Sonia Park, Executive Director
Looking back / Looking forward
How could a year feel like a lifetime? 2020 was truly breathtaking.
I find myself reflecting on our time in Washington DC at our 2020 convening and it feels like a completely different world. Since then we have transitioned into a COVID-19 reality, experienced a racial reckoning unlike anything we’ve seen in a generation, and witnessed member schools standing up virtual/hybrid and all manner of back to school plans.
Through it all, we have kept equity at our center as we continue to promote, expand, and support the diverse-by-design movement.
More than any other year, 2020 pushed our team to make sure we clarified the WHY of our work. To that end, we are so proud of two discrete projects we’re unveiling for the first time in this annual report. First, our core values: in the past our values represented a list of statements about our work. They are important and we still believe these statements; yet, they did not provide members and partners with insight into the mindset and culture our team and our organization use to drive us day-in, day-out. Below is our first shot at our organizational values and we invite your thoughts and feedback.
Second, is our case for support. The process we took to arrive at this document helped us clarify the core purpose of DCSC in the broader field. We love this document and are so curious about the questions and comments it raises.
Thank you for your partnership, your engagement, and your encouragement.
Our Core Values
We accomplish more together when we build trusting, collaborative, and honest relationships with one another and with our members to foster/create integrated schools. By creating strong relationships with each other, members, and partners, we hold ourselves accountable to our mission.
We honor the hard work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools while acknowledging that it requires system-level disruption. We set ambitious goals to dismantle systemic racism, oppression, and marginalization and work with other individuals and organizations to challenge the status quo.
We maintain a sense of humility and curiosity. We listen to and learn from each other while centering on the people directly affected by the challenges of creating school integration, equitable achievement, and inclusive school environments.
We select how we use our time, resources, and energy. We acknowledge that systems of oppression are stubbornly and have calcified over many years so our work towards dismantling systems of racism requires an approach that includes multiple perspectives and complicity.
Video storytelling project
In order to tell the impact of our programming and the coalition efforts across the country, we developed a video storytelling project during this past year. Here are the 3 short videos we published.
Communities of Practice
|Promote||Participate in NYC School Diversity Advisory Group Report Release||Partner with Brooklyn Prospect to place 74 Million Article||Post COVID-19 reports |
Learn about pandemic impacts in member schools
|Release Communities of Practice Tools such as You Belong Here Toolkit.|
|Expand||Los Angeles Excellent School Visits||DC Excellent School Visits|
New York Excellent School Visits
Inducted 4 new members into the coalition
|Select Cohort 3 Fellows||Cohort 2 Capstone
Cohort 3 Kick-Off
Inducted 5 new members into the coalition
|Support||Kick-off Year 1 of Communities of Practice||Host Annual Convening||Year 2 CoP Facilitator and Participant Recruitment and Selection||Kick off Annual Convening Planning Committee|
DCSC members are developing inclusive, anti-racist schools designed to benefit all students. Leaders say they can’t do it alone. DCSC listens. We have a proven track record of designing high-leverage ways for members to connect, learn, and develop the next generation of tools and strategies for diverse school communities.
Check out one of DCSC’s 60+ members to see how we promote, expand, and support the work of diverse-by-design schools across the country.
Inspired Teaching Demonstration School (ITDS)
School Leader: Deborah Dantzler Williams
Year joined: 2017
Students served: 510
Partnering with members to tell the story of school integration, choice, and excellence.
Gathering leaders of racially diverse schools and developing new tools for anti-racist educators.
Founding new schools that disrupt the status quo.
Deborah led the charge in advocating for charter schools to implement weighted lotteries in their admission processes. Sonia supported Deborah and others in DC by submitting testimony and amplifying the message across the region. This legislation – “Expanding Equitable Access to Great School Act of 2020” – is critical for diverse-by-design schools to use in recruiting and enrolling a demographically diverse student population.
Through our UnifiED program, DCSC placed Brandon Johnson at ITDS for his fellowship year. During that year, he was on the leadership team of the school preparing to open Social Justice School. Brandon successfully opened Social Justice School (amidst COVID-19) in the fall of 2020.
Our annual convening has been DCSC’s flagship offering of support to members seeking opportunities to connect with one another and share best practices.. Monisha Karnani (ITDS Director, Development and Outreach) has sat on our convening planning committee for the 2020 and 2021 annual convenings, where she offered insights on how we could design the event to best suit the needs of DCSC member school leaders.. ITDS staff lead a breakout session at the 2020 convening titled “Disrupting Institutional Structures: Embracing the Voices in our Village.”
We strive to invest in our people and our programming while keeping administrative spending at a minimum.