YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As part of the Youngstown City School District’s YOUprint 2030 strategic plan, administrators are releasing new details about how they are moving forward with plans to improve diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the district.
One of the first steps is an informational campaign to increase awareness and understanding of how the district defines diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Diversity – the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity,
gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes,
religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.
- Equity – the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all
while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of
some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations. Fairness regarding these unbalanced
conditions is needed to assist equality in providing effective opportunities to all groups.
- Inclusion – involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of
all people are recognized. An inclusive school district promotes and sustains a sense of
belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways
of living of its staff, scholars and community members.
“2020 has reminded us that we must talk candidly together about race—starting with focused
conversations about racism in schools, and YCSD is committed to embracing diversity, equity
and inclusion practices, said YCSD CEO Justin Jennings. “We are focused on creating a
culture that supports diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence. It’s time to stop looking
backward and rehashing old issues. We know systemic racism is real, equity and inclusion are
important, and we must work together to move forward to effect real change.”
Initiatives that have already started include support of the Black Lives Matter movement, professional development and diversity training, and creation of a racial equity committee.
As part of the racial equity initiative, black history will be embedded into the K-12 cirriculum, literature will be used to discuss bias and racism, and a parent/community literacy program will address systematic racism and bias.
Students will also be encouraged to share and discuss their frustrations with issues of racism and bias.
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