Julia Blount is the Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). Julia’s experiences as an independent school student and as an educator inform her approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She was born and raised in Washington D.C. by her Black dad from the rural South and white mom from urban New England. Growing up in an interracial family meant that she learned valuable lessons about different traditions, cultures, and lived experiences from a young age. JEDI practitioners often talk about ensuring students have windows (stories and people that provide a view into another experience) and mirrors (stories and people that reflect their own culture). As someone who rarely found “mirrors” growing up, her hope is to help create a learning environment that affirms and recognizes all students and their complex and unique identities.
Liza DeWitt is the Lower Elementary JEDI Coordinator. As a white educator, she comes to this JEDI work from a place of deep humility, empathy, and desire to learn. She understands the ways in which dominant narratives and identities have harmed historically marginalized people and believes that we must teach our students that no one race, gender, ability, or culture is more important than another. She believes that we have a unique opportunity as educators to provide a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that allows students to envision a more just society that they can later help create. She also feels that the labor of institutional DEI work should not lie solely on faculty of color but that white educators must step up to lead alongside them.
Our families and teachers are also leaders in JEDI at Echo Horizon School. Our JEDI Committee is a faculty-parent group that works collaboratively to continue to develop our JEDI programming for families, faculty, and students. They help bring our initiatives to life, and all community members are welcome and encouraged to attend. The Parent Association also has its own JEDI Committee that helps us run parent and family-facing JEDI events.