Running Head: DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION TRAINING PROGRAM 1
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION TRAINING PROGRAM 2
Implementation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training Program for Staff and Stakeholders
Cyrisse Houston Allen
Capella University EDU 8504
Dr. Jennifer Holtz
Implementation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training Program for Staff and Community Stakeholders
Today’s workforce is one of the most diverse in our nation’s history. In the workplace, the definition of diversity is both expanding upon quantifiable demographic traits like race, ethnicity, and gender; and recognizing the importance of the intersection of identities on the employee experience. While there is a clear message of having a diverse workforce to better student relationships and learning outcomes such as generating new, innovative ideas and better academic performance; school leaders are having to focus intentionally on the educational organization’s workplace culture, employee engagement and satisfaction, and the legal implications of bringing together a workforce that is anything but homogenous.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are important concepts in the educational setting because there is an influence of all forms of social interactions. Learning institutions comprise of numerous social indifferences and it is important to create measures to help level the playing field equitably. The social indifferences in learning institutions might include religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, social status among others that help in making sure that educators achieve teaching goals and strategies (Lash, 2018). A DEI training program will help in incorporating this strategy into the organization while working to make sure that the adaptation will improve the experiences relative DEI. The training program can utilize the learning organization model that comprises of systems thinking, personal mastery, team learning, mental models. shared visions to help in incorporating into the training programs that will push towards achieving DEI in the target school. The research will establish the decision maker in the learning institution, the learning organizations model, and a proposed solution focusing on benefits of the solution, the strategies of helping integrate the model into the school and how to utilize the adult education praxis as a way of pushing towards achieving diversity, equity and inclusion in the school.
Definition of the Issue
Principal Georgina Tait is the key decision maker at the educational institution. It is important to understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion are vital concepts in a learning institution. It is evident that the adoption of the concepts for training helps in boosting the social interactions in the learning institution whereas the students will become better members of the society and relate well with each other concerning equitable differences and even the staff. It is also evident that the concepts are essential in making sure that the learning environment is open to a wider audience and open to numerous decision makers that help make sure that they achieve their goals and strategies.
The principal should understand that the problem of diversity, equity and inclusion goes beyond the school and thus it is important to instill DEI in the institution and let the students experience it at an early stage because it will help push the students towards changing and influencing society. The focus of the issue in society is influential in decision-making processes and is vital in making sure that there is a constructive strategy towards trying to make DEI the new norm. The principal is the vital decision maker because of position, leadership, guidance, and influence of the position. Thus, it is important in trying to play the major role in the management of the issue in the educational institution.
In education, the staff is not only aging but changing substantially in the connection of generational makeup. Byerly (2010) explained that there are now five recognized generations in the workplace that ranges from the Silent Generation, born between 1928 and 1945, many of which are some still working full or part-time jobs in the educational settings, Baby Boomers of whom are born between 1946 and 1964, Generation X of whom are born between 1965 and 1980, Millennials or Generation Y of whom are born between 1981 and 1996 and the newest recognized generation of Generation Z of whom are born since 1997. Each generation comes recognizable employee expectations around issues such as training or retraining educators in the age of modernization, employee wellness programs through employee insurance programs (this also includes mental wellness), bridging work to social impacts and justifications, flexible work positioning as in job sharing, supporting social media inside and outside the work site, and solidifying what it means to compassionately acknowledge issues that will impact upcoming inclusion and diversity training.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a common heated topic across the United States and the entire world. People are increasingly embracing civilization which is helping shed light on some of the sensitive issues that come to the forefront on issues that until a few years ago could not be openly discussed. The issues such as racism, inequality and people living their lives open and independently in society were major issues that would take place with no chance of addressing and thus positive solutions will not help make sure that there is a strategy of improving interactions. Diversity mainly focuses on the existence of differences in the society and it is about creating an insight on the fact that there is a difference in the way things are operating in society.
Equity is an approach that recognizes barriers and advantages existing in the society and thus it focuses on trying to make sure that despite the indifferences there is access to the same opportunities. Inclusion is all about trying to include the differences of people or groups and trying to give them the welcoming feeling. This helps to make sure that staff can achieve successfully in the interactions of educating students.
