Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Key
Since its inception, Key School has encouraged independent thinking and openness to differing ideas and perspectives. We believe that we learn and grow both as individuals and as a school community when students and adults of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and identities develop an understanding of and respect for our commonalities and differences. This is vital to fulfilling Key’s promise to prepare our students for the challenges and responsibilities they will assume within an increasingly connected yet diverse and pluralistic world community.
Therefore, we seek a student body, faculty, staff, administration, and governing board that reflect diversity across a broad spectrum, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, family composition, socioeconomic background, political viewpoint, and religion. While we are committed to acknowledging the varied beliefs and values of every individual who is part of our community, our first priority is to the Mission of our School, especially in sustaining an ethical school culture that respects the dignity of every human being.
May 28, 2020
Friends and colleagues,
While we remain focused on all the uncertainties surrounding this pandemic, the past few weeks have tragically re-focused our nation's attention on the reality of brutal inequities in our society. We have watched two black men‒Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd‒die. These men were victims of violence and it is our collective responsibility to name them, seek justice for them, and do our respective parts to disrupt the systems of hate that enable and promote this devaluation of human life.
Our students, in particular our young men of color, have to know that apologies are no longer enough. For us to not focus our work with all of our students through the lens of justice and equity does them a disservice. These acts of evil, grounded in racism and hate, will continue if we don't actively work to counter the forces and constructs that enable them. Our Mission states that we look to develop our students into informed, thoughtful, constructive members of society. If we don't embrace justice and disrupt prejudices, we are failing our Mission.
Even though the pandemic has separated us from one another we cannot let that be an excuse for not being active in finding solutions that in the end make the world we live in safe for all. Especially for people who do not have the privilege of safety that many of us do.
Be safe. Be well.
Combating Xenophobia During COVID-19
Now more than ever, it is imperative that we all stand in solidarity as we combat this worldwide health crisis. Sadly, members of the Asian community have experienced increased instances of bigotry, prejudice and violence in the past several months. Teaching Tolerance provides a series of steps each of us can adopt for "speaking up" to interrupt hate and for helping to educate others about potentially unintended consequences of actions. The article How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism suggests the following when one witnesses xenophobic interactions:
Interrupt - Take a moment to show whomever you are talking with or texting that what they said needs to be addressed: "Let's go back to what you called the virus"
Question - Seek to better understand what they said and why: "Where did you get that information?"
Educate - Focus the conversation not only on facts but also why the comment needs rethinking. "It's not a funny joke if it stereotypes people and can be harmful."
Echo - When someone else speaks up, echo them, thank them and emphasize or amplify their message
Building an Inclusive Community
Celebrating and learning about our cultures, identities and backgrounds is an integral part of building an inclusive community. Each month we endeavor to highlight heritage and affinity celebrations in Key publications by providing context to the history of the event and sharing information about regional and virtual activities honoring them. We encourage the exploration and honoring of the diversity of our world throughout the year. It is our intention to center these diverse voices and prompt rich discussions that lead to transformation, inclusion, and justice.
Jenifer Moore, Key's Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in a discussion of Asian-Black solidarity during COVID-19 on the podcast Third Space with Jen Cort.
Key 5th grader, Aurelia Mapp has been named as one of only 26 awardees as part of the 2019 World Artists' Experiences (WAE) Writing Project.
We were honored to welcome Dr. David Fakunle and Mama Deborah Pierce-Fakunle of Discover Me: Recover Me to campus today to share the traditions of African and African-American drumming and storytelling as part of our celebration of Black History Month.
Key School hosted, for the first time, the AIMS Baltimore Student Diversity Leadership Conference (BSDLC) in November, welcoming over 400 students and faculty...
The Arabic language program at Key has grown from its beginnings in 2011 as an Upper School activity with a handful of students to a very popular language option now offering Arabic I, II and III.
After a three-month, in-depth unit on Africa and African-Americans, the 3rd graders celebrated with their second annual Africa/African American Museum Presentation.
A delegation of five students and two faculty represented Key at the 2017 People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference from November 30-December 2 in Anaheim, CA.
Key 6th grader, Aliya Peremel's poetry submission, "Change," has been selected for publication in the 2017 World Artists' Experiences Anthology, Building a More Peaceful World Through Kindness and Compassion.
Students involved with the Upper School Not Straight Affinity Activity traveled to the Green Acres School in Bethesda, MD to present on gender stereotypes for students in grades 5-8 as part of Green Acres' annual "Day of Action."
A delegation of thirteen seventh grade students represented Key at the 2017 Metro DC-MD-VA Middle School Diversity Conference, hosted by Sandy Spring Friends School.
To celebrate Black History Month, the Key School Middle Schoolers participated in the third annual African- American Read-In, a community event organized by the National Council of the Teachers of English to honor African American authors, artists, scientists, and mathematicians.
A contingent of seven Upper School student leaders and two faculty members represented Key this month at the Diversity in the DMV conference, hosted and coordinated by The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, MD.
The theme for this year's Upper School Diversity Day was "A Seat at the Table," with conversations centering around the topics of inclusion and allyship.