Diversity + Belonging
EXPLO celebrates, values and welcomes the diversity of the human experience: celebrating the differences that make us individuals and seeking the common ground that makes us a community. We believe that our collective power as a community can only be harnessed if we prioritize inclusion and equity for our students, families, faculty, staff, and the network of educators we support. We recognize that in order to foster a sense of true belonging within our community and work to dismantle systemic oppression, there is an ongoing need to engage in deeper listening, intentional reflection, and continuous growth.
Our work is ongoing:
Here are some ways that our year-round staff (based in Norwood, Massachusetts and remotely around the United States) are seeking and learning together:
- Staff-wide training to develop shared language and dive deep into understanding our own identities.
- Participation in a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, where different articles and forms of media were shared daily as a basis for reflection and discussion.
- Formation of the IDEA (inclusion, diversity, and equity in action) Committee to address issues related to curriculum, hiring and staff support, student life, communications, and student enrollment.
- An antiracism reading group, where participants come together to “place ourselves, and our stories, in a racial system of dialogue.”
- People of Color across EXPLO meet as part of an affinity space that provides consistent opportunities to relationship-build and hold space for one another.
Our summer faculty + staff
EXPLO summer faculty and staff are supported in deepening their understanding of DEIB issues:
- Every EXPLO faculty and staff member engages in professional development on cross-cultural competency, anti-bias work, and teaching toward belonging and equity.
- We are continually working on curricula that include the contributions of a wide range of humanity and shine a light on areas of inequity and injustice.
- Our approach is not to tell students what they should believe, but to raise issues and pose questions that have students engage in conversation and debate leading to critical thinking and listening to other perspectives.
- Ultimately, we want our students to come to their own conclusions as to what is just and fair, but to come to those conclusions and decisions by being well educated on the current context, history, facts, and learning to appreciate that their own lived experience is but a small window on how the rest of humanity experiences the world.
EXPLO students hail from across the U.S. and from over 101 countries around the world:
- They represent different races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and family compositions.
- Our work with students is to help them appreciate the richness of others and the richness that resides in themselves. This starts with focusing on a sense of belonging for every member of the community. It also means helping students develop the tools to engage with others who are different.
- We offer affinity groups so that those with shared identity markers can meet in an environment together. We run programs like Take a Stand, open forum/discussion events, One World, and community learning modules.