There are DEI differences include sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or ethnicity in the society and the educational organizations such as the school sites. People meet in learning institutions from bring individual experiences that develop from different regions, with variant religions, diverse ethnicities among other differences they must embrace the practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion to help cope. These concepts are present in the learning institutions and it is evident in the stakeholders, administration, educators, and students. Decisions that the learning institution makes at any level can trickle down and affect the entire institution. If the administration is selective and favors a specific ethnicity, then it will also affect the way the staff teaches and how the students interact. This can be a major problem. It is important to acknowledge that society is filled with differences and thus it is valuable to work towards coming up with the better decision of choice which is valid to help ensure that there is achievement of goals and strategies.
Learning organizations comprise of various divisions that include personal mastery, team learning, mental models, shared vision, and systems thinking (Resnick & Hall, 2019). The various concepts function independently and then build together toward a common goal of the larger organization and it assists in the development of a common culture. It is evident that the school can break down to components that will help make sure that there is an approach in handling various divisions while addressing numerous issues at the same time.
It is urgently crucial to build from a personal mastery level that works to help make ensure that the adoption of DEI to create a new culture while the team concept can visualize sharing information among the staff members. Many organizations focus on the notion that equity should be a part of the comprehensive strategy (Senge, 1990). Equity in the learning organization demonstrates in a variety of methods from unloading determination points that can lead to equal pay, exploring equality and equivalence in staff development through offered professional developments, and strengthening advantages as in employee optional district-wide book studies as a vehicle to address equity succession planning.
The focus on equity in educational institutions utilizing personal mastery can enhance teaching and learning as school districts are being called to manage with a profound level of transparency around wage measurement, school board representation, reporting of job harassment, advancement opportunities, and other expertise leadership implementations (Resnick & Hall, 2019).
Mental models assist in the understanding of how one reasons, feels, and enhances the attitudes and beliefs of decision makers. This in turn allows for better understanding and achievements in the intent of actions made by leadership. The construction of mental models is based on several factors, such as past experiences, level of knowledge, and cultural references (Senge, 1990). Mental models promote a deeper understanding of person that are different from the majority cultural.
As educational institutions decouple mental models from solutions, it further helps to break down complexity and avoid common judgements while focusing on outcomes and services for staff, students, and community stakeholders. The mental models focus on trying to influence and change the mindsets and values that trigger the concept to help fit the indifferences (Resnick & Hall, 2019).
Planning for the future often signals one to look to the past for guidance, and for more often, the experiences of last year brought the pervasive issues of systematic inequities and injustices into sharper focus. The global pandemic challenged the way of doing and being, impacting all facets of personal and professional lives. It exposed racial inequalities and the complex structures and systems in place that reinforces these. It forced an awakening to better understand and learn from the challenges of racial injustice and to expand the view to include different ways of thinking about and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Shared vision is a vital component in learning institution. This approach involves shaping the mission, vision and goals that the institution seeks to adjust relative to DEI and the systems thinking that generally focuses on the concepts that help bring some commonality among the existing indifferences in the institution (Senge, 1990).
The learning institution requires a diversity, equity, and inclusion training program to help push the staff and the students towards adjusting and adopting to the new strategies. The organization will have to come up with a vision, mission strategy relevant to the organization’s strategies, communication strategies, leveraging employee diversity, embracing social responsibility and introduce measurement and accountability. The institution is striving to change the existing culture. Thus, it is important to come up with solutions that will shape the culture which is vital for progress and development. The principal has to adopt the changes because of the insight that there is bound to experience changes that help in pushing towards shaping up interactions. The learning institution comprises of the students, community stakeholders, parents, staff, administration, and board members. The DEI concept in the learning institution is important because the school is a complete system and thus failure of one system will affect functioning of all the other systems (Argote & Miron-Spektor, 2019). The entire team in the school will have to have links and some forms of complements to help push agendas toward achieving goals and strategies which is vital to the way that positions the school in society. The entire shareholders and divisions in the educational institution have to adopt to the new training program because there will be adjustments to create uniformity and a new culture that will be beneficial to the way that connect.
