Community Life, Equity, and Inclusion at C&C

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At City and Country School, diversity is a positive aspect of our lives and an essential element of education. We recognize and respect that diversity exists in the languages we speak, the colors of our skin, our gender identities, gender expressions, ages, and sexual orientations, the traditions we observe, the structures of our families, the financial and educational resources in our families, and the special needs we may have. We believe that our separate heritages, beliefs, and choices of expression help to define us as individuals and that our commitment to learning about one another and the larger world unites us as a community. Differences and similarities of all kinds are acknowledged and explored with respect.

We assume an ongoing responsibility to reflect the diversity inherent in our city. With family as the primary source of traditions and values, teachers help children appreciate their personal backgrounds and identities, while accepting and appreciating those of others.

Click here to read the City and Country School Mission Statement and Philosophy.

What We Do

Beginning in the 2s, social studies forms the core of the C&C program. Concepts logically “spiral out” from the concrete to the abstract as children get older. The youngest children learn about each other, family structures, and the school community. Concepts then expand to the neighborhood, wider City, and eventually cultures long ago and around the globe. Children study the daily life of the people who lived before us and investigate many topics, including gender roles, belief systems, and social justice issues, always reflecting back to how history has shaped our lives today. Middle and Upper School students in the Community Roots program learn service skills and participate in service initiatives at C&C and in the greater community.

C&C’s Social Justice integration work continues with structure recently laid in place to sustain the work going forward. This whole-school collaborative process that identifies the developmental ages when children understand specific concepts about race, identity, and class has established a common language and inspired consistent school-wide conversation about social justice in the classroom.

The School’s Director of Community Life, Equity, and Inclusion oversees a Parent Diversity Group, chaired by parent volunteers. Together, they organize and support a variety of programs designed to celebrate and promote diversity and social justice within the C&C community throughout the school year.

Examples of Community, Life, Equity, and Inclusion Events

AFFINITY GATHERINGS FOR PARENTS: Groups meet throughout the year to gather in community and discuss topics of interest. Groups include Black and LatinX Affinity Group, LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group, Jewish Affinity Group, Affinity Group for Parents Who Receive Tuition Assistance, Parents of Multiracial Children Affinity Group.

AFFINITY GATHERINGS FOR STUDENTS: Older children (ages 11-13) meet monthly with a staff member to discuss social, home, school, and life issues. Gatherings include: Students of Color, LGBTQ, and LGBTQ+.

ANTI-RACIST FORUMS: These monthly forums are held as courageous spaces for all C&C parents, parental figures, faculty, and staff to continue the work of cultivating racial equity and justice at our school. Using our time together, we examine C&C’s structures, policies, programs, and practices as well as our individual and collective responsibility towards making C&C an anti-racist environment.

BOOK DISCUSSIONS: Past titles have included Family Life by Akhil Sharma and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates for adults, and The Wall by Peter Sis and March, Book One, a graphic novel by Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis, for students/adults. We have had a number of authors join in the discussion of his or her book.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Parents, in collaboration with the Director of Community Life, Equity, and Inclusion, create opportunities for community members to engage in developing ongoing relationships with the local community.

EQUITY COMMITTEE: Staff members interested in justice examine school policy to ensure the School community is providing an experience that upholds our inclusive values. The Committee works closely with school administrators to recruit and retain faculty of color, provide leadership opportunities in the School, and, with the full staff, develop elements of diversity in our curriculum.

TRUSTEE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE: Trustees, along with reps from all different constituencies, meet monthly to develop strategies that support the School’s commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion.