JEDI work is for everyone. Every person brings a unique perspective and identity with them into every space. JEDI work is also for Echo Horizon School. As a co-enrollment full inclusion model, 15% of our students are d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing. 40% of our students identify as students of color, and our students come from over 45 Zip Codes in Los Angeles County. In order to ensure all our students feel a sense of belonging, it is critically important that we engage in JEDI work in a developmentally appropriate way at every age level. For this reason, our JEDI team is inclusive of all adults in our community. The JEDI Committee allows faculty, staff, administrators, parents, and caregivers to collaborate on our JEDI work. The Parent Association and Board of Trustees both have JEDI sub-committees, and our PA JEDI Team runs our Parent Affinity Spaces. Teachers engage regularly in JEDI work both within their classrooms and as adult learners.
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 justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. She was born and raised in Washington D.C. by her Black dad from the rural South and white mom from suburban 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.