The educational institution is in Detroit, Michigan which has numerous issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and thus it is vital to try and change the setting of the institution. The fact that staff, administration, and students all emanate from the community implies that the staff is already leaning toward certain equitable directions. For instance, some opinions think students grow in an environment where there is a belief there is a superior race over the other and thus when from a superior race then deserves better amenities and treatment compared to other students. This concept is not appropriate and making changes in the school implies that there is need to start from above the principal level at the board members level to the students at the bottom. That will help make sure that the educational institution achieves the designed goals and structure. The structure below is simple and it sees that the information will have to flow and develop from the top as it gets to the bottom which will see that there is some form of correspondence and understanding. The educational institution is having issues of adopting to the DEI changes and propositions. As a result of the background, it is important to incorporate the changes at various levels and then infuse it up to create a collective community. The fact that the school is trying to change the culture, it is important to try and make sure that all the stages within the organization have to adopt to the necessary changes which will see a permanent change.
The organization is bound to benefit from the educational organization model because it will help shape the way that is incorporated with changes at all the levels of the organization. The concept establishes the approach will handle the problem well through individual levels before trying to incorporate it as an inclusive organization proposal. It is evident that the training program across the institution will not be expensive especially because most of the training elements do not require expertise but practice and repetitive modelling to help push towards achieving the goals and strategies. For instance, the board members and the principal will discuss what they want as the new culture in the learning institution and they will then trickle the combined collaboration of knowledge through the system which helps change the entire institution.
The system is less expensive because it does not require external expertise or training experience from leadership programs in the school which will change the way that they look at the general world. The proposed model involves strategies that see the learners make adaptations of change through daily interactions and it is beneficial to the way that makes connections and interactions within the entire educational system. It is understood that diversity, equity, inclusion, and resiliency together form the cornerstone of what makes the staff better and stronger as individuals, and more impactful as an organization. Additionally, it is also understood that being committed is not enough. Putting commitment into action, sharing progress along the way, and encouraging partners and other stakeholders to hold accountability are important parts of the journey.
Benefits of the Solution to the Educational Institution
The inclusion of the learning organization model as a solution to the organization DEI problem is a major advantage because it helps shed light on the issues affecting the full adoption of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the school. The model in the first stage, the systems thinking helps focus on making sure that various teams are working collectively as a team toward achieving the goals of the educational institution. The concept is beneficial to the agenda of the organization especially because it creates the practicality of the divisions in the school. It is evident that the school through various departments can easily make sure that teams work together and share common goals that will help make sure that they do achieve the goals and strategies that is beneficial to the way that the staff connect with DEI training.
Personal mastery will help make sure that all the people in the school away et aside the titles and positions but on an individual level have a clearer understanding of DEI. The concept will involve teaching all the parties on responsibilities which is vital to the way that there is a connect and this helps in making sure that there is an achievement of the goals and strategies. It is important to acknowledge that the learning institution has a mission, objectives, vision and goals and it becomes easier to communicate and implement this when pushing towards the success of society (Grobman & Ramsey, 2020). This strategy is beneficial because each individual will become eloquent and this will help shape and adjust the working forums of the organization that help change and shape the way that they connect.
The introduction of the model into the institution will help introduce and utilize the concept of team learning. The strategy is beneficial because it will help make it easier to improve the way that the different parties in the school do come together after learning the basics of DEI strategies. The training program will benefit from the way that the different levels interacts, and this will help solve existing problems. The various members of the school have to work together and support the common goal and agenda which is to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the learning institution. It is important to work the problem as a team because it reduces the sourcing for blame and instead working together for solutions which is more effective.
The mental models are an efficient concept that is practical and focuses on trying to utilize the mindsets of various parties involved in the settings. The concept of DEI is relative to the way that people think and behave and thus trying to influence thinking is more important to relate it to mindsets (Vera & Crossan, 2014). For instance, it will be a positive effect to push teachers and parents towards adopting change because it will have a positive impact on the student’s education. The change in such a mindset will have the shareholders pushing for the change because they do believe it has a major positive impact to how they do learn and study thus it is beneficial to the way that they do interact.
