Yet companies with women leaders statistically perform better and produce greater returns for investors.” Having recently hosted events in five major cities in North America, Chloe Capital looks for strong female leaders and innovators. It not only offers funds for its companies, but it also hosts meet-and-greets in order to foster connections between the entrepreneur and investor. These female business leaders receive advisors in order to keep the companies on the right track and learn how to better manage their organizations. Chloe Capital is not your average venture capital firm looking to make a quick profit. It’s part of a growing movement that’s creating a space where women can thrive in the world of business and entrepreneurship.

–6–


“VISIBILITY” STUDENT VOICES Asian Representation In The Film Industry By Austin Kim ‘23

By now, everybody has heard of the movie Parasite. Whether or not you’ve watched Parasite, you most likely know that Parasite is a Korean film that won 4 Oscar Awards in 2020, as well as 330 nominations and 193 other wins in different award ceremonies around the world. Parasite made history by becoming the first international film to win the Best Picture Award thanks to Bong Joon Ho’s (Parastie’s director) innovative and subtle ways of showing the difference in social classes in Korean society. The awards that Parasite has won gives Asian film producers the recognition they deserve. Parasite signifies how Asian film producers have finally overcome the long and hard history of under and misrepresentation in the film industry. Asians have been racially profiled before the film industry existed. One of the first cases of racist asian representation dates back to the 1700s, where Native European actors and actresses would dress up in traditional asian clothing and makeup. One of the first plays this happened in was in the play, The Orphan of China in 1763. This continued into the 20th century. Willian Elisworth Robinson was a man born in the late 19th century who eventually became a magician. What made him famous, though, was how he dressed and became known as. He wore a long black braid wig, like the Chinese did at the time, and a traditional Chinese garment. He would speak in gibberish that was meant to sound like Chinese and went by the name, “Chung Ling Soo.” This trend is called Yellowface. Yellowface is when white actors and actresses dye their skin yellow and use face prosthetics to make their eyes smaller. They also wear traditional asian clothing for their roles in films, which has been controversial among the Asian-American community. This is because Yellowface spreads depowering stereotypes of Asians to the rest of society, giving Asians bad representation in Western Society. The practice of Yellowface has died down in the 21st century, but this doesn’t mean that Asians are still misrepresented in the film industry. In the 1990s, dozens of TV shows and movies aired on American television depicting the American dream and lifestyles for Asian Americans. One of the first films was the Joy Luck Club. The Joy Luck Club is a movie about Chinese American women and their Chinese Immigrant mothers. They play chinese board games, eat chinese food, and tell

stories about their backgrounds. As the movie progresses, the younger and older generations learn more about the differences in American and Chinese culture and how they clash, leading to their stronger appreciation of where they come from and forming tighter bonds with each other. Other TV shows like All-American Girl were based on the same message. American Desi was another series that aired in the 1990s which depicted the lives of an average Indian-American family. The main character is a college student who tries to stray from his Indian culture. Eventually, he became friends with other college students of Indian descent, where he eventually learned to appreciate his Indian background and history. Even though these films were popular among the Asian-American community, the meaning of these shows were not perceived the same by other groups of people. They received low ratings and eventually became forgotten.

In the last years, with higher budgets and representation, films have begun to represent Asians without the stereotypes defined by Yellowface. One prime example is Crazy Rich Asians. Crazy Rich Asians is a movie famous for having an only-Asian cast. The movie is about two Asians from opposite backgrounds falling in love. To me, this movie shows how Asians come from various backgrounds, just like anybody else. It shows how Asians are very diverse and do not come from the same roots. Other examples of Asian representation in 21st century films are Reggie from Riverdale, who was white in the original comics but portrayed by an Asian-American actor in the film, and Lara Jean in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, portrayed by a Vietnamese-American actress. As the film industry develops, it is key that representation of people for their culture, religion, and sexuality are portrayed not by their stereotypes, but for who they are and what makes them unique. This can be seen from the long history of Asian representation in the film industry and how much it’s evolved.

–7–


DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES Latino When I first came to Windward in 9th grade, there was definitely a big culture shock for me considering I was coming from schools that were almost entirely made up of Latinos. I’ve definitely heard insensitive comments and encountered prejudiced people at school, but generally speaking windward is a welcoming, friendly community that I feel comfortable in and happy to be a part of.

