Walden Equity (W.E.)
We recognize that each person in our community identifies in multiple groups in society and across a spectrum of cultures. These identities interact to create unique and complex individuals. Learning to understand and negotiate identity in multiple spaces is a life-long practice. Our work is for all to express pride, confidence, and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of others.
Our response to diversity is rooted in empathy, respect, understanding, and connection. We seek to be respectfully curious of one another and our lived experiences, and commit to examining diversity in social, cultural, political, and historical contexts. Developing language and knowledge to describe our similarities and differences allows us to exchange ideas and beliefs in an open-minded way. We work together to create a community where everyone has a seat at the table, and create a safe space to speak, share, and learn.
It is important to recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup, and institutional levels, and consider how we all have been affected by those dynamics. We foster investigations that challenge assumptions, conventional wisdom, and the status quo. We actively work to uncover attitudes, behaviors, and systems that exclude, silence and erase voices and histories.
We recognize that studying these ideas can only change us. Only then can we recognize our own personal responsibility to stand up to and make principled decisions when we notice or experience exclusion, prejudice, and injustice. We explore ways to actively participate in this community and the broader world to make improvements that foster diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion on all levels.
How to Get Involved
Walden Equity is here to help you process questions, discover answers, and reflect on your own journey. The work of W.E. is also Walden Explained. We intentionally create experiences to learn from one another, support each other in fostering our children’s growth, and provide the tools to process the experience of a progressive education for the whole family.
Walden Equity meetings are open to all parents/guardians. Meetings are once a month on a Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Child care is provided. The meetings are topic-based and are facilitated by members of the multicultural leadership team.
2019-2020 W.E. Meeting Topics
Why W.E.? Progressive Education Comes Home
What Do I Say When My Child Asks?
Identity: A Conversation for Multi-Racial Families
Looking at History Through a Social Justice Lens
Appreciations and Reflections
Using the four pillars of identity, diversity, justice, and action, Walden Equity hosts several events throughout the year.
W.E. Presents: Annual Partnership with Parent Education
W.E. Presents: An Evening of Arts and Culture
W.E. Presents: A Night of Affinity
FEAST (Families Eating and Storytelling Together)
In the fall months, W.E. sponsors the Family Photo Project, which celebrates all the families of the Walden community with family photo portraits and text that introduces each family to the community. We invite all new families to come for their family photo and encourage returning families to re-take their pictures every two years in acknowledgement that what constitutes a family is an ever-evolving process.
Incorporate the 'Multicultural Guidelines for Communicating Across Differences' Language Into Your Conversations
VISIONS, Inc. Guidelines for Inclusivity
Try on each other’s ideas, feelings, and ways of doing things for the purpose of greater understanding. Keep what you like and let go of the rest at the end of each interaction, discussion, session, or meeting.
Okay to Disagree; Not Okay to Blame or Attack Ourselves or Others
When we let go of the need to be, think, or act the same, then differences can be fully expressed and valued.
Practice “Self-Focus” and Use “I” Statements
Begin by talking about your own experience. It is helpful to make “I” statements when speaking about your experience, rather than saying “you,”“we,” or “one.” When you intend to refer to others, be specific about them by name or group. This invites and creates space for multiple perspectives to be shared—especially when they are different from yours.
Practice "Both/And" Thinking
Both/and thinking keeps the lines of communication open, whereas either/or/but language implies that there is one way to think or do. Both/and creates collaborative, inclusive thinking.
Notice Process and Content
How we get there is just as important and what we do and say.
Be Aware of Intent and Impact
Be aware that your good intentions may have a negative impact—especially across racial, gender, or other cultural differences. Be open to hearing the impact of your statement.
- If you want to “stretch” yourself—seek the feedback from the individual before they bring it to your attention.
- Notice who’s active and who’s not, who’s interested and who’s not, and ask about it.
Confidentiality with regard to personal sharing is important.
You can carry the work of the group, your own learning, stories, and perspectives, and the public work from the group. Allow others to tell their own stories.
- Ask first to see if an individual wants to follow-up on the initial conversation.
- Do not use any information shared negatively towards a progress report or against a supervisor.