Inclusion & Justice
Here at Los Encinos School we are deeply committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. We teach our students to speak up, advocate for change, and fully support the dialogue that change requires. We also believe that truly understanding others begins with understanding yourself. We empower our children with a sense of empathy, respect, and understanding for each other and everyone they meet. Together, we can conquer hatred, injustice, and bias in any form and make a better world.
Conversations with students are held in developmentally appropriate ways. Teachers are attuned to the different responses each grade requires and strive to create an environment where all our students feel supported, respected, valued, and safe. We allow our students to reflect, share, and express their thoughts.
With our older students, the conversations are more robust, and students are encouraged to ask the tough questions. In all grade-levels, we are dedicated to our virtues and values and strive to create a more inclusive, equitable, and just culture.
Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It is up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us.
In January, 2021, when the 5th and 6th graders were asked to reflect on the DEIJ work the school is doing, here are some samples of what the students wrote:
“I know a lot about diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and identity. One thing that I know about it is that these words are so powerful, and that all of these are so important because they are not only so powerful, but they help us make the world a better place. These words help us speak out and up in unfair situations.”
“I think we should focus on problems that are happening in this world, I believe that we should learn about this young so when we are older, we don’t believe that people could be treated differently.”
“I feel individually I am doing well, but I think we do better as a class all doing it because we bounce off of each other and create good things together.”