Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, and Families:
Welcome back to the 2022-2023 school year! I hope you took time this summer to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
Since the 2017-2018 school year, under the leadership of Assistant Superintendent Kristen Herbert, we have made substantial progress in engaging the School Committee, Administrative Team, faculty, staff, students, and parents respectively, in the following initiatives including, but not limited to:
Professional learning opportunities that increase their cultural competency by learning about aspects of our identity that influence our beliefs and value systems, unspoken biases, and different cultures we are unfamiliar with;
Difficult conversations about systemic racism and other forms of oppression and their impact on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color;
Curriculum revisions that emphasize culturally responsive and relevant pedagogies to affirm students’ racial, ethnic and social identities and their ability to recognize and confront inequities in our society.
Through a series of DEI Roundtable discussions last year, we heard compelling perspectives, appeals, and recommendations from diverse stakeholders across our school community. Our discussions affirmed our Districts’ commitment to teaching and learning through an equity, anti-bias and anti-racist lens and to advancing Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in our schools. Through the collaboration of the PreK-12 Cultural Competency Steering Committee, DEIB Strategic Planning Committee, Administrative Team, and School Committee, the culmination of our work has yielded a comprehensive Five-year Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Anti-racism.
As the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), I remain confident in our District’s commitment to this work inside and beyond the walls of our schools. I believe that our shared vision, actionable goals, and objectives in the Strategic Plan will transform our schools toward on a more equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist community for our employees, students, and their families. To sustain this work, we must hold ourselves accountable to intentionally cultivate environments of inclusion and belonging and model centered on equity and anti-racism. We must be bold in standing up and speaking out against all forms of prejudice and oppression and understand that “to feel a sense of belonging is the outcome of effective diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives” (Jennifer Tardy, Diversity Recruitment Trainer).
As the 2022-2023 school year begins, I ask that you take the time to review and familiarize yourself with our five-year Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Anti-racism, and stay up to date with monthly DEIB Newsletters. If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me via the DEIB Feedback Form or email.
Andrew K. Nyamekye, Director (He/Him/His)
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Mission-Vision Statement for DEIB and Anti-racism in Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle Regional School District
In the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Public Schools, we embrace our diverse community regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, religion, disability— mental or physical, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. We welcome, respect, value, and encourage our employees, students, and families to share their culture with those they work, learn, and interact with to allow a greater sense of cultural humility for all.
We understand the commitment it takes to cultivate healthy learning and working environments that balance psychological safety with accountability. We accomplish this by modeling behaviors that foster equity, inclusion, and belonging. A modeled behavior recognizes the uniqueness of each learner and embraces the strengths of our neurodiverse students, faculty, and staff who learn, think, and behave in unique ways. We practice risk-taking and work to confront and dismantle systems of oppression, privilege, and bias that perpetuate discriminatory ideas and actions in our policies; these policies disproportionately impact our community’s historically marginalized groups.
We commit to bolstering equity and justice in our academic and workspaces, an environment where our diverse employees and students have equal access and opportunities to thrive professionally and academically. We will hold ourselves accountable for practical anti-racism actions to serve everyone in our community, especially those who are historically marginalized. In the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Public Schools, we will lead by example and show others how to be the change we wish to see in our schools.