“2020 has reminded us that we must talk candidly together about race—starting with focused conversations about racism in schools, and YCSD is committed to embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, said Justin Jennings, YCSD CEO. “We are focused on creating a culture that supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and excellence. It’s time to stop looking backward and rehashing old issues. We know systemic racism is real, equity and inclusion are important, and we must work together to move forward to effect real change.”
As part of the school district’s new YOUprint 2030 strategic plan, four specific areas are identified to create this culture. One of our first steps is to create an information campaign to increase awareness and understanding of the way YCSD defines DIVERSITY, EQUITY, and INCLUSION.
EQUITY – is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations. Fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in providing effective opportunities to all groups.
2. Youngstown City School District will create methods to seek feedback from employees, students, and community members to determine the school district’s effectiveness in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
3. The Youngstown City School District will realize an increase in the number of diverse employees to support and provide a diverse and inclusive workforce.
• Professional Development and Diversity Training
o All administrative staff has attended the Be a Difference Maker (anti-racism) workshop, and individual schools have or will have this training soon.
o Additional programs will be conducted to build and support a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and excellence.
• A racial equity committee has been created to focus on strategies to:
o embed Black history into the K-12 curriculum
o use literature to review and discuss bias and racism
o develop a parent/community literacy program that addresses systemic racism and bias
o create ways to allow students to share and discuss their frustrations with issues of racism and bias
This content was originally published here.