East Asian To be East Asian at Windward can mean many different things, some of which are positive and some of which are negative. One way I look at the term is serving as a proxy for an entire culture uncommon in this community. I love to introduce East Asian concepts like music, food, and style. Sometimes, my Windward friends and I will go to Chinese restaurants, listen and/or dance to Korean and Japanese music, or even watch East Asian Netflix Series together! Some of these programs include Korean TV Dramas and Japanese Anime Series. I love to have conversations with people about East Asian pop culture because hearing about people talking about East Asia makes me feel welcome. Being East Asian at Windward, however, also comes with its negatives. I feel singled out, as if I’m different from those around me. While I’ve never been pointed out for my race, thoughts fill my head regarding my race everywhere I go. Will people think I look TOO Asian? How will

A few students were asked how it felt being a part of their minority groups at Windward. Here are their answers...

people think of me if I brought my own Korean food to school? Are people making assumptions about me because I’m Asian? Do people only think of Korean culture as Kpop? I’m constantly bombarded with these thoughts, as well as how I identify as East Asian outside of school. Outside of school, I’m considered “white-washed,” or somebody that doesn’t “act Asian” because I can’t speak my mother tongue fluently, don’t travel to Asia as much as my other friends, and a majority of my family is in America rather than Asia. At school, however, I feel as though I’m labeled as Asian by everybody. In any environment more or less, I feel like people see that I’m Asian and immediately associate me with stereotypes against Asians, like that I would be good at math, talk in an accent, or only listen to Kpop. I’ve never had any incident like that within the Windward community, but hearing about racist incidents on social media and from my friends have planted a feeling of fear in my head. Windward has ensured that I feel included and eased my fear of microaggressions wherever I go, yet microaggressions against East Asians are still common and will always sit in the back of my head.

African American In all honesty, being Black at Windward is great, but different. Before I came to Windward I always was at majority Black or Hispanic schools. So when transferring to Windward it was a lot different and took a bit of getting used to. Most of

–8–

the kids didn’t look like me, or talk like me, or have the same background I had. And even though Windward does their best to make everyone’s transition smooth and great, the truth is , wherever going into a totally different environment people aren’t always going to be comfortable right away. However, I was still able to make connections with people even if it seemed as if we didn’t have anything in common on the surface. Another thing I experienced going to Windward was a strange need to do more. I’ve always been outgoing and a more of a leader, but at Windward it only enhanced not only because of the encouraging environment, but also because I am a minority at the school, and I didn’t want to be known as “the Black kid that’s good at sports.

African American To be a Black student at Windward is definitely something. It comes with many ups and downs, but I try to look at it as a blessing. Although I have dealt with microaggressions at Windward, racist situations, and felt like a token sometimes, I honestly use these situations to grow and learn even further. I see it as an opportunity to educate, uplift, and include others whether it be through diversity clubs or my classes. I do try to express myself as much as I can because 1.) that’s how I am and 2.) I don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to invalidate or cause me to suppress my feelings. I make sure to get involved in as much as I can whether it be a diversity conference or extracurricular activities because I’ve learned that when you get involved and put


your name on things the harder it gets for people to take that away from you or erase you. As a Black student I find that I have to be very wary of how I do things because I don’t want it to be taken the wrong way or look like a stereotype. Lastly, I find that it’s very important to connect with others who look like me, but also communicate with those who don’t, and I don’t think I could have perfected all of this outside of Windward.

Gay Being gay at Windwrad is a double edged sword. On one hand it offers a community that allows you to be who you are regardless of your sexuality. However, many of the people who identify as LGBTQ+ are put on a pedestal, which defeats the purpose of “inclusivity”. Instead of helping those people to feel as though they are accepted and in no way treated differently than their peers, these students are bombarded with questions about how their sexuality makes them different than the students around them. It can cause people to feel as though they need to choose a definite label so that when asked such questions, they “fit” into a category.

