Diversity & Equity
Stevens Diversity Statement
We believe an equitable and inclusive learning environment creates empowering and supportive experiences that build a more just and compassionate world. Stevens Cooperative School is a safe place for students to develop their authentic identities and grow an appreciation for how diversity enriches our lives. We strive to be a school comprised of unique individuals of different backgrounds, identities, and beliefs, where all voices are equally valued and respected. We actively attempt to fight intolerance, discrimination and inequity.
Our school is a place where all members feel empowered, embraced, and celebrated for who they are. We provide students, faculty, staff, and families with the resources, tools and opportunities needed to engage ethically with the larger community and shape the future. We are committed to exploring and understanding personal and systemic biases, so that students can become the best form of themselves and advocate for others. Students take action and study issues of social justice in ways that facilitate and deepen their understanding of power, personal responsibility and social change.
At Stevens Cooperative School, our diversity is our unity and a cornerstone of our growth as human beings and global citizens.
Over the past year, the Stevens community has been engaging in meaningful work centered around the school's Diversity Statement by participating in a survey called the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM), provided by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
Recruitment & Retention
- At Stevens, we appreciate and celebrate the inherent value in having a diverse staff and faculty, providing windows and mirrors for our students and families. Our students need to see their own qualities and identities mirrored in their faculty, and benefit from the opportunity to see through "windows" into different experiences, cultures, values and backgrounds. Research has shown that students from all backgrounds benefit both socially and academically from being members of diverse classrooms.
- Each year we attend diversity recruitment events across the state and nationally, including those hosted by the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS), Nemnet and Carney Sandoe.
- In 2019, we will host our 4th Diversity Recruitment event right here at Stevens. This is an opportunity for candidates to visit our school, meet students, faculty and families and find out more about our school and current job opportunities. We seek dedicated, culturally competent faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.
Diversity, Equity and Global Citizenship in Action
- Stevens students have opportunities to connect with peers from many different cultures in a number of ways.
- Students in 8th grade participate in an exchange program with an independent school in Mexico City and collaborate and engage in online learning throughout the year
- During science class, 5th grade students have had the opportunity to collaborate with a school in Nigeria in partnership with Level Up Village.
- 6th grade students have video conferenced with students in Colombia, Argentina and Mexico during their Spanish classes.
- Middle school students taking Mandarin have paired with peers in China to discuss commonalities and differences.
- Students examine issues of equity and social justice through our Classroom Advisory Program (CAP) and Social Studies curriculum, and have been able to take action when they see needs or injustices in their communities. Examples of action that our students have taken include:
- Preparing and serving lunch at the Hoboken Homeless Shelter
- Visiting the New York HQ of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help pack backpacks for recently arrived refugees
- Raising over $6,000 in sponsorship by planning and running a 5k for The Seeing Eye
- Visiting The Lighthouse to meet with refugees and prepare a meal together
- Visiting the Lutheran Senior Home in Jersey City to chat, plays games and perform for the seniors
- Visiting Liberty State Park to conduct a beach clean up
- Creating small chapbooks about Hudson County for refugee families through the organization The Lighthouse
- Using the mediums of art and poetry to raise community awareness of the plight of people displaced by war, persecution and natural disaster and making pledges to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to donate time and resources
Faculty & Staff Professional Development
- Professional Development
- Every year our faculty and staff have the opportunity to attend workshops and conferences locally, nationally and internationally. Our faculty have attended: NJAIS Diversity Institute; NAIS People of Color Conference; Undoing Racism, NYSAIS Diversity Conference and the CARLE Institute (Critical Analysis of Race in Learning and Education), NJAIS Searching for Gender Inclusivity in the Binary World of Pre K-12 Schools and the NJAIS Equity and Justice conference.
- Visiting Professionals
- Tiffany Taylor Smith "Building a Culturally Competent School Community"
- Ackerman Institute "Creating Gender Inclusive Schools: Supporting Students Beyond the Binary"
- Sara Wicht "Facilitating Critical Conversations in the Classroom" and "Social Justice 101"
- Ongoing Partnerships
- Girls Leadership Institute
- Liberty State Park
- Lutheran Senior Home
- The Seeing Eye
- Reading to Support Our Ongoing Learning
- Summer reading has included:
- How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
- Totto-chan: The Little Girl in the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
- Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky
- Blindspot: Hidden biases of good people by Mahzarin R Banaji
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- George by Alex Gino
- Let's Get Real: Exploring Race, Class and Gender Identities in the Classroom by Martha Caldwell and Omar Frame
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
- White Like Me by Tim Wise
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- What our students are currently reading
- Kindergarten - Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
- 1st grade - Yoko by Rosemary Wells
- 2nd grade - Green City by Allan Drummond
- 3rd grade - The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz
- 4th grade - Calico Girl by Jerdine Nolen
- 5th grade - Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
- 6th grade - A long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
- 7th grade - I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- 8th grade - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Resources for our Families
While research shows that children are aware of differences between one another from a very early age, families use many different approaches when discussing difference with their children.
Below are links to some resources that you may find helpful when it comes to talking to children in a positive, non-judgmental way about these issues.
- The Question Corner (a variety of resources on talking to children about difference provided by Anti-Defamation League)
- Talking to Kids about Gender Stereotypes (MediaSmarts)
- Teaching Young Children about Bias (Edutopia)
- Talking to Young Children about Bias in Toys (Raising Race Conscious Children)
- Continuum on Becoming an Anti-racist, Multicultural Institution
Director of Equity and Student Services