Workshop on "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice" Sheds Light on Creating a Sustainable Systematic Change Toward the Diversity Discussion in Education
As the fall break commenced on Friday, October 2, Dallas International School staff and faculty attended a special In-Service Day on our Churchill campus. The day was centered around workshops encouraging learning for the virtual attendees. One standout workshop, titled, “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice,” was part of a continued initiative in Dallas International School's commitment to the school's core values. This workshop was designed to open the minds of all who attended and promote ways to facilitate progressive discussions about diversity with students.
The workshop was hosted by Jen Cort, an educator and clinical social worker who travels the country while working with groups to create sustainable and systemic change regarding diversity and inclusion. She has presented at national conferences, hosts a diversity institute and is a frequent contributor to national news publications (with her work having been quoted in both The New York Times and The Washington Post). Jen pushed attendees to learn how definitions for bias, privilege, diversity, and equality have evolved over recent years, how the shift in language has changed from equality to equity, and how justice fits into it all. Ms. Cort then challenged the ways staff conceptualized thinking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and provided great insight into the mindset of how today’s younger generation views these concepts. Through her own personal research, Jen shared how these contexts and definitions are different for students today, helping staff get better insight on how to communicate surrounding these topics with youth.
Using this new understanding of the progressive language of our students, Ms. Cort linked it to our current state of society. “It was remarkable to listen to the historical perspectives our students have, based only on what has occurred in their short lifetimes. To think that today's teenagers do not know a world without many of the pivotal historical events we have lived through was both surprising and educational to hear discussed. I walked away enlightened and so much wiser on how to communicate with students regarding these important issues,” shares Wendy DeSpain, English Curriculum Coordinator.