Quick links to:
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.
VISIONS Guidelines for Effective Communication
By adopting the success factors by VISIONS (see below), 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are examples of documents used to define I-DEA and establish guidelines for effective communication across differences:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See above for diversity committee training.
The Conférence des Directeurs will receive personalized training by VISIONS starting March 2021.
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.
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.
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.