- We commit to engaging in deep reflection and learning about the ways in which the systems of education, special education and mental health have perpetuated racial oppression and how - as an organization and individuals - we can disrupt this history.
- We commit to collaboratively exploring racial identity, historical racism, and implicit/explicit bias in relationship and conversation with students, school staff, and families.
- We commit to bringing attention to specific policies and practices that replicate oppression and inequity at all levels of our education system.
- We commit to being accountability partners, supporting our collective teams in untangling the many ways in which their explicit and implicit biases may impact their work.
- We commit to bringing attention and curiosity to actions that appear to stem from explicitly or implicitly biased beliefs and engaging in restorative processes to address the harm these actions have caused.
- We commit to raising up the voices of our students, families, and teams so that those individuals most impacted by identified problems can play a key role in cultivating solutions.
- Training & Professional Development: To support our work for racial equity, we have expanded our professional development offerings that can be provided at no or low cost for schools. We have been revising the training content within our Foundation Series to more explicitly: 1) address the links between trauma, historical trauma and racism, 2) create space for reflection on how personal identity influences practice, and 3) move towards both trauma-informed and healing centered language. We have also developed several new workshops. Check out our complete 20-21 training menu.
- Pandemic Response: One of the most pressing issues of equity facing the communities we serve is the ongoing economic and health impacts of the current pandemic. We continue to partner with our schools in joint grant development and fundraising. In addition, we are in the process of producing a companion piece to our book Unconditional Education: Supporting Schools to Serve All Students that articulates what it looks like to shift whole school practices of intervention into a virtual world. It will be available in the coming weeks and we hope this supports the work of others who are grappling with this transition.
- Crisis Intervention Approaches: We recognize that by the time children are experiencing an intensive mental or behavioral health crisis we have already largely failed at providing the support needed to keep them regulated and well. While we have made tremendous progress in recent years at reducing the number of physical holds and calls to the police in our Seneca programs as a whole, when we return to in-person services we seek to further reduce, and whenever possible, eliminate the use of these interventions. We are reviewing our training protocols and crisis intervention procedures to further strengthen the ways in which relational intervention tools can be used to prevent crisis. We are currently collaborating with several counties to develop alternatives to utilizing the police to initiate involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. You can expect to hear from our team about opportunities to get involved in advocacy efforts and recommended practice changes to support this goal throughout the year.
We are looking forward to a year of mutual teaching, learning, and growth!