9th Grade Seminar - Inclusive Leadership
Required - 9th grade
The Leadership component of the 9th grade seminar is taught using the model of "Inclusive Leadership." This model states that effective leadership is culturally inclusive, and requires leaders to have a strong cultural self-awareness, possess intergroup dialogue skills, and understand the ways that stereotypes and prejudice impact their perceptions and interaction with others.
Inequality in the United States
Elective - 11th and 12 grade
This course introduces students to systems of social inequality in the United States. The structural, interpersonal and psychological dimensions of oppression are investigated. Course material explores the ways that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and religious oppression have developed over time as well as the ways they impact each of us every day. As a result of this class, students will be able to link course concepts to their observation and experience of the world around them, develop an awareness of their own complex social identity, and gain the tools needed for productive dialogue about systems of power, privilege and difference in the United States.
Co-Curricular Student Programs
Formed in Spring of 2010 by students who had taken the 9th grade seminar Inclusive Leadership Class, Justice League has adopted the following mission statement:
“Justice League is a group of students committed to learning and teaching about the impact of systems of oppression on our lives and others. As future leaders of society we take seriously our obligation to use our education to create a more socially just world.”
Justice League is responsible for planning the annual day-long Martin Luther King Day program, and other educational opportunities such as the campus screening of the new film about media images of women called “MissRepresentation.”
Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)
This annual conference is hosted each Spring by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. Walker’s students have taken an active role in the conference by attending as well as by serving as workshop facilitators for their peers.
Ethel Walker students hosted and served as facilitators for the inaugural “Hot Topics” program sponsored by the SPHERE consortium in the Fall of 2010. Walker’s students have been active participants in all subsequent Hot Topics program held at consortium schools through the year. The student-facilitated discussions are a chance for students from the consortium schools to come together to talk with each other about issues of their choosing. Topics for the 2010-2011 school year included:
- “The Skin I’m in: Why is it so hard to talk about race?”
- “Hip Hop-- Sexism and Homophobia”
- “Interracial Relationships: Does race or culture matter?”
Faculty and Staff
Equity and Social Justice Team (ESJT)
ESJT is a group of faculty and staff who meet twice monthly to guide specific faculty and student development initiatives focused on social justice education.
- Carol Clark-Flanagan, English and History teacher
- Genie Lomba, Development Office
- Kim Overtree, Math teacher
- Suzanne Piela, Science teacher
- Sheri Schmidt, Director of Equity and Social Justice
Educational opportunities for faculty coordinated by ESJT:
- A visit by Tim Wise addressing white privilege in schools
- Workshop about understanding social identity and systemic racism
- Workshop on affirming identity in your curriculum
- Discussion of “lessons learned” from required faculty summer read - Beverly Tatum’s book, Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria
- Presentation about serving the needs of East Asian students
- Workshop on understanding socio-economic class as a component of identity