Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism (I-DEA) at Ecolint

 

Our Vision

Quick links to:

Our Critical Success Factors (CSF)
Our priorities in 2020-2022
Aligning our efforts foundation wide
I-DEA Definitions and resources
Webinars

For the last two years, Ecolint has, in line with its mission to “Educate students to be global citizens with the courage and capacity to create a just and joyful tomorrow together” embarked on a journey to be pro-actively inclusive, diverse, equitable and anti-racist.

As we continue this journey, we strive for openness. Openness to continue to be aware of how we can know better to do better. To be open to each other, open to ourselves and open to, for and through our students who join us from all over the world. This requires us to be intentional, to keep our promises to make the necessary changes for each and every one of our community members to be able to show up at Ecolint as their full selves, and feel like they belong. 

In the 2022-2023 school year, we have added to our list of partnerships in this work. Thanks to our collaboration and many in-person and online work with AIELOC and ECIS, we have decided to co-create an international task force, uniting all DEIJ teams and their efforts in international schools worldwide.

We will be hosting our first event on 14-15 October 2022. Learn more here

We are committed 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 committed to twelve critical success factors created by VISIONS to help streamline all of the foundation’s efforts and initiatives from 2020-2021 onward. These success factors have been poured into an accountability and cohesion strategic plan for the 2022-2023 school year.

CSF #1 - Senior Leadership Commit to a Multi-Year Initiative
Starting with the Ecolint board in September 2020, followed by the Conférence des Directeurs in October 2020, Ecolint senior leadership has committed to making I-DEA a priority in the everyday functioning of the foundation. 

The first priority of the foundation steering committee, composed of members from our entire community, will be to determine what the action plan will look like per school-year. 

CSF #2 - Include All the Historical-Isms
Ecolint commits to combatting all forms of oppression.

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. 

CSF #3 - Commit to Adopting a Unified Conceptual Approach
This translates to choosing a teachable, learnable and skill-building approach for all members of the community. By adopting the success factors by VISIONS, as well as their guidelines and establishing some of our own, the Ecolint community is increasingly exposed to a common language to engage in these discussions to be most efficient and effective moving forward as a foundation. 

An example of a recent presentation used to define I-DEA and establish guidelines for effective communication across differences, can be found here.

CSF #4 - Plan and Account for Strategic Action at Each of the Four Levels: Personal, Interpersonal, Institutional, and Cultural
The first several months of this school-year required a personal and cultural observation and understanding. Realising that not everyone in the Ecolint community is on the same part of their I-DEA journey, means that much of the efforts in the first year have been made to understand each individual’s part of the I-DEA journey.

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. 

CSF #5 - Create an Internal Inclusive Diversity Council and Publish the Process by Which it is Chosen and How it Will Operate. 
Though our foundation exists on three different campuses, each with their unique dynamics and ways of working, the ultimate goal is to bring three parts together within a whole approach. For this reason, we have created both campus I-DEA committees, while in parallel creating a foundation wide I-DEA committee to bring all the campus specific work together.

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 have been sent to the foundation steering wheel, 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. 

CSF #6 - Define and Allocate Adequate Resources to the Initiative
In addition to increased funding, the commitment requires an allocation of time and energy to make room and space for these initiatives in the current structure of each school and campus. 
CSF #7 - The Inclusive Diversity Council Commits Itself to Becoming a Learning Laboratory
The I-DEA committees, both on campus and foundation levels, have a makeup that guarantees continuous learning between the members of the 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 have undergone an initial training with VISIONS and will continue their learning to help them become facilitators for change in their respective roles.

CSF #8 - Identify both Personal Objectives and Institutional Outcomes for the Inclusive Diversity Council
The first task of the foundation steering committee and its members is to establish institutional outcomes that can be laid out in an action plan per school-year.
In parallel, all members of the campus I-DEA committees were asked to share personal objectives and defined how any institutional outcomes can be supported on a campus level. They then promote and work toward these goals in the form of campus projects in their respective staff, student or parent working groups. 
CSF #9 - Commit to Adequate Training for the Inclusive Diversity Council and Senior Management
See above for diversity committee training. 

The Conférence des Directeurs will receive personalized training by VISIONS starting March 2021.

CSF #10 - Senior Management Commit to Learning and Modeling Culturally Competent Behavior
The Conférence des Directeurs will receive ongoing coaching and training by IDEA experts to support this multi-year initiative. They will be held accountable for always promoting and modeling I-DEA values, within their work and within their teams. 
CSF #11 - Define Performance Development Competencies According to Demonstrable Skills at the Four Levels: Personal, Interpersonal, Institutional and Group
Through a clear teachable and learnable approach to these initiatives, the goal is to leave no one behind and educate all members of the community on what it means to be actively inclusive, diverse, equitable and anti-racist. 
 
