The current political climate has contributed to a documented increase in outright acts of hostility and hate based on race, religion, immigration status, ability status, sexual orientation, sex and gender. We know this is making visible biases and animosity that have always been there, and that it also creates an opportunity for people to consider their reactions to hateful incidents.
Students and faculty in schools around the St. Louis area have pushed their institutions to make their communities more inclusive learning environments for all. In the past few months, NCCJ St. Louis has provided workshops, assemblies, and dialogues at area schools, including MICDS, De Smet, Kirkwood, Columbia Public Schools, Independent Schools of St. Louis, the Special School District, Maplewood/Richmond Heights, and Villa Duchesne.
The goals have been to provide students a common vocabulary around inclusion, equity, and social justice, to provide open space dialogues with students, staff, and teachers that fosters better understanding on their experiences, and to engage educators and administrators in serious education on these critical issues.
Additionally, NCCJ has been glad to work with some of our local partners in this work, including Diversity Awareness Partnership and the Anti-Defamation League. We look forward to increasing coordination of efforts to to support our schools, and to provide all students an opportunity to be heard and feel supported in times of crisis.