and equity resources
Here's where you'll find resources, notes, and activities related to social justice initiatives at The Children's School.
Information on our TCS Equity Initiative
As a community, we are currently focusing on improving ethnic and racial equity in our educational environment. Our community chose the following definition of equity to guide our work:
"In an equitable community, each person is seen and valued with
acknowledgment of historical inequities and their impacts."
We are also mindful of other equity matters, and have not set them aside - such as issues of gender identity, sexual orientation, differing abilities, and other concerns. We welcome input and action on those points as well. Focusing on ethnic and racial issues primarily at this time is so that we can take action steps that make tangible improvements in those areas more swiftly. Such action will hopefully inform us on how to address other equity issues more effectively as well.
We invite everyone in our TCS community - faculty, parents, students, board, alumni, and staff -- to choose whichever meetings, events, committees, or lanes of interest appeal you, and to jump in or jump out whenever you wish. Please know that we welcome you to get involved at whatever level of depth, and whatever amount of time suits your interest and schedule - even if it's just briefly or a little bit, or even just sitting in on one meeting to see what we're up to.
We've put in place a five-lane approach to our action on equity, so that everyone can pick an that interests them. You are welcome to participate in more than one area, or jump in and jump out of a lane whenever you like. Here are our five lanes of activity:
Equity Programming for TCS Families
We envision parent/guardian-led group organizing equity programming through events/outings that families attend together. We’ll take advantage of the plethora of cultural and arts events available in the Chicagoland area, as opposed to creating our own events in-house. This allows us to seek out rich, authentic cultural experiences and support and make connections with groups doing that work.
Informational Programming at TCS for our Local Community
We want an administration-led group, supported by parents/guardians with connections to universities and cultural institutions and other experts. We’ll create workshops/talks/events around equity issues. We can position TCS as a public forum where experts come to talk about equity issues
We'd like a middle-level student-led group, with the help of parent and faculty advisors to bring forth student-initiated ideas and programming on equity.
Hiring for Greater Equity
Our administration/faculty group will continue to work on attracting, hiring, and retaining non-white teachers to achieve more diverse representation on our faculty/staff.
Structural Changes to Promote Equity
We'd like an administration/faculty-led group to consider possible structural changes to achieve greater equity. We’ll work with proposals such as an earlier start time to the school day to better support working parents/guardians, or making our meetings more accessible to parents with young children.
Teacher Training, Support, Initiatives
A faculty-driven working group to create support, professional development opportunities and initiatives around equity in an educational environment.
Re-examining our curriculum, our social justice curricular goals, and identifying ways to improve it in terms of equity.
We are also not wedded to this structure. If anyone has great ideas for more lanes of interest, or another term besides "lanes," or if we modify our definitions and goals as we grow on our equity journey -- that's great!
Where we are now in our equity work would not be possible without years of foundation laid by our "JUST DREAM" committee. One of the projects they completed is the following tool kit, which provides comprehensive resources and links to a variety of equity-related topics.
Anti-Racism Video Playlist
"Voices in Black and White:"
A Student's Documentary
and Capstone Project
A unique feature of our 8th Grade program is the Capstone Project. Each student chooses, plans, researches, and executes an in-depth project on a topic of their choosing that they present at the end of the semester.
Below is a short film exploring bi-racial identity created and produced by Liv, an 8th-Grade student at The Children's School:
"For my 8th-grade capstone project, I created a documentary about being biracial. I am a biracial girl myself, so this project was made to help me figure out who I was, and to share the voices of the biracial community to others. It involves voices from biracial women sharing their experiences being biracial, and not just being biracial, but being biracial women. They share challenges, stereotypes and successes of being biracial, and what life is like for them and their families."
Watch a recording of our recent online speaker panel event below: The Role of Schools in Promoting Racial and Social Justice.
Listen to Ms. Christina Martin in the video: "Progressive Education in a Covid/Black Lives Matter World
Equity Resources for Adults and Older Students:
No Longer Invisible: How Diverse Literature Helps Children Find Themselves in Books and Why it Matters
Books for learning about Equity for Younger Students and Family story time:
Resources on Non-Conforming Gender Safe Spaces
List of Books on Transgender Issues (the TCS Library has many of these)