We would like to introduce the newly forming Brackett Elementary Diversity & Inclusion Group (DIG). The goal of the group is to raise awareness about diversity & inclusion in order to provide a safe learning space and welcoming environment for all our children and their respective families regardless of race, color, religious views, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, citizenship, age, ancestry, family/marital status, sexual orientation, disability, source of income, and military status.
To help guide the development & mission of the group we are planning to hold professionally facilitated listening sessions with Dr. Carlos Hoyt to learn from you about your experiences, as well as your children’s experiences, pertaining to diversity and inclusion in the Brackett School. Dr. Hoyt holds a PhD in social work, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and serves as a consultant with Arlington Public Schools on diversity and inclusion issues. Please note that we will be documenting the experiences that are shared and will respect requests to refrain from documentation upon request. Two of the listening sessions are open to all adult Brackett Community members including faculty & staff on October 1st and October 4th.
Please note Mrs. Z has graciously offered to sit out of the listening sessions, in order that participants might feel comfortable to speak freely and she is looking forward to learning about the communities' experiences in a debrief meeting following the sessions.
The October 3rd session is focused on parents and/or parents of children who identify as persons of color. This will be a closed session focused on providing a safe space for adult Brackett community members who identify as people of color to share their experiences and ideas. If you, your partner, or your child identify as a person of color, this session is intended for you. The intent of this session is to center the stories of people of color in a safe and affirming environment.
We are also providing an anonymous survey for those who are unable to attend or who would prefer this format for sharing. All survey responses received by Friday, October 5th will be reviewed by the Brackett DIG steering committee to help in forming our mission and deciding on our goals and projects for the 2017-2018 school year. The survey can be found at http://bit.ly/BrackettFamilySurvey. If you would prefer to talk one-on-one with a DIG group member, please email us directly at BrackettDIG@gmail.com.
We plan to hold additional events in the fall focused on other marginalized groups, and we welcome suggestions for focus topics. In the meantime, here are some additional groups that may be of interest to you:
-The Rainbow Alliance, a faculty-led, student group in the Brackett community, centered around LGBTQIA+ concerns. https://www.queermystic.org/uploads/4/9/4/8/49485123/17.18_ra_curricula.pdf
-Brackett Parents of Children with Special Needs http://www.arlington.k12.ma.us/sepac/index.html
-Arlington’s Diversity Task Group, is working closely with AHS parents this year. Meetings are held in the lower level of the Jefferson Cutter House in Arlington Center. Enter through the parking lot. The next meeting dates are October 15, November 19, December 10 from 7-9PM. For more info contact Michaiah Healy, diversitytaskgroupARL@gmail.com
Thank you for considering this invitation to share your experiences and ideas with us. Your input will help us work towards making the Brackett Elementary School and our community more culturally competent and a safe and supportive learning environment for all children. If you have any questions, or If you would prefer to talk one-on-one with a DIG group member, please email us directly at BrackettDIG@gmail.com.
Warmly, Kristina Fontanez, parent of third grader Lynette Martyn, parent of Kindergarten & second gradersBrackett Elementary Diversity & Inclusion Group (DIG) Co-Chairs
To learn more about Dr. Carlos Hoyt, please visit his website http://www.carloshoyt.com