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Creating a Diverse and Inclusive School Culture

TXTS4 Leaders List

Creating a Diverse and Inclusive School Culture

Kimberly St Clair

As leaders, we know the benefits of having a diverse staff that includes a range of ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.  But having a variety of experiences and perspectives isn’t enough. What steps can be taken to ensure that your campus culture is one in which people are appreciated and accepted?

Diversity is the mix; inclusion is getting the mix to work well together. 

Any diversity and Inclusion efforts must begin with you, the school leader.  So, educate yourself.  Leaders and their teams benefit from things like unconscious bias training and practice in active listening to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone’s opinions are appreciated.  Use a diversity and inclusion “filter” to focus on making better decisions.  Use language that advances inclusion rather than hinders it.  For example, referring to an older woman as “young lady” seems harmless on the surface but actually connotes that “old” is bad.  Elicit feedback to help identify any staff or groups who are feeling marginalized to support increased belonging and engagement.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offer these six practical strategies for creating a more inclusive environment.