JPS DEI Journey
In 2018, JPS conducted an equity audit. This equity audit provided valuable information on gaps within the district in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The findings provided to us in 2019 of the JPS Equity Audit are located here: 2018 JPS Equity Audit
After reviewing our Equity Audit we began to understand the depth and breadth of DEI. Although committed to this work as a district we began to see the misconceptions of our staff, students, and community in what exactly DEI is and where we should focus our efforts to see true meaningful change and growth throughout the district. It is important to understand that DEI is a journey to changing culture and true personal reflection and that not everyone comes to the table at the same place in this journey. There is no overnight solution and DEI requires crucial conversations that are uncomfortable but lead to real cultural understandings. Additionally, during this time we also experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and experienced inconsistent times in our schools to do this work as we were not always fully in person at many different times throughout both 2020 and 2021.
In the spring of 2021, when we finally began to see our students and staff back in our buildings regularly and assess the sheer magnitude of the effects of the pandemic both academically and socially, we were excited to renew our commitment to our DE&I work. At JPS, it has and always will be important and imperative that all children have access to quality, effective, and challenging education that has meaning and relevance in their lives.
Our work with Jay B. Marks, Ph.D. in the 2021/2022 school year centers on diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural proficiency training that results in culturally responsive leadership for principals and teachers. Cultural proficiency is a lens through which leaders and staff can work effectively with different groups of people to ensure all students are successful in their pursuit of academic excellence and workforce readiness.
Dr. Marks is providing training to our staff in the following areas:
- To develop the knowledge, skills, and understandings necessary for working effectively with students from diverse cultural backgrounds (ie race, ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, religion, or socio-economic standing).
- Provide the ability to assess culture by becoming aware of one's own culture, as well as the culture of our colleagues, our students, and their families.
- Provide the ability to demonstrate a value for diversity by embracing the differences that exist between oneself, the organizations, and our students and families.
- Assist our staff to develop the skills and capacity to manage the conflicts that are caused by diversity and to learn about cultural differences and how to respond to them effectively.
- Coach our leadership and teachers on the willingness to work and influence the culture of the District so that its policies and practices are informed by the guiding principles of cultural proficiency for the purposes of creating an equitable environment for ourselves, students, and the community.
- Facilitate community and student forums around DE&I work. (Student Fishbowls - 3/21/22, 4/18/22 & 5/2/22, Community Forum - 4/18/22)
Diversity - The broad set of visible and invisible dimensions that encompass the many ways in which people, processes, and perspectives differ. Dimensions include but are not limited to: Abilities/Disabilities, Age, Culture, Education, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Learning Styles, Military/Veteran Status, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, and Socioeconomic Status.
Equity - Equity results from ensuring that everyone has what they need to succeed. It includes identifying and removing personal and systemic barriers that limit the full participation of all individuals and groups.
Inclusion - The act of creating involvement, environments, and empowerment in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate.
Racial Equity Terms Defined
JPS recognizes that part of the work and success of DEI comes from not only crucial conversations but a common language. Please visit this link to learn and understand DEI terms and their definitions
Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources:
Dr. Marks JPS Opening Day PowerPoint: Dr. Marks JPS Opening Day PowerPoint
Race and Racism: An Introduction
Racial Consciousness: Racial Identity Development
Video: Being 12
Racial Equity: Avoiding Racial Equity Detours
Handout: Becoming Anti-Racist Framework
Video: How To Be An Anti-Racist
Article: Avoiding Racial Equity Detours
- Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month
- Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race
- Summary of Racial and Ethnic Identity Frameworks and Models
- Creating Your Own Racial Autobiography
- Critical Race Theory Resources
- DEI Facts & Myths