Rooted in this belief, the Portland Village School strives to create a space where each individual is a valued member contributing to the health of the whole community. PVS seeks to foster an educational community where each individual is honored and valued. We welcome diversity of race, culture, spirituality, neurology, gender, identity, ability, and orientation. We believe the essential work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion aims to promote a healthy social life and is the responsibility of every individual in our community.
PVS is committed to undoing structural oppression and racism in the education of our children for a more just and safe world. We strive to create equitable opportunities for underrepresented populations. We aspire to experience inclusion as the act of co-creating community that honors and recognizes the worth and dignity of all people.
An inclusive community promotes and sustains a sense of belonging by practicing respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members. We work together to create, embrace and support a diverse, equitable and inclusive community where everyone feels respected, connected and valued.
~ Educator Equity Work at PVS ~
As educators at Portland Village School, we are committed to taking action in dismantling systemic racism. The action that we are taking includes not only teaching through a lens of cultural awareness with a focus on the truth but also decentering the white narrative.
As a staff, we have had access to various trainings, seminars, and workshops where we engage in examining our biases and highlighting the necessity to do anti-racist work in the classroom. We have had the opportunity to work with members of our community with facilitation from the Center for Equity and Inclusion and Resolutions Northwest. We continue to center ongoing racial equity and Restorative Justice practice in our professional development and in our classrooms.
Additionally, staff have have been given the opportunity to take part in trainings to deepen their personal understanding and connection to the issues. Trainings have included seminars “Am I Karen” and “Institutional Equity” offered by Resolutions Northwest. Staff have also taken social justice classes with Teaching Tolerance, attended Multnomah County Library School Corp’s “Talking Equity and Social Justice Book Workshop”, and participated in an online book discussion of “Anti-Racist Baby” by Ibram Kendi. PVS staff members attended a breakout session at a recent state law conference “The Path to Diversity and Inclusion: Recognizing and Responding to Implicit Bias in Employment”. Staff have also chosen to participate in school board equity training sessions as well.
Members of our faculty began an anti-racist summer book club to explore how they can become better allies and interrupt racism. They began with the book “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo and will continue that discussion and work through the year. Teachers have made intentional shifts to emphasize the rich cultural diversity and multicultural aspects of our curriculum.
As our cultural lens widens as a society, we commit ourselves to adapting the curriculum to suit historical truths and continue to meet the needs of the children in our classrooms. Educators at the Portland Village School recognize this work as an essential journey of mindful teaching practices conscientiously centered through a lens of racial equity.
~ Click for More Resources About Equity and Inclusion ~
(Here are some compiled from OR Physicians for Social Responsibility website)
White Allies, Let’s Be Honest About Decolonization (Kyle Powys Whyte for YES! Magazine)
Racial Justice Assessment Tool (Western States Center)
Racial Justice Dominoes (Western States Center)
Broken Treaties (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
A Guide to Gender Identity & Affirmation in the Workplace (Yale University)
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (Peggy McIntosh)
Portland Isn’t as Liberal as you Think (Zahir Janmohamed)
The Time is Now (Pete Shaw)
Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for Clinical Practice (Derald Wing Sue et al)
Public Health and Social Justice Website (Martin Donohoe, MD)
I am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck)
Responding to Everyday Bigotry (Southern Poverty Law Center)
Our Town (This American Life)
Un-gentrifying Portland (The Guardian)
How Racism Make Us Sick (David R. Williams)
African Americans Against the Bomb (radio interview with Vincent Intondi)
Detour-‐Spotting for White Anti‐Racists (Joan Olsson)
Invisible Victims (Holly Hunter)
The Impact of Racism on Children's Health (Perri Klass, MD)
Slavery in America: The 1619 Project (The New York Times)
Acknowledgment of the Original People of the Land
We would like to acknowledge that our school sits on the traditional
lands of the Indigenous People of the Lower Columbia. We offer recognition and deep respect to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and to the many indigenous people, federally recognized or not, who have cared and resided on this land since time immemorial through centuries of genocidal policies and systemic racism. We honor the resilience and tradition of the Cowlitz Nation and Indigenous People of the Lower Columbia with gratitude.
~ PVS Board of Directors Equity Statement ~
As a school community, we acknowledge that there are historic and persistent inequities at the societal level in how students of color are perceived, disciplined, and supported in institutions across the nation and around the world. We recognize the harm of unconscious bias and stereotypes. Addressing the inequities that exist while raising the achievement of all students is a priority at every level of our organization.
Click here to read the full Board Equity Statement
We pledge to continually examine our role in perpetuating and combating institutional racism and strive to become an ally in reducing these inequities in our community. We commit to the ongoing work in aligning our policies and practices to interrupt racism and all forms of oppression.
At PVS we aim to listen for understanding, and to recognize and support every member of our community. We strive to provide a safe and inclusive environment and an education which focuses on acquiring the abilities necessary to continue life-long social and emotional development. At PVS we recognize that the path to equity and a healthy community is an on-going process, and we remain dedicated to continual reflection and growth. The Portland Village School understands that this work is a microcosm of the larger work happening in the broader society, and we dedicate ourselves to this work as a community.
With growth as a goal, PVS works to align curriculum, resources, celebrations, and festivals so that they reflect the diversity of our student body and the richness of our diverse society. We employ a code of conduct and behavioral and social responsibility, called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), which emphasizes individual and community responsibility. We have begun to integrate Restorative Justice as a tool for repairing and strengthening interpersonal relationships for all stake-holders.
The Portland Village School supports the need for evolving work around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. To promote a safe and inclusive space for living and learning, we implement certain elements of Restorative Justice practices as a community to help build, maintain, and repair relationships:
- Engagement - Students, families, colleagues, and guests with different backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the life of the school.
- Thoughtful Listening- We strive to listen for understanding and through an equity lens so that we may work respectfully with all people - through empathy, tolerance, and the acknowledgement of multiple perspectives.
- Use of Inclusive Language - We strive to use language that is sensitive and respectful, and that may be carried on to a broader context, conscientiously avoiding systemically biased language
- Reflection - We acknowledge the mistakes and the work to be done, and then focus on growth and improvement, reaffirming our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in all aspects of our organization.
Our goal is for all Portland Village School community members to thrive in a positive and healthy educational environment that embraces Waldorf educational practices and fosters a community exemplary of respect, inclusion, compassion, warmth, and positive interaction. We aspire to provide an education that focuses on continual social, emotional, and intellectual development. We recognize that the path to the pursuit of a healthy and vibrant community is through a commitment to the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and is an on-going process of growth and improvement.
Through honest and compassionate dialogue and an active and ongoing analysis within an authentically diverse context, every member of our community may reap the benefits of expanding awareness, wisdom, and capacity to act as responsible global citizens.