The new strategy will see the introduction of a similarity and commonality in the way of working out issues which is through adoption of the mission, vision and goals. The institution has goals but they are not playing a major role in improving on their connection to the DEI. The principal can utilize the concept through bringing all shareholders together and understand that the institution wants to operate in a certain way and will see to achieve a certain level of diversity, equity and inclusion after a certain duration. This move will help push and drive the agendas of the organization across all the levels within the understanding that there are limitations. It is important to choose the right strategy which is vital to bringing in forms of commonality that will help establish the right plan for the school.
Strategies of Enhancing Integration of Learning Organization Characteristics
It is widely accepted that there are significant benefits for all who are immersed in a diverse community, from learning how to appreciate and respect differences to acquiring lifelong skills like communication and listening for understanding. Achieving a diverse community, though, does not inherently lead to a community which values inclusivity and equity. Within any organization that values differences, there is work that needs to be done to help each individual feel important, valued, known and respected. This requires high levels of empathy and a commitment to having difficult conversations.
The transition to online instruction and student services in response to COVID-19 presents a substantial challenge for most post-secondary institutions. Among the most pervasive challenges are issues with racial bias and racial microaggressions that serve to impede the student experience.
A common definition of microaggressions are “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership” (Lui & Quezada, 2019). This provides some baseline information about how microaggressions work. Here is one quick example of how a microaggression works: an Asian-American child, born and raised in the USA, may be asked, “Where are you from?” or told, “Your English is really good!”. While the person saying these things may not be trying to hurt the child’s feelings, the subtle message is that the child is not American but must be from somewhere else. When repeated over the course of many years, this child can grow to feel isolated and different. Microaggressions are not about hurt feelings or being sensitive, they are about subtle (or not so subtle) ways to make a person in a marginalized group feel alienated or dismissed and how these messages perpetuate discrimination.
Where there exist challenges, there are also opportunities for education, self-reflection, and growth. Below are four suggestions to take advantage of the opportunity to being an active part of creating an inclusive community. Oftentimes, misunderstandings and hurt are a direct result from the language that is used. To start, there is no place for derogatory language; it is simply not okay to ever use racial or ethnic slurs, anti-semitic, homophobic, sexist language, etc. Beyond eliminating this language, though, individuals can choose to use language that is inclusive. There are so many resources that outline how to utilize inclusive language. While many times there is no malintent on the part of the person using such words and phrases, there can still be a damaging impact on someone who belongs to a marginalized group. Through school-wide professional development issues of difference and commonalities will be placed into a constructive training platform that will include videos, scenarios, breakout room groupings and open directed discussions to create sensitivity, awareness, reflections, and realizations.
It is important for the school to first apply a common sit down for all the entities across the school such as a staff meeting. The meeting will then help cover the issues on DEI and how the learning organization model is ideal for shaping and building the culture and character of the institution. It is important to try and make it a common goal for all the school and not as the individual principal or as the administration while leaving out the students, the community, parents, and teachers. The issue is influencing the entire school community and make it important to include it across the Detroit Public Schools system and not just a few selective schools.
The concept requires a form of the democratic process approach whereby a push for the agenda as an independent party before starting to make sure that adjustments are made to the way people think. It is important to understand that the democratic process approach will see an open discussion whereby the principal will present the details regarding the issue in plain sight and make it easier for all of the parties to adapt the idea or decline it depending on how they appreciate and desire to see the educational organization grow.
The adoption of team activities such as discussion, debates and team building activities can also help as both formal and informal approaches in trying to cultivate a solution to the problem. The teachers, support staff members, principal and administration, and parent stakeholders all must agree and get on board with the DEI subject and the adoption can involve an informal approach. This important agenda is to make sure that all parties are willing and get on board with DEI. The interactions as a team are vital and the team activities will help make sure that all parties arrive at a common goal. It is evident that the strategy will also be beneficial in coming up with the vision, mission and goals that will help act as the compass for the organization. It is important to understand that the educational institution will have to adopt and require suggestions from all the parties on the interests of how to make sure that the achievement of goals and strategies is vital. The educational organization must make sure that there is a strategy that will see all parties have responsibility that will help in making sure that this is achieved.
