Time and space must be given for our staff to learn, take risks, and build their capacity to better understand race and systems of oppression and to further improve school climate. By 2019, District 65 will require that all staff, including district, school, and board leadership, participate in the two-day Beyond Diversity seminar. During the 2017-2018 school year, District 65 expanded the number of SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity Cohorts) to engage even more staff members. In addition, two of the seven cohorts offered include participation by D65 family members.
Beyond Diversity is a two-day seminar, facilitated by affiliates of the Pacific Educational Group. Beyond Diversity has been described as a powerful, personally transforming two-day seminar designed to build community, teach a protocol for discussing race in ways that are productive, insightful and helps participants navigate the predictable pitfalls in interracial, multi-cultural conversations about race. Participants engage in thoughtful, compassionate, exploration of race while beginning to understand the impact of racism on student learning and investigating its role in institutional academic achievement disparities and its influence on the culture and climate of our schools.
SEED is a 10-month seminar that meets monthly for three hours and offers participants the opportunity to explore and build capacity to promote institutional change by examining their own education in relation to race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual identity, abilities, and age, and how these factors currently impact their school, classrooms, community, or workplace.