Equity & Accountability

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Lick-Wilmerding High School strives to cultivate a diverse, collaborative community of students and adults that is rooted in empathy, equity, respect, humility, and accountability. We commit to uphold the tenets of anti-racism and to interrupt all forms of interpersonal and institutional bias and discrimination. We aspire to create safe​,​ joyful spaces for learning where everyone ​brings their whole selves, feel​s​ known and heard, lift​s​ each other up, and engage​s​ in all aspects of life at LWHS and beyond.

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  • What do we mean by Diversity, Equity & Inclusion?

    The wide range of human characteristics used to mark and identify individuals and group identities. These characteristics include, but are not limited to ethnicity, race, national origin, age, personality, sexual orientation, gender, class, religion, ability, and language. The term is used for shorthand for visual and quantifiable statuses.
    (The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology: LE-M)

    Ensuring that people have what they need to fully participate in school life and reach their full potential. Equity is not equality.

    Authentically brings traditionally excluded individuals or groups into processes, activities, decisions, and policymaking. 
    (Crossroads Charlotte Individual Initiative Scorecard for Organizations Scorecard Overview)
  • Purpose

    The Equity and Accountability webpage was made in collaboration with student leadership and exists to foster transparency and accountability on the part of the school and keep students, and especially Students of Color and other marginalized community members informed concerning Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work at LWHS. This webpage is a culmination of current DEI initiatives from all circles of our community and reflects current work being done to ensure the safety, equity, and inclusion of our school community as a whole. 

    Many of these initiatives are ongoing and are constantly being improved upon by various members of the LWHS community. As these initiatives grow and change, this webpage and its contents will be updated to reflect these changes. 

    At the core of this website are DEI values. Beyond the students and FacStaff directly involved in the Inclusion Team, it is our intention that all LWHS community members are involved in our work. Whether it be by suggesting changes in policies, proposing new policies, or offering general feedback, we encourage all of LWHS to reach out and join forces with us to build a stronger community.

Current Initiatives

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  • Assaultive Language / Hate Speech Policy + Timeline

    Students of Color have shared widely the need for more accountability for those who use racial epithets and other identity-targeting slurs on campus.

    This includes, but is not limited to the extending of consequences, opportunities for learning, and relationship repair. Dean Kate Wiley handed off the process of designing our Assaultive Language Policy to our 2021–21 Student Body Co-Presidents, Journey '21 and Jeremy '21, as well as our Student Inclusion Chair, Primo '21, who worked diligently on a draft with the Restorative Practices Group.

    We are currently working on incorporating the latest rounds of feedback and hope to have the policy reviewed by legal counsel before the end of the 2021–22 academic year. This is in part due to the need to develop the restorative practices infrastructure of the school and to create opportunities for iterative rounds of student, facstaff, and administrative feedback.
  • Ethnic Studies

    Another ask from students was that the school explore Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement. The ask is in direct response to the limited engagement that students have with non-White histories beyond deficit narratives in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Similarly, students shared the need to have White people in our community face their histories in order for us to engage in authentic conversations of healing and accountability.

    Former Director of Student Inclusion Naomi Fierro-Peńa, in collaboration with our 2020–21 Student Inclusion Chair, Primo '21, launched a working group and thus far we have been researching and discussing models of implementation for an Ethnic Studies curriculum including curriculum development and teacher professional learning. The group has reached out to the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Mateo Unified School Districts, and has interviewed personnel from these institutions about rollout timelines in their respective districts, planning, grading, and resourcing. Currently all the information gathered is being synthesized with the intention of putting together a proposal. 
    Read More
  • Gender Inclusive School Policy

    Class of 2020 senior exit interviews and pulse survey data indicated that a more targeted look at gender in our community is needed. This includes, but is not limited to: examining intersectional gender bias in STEM courses, the experience of athletes, trans and non-binary inclusivity—naming, pronouns, social transition, and overnight trip policies.

    The Student Body Presidents, the Student Inclusion Chair, and the Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion Dee Johnson have been working to schedule interviews across departments and teams to get a better understanding of practices already in place as a diagnostic for our school’s gender inclusivity. Following this process, the group will recommend best practices, suggest resources and support for community members. The end goal  is to have a policy that lives alongside our student and employee handbooks. It is important to note that all recommendations and strategies are in alignment with California Education Code Laws on Gender and Sexual Minority Inclusivity at K-12 schools.

    Update: We are currently in the writing phase of the school's policy, which will include a transition plan that covers support of community members undergoing social, medical, and legal transitions. 
  • Heritage/Hxstory Month Celebrations

    The Student Inclusion Team is pleased to announce a formal process for requesting institutional support for students who wish to celebrate their Heritage Month or Hxstory Month! This is a direct response to the poster left for our administration by students of color in Jan 2020, and the specific ask to directly support student leaders of color.

