Diversity and Equity
The Baldwin community embraces each person as a unique individual, recognizing and celebrating our differences and commonalities. We commit to fostering and modeling respectful engagement, open dialogue and thoughtful programming around diversity and equity.
The Diversity and Equity Committee will support this mission by:
- Continuing to be mindful of Baldwin's core values of Learning, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Compassion in every engagement, dialogue and programming decision;
- Continuing to examine the relational and instructional practices that support the transition toward being more inclusive and responsive to our students, their families and Baldwin faculty and staff;
- Facilitating education, discussion and experiences to ensure that everyone at Baldwin is seen, heard and supported.
Baldwin's Lower School has daily class meetings where teachers and students discuss various topics and foster relationships.
- Diverse literature in the Lower School library as well as classroom libraries that teachers can utilize to create a welcoming, nurturing environment where all students can see themselves.
- Incorporating Global Learning into the Curriculum. Teachers encourage students to listen to different perspectives, organize and participate in diverse groups, respect and embrace cultural differences, effectively communicate with others and to try to create positive change in the world.
- Social Studies curriculum explores a number of different cultures, traditions, religions, customs, etc. to encourage girls to respect cultures that are sometimes very different from their own.
- Inviting parents who express interest in sharing their culture with the class. Sometimes this includes a lesson about a holiday they celebrate or telling about where they were born, explaining similarities and differences.
- Encouraging professional development in areas of globalism, diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Continue to develop service projects that directly connect to the curriculum to make it an authentic, meaningful experience for students.
- "Mix it Up" lunches in Lower School. Students are encouraged to sit next to new friends each day and try to get to know classmates better.
- Kimochi/Mind Up Programs: Program aims to help students navigate complex social relations with peers as well as build key skills that will help them to become productive, globally minded members of society.
- Lower School Assemblies: Assemblies each Friday are community building events that invite a number of different outside speakers and performers.
Baldwin's Middle School continues its commitment to building community where everyone feels safe, supported and belongs. To that end, Middle School highlights include:
- Weekly advisory meetings where girls learn to be respectful, self-advocating, responsible students. This time provides for an opportunity to foster relationships with peers and faculty/staff members and discuss issues relevant to middle school life.
- Creation of the MS "Everyone Matters" video, showcasing our differences and commonalities.
- Participation in the National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, along with many other schools across the country which resulted in being selected as a Mix It Up Model School. In addition to this one day, the MS "mixes it up" weekly by having the students sit with their homeroom or advisory groupings. By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, these on-going experiences encourage the girls to identify, question and cross social boundaries.
- MS Clubs such as Black Student Union provide a setting for girls to discuss topics and concerns as well as share questions around diversity and equity. This club assumes an integral role in educating our community through conference and assembly participation.
- Annual participation in MS Diversity Conference at The Haverford School. Students came together from multiple schools representing four different states. The most recent theme was "Brave or Blind." There are lines of difference whether it be race, gender, different ability, etc. How do we make connections across these lines of difference and have the courage to be brace and take action? The Keynote Speaker was DeVon Jackson, Professor and Director of Student Engagement at Villanova University.
- Continued opportunities related to service and global experiences embedded within the Middle School approach of combining education and authentic service, reinforcing the need for the girls to be informed, empathetic and active.
- Continued partnership with MS families by sponsoring speakers such as Deborah McCoy, President of Educational Development Services. This Fireside Chat focused on today's issues surrounding middle school aged students and social media.
There are many opportunities for our Upper School students to explore
- Student Conferences - the following conferences are just a few our students will participate in or help facilitate over the course of the year: Mid Atlantic Region Diversity Conference, Diversity Dialogue Day, Class/Socioeconomic Status/Financial Literacy Conference, The Haverford Middle School Diversity Conference and Latin@/Latinx Youth Conference.
- "Building Bridges" - an annual Upper School community day that is spent addressing diversity and identity at Baldwin and in the wider world. Students have the opportunity to hear a keynote speaker, participate in student-led discussions and activities throughout the day.
- Upper School Advising Program - Students are placed into small groups with a faculty member who they meet with on a weekly basis for their entire Upper School time. Advising sessions allow for open discussions on current events, topics from school assemblies as well as working together on group service learning projects. This valuable time provides an opportunity for students to foster strong relationships with peers and faculty/staff members.
- Clubs and Affinity Groups - Baldwin offers a wide range of extracurricular organizations to help foster relationships and understanding. Some of these groups include: the Asian Students Association, the Black Students Union, Diversity Club, The Hispanic Students Association, the Jewish Cultural Alliance and Spectrum (a group for LGBTQ+ students and their allies).
- Middle School Director, Cindy Lapinski participated in a three-day NAIS Equity Design Lab facilitated by Zaretta Hammond. Cindy came together with independent school teachers, administrators and counselors from across the country. Content from Ms. Hammond's book, Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain, guided the learning and discussion.
- Middle School Spanish Teacher, Gabbie Alvarez-Spychalski will again participate in the annual NAIS People of Color Conference to explore this year's theme of Voices for Equity and Justice Now and in Every Generation: Lead, Learn, Rededicate and Deliver. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. PoCC equips educators at every level with knowledge, skills and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic and intercultural climate in their schools. Gabbie has also been a lead presenter at the Biennial PAIS conference and the Latinx Youth Conference in NYC with her workshop entitled Cultural Competency: Theory into Practice which focused on addressing microaggressions in the classroom.
- Upper School Spanish Teacher, Miryam Harvey participated in the Race Institute for K-12 Educators. The workshop created an in-depth and personal experience as participants supported one another to develop a positive racial identity. The mission of the workshop was to learn how to better support the positive racial identity of students. Miryam was also a co-presenter at the Biennial PAIS conference and the Latinx Youth Conference in NYC for the workshop titled: Cultural Competency: Theory into Practice, which focused on addressing microaggressions in the classroom.
Gabbie Alvarez-Spychalski, Middle School Spanish Teacher
Shelley Evans, Coordinator of Global Initiatives and Service Learning Pre-K - Grade 12
Miryam Harvey, Upper School Spanish Teacher
Cindy Lapinski, Middle School Director
Megan Rohricht, Lower School Grade 1 Teacher
Tracy Stevens, Middle School Administrative Assistant
The Committee can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.