Communities In Schools believes that trans-formative relationships are the key to unlocking a student’s potential.

Children and youth deserve a caring community that empowers them to achieve their goals in the classroom and beyond. In order to do so, racism and other inequalities in our educational system and society must be acknowledged and addressed. The Communities In Schools of Washington network exists to build on student strengths and overcome systemic barriers through advocacy, partnerships and individualized social emotional supports.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion must lead everything we do. Our mission cannot be achieved without it, therefore we are dedicated to a steady journey of constant learning which consists of openness, discovery, and intentionality.

We commit to recruiting a talented and diverse team, and providing supports that make all staff feel empowered, appreciated, and successful in doing the critical work needed to fulfill our mission.

We serve students who come to us with different backgrounds and experiences in life. We must recognize and celebrate their diverse backgrounds, and help create equitable educational outcomes for them. We must also provide an inclusive environment so that their voices and perspectives can be honored. If this is to happen in a meaningful and authentic way, we must simultaneously do the same work within our own CIS team. We must apply these values and practices in our own day-to-day work, so that we can truly serve students from a place of respect, and ensure that they have opportunities to thrive.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion must lead everything we do. Our mission cannot be achieved without it, therefore we are dedicated to a steady journey of constant learning which consists of openness, discovery, and intentionality.

The journey to becoming an organization that truly reflects the diversity of our communities and celebrates the strength of our differences to create a more just and equitable world for all students starts with understanding what we mean when we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

While there are many interpretations of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we at Communities In Schools of Renton define these concepts as follows:

Diversity

DIVERSITY includes all of the similarities and differences among people, not limited to gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, immigration status, age, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, appearance, language, accent, ability status, mental health, education, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, and political perspective or affiliation. In a diverse environment, we believe that individuals with these unique voices and viewpoints must be heard and honored in meaningful, substantive ways. A person is not diverse—they are a unique, individual unit. Diversity is about a collective or a group and can only exist in relationship to others.

Blue, red, and green cogs working together
Equity

EQUITY recognizes and addresses power dynamics by making sure that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities. Equity takes into account that people have different access to resources because of systems of oppression and privilege, and seeks to balance those disparities. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society and taking action to address them.

Blue, red, and green cogs working together
Inclusion

INCLUSION exists when barriers to participation in decision-making processes are eliminated. It is celebrating, valuing, and amplifying perspectives, voices, and values that have been disadvantaged and/or marginalized. An inclusive environment creates equitable access to resources and opportunities for all, and helps individuals and groups feel safe, respected, engaged, and valued for who they are and for their contributions to community and society. In other words, inclusion without limits.

Blue, red, and green cogs working together

With these definitions at the core, we are adopting a multi-faceted commitment to build, refine, and rigorously assess a series of internal and external organizational DEI practices:

Organizational Culture

We commit to a culture that truly prioritizes the values of diversity, equity and inclusion by creating an environment of fairness and equity, and of respect and trust. This generates a meaningful exchange of ideas, fosters dynamic communication and collaboration, and facilitates durable working relationships where everyone can feel safe and free to learn, explore and discover.

Student Supports

We commit to creating the space for ongoing and open discourse about DEI, perpetuating a welcoming culture to create a richer context for community building, and being genuinely willing to consider new perspectives, while appreciating individual similarities and differences.

Talent Practices

We commit to recruiting a talented and diverse team, and providing supports that make all staff feel empowered, appreciated, and successful in doing the critical work needed to fulfill our mission.

We acknowledge the pursuit of DEI is a journey. We won’t get it right every time, but we commit to learning from our mistakes in the pursuit of progress. We aspire to model the challenges and opportunities of change, and the potential impact that can result when we collectively commit to DEI.

Blue, red, and green cogs working together

Anti-Racism Resources

From HOMEWORD: the official blog of Project Home

Trainings and Courses

Articles and Essays

Resources for Parents and People Who Work with Children

Videos and Film

Podcasts and Audio

  • 1619 (NY Times Podcast)
  • Code Switch (NPR)
  • Show About Race (Panopoly)
  • Intersectionality Matters! (Kimberlé Crenshaw)
  • Momentum: A Race Forward (Color Lines)
  • Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
  • Fare of the Free Child (Raising Free People)
  • Small Doses (Amanda Seales)
  • Therapy for Black Girls (Dr. Bradford)
  • Seeing White: Scene on Radio (Podcast series on whiteness)
  • Talking about Whiteness (Eula Bliss, On Being)

Social Media

Books

Where to Begin (designed for White allies)

  • Me and White Supremacy, by Layla Saad
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nahesi Coates
  • Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi
  • How to Be An Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi  
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarnation in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice, by Paul Kivel
  • Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, by Tim Wise
  • Witnessing Whiteness, by Shelly Tochluk
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, by Robin Diangelo
  • Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, by Andrea Ritchie

Going Deeper

  • killing rage: Ending Racism, by bell hooks
  • When They Call You a Terrorist, by Patrisse Cullors
  • Eloquent Rage, by Brittany Cooper
  • Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, by Charlene A. Carruthers
  • Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  • The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
  • Learning to Be White: Money, Race and God in America, by Rev. Thandeka
  • The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • They Can’t Kill Us All, by Wesley Lower
  • Many here Ibram X. Kendi Antiracist reading List

Mental Health Resources