Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusivity

 

In the Spring of 2020 we knew it was important to share more explicitly how we incorporate our Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity (JEDI) work into our program, across all subjects and throughout the year. Hence the birth of the MPFS JEDI Task Force, made up of teachers, families, administration, and trustees. MPFS Families: click here to sign-up.

JEDI Task force goals

Our JEDI goals, broadly outlined, are to foster positive identities (racial, gender, religion, sexuality, family structure, class & ability) in our students, staff, families, and trustees, and encourage their personal development by:

  • raising awareness and building literacy by engaging in explicit conversations about our identities
  • honoring the intersectionality that exists within ourselves and members of our community, thus increasing our capacity for empathy
  • encouraging our community to take action when they see injustice, prejudice, and bigotry in the world.

We understand this work is dynamic and ongoing, and will require us to continue to learn and grow. Click here for recent JEDI updates and resources.

Teachers have incorporated social justice in a wide variety of ways over many years, and not just in January and February. Social Justice is wide reaching across subjects, and is honored throughout the curriculum all year long. This year we are committed to being more intentional about communicating and sharing our JEDI work with our community, as well as bringing more professional development and family events centered around JEDI topics and engagement. Some of these have/will include:

  • 2020-21:The MPFS Listening Campaign, facilitated by the Philly Children’s Movement
  • The Race Institute (faculty) with Toni Graves Williamson and Ali Michaels
  • February 4 - February 11, 2021: Access to the film Virtually Free by Andre Robert Lee
  • February 9, 2021: Q&A sessions with Andre Robert Lee for our middle school students (2pm) and our families (7pm) 
  • April 7, 2021: Sonja Cherry Paul joins our faculty meeting after school and presents to families that same evening.

This is a year of intentional purpose and more realistically, years of purpose in the pursuit of growing our racial literacy and positive racial identities, for our students, faculty, and families. Diversity is our super power, and as Katherine W. Phillps (Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and ethics and senior vice dean at Columbia Business School) writes in her 2014 (republished in 2020) for Scientific American, “Diversity enhances creativity.  It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, learning to better decision making and problem solving.”

During a difficult year that has, more than ever, brought the importance of this work to the forefront, MPFS pledges to be an example to our community that racial literacy and teaching social justice issues are not simply one-off lessons to be completed each year. In the same way that Friends education infuses the SPICES across subjects, our work with JEDI is a journey of learning and discovery that must be fostered throughout the curriculum.

To see recent updates and view resources from the JEDI Task Force, click here. MPFS families interested in joining the JEDI Task Force may do so by completing the form here. If you are interested in helping to support this work, click here for our funding pledge form.

For any questions about JEDI, or any other aspect of our programming, please contact Director of Admissions & Programming, Angela DiMaria.