Ensuring equity, honoring diversity
(June 2020) Witnessing the events of the last several weeks has caused all of us at NEASC to reflect on the systemic racism against Black Americans, including the violence and brutality of some in the law enforcement community. We all have a responsibility to condemn the violence we have seen and to ask ourselves what we can do in our personal and professional conduct to help address these injustices.
NEASC stands for justice, equity, inclusion, respect, and acceptance of diversity. These principles are deeply embedded in our Standards for Accreditation and are reflected in every accreditation visit and in every report. Accreditation is granted only when schools embrace principles such as: "The school creates policies and protocols to define and support respectful treatment of all members of the school community", "the school actively emphasizes and strengthens understanding of, and commitment to, equity and diversity,” and “the school community provides a safe, positive, respectful, and inclusive culture that ensures equity and honors diversity in identity and thought.”
While these truths are fundamental to NEASC's approaches and requirements for all schools, the deeply painful experiences of the last few weeks require us to acknowledge that we simply must do more.
We at NEASC intend to look deeply at our own practice and our own approaches to ensure that our statements about equity, justice, and inclusion are borne out in our own actions. Equally as important, we intend to listen to you and those members of our school communities who experience such racism in their own lives. We call upon all our schools to continue to embrace this important work and we applaud your efforts to bring meaning and life to this purpose. Almost all school mission and core value statements include language about diversity and fairness. We say the right things. The real challenge before us now is to ensure we truly do the right things.
Cameron C. Staples
President/CEO of NEASC
released 05 June 2020