Faculty Participate in Virtual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Experience
Put yourself in other people’s shoes. That is what more than 125 Masters faculty and staff members had the opportunity to do during a virtual professional development day on Monday, January 4. They participated in FACTUALITY, an interactive group activity about identity and its impact on ourselves and others.
Head of School Laura Danforth opened the session by stating “diversity, equity and inclusion at Masters is here to stay. We have so much work to do. This is not optional work for any of us.”
Director of Equity and Inclusion Karen Brown organized the workshop with Ethical Leadership Coordinator Lee Dieck and Director of Learning Initiatives Jason Hult. “The beauty of this game is that it helps us to understand the role systemic racism plays in our country and day-to-day lives,” said Brown.
“Not only was it informative, but interactive and a great way to help one understand what it would be like to have a different identity from their own,” explained Equity and Inclusion Coordinator and upper school science teacher Eric Shear. “This set us up nicely to discuss our curriculum audit and start the work of making our curriculum more responsive to the needs of our student body.”
“The experience made me even more aware of my own privilege. It empowered and inspired me to bring some concrete tools back into the classroom and into conversations with my students as well,” said middle school music teacher Katie Meadows.
FACTUALITY facilitator Queenstar Akrong kept things going smoothly throughout the online session. “As Queenstar said, this was a 90-minute session, but we’ve been at this for 401 years. There is still so much to learn and understand. A lot that has been erased from our history books or purposely ignored,” added Brown.
Meadows hopes for more meaningful connections and growth like this within the DEI space. “No matter what your role or area of expertise is, this important work is relevant for all of us in order to move forward as ‘a better Masters,’” she said.