What is the Real Plan for DEI? Part IV | 7 Min Read

Part III of “What’s the Real Plan for DEI?” was primarily about alignment with the various constituencies and interest groups at your school, completing the strategy portion or top half of the four quadrants. Part IV shifts to the third (and lower) quadrant with a focus on the preliminary programmatic issues (implicit). Once you have buy-in from most of the community, the challenge is to create a program team that will internalize the empathy and healing associated with DEI and is preparing to share its wisdom and experience in that process with the rest of the community by creating an effective program.  (Earlier in this series: Overview. Quadrant 1. Quadrant 2.)

After working through Quadrants 1 and 2, we’ll have the start of a plan and we’ll be growing alignment and commitment in the school community. Successful progress on those means the school’s leadership sees that equity is part of, central to, the mission. Changing the way we think about one another, particularly the way we open our hearts across differences, is part of the relational work both in Q2 and Q3. In Q2, our goal is to build team structures and aligned stakeholder groups to support the strategic work. Those teams will have to work extremely well together and be prepared for a variety of responses to the materials we share with others. Next, we move into the individual, personal work of changing our own stories of self and one another. 

Quadrant 3

Systems of oppression such as sexism, ageism, and racism to name a few, shut us off from one another by dehumanizing some group. They also divide us from self because when we’re fully connected with our own humanity, we reject these systems. So, whether we’ve been the target of oppression, perpetuated it, or simply lived in an oppressive system, it’s affecting us. Just think how incredibly challenging it is to have an open, honest conversation about racism… without it escalating. The programmatic aspects of DEI work (Quadrant 4) is often uncomfortable and difficult. To prepare, there is a great deal of “heart, head & hands” work to do. Since we’re now in the lower half of the chart, this quadrant is about the here-and-now. Actively doing the work. The Quadrant 3 work is both individual (“I”) and relational (“We”). 


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DEI Vital Signs Framework

Six Seconds Educational Vital Signs tools equip your school or district to answer essential questions: What is the current social and emotional climate in your classroom, school or district? How does that impact learning? Are the perceptions of the key stakeholders – teachers, parents and students – consistent or divergent? And how can you leverage EQ to create a thriving school climate?