See themed months explanation.
CSF #12 - Ensure All Activities Within the Initiative Create an Affirming, Respectful Experience for All Participants
We are emphasising the importance of VISIONS's guidelines for effective multi-cultural dialogue. Increasingly, as we engage in more dialogue, we strive to promote an intercultural, pluralistic vision that leads to real inclusion. 

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I-DEA priorities in 2020-2022

The following priorities were established in 2020-2021, the first year of I-DEA at Ecolint, with the help of staff, board members, parents and students.

A commitment to organise necessary training and learnings for the entire school community in order to  have the right tools needed for recognising and understanding situations of oppression when they occur, and to deal with them with confidence, courage and integrity.

  • Staff, students and parents on each of our campuses have undergone a training programme which introduces them to inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism and most importantly, how to implement these concepts into their daily functioning at school. 
  • Appointed members of each campus will undergo a four-day intensive training programme as Foundation-wide advocates for I-DEA, ensuring that their respective groups of staff, students and parents have the necessary support to learn and exchange. 
  • Professional development (PED) days, town hall meetings, foundation-wide events dedicated to the promotion and understanding of I-DEA concepts, and speaker series will ensure that all members of the community have exposure to educational opportunities. 

Providing community-wide orientation, support and retention by recognising the variety of needs among our community members. One way to ensure that voices are heard at all times, is by creating a coalition in the form of a campus I-DEA committee, which includes staff, students and parents. The creation of a parallel foundation-wide steering committee will oversee the campus committee work, support them, and set institutional goals with its representatives of the three campuses and board members, and other important stakeholders from our community.

Providing a wider range of possibilities for students to reflect on the importance of I-DEA concepts. This includes, but is not limited to, increasing opportunities to celebrate the diversity that exists within the school community by organizing events, inviting speakers and providing narratives that actively ensure inclusion by promoting diversity and nurturing equity while increasing representation for our students. Student anti-discrimination groups are being supported by leadership on each campus, they are represented in the I-DEA committees.

Create moments for the entire community to reflect on the written statements and promises made to combat oppression of all forms. 

  • An example of this includes Campus des Nations reading their student-written anti-discrimination statement out loud to all members of the community on the UN international day for the elimination of racial discrimination. This year’s UN chosen theme was ‘Youth Standing Up Against Racism’. 

Increase diversity in staff by actively recruiting for cultural competencies. Other efforts include providing scholarships for aspiring teachers from diverse backgrounds, and partnerships with academies in order to recruit more diversely. 

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Aligning our efforts foundation wide

For change to happen on personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels, we must first identify what binds them all. A common ground to look for what is already there, and what can become.

The following themes serve as a reflection for all members of the community: what do these concepts mean? How are they showing up in our current teachings? How do they manifest both internally and externally? When are they no longer guaranteed? 

These themes were brought up in staff and professional development meetings, parent meetings, student meetings and more over the school year 2021-2022. They serve as a way to look at all international days, all work in and outside of our community from a common perspective. 

The themes are meant to make us think about our own identities, the identity of others and our common goal as stated in our mission statement: "educate students to be global citizens with the courage and capacity to create a just and joyful tomorrow together".

  1. Peace and Storytelling
  2. Mental Health and Well-Being
  3. Belonging
  4. Differing abilities and human rights 
  5. Decolonizing International Education
  6. Social Justice
  7. Anti-Discrimination as an art (Poetry, Writings, Artwork)
  8. Our time on Earth
  9. Intercultural Dialogue 
  10. Pride

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I-DEA Definitions and Resources

Click here to open the document

 

Webinars

These monthly intersectional webinars on I-DEA themes were open to students, staff, parents, alumni and other international school members worldwide during the year 2021-2022.

  1. September - Stories of and for Peace
  2. October - Mental Health, Community and Self-Compassion
  3. November - Fostering a Culture of Belonging at Ecolint
  4. December - Celebrating and Supporting the Differing Abilities at Ecolint
  5. January - Decolonisation as Reducing Harm
  6. February - Social Justice as a Personal Responsibility
  7. March - The Art of Anti-Discrimination
  8. April/May - The Intersectionality of Culture and Climate
  9. June: Pride in all of its forms (link to come)
     

SEED (Seeking Educational Equity through Diversity) Monthly meetings below were run by Ecolint teachers who facilitate their peers in conversation to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward social justice.

  1. September - Peace
  2. October - Mental Health
  3. November - Belonging
  4. December/January - Differing Abilities and Inclusion
  5. March - Art and Anti-Discrimination
  6. April/May - Intercultural Dialogue

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