Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Wyoming Seminary board-approved diversity statement
It is unquestionably true, beautiful, and good that the world is made up of diverse people. Wyoming Seminary strives to build a learning environment that reflects the disparate cultures, religions, languages, backgrounds, identities, and perspectives of our world.
To that end, our school seeks to encourage the application of students and the hiring of faculty, staff, and administrators who represent diversity. Sustaining and nurturing such a community is an ongoing process, and we will continue to foster the respect, empathy, and curiosity that allow it to flourish.
DIVERSITY, Equity AND inclusion INITIATIVES
- All-faculty anti-racism summer reading and reflection project
- Formation of Faculty Diversity Council
- Creation of Wyoming Seminary Alumni of Color Network
- New domestic student orientation on internationalism
- Student and faculty demographic and school climate survey (Upper School only)
- Development of restorative practices response led by trainer counselor to address incidences of bias in an educational and empathetic manner to build understanding that actions have impact
- Culturally sustaining pedagogy workshop with Lorena German for all faculty
- Establishment of ongoing student-led and faculty supervised affinity groups for underrepresented identities
- Formation of Black Students Alliance
- Faculty and student forums on civil political discourse
- Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. programs, hosted most recently by Berhenda Williams, followed by workshops with student diversity leaders
- Multiple faculty attendance at NAIS People of Color conferences
- Attendance by Upper School students at Student Diversity Leadership Conferences
- Partnership with Narrative 4, an organization that uses storytelling and art to build empathy
- Global member of Round Square, an organization dedicated to the IDEALS of Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership, and Service
Wyoming Seminary is committed to the continual growth and development of young people in our community. We recognize that education is our platform to encourage understanding, respect, and unity. We will continue to offer a variety of ways for students to learn about and understand differing ideologies and perspectives and, as part of this, learning how to productively engage in conversations with others from diverse backgrounds.
CARRYING OUT OUR COMMITMENT
- Professional Development and Expectations – Engage faculty and staff in round table discussions about microaggressions to understand different perspectives.
- Student Leadership – Unite the groups representing the diverse members of our community into a larger diversity panel which will meet once a term. These groups will suggest and facilitate optional opportunities to explore a variety of topics and ideas as well as listening skills. The school will support this work through the regular attendance of community members.
- Programmatic Changes – Incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion emphasis in the Student Life Curriculum. Through topics like internationalism, democracy, wellness, and more, help students both find their voice and listen to other’s stories.
- Academic Focus – Faculty is actively exploring ways to diversify the voices and stories heard in all subject areas.
- Community Development – Develop a continuous and progressive educational plan around issues of equity, diversity, and civil discourse. Roya Fahmy, Upper School Co-Director of Diversity, attends a National Association of Independent Schools-offered professional meetup every two weeks with DEI practitioners from around the country. The current focus of these meetings is the importance of social/emotional integration in DEI programming.
SPRING TERM 2021 UPDATES
- Kathleen Hanlon and Roya Fahmy met with Caroline Blackwell, Director of DEI Initiatives for the National Association of Independent Schools, who offered guidance on the design of DEI programming.
- School representatives from the DEI Committee attended a seminar, offered by the National Association of Independent Schools, titled, "Managing Community Polarization Around DEI Issues."
- The team of Tom Morris, Rachel Bartron and Roya Fahmy put together a presentation, titled, "Professional DEI Development for Educators." It included lessons on microaggressions and macroaggressions; how to have difficult conversations; appropriated symbolism; and restorative practice circles.
- Roya Fahmy attended a training at the International Institute of Restorative Practice.
- Rachel Bartron attended a training in Restorative Practice.
- Colleen Lewis is currently attending online training, which addresses mental health and wellness in the Asian student community. She and Roya Fahmy have done multiple trainings and have a rich professional background in working with Caucasian and BIPOC students.
- Roya Fahmy, Nicholas Fritz and four students attended a four-part workshop that advocates for social justice issues. The workshop was sponsored by Seeds of Peace, a 30-year-old international conflict resolution organization.
- Harry Shafer has arranged different groups of students to present on their cultures, ethnicities, home countries and foods during assemblies. Recent presentations have been about France, Germany, Poland, South Asia and the Middle East.
- Dr. Jennifer Rhoads and Roya Fahmy attended a training in Philadelphia with Narrative4, a program that uses storytelling to develop empathy in the world's adults and youth. Jessica Gensel worked with them to design a program for freshmen about the concept of stereotyping.
- Roya Fahmy presented her program on Appropriated Symbolism to administration, faculty and staff.
- Tom Morris and Roya Fahmy brought in consultant Ber-Henda Williams as a speaker and workshop facilitator for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
- Tom Morris, Rachel Bartron and Roya Fahmy designed programming to address the shooting of women of Asian descent in Atlanta, the historic trial of Derek Chauvin and other recent events.