Diversity, Equity and Action
Embedded in Miquon’s philosophy is the belief that a strong school community contains a rich mix of individuals who contribute a variety of talents, styles, opinions, and experiences to the learning process. We are constantly striving to reach out to families and staff from a wide variety of economic, racial and cultural backgrounds. We welcome the assortment of personalities, interests, and learning styles that Miquon children bring to our classrooms.
For many years, Miquon has had a Diversity Committee including members of staff, parents, and the Principal. This group, along with the diversity coordinator and/or multicultural curriculum coordinator, supports the school in raising awareness and facilitating conversation about issues of inclusion. It brings guest performers and speakers to Miquon, and generates programs that celebrate the existing diversity within the school community.
“In their local, year-long SEED seminars, SEED leaders and colleagues use their own experiences and those of their students and children to widen and deepen . . . curricula and make communities more inclusive.” — Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity
Recently, we launched a Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) group for Miquon staff, led by one staff member who attended a week-long, in-depth SEED training. The function of the group is to extend the SEED training to Miquon staff, as well as provide an opportunity to come together on a monthly basis to talk about issues surrounding diversity, equity, and action. This work then impacts classroom discussions, curriculum development, and educational activities across the grade levels at Miquon.
Other Staff Work
The Miquon staff bring a depth and richness of experience to the classroom on topics of diversity and cultural competency. Their professional training and personal experiences combine with our students’ own perspectives, prior experiences, and cultural backgrounds to shape classroom meetings, discussions, and even curricular study. Miquon staff regularly join the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference.
In addition, several Miquon staff meetings and in-service days are devoted to work on diversity, equity, and action. Over the past few years, for instance, the Mazzoni Center has helped us further support all children in their developing an understanding of gender identity, gender presentation, and the continuum of gender. Other recent work has focussed on implementing tools from Responsive Classroom, a program that strives for education that is built on a safe and joyful learning community.
Our staff has also heard from a wide variety of experts, including recent presentations by:
- Howard Stevenson, University of Pennsylvania
- Rosetta Lee, Seattle Girls’ School
- Jaymie Campbell, Mazzoni Center
- MK Asante, author of Buck
Board Strategic Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Action
In 2015, the Miquon School Board of Directors appointed a steering committee to assess the community’s thoughts around equity and diversity. Through surveys and community meetings, the group is striving to provide opportunities for Miquon community members to share their individual voice on this important topic. Ultimately, this work will inform the development of a strategic plan for diversity, equity, and action at Miquon.
Events and Special Programs
Events are seen as on (but not the only) method to raise awareness and celebrate the diversity of those around us. Recently, Miquon hosted the area’s first-ever Elementary School Diversity Day, an awareness-building event put together by the Greater Philadelphia Diversity Collaborative. Over one-hundred students and teachers from several area independent schools participated in art projects, cooperative games, team building activities, and sessions ranging from “We’re in this Together” to “What is Social Justice?”
Other recent programs for our students and community include:
- Participation in the MLK Day of Service (with projects benefitting Cradles to Crayons)
- An African-American girls affinity group
- Screenings and group discussions of films such as “Brother Outsider“
- Parent gatherings of the Multicultural Alliance
Resources for Parents
We have assembled a resource list for parents containing books, films, and other materials.
Check out the multicultural book list for young and older children from Big Blue Marble.