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What started as a conversation between members of the community and administration throughout the last school-years, has in the 2020-2021 school-year taken form of a multi-year commitment which holds the entire foundation accountable to the vision that inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism become fully integrated into every aspect of Ecolint’s existence at all times.
Ensuring this is done to a high standard is a promise to our students, employees and families, in an effort to bring us closer together and closer to our mission of “Educating students to be global citizens with the courage and capacity to create a just and joyful tomorrow together.”
We realise that it is not merely enough to pride ourselves on diverse backgrounds and over 120 nationalities brought to our three campuses by students, employees and families. In order to be truly diverse, we must see diversity as the active recognition and embracing of difference. To ensure equity we must acknowledge when some members of the community may be or may have at times felt excluded. To promote inclusion, we must create an environment in which all members of our community feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to fully participate.
We commit to nurturing a climate that embraces all differences and offers respect not just in words, but in actions as well. This process is only possible through mutual learning. Since August 2020, we have made it a priority to create more opportunities for dialogue, for reflection, about ourselves and about others. Only through continuous learning do we optimise our education, increasingly providing a consciously inclusive culture for all our members. Through dialogue and training, we commit to developing a mutual understanding, a respectable and effective way to communicate and enough places and spaces for healing.
Our I-DEA vision requires both a top-down and bottom-up approach, with learning opportunities on personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels. In the first phase, we have learned from the community members who have had the courage to step forward and help us create accountability. Only by increasing awareness and interpersonal and intercultural competence, can we consider ourselves part of a community that strives to be truly inclusive through diversity, equity and anti-racism. Only through these efforts can we truly live up to our Charter that demands all of our activities "be based on the principles of equality and solidarity among all peoples and of the equal value of all human beings without any distinction of nationality, race, sex, language or religion".
Ecolint’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism commitment
In our efforts to increase I-DEA at Ecolint, senior leadership and the board have committed to twelve critical success factors (CSF) created by VISIONS to help streamline all of the foundation’s efforts and initiatives.
The first priority of the foundation steering committee, comprised of members from our entire community, will be to determine what the action plan will look like per school-year.
Allowing all members of the community to determine which -isms are of initial concern, we have taken an approach that puts anti-racism efforts at the forefront in the first year of I-DEA initiatives. Using tools and learned methods to identify racism at a systemic, inter-personal, cultural and personal level has proven to help identify and understand other forms of oppression and the extents to which we still have much work to do. We emphasize that there is no hierarchy of oppression, and every effort is part of a larger transformation.
An example of a recent presentation used to define I-DEA and establish guidelines for effective communication across differences, can be found here.
Together, we have and will continue to identify the institutional objectives, which include but are not limited to more diverse hiring, increased retention, evaluation and support for all community members.
Each campus was supported through the creation of a I-DEA committee, which combines staff, student and parent representatives from each school (Early-Years, Primary, Middle, Secondary).
From these I-DEA committees, representatives will be sent to work in the foundation steering committee, which is made up of the Director General David Hawley, I-DEA advisor Yasmine Sadri, board member leading I-DEA initiatives René Bujard, additional members of the board, and wider community.
Members of the campus I-DEA committees and their working groups have had an initial two day training in inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-racism by VISIONS.
Members of the foundation steering committee will undergo intensive VISIONS training before the 2021-2022 school-year. This will allow these members to become certified facilitators.
In parallel, all members of the campus I-DEA committees are asked to share personal objectives and define how any institutional outcomes can be supported on a campus level. They then promote and work toward these goals in their respective staff, student or parent working groups.
The Conférence des Directeurs will receive personalized training by VISIONS starting March 2021