Diversity Matters: Our Ongoing Commitment

April 20, 2021

A+ Schools is committed to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in our work with A+ schools, educators, Fellows and the broader education community. Below is a timeline highlighting our Diversity Matters initiative, an ongoing effort to strengthen our programs and services.

 

  • Fall/Winter 2018/2019. A+ begins new efforts to recruit and retain more diverse A+ Staff and A+ Fellows to better reflect and serve K-12 teacher and student populations.
  • February 2019. Dolores Chandler (Build from the Heart) trains A+ staff and Fellows in the importance of diverse representation in the arts. Internal resource and discussion boards are launched. A+ Fellows initiate group study of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
  • May 2019. A+ continues the courageous conversation about the rich definition of diversity and reflects on personal and professional impact of a year of training.
  • Summer 2019. A+ commits to increasing the use of diverse contemporary artists as exemplars in all A+ workshops.
  • October 2019.  Natalia Torres del Valle (nataliatorresdelvalle.com) provides training to A+ staff and Fellows on how to create more inclusive experiences for the schools we serve.
  • Fall/Winter 2019/2020. A+ reevaluates and adjusts the A+ Fellows recruitment process, investing in increased outreach and recruitment, and lowering  potential barriers to the application process.
  • February 2020. A+ staff training continues to build a culture of asking big questions, having courageous conversations, and continuing to expand the borders of what we know about each other and ourselves.
  • March 2020. A+ pivots to online professional development in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • June 2020. A+ staff responds to Black Lives Matter and focuses on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies. A+ Fellows begin group study of materials from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  • Fall 2020. In partnership with the NC African American Heritage Commission, A+ Fellows produce arts-integrated lesson plans for My NC from A to Z by Michelle Lanier.
  • September 2020. A+ staff begins training A+ School leaders in Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) and SEL topics.
  • October 2020. A+ staff and Fellows explore the role of SEL as a best practice tool for healing both pandemic and racial trauma.
  • Winter 2020/2021. A+ partners with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to deliver an Arts + SEL webinar series for all N.C. teachers.
  • February 2021. Mandatory SEL and DEAI prompts are added to all A+ professional development planning documents.
  • March 2021. New A+ Apprentice Fellows cohort selected; 60% are artists or educators of color.
  • Current and Ongoing. A+ continues to be part of larger discussions about DEAI at the N.C. Arts Council and with our larger A+ network.

To offer feedback or for more ideas on how to increase diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in your school, contact us.