The Path to Building an Inclusive Space

Tihmily Li, Communications Officer
One of the key imperatives of Greenwood’s new Strategic Plan is to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive community that fosters a sense of belonging. That ongoing work involves every part of Greenwood’s community, from our staff and students to our parents, guardians, alumni and past parents. Recently, several staff members attended the National Association of Independent School (NAIS)’s virtual People of Colour Conference (PoCC) to learn from the experiences of independent schools across the USA and Canada. PoCC offers Greenwood staff the opportunity to gain new knowledge on what to consider and implement as Greenwood strives to foster an inclusive space.

“Reckoning with Impacts, Rolling with Just Intents” was the main theme for PoCC. The theme reflects on the political climate where institutions must acknowledge and navigate the inequities that have permeated our society. Sessions also focused on how independent schools are addressing those inequities and bringing inclusiveness into their communities. Our staff will discuss key takeaways and lessons learned from PoCC with regards to what Greenwood can implement to reach our strategic goal.

“PoCC gave me an opportunity to examine how we can represent and affirm the intersectionality of our students’ identities in the curriculum,” says Linda Hu, one of Greenwood’s Apprentice Teachers. “Especially in predominantly white spaces, we need to challenge ourselves and ask: How can we go beyond just attaining diversity to sustaining diversity in our school spaces? We must begin to move from individualistic actions to collective and systemic reforms that are transformative and lasting. As Liz Kleinrock puts it, social justice is not an ‘add-on’ or ‘option’ to our roles in education. It must be purposefully integrated into our on-going practice.”

Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811
We acknowledge with gratitude the Ancestral lands upon which our main campus is situated. These lands are the Ancestral territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Anishinabek and the Wendake. The shared responsibility of this land is honoured in the Dish with One Spoon Treaty and as settlers, we strive to care for the land, the waters, and all creatures in the spirit of peace. We are responsible for respecting and supporting the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. When away from this campus we vow to be respectful to the land by protecting and honouring it. We will create relationships with the people and the land we may visit by understanding the territories we enter and the nations who inhabit them.
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