Posts from the Diversity Committee
Throughout the year, we’ve been leading a conversation within the RVC community about diversity — what it means, and some of its subtleties.
Now we’re taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture: how our community stacks up compared with the Ross Valley School District, the Town of Fairfax, Marin County, the Bay Area, California, the United States, and Planet Earth.
We’ve been gathering as much diversity-related data as we could throughout the year and we’ve finally got enough to make meaningful comparisons. While in some cases, we had to extrapolate from somewhat dissimilar measures (racial categories differ as we move from local to global, as do definitions of poverty), these graphs provide intriguing context for our diversity discussions. You can find the raw data and links to sources right here.
As we discussed previously, “race” is a social construct, so it’s not surprising that the categories differ as we zoom out to different levels. Nonetheless, some things are readily apparent in this chart. First, RVC is more diverse, particularly in its Hispanic population, than the school district, the town, or the county. We live in the whitest enclave in the entire Bay Area, so RVC’s diversity provides an important counterbalance for our kids to the low diversity they see in the larger community.
RVC, however, is less diverse than the Bay Area at large, in particular in the Asian category, and much less diverse than California as a whole. And compared with the United States, RVC has a very low African American population.
And compared with the whole wide world, RVC (as with pretty much any other school anywhere) represents just a fraction of global racial diversity
In the case of socioeconomic status, RVC has a much higher representation of disadvantaged students than are found locally, and even in the Bay Area as a whole.
Compared with the District (numbers for Fairfax were not available), RVC has more English learners than other schools. At broader levels (Marin and above), we used stats for the number of people who speak a language other than English at home as a proxy. This is not a perfect comparison, because many people who speak other languages at home are also fluent English speakers. However, it provides a way for us to see how our locally English-dominant community is less diverse than the county, region, state, and even country in this regard. Globally, of course, English is just one of many languages.
Disabilities are not culture-bound in the same way as racial categories or languages, and so we can see here that RVC’s level of students living with disabilities is generally in the same range as the numbers for broader areas.
We hope this information can help provide better context for the diversity discussion at RVC by bringing into focus how the school stacks up compared with the bigger picture. We also hope you all have wonderful summers and we’re looking forward to seeing you in the fall!
— The RVC Diversity Committee
Thursday, Sept. 19, 6-8pm at RVC
Jueves Sept 19 6-8pm en RVC
102 Marinda Drive
Childcare will be provided. Please RSVP as soon as possible.
Habrá cuidado de niños. Por favor confirme su asistencialo antes posible
Join us for an evening of education with Alison Park, a nationally recognized speaker on children, gender and diversity. Learn about reframing multiculturalism as an inclusive process for the benefit of students, staff and families.
Alison Park is the founder of Blink Consulting and has
facilitated numerous conferences and partnered with numerous organizations. Prior, she taught for 13 years and earned her B.A. in African Studies at Yale University and holds two Master’s degrees from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
Únase a nosotros para una noche educativa con Alison Park, una conferencista reconocida a nivel nacional sobre niños, género y diversidad. Aprenda a remarcar el multiculturalismo como un proceso inclusivo para beneficio de los estudiantes, personal y familias.
Alison Park es la fundadora. de Blink Consulting y tiene
facilitado numerosas conferencias y socios con numerosas organizaciones. Ella enseñó durante 13 años y obtuvo su Título en estudios africanos en la Universidad de Yale y tiene dos maestrías de la Escuela de Educación de Graduados de Harvard.
By the RVC Diversity Committee
When we talk about “diversity” in our school, we’re discussing the degree to which the school community reflects the range of different kinds of people in the wider world.
In the United States, because of our history, diversity is often primarily thought of as racial diversity, but race is just one dimension of diversity. People also differ from one another in many other dimensions, including gender and gender identity, languages spoken, class, culture, cognitive style, education, income, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and more.
Research has shown that these kinds of differences can make it harder for people to connect and empathize with one another. Learning how to work with people who are different from yourself in some way is one of the great benefits of having a diverse school community.
Different perspectives can contribute to many kinds of discussions and problem solving, helping to make a more robust and effective community. A richness of perspectives in the classroom prepares our kids for lives in our very diverse part of the world–one that will be even more diverse in the future. This kind of proactive diversity goes beyond learning tolerance to developing an understanding that diverse perspectives can lead to better, more creative outcomes.
Navigating and celebrating difference is a prosocial skill, like empathy or forgiveness, that can be learned and developed. In our diverse society, learning to work across differences broadens our horizons and opens up possibilities.
And attention to diversity does something else as well: when we look at the differences between people, we also see more clearly what we have in common. We understand what is truly universal to all people, regardless of who they are or where they come from: a capacity to love, a yearning to belong, laughter and tears. A diverse environment helps each of us to appreciate more fully what it is to be human.
Thank you for reading! Please connect with us, share your feedback, when we cross paths at school.
Coming up! We very much hope that you plan on attending the September 19th Parent Ed: Children and Gender talk by renowned speaker Alison Park. Get updated on what your child will be engaging in the changing world of gender. Don’t miss the wonderfully stimulating, inclusive discussion with never-ever-boring speaker Alison Park.