Strategies That Demonstrate the Positive Role of Adult Education Praxis
It is evident that the concept of adult education praxis helps in building a connection between thought and action so the strategy of implementing the DEI into the learning institution is vital in pushing the staff towards achieving the goals and strategies. It is evident that the learning institution is working to try and change the mindsets of the shareholders in the learning institutions thus it is important to try and incorporate the adult education praxis that will help make sure that they achieve their strategies. It is important to come up with the right measures that will see a major change in how the adults embrace knowledge and how to help place it in the practical session in the learning institution.
To participate in creating a world where people treat each other well, staff members must take the time to learn from each other. This means being curious about learning about those who are different from you, keeping an open mind and reserving judgment, and practicing the skill of deep listening. If a goal is to make each other feel valued and equal, it may mean that time is spent examining personal vulnerabilities and working to understand other perspectives. It is a major task for educational institutions because trying to shape the behavior of the stakeholders especially the principal, the staff, parents, community. These stakeholders have led a full life with referrals and interactions relative to a specific direction and thus it is important to try and come up with the right strategy that will help with efficiency.
It is important to come up with the best principles that will help in pushing the adults to try and adjust from the norms of their lives and instead start to adopt the DEI standards which is away from what they grew up believing and practicing. It is not easy to try and transform the older staff members but it is vital to try and put it into practice because it will help them engage until it becomes a new normal which is a major advantage.
In order to participate in creating a world where we treat each other well, one must take the time to learn from each other. This means being curious about learning about those who are different from ourselves, keeping an open mind and reserving judgment, and practicing the skill of deep listening. If a goal is to make each other feel valued and equal, it may mean that time is spent examining vulnerabilities and working to understand other perspectives.
The engagements across the learning institution are also an important strategy whereby the shareholders must work and function as a team. The team training has to engage in collective activities to help make sure that there is integration of new behaviors into the workplace which will make this a major advantage that will push the staff towards the organization’s strategy (Levitt & March, 2018). The principal should organize forums and breakdown of the groups away from the teaching classes to small groups with teachers away from the classrooms to make it easier to view and dissociate from the responsibility of the classroom (Lash, 2018). The involvement people in the practical sessions and real-life situations is vital in making sure that there is practice for efficiency which is vital to the way that educators connect and the way that they make that connection.
In addition, it is important to ensure that the sequences and scenarios are repetitive to make sure that the staff members are adjusting and adopting the new ideas. For instance, the scenarios might include a minority student in need of a similar service from a teacher and the response and level of attention that are received will get compared to the other similar situations with students of majority representations. The practicality of the situation helps in providing proof of adult education praxis efficiency in the solution of the problem that requires a practical and educative approach.
The events of last year affected individuals in vastly different ways and brought to light the role that lived experiences play in the ways that we adapt—as individuals and as an organization. Mann learning Community school is immensely proud of and humbled by the many ways that colleagues came together to collaborate and support one another. Although it was a difficult year, there has been growth in the respect for one another and the resolve to work and lead with empathy, compassion, and flexibility, while respecting and valuing each other’s experiences and perspectives.
It is the responsibility as educators to nurture and foster the development of an inclusive community so that all the students feel valued and known. Diversified, Equitable and Inclusive communities are safe communities, and safe communities encourage intellectual curiosity, respectful dialogue, and personal growth. Working towards this goal, and working on reflective personal growth, models lifetime learning and a commitment to kindness, empathy, and respect. At Mann Learning Community school, we must respect our differences. These shared values connect our school and community.
Argote, L., & Miron-Spektor, E. (2019). Organizational Learning: From Experience to Knowledge. Organization Science, 22(5), 1123-1137.
Byerly, G. (2010). Generations by Generations, Part I. School Library Monthly, 26(7), 32-34.
Grobman, L., & Ramsey, E. (2020). Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equality. In Major Decisions: College, Career, and the Case for the Humanities (pp. 168-176). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Lash, C. (2018). Making Americans: Schooling, Diversity, and Assimilation in the Twenty-First Century. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 4(5), 99-117. doi:10.7758/rsf.2018.4.5.05
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