Mixed My parents are from Pakistan and Lebanon, both are immigrants. I wouldn’t say I’m treated differently than everyone else for that reason at school, though my ethnicity does affect me. People really want to know what my ethnicity is, people are constantly asking me. Whether it be on the street or waiting in line, people attempt to casually ask me where I’m from or what languages I speak. I tell them I’m from here and that I speak English, but that’s not the answer they’re looking for.

Mixed It’s been challenging being mixed at Windward because you always feel like there isn’t a place where you can where you can fully be the truest version of yourself. When you’re with one group of people, you feel like half of who you are is misunderstood. When you’re with another group of friends, you feel like the other half of yourself is left behind. I’ve found it difficult finding an Asian community at Windward and I’ve also found it difficult to exist in fully White spaces. Most of the time, I feel like I’m categorized based off of my appearance, when really there is so much more to me than what is seen by others.

Mixed Having gone to predominantly white school all of my life, I have always felt a little out of place. At school, and with my school friends I am another version of myself: a more White-washed version. When I was younger, I used the White-washed version of myself to hide my insecurities about my background, which was so different than the majority of my classmates. These insecurities had to do with the food I brought to school being different from my peers, the way my household was run differently than that of my friends, or the fact that I did not have English speaking grandparents on Grandparents day at school. When I started Windward a lot of those insecurities went away, maybe because I was maturing and didn’t care what people thought of my culture, but I think the main reason was that I found a few people whom I could relate to because they were also mixed. I can’t say that there are a great number of us, but I have been put in many positions that allow me to be surrounded by other students that I can relate to. Not only have I found fellow classmates that can relate to a lot of the challenges and positives that come with being mixed race. I have also met staff and teachers at Windward that I relate to and who have helped me become more secure and proud of my identity.

–9–

Muslim As a Muslim American, I feel accepted in my Windward community. However, I believe there is a general lack of knowledge about my religious community. Many of my classmates and teachers know very little about my religion, which can lead to insensitivity. One of my goals at this school is to educate and provide knowledge to my school community about my religion.

Bisexual I tear off the outfit that took me ten whole minutes to put together, only to throw on a pair of basic black leggings and a hoodie. Why, one may ask, would I take off an outfit I feel so confident and pretty in, only to wear something that does not feel like me? Well, here at Windward I am constantly afraid of being judged by my peers or even my friends accidentally, not meaning to make me feel insecure. It is hard to be my true self because just to wear something I like, I repeatedly remind myself not to care about what other students are saying or thinking about me. Although this may be true, I am not perfect, and therefore I still struggle with worrying about being judged. With online classes, I have become less concerned about what others think, however I am still looking over anything I post online millions of times, get at least three different people’s opinions, and then finally muster up the courage to click “post”. Even some of my closest friends without realizing it, do not support me, and actually end up making me feel worse. I know that my friends would never intentionally hurt me, although, if my very best friends say that, then what are others I do not even speak to say about me? Indian India is a very diverse country that is made up of various cultures, foods, and languages. I feel as though I cannot speak on behalf of all of


Indian-Americans or Indians in our community, given that my family is from only one of the 22 Indian Provinces, but I can say that very little of Indian culture is represented. As a result, people tend to associate me with the stereotypes that showcase only a small portion of Indian lifestyle. The Windward community strives to have an inclusive environment, and I believe that I am lucky to go to a school that values diversity, however, I still feel that Windward has a long way to go in fully embracing all cultures. For example, as an Indian I am often put under the category Asian, but I think Windward tends to have a very narrow view of the diversity of Asian culture alone. I am often asked what race I am, and when I answer with Asian people will sometimes seem confused, and I will clarify that I am Indian, even though that isn’t an actual answer to their question. With there being such a small South Asian representation at Windward, I can’t say I belong to the South Asian community because there isn’t really one. Furthermore, I frequently question whether I can call myself Asian if my culture is not really represented under the “Asian” category at Windward. I do think I am very out of touch with my Indian heritage and sometimes overthink whether people will judge me for being “whitewashed,” and this adds to the question of my identity. Although Windward students or faculty have never directly made me feel excluded in this way, the lack of representation and the way that I concern myself over certain interactions has put a barrier between myself and others, making me unsure of my culture and what communities within the school I fit into.

– 10 –


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.