Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Community Conversation - Race, Equity, and Moving Forward, together
In the summer of 2020, the school district began organizing a community event where our school community could all come together to have a conversation around eliminating racism and social injustice. The event was scheduled to take place on July 23, 2020. After the pandemic hit and the school year was disrupted, the event was postponed. The event was rescheduled for December 7, 2020 from 7:00-8:00pm. This Community Conversation was organized by a committee of parents, students, administrators, and other professionals. We discussed where we are now, and where we want to be, as we strive for an inclusive and anti-racist school community. This was the beginning of the process in determining how to move forward.

Click here to watch the Community Conversation on race, equity, and moving forward, together.

Equity Action Network (EAN)
A group of students from Seaman High School began meeting formally on November 11, 2020 with the following purpose:
  • To learn about the social and academic experiences as students of color in a predominantly white school.
  • Develop a system to capture SHS student experiences and perceptions
  • Plan a presentation of SHS student experience and perceptions and share personal stories at the Community Conversation scheduled for December 7, 2020.

EAN continues to meet twice each month under the leadership of Director of Secondary Education Danira Fernandez-Flores, Director or Early Education and Elementary Education Rebecca Kramer, and Director of Special Services Dedra Raines. The purpose of EAN is to:
  • Make Seaman High School inclusive
  • Ask hard questions & have truthful conversations
  • Educating & spreading the word
  • Talk about race

Seaman High School teachers Lisa Martinez, Ashley Womack, and Anna Smith-Garcia are taking on leadership roles as the group moves forward with their purpose.

Equity Council
The USD 345 Equity Council began meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2021 and will continue to meet each month during the school year. This group is composed of members from the community as well as representatives from the Equity Action Network student group. Frank Henderson, Seaman Board Member will chair this council. This is an advisory committee formed to assist the district with the responsibility of ensuring equitable and fair educational opportunities for all students by:
  • Allocating resources fairly and equitably,
  • Providing diverse learning opportunities, and
  • Demonstrating a commitment to equity and fairness across the school district.

Lively Paradox
The Lively Paradox is a group that assists other organizations in developing leadership skills and developing cultural competence to enhance their ability to leverage difference as a source of strength. Their team will provide a presentation at the 2021 school year opening convocation with USD 345’s staff regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion. Administrators and instructional coaches will participate in a more in-depth training around the same topics.

District leadership first discovered this organization when the book “Lively Paradox” was recommended as a good source to discuss the role of leaders in promoting equity. Principals, district administrators, instructional coaches, and secretaries participated in a book study with their respective leaders during the 2019-2020 school year.

Participants will:
· Restore energy, passion and commitment for the work
· Understand their role in creating the school climate
· Know the importance and how to further develop empathy for themselves and others

Diversity Leadership Conference
On May 5, 2021, 13 EAN student ambassadors and 3 sponsors attended the Virtual Student Leadership Conference. Bishop Seabury Academy hosted the 1/2-day event.

The featured speaker, Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington was joined by Dr. Lewis, superintendent of Lawrence schools, and Danica Ross, Diversity Coordinator for Lawrence schools.

Ambassadors and sponsors heard a keynote, presentations from lead speakers, and several breakout sessions. Highlighted were discussions about race, micro aggressions, and creating safe spaces where BIPOC students can be open and brave about their experiences.