    You can find the Proposal form, Frequently Asked Questions, and living Calendar on the Student Resource Board, the Center Blog, and linked in the Center Instagram link tree. If you have any questions, please reach out to Director of Student Inclusion Naomi Fierro or the Student Inclusion Chairs. 
  • Restorative Practices

    Restorative Practices (RP): The Restorative Practices Working Group has been working diligently for the past year to create a process through which, as a community, we will be able to address harm, build better, more honest relationships, and attend to our collective healing. Watch the video
    Read More

Student & Community Programming

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  • Curriculum

    • Teachers work together to be practitioners of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Critical Race Theory as a pedagogical framework for teaching. Teachers apply the methodologies of Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Hammond.
    • Teachers engage critically in their own work and seek guidance from Onward: Daily Activities to Cultivate your Emotional Resilience and Thrive by Elena Aguilar
    • Courses that challenge the canon and center the narrative of BIPOC are at the heart of the English and History curriculums.
    • Habits of Mind—Imagine, Inquire, Collaborate, Persist and Reflect—which are overarching skills to help students navigate the challenges of the 21st Century.
    Read More
  • Inclusion Picnics

    Inclusion picnics are hosted by the school during the fall semester to foster relationships among incoming and returning families who share cultural or geographic backgrounds. Families gather to relax in a local park, connect with other families, and enjoy games and good food. Look for details in the weekly e-Tiger or contact Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion Dee Johnson for more information and volunteer opportunities.
  • Sam Mihara Day of Justice

    Every spring the entire LWHS community participates in an in-house conference that explores identity, privilege, and oppression planned by students who have attended the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference, the White Privilege Conference or the Creating Change Conference

    Workshops are led by faculty, staff, students and local facilitators or activists. Past session topics have included microaggressions, how ideas about gender impact politics, different belief systems, orientalism, and rap as activism, to name a few. While it can be challenging to explore the cycle of oppression, the Sam Mihara Day of Justice ultimately aims to inspire compassion and a commitment to equity within all LWHS community members.

    Check out the links below for last year's full schedule, workshop descriptions, bios, and google form for the optional workshops/field trips. Ethnic Studies website live now!
  • Student Conferences

    Every year students are invited to participate in any of the below conferences. There may be additional offerings depending on the year.

    NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)
    • Dec 1–3, 2021 | Online
    Creating Change Conference
    • Reunite and Reignite | Jan 12–16, 2022 | New Orleans
    White Privilege Conference—Youth Action Project
    • TBD

Adult Accountability

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  • Board of Trustees

    Committee Co-Chairs: Mika Varma and Jack Chin

    The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee works to educate the Board of Trustees and to ensure that the Board and its committees adopt best practices around diversity, equity and inclusion. The Committee is charged with benchmarking the school’s DEI efforts and partnering with the Head of School to fully realize the DEI goals of the Strategic Plan.

    The goals for the 21–22 school year are:

    • Create structured on-boarding and ongoing education opportunities for board members on DEI issues so that we can fully understand DEI initiatives at the school (e.g., flex tuition, ethnic studies, recruitment/retention of FacStaff) and be ambassadors of DEI in the community.

    • Build a culture of belonging and inclusiveness on the board that complements and bolsters LWHS leadership teams’ efforts to achieve the aspirations in our community vision statement, Striving for Equity, Justice and Accountability at LWHS.

    • Monitor progress on DEIBJ as the strategic plan is implemented, including work with the administration to develop processes and systems to collect, analyze, update, and communicate assessments of our school community using quantitative as well as qualitative data.
  • Equity & Inclusion Round Table

    The LWHS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Roundtable convenes to unpack institutional challenges requiring the collective power and coordinated efforts of the entire school community. We are dedicated to listening and responding to the needs and feelings of the LWHS community, centering the most vulnerable.

    Student Inclusion Chairs
    Senai Wilks ('24)
    Natan Rivera ('24)
    Student Council Presidents
    Olivia Castillo ('23)
    George Duran ('23)
    Parent Association Vice Presidents of Inclusion
    Conchita Lozano (Galicia '24)
    Colette Cann (Salihah '25)
    Board of Trustees Inclusion Chairs
    Mika Varma (Mira '20, Joya '22)
    Jack Chin (Nevin '20)
    Director of Student Inclusion
    Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion
    Dee Johnson
    Head of School
    Katie Titus

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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  • Critical Conversations Series

    Our Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion Dee Johnson has collaborated with a network of schools to sponsor the Critical Conversations series. The Critical Conversation series partners share the vision "To establish a shared space for nuanced, deliberative, challenging discourse and professional development around equity and justice that recognizes the interconnected nature of humanity that is fundamental to the survival and wellbeing of our species and our planet." 

    Previous sessions:
    Mar 10, 2022  Mark Bradford—Liberating the cultural narrative through artistic expression
    Jan 20, 2022  Van Jones—Educating to rebuild the American Dream
    Nov 18, 2021  Loretta J. Ross—Calling in the call out culture: Conversations instead of conflicts
    Dec 2, 2021  Prof. Ibram X. Kendi—Turing the classroom into a laboratory of change
    Mar 11, 2021  Isabel Wilkerson—Grappling with the persistence of systemic racism to advance equity

  • LWHS PA DEI General Meeting

    On March 23rd we hosted a conversation and panel discussion between CA State Representative, Jose Medina, and CA District 11 Senator Scott Wiener where they discussed how bill ab101, expressly authorizing local educational agencies, including charter schools, to require a full-year course in ethnic studies by the academic year 2029-2030, was passed. Medina, a Latinx man from Southern California and the main proponent of the bill had faced pushback from the Jewish Caucus but, after a series of conversations, was able to get the bill successfully passed in the state of CA. Both shared their involvement in getting the bill passed and how their positionalities morphed over time.

Lick-Wilmerding High School

755 Ocean Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94112 | 415.333.4021
A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.