Equity & Inclusion at Otis
ABOUT THE COMMITTEE
The Equity and Inclusion Committee is made up of families, faculty, and administrators committed to furthering a climate of welcoming, inclusion, and equity at Otis. The committee meets regularly; meeting times are posted in parent communications portion of the Parent Community Portal.
AUSD Anti-bias resources includes the district's stance, lesson plans, and resources to help families discuss bias.
EQUITY & INCLUSION COMMITTEE MISSION AND VISION
(Note: What follows is the Mission and Vision Statement of the Equity and Inclusion Committee; you can find the school’s official Vision Statement here.)
The Otis School community is committed to creating a school culture where all members of different gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, races, ethnicities, nationalities, and physical and developmental abilities are welcomed, valued, and celebrated. We respect one another, treat our community members with kindness and understanding, and work together to ensure the physical and emotional safety of students, families, and staff. The Equity and Inclusion Committee aims to help the school community reach our school’s vision. We believe that teaching and learning are enriched when communities are equitable and inclusive.
WHAT WE DO
The committee is here to support
• anti-bias curriculum, training, and education throughout our Otis community
• a firmly rooted and real culture of inclusion and equity at Otis to help everyone feel welcome and respected
• anyone in our community involved in identity based bullying and discrimination
• restorative justice practices and proactive responses to incidents that threaten feelings of inclusion at school
The committee’s initiatives include
• planning grade-level meetups where all are encouraged to meet someone new
• arranging for the purchase of a Buddy Bench on the play yard
• bringing the Anti Defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” curriculum to Otis
• helping bring Soul Shoppe conflict resolution tools to Otis
• discussing best responses to incidents of bias and identity based bullying at Otis
The committee utilizes Independent Sector’s definitions of equity, diversity, and inclusion, which are based on language from the D5 Coalition, the Racial Equity Tools Glossary, and UC Berkeley:
Equity means providing fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
“Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equality is treating everyone the same.” Amy Sun
Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. Our definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values. We also recognize that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.
Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. It’s important to note that while an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. Increasingly, recognition of unconscious or ‘implicit bias’ helps organizations to be deliberate about addressing issues of inclusivity.
Otis has a strong community with die-hard fans. However, no community is perfect and there is always opportunity for growth and improvement. Recent hateful incidents across Alameda and within our own school community point to the fact that creating an environment of understanding, respect, and inclusion is a work in progress. Please join us to help make sure that all students, families, and staff feel welcomed here each and every day. Change happens when we get involved and venture outside of our comfort zones. We would love to have you be part of this critical work at Otis. The Otis Equity & Inclusion Committee meets regularly; meeting times are posted in parent communications. Feel free to contact us with any questions or input:
Information to come
The Alameda Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying based on actual or perceived ancestry, age color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, parental, family or marital status or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please go to the AUSD Non-Discrimination Policy page of the district web page.