Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
What is Diversity?
Diversity is understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, (dis)ability status, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
What is Equity?
Equity is an approach that ensures everyone access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers exist, and that, as a result, we all don’t start from the same place. Equity is a process that begins by acknowledging that unequal starting place and continues to correct and address the imbalance.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. An inclusive organization promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members.
What is Belonging?
Belonging is the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group. It is when an individual can bring their authentic self to work. When employees feel like they don’t belong at work, their performance and their personal lives suffer. Creating genuine feelings of belonging for all is a critical factor in improving engagement and performance. It also helps support business goals.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
In accordance with one of the District's Goals, the Mendham Township School District will:
Cultivate an inclusive climate that champions DEIB - including race, socio-economic background, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, language, and national origin.
- Empower a DEIB Employee Council to work closely with the DEIB Student Council, whose membership will include the Superintendent of Schools, teachers, staff, and student leaders in order to ensure a close working partnership and a clear pathway for change.
- Develop a speaker series and student events to bring varied perspectives on critical issues and ideas and incorporate time for students to discuss these issues in smaller groups.
- Enhance restorative practices to bias incidents and conflicts when appropriate. Restorative practices are a learning approach that encourages behavior that is supportive and respectful. It puts the onus on individuals to be truly accountable for their behavior and to repair any harm caused to others as a result of their actions.
- Revamp our public profile to showcase the school district’s DEIB vision and statement of beliefs, action plan, and related progress, to include a special focus on DEIB news, events, and programming.
- Complete the work on the Anti-Racism Standards for the MTSD. Our standards examine how to work together to change their our own lives and the world around us, how to work together to eliminate prejudice, discrimination, and racism, and how to develop global skills & competencies such as communication and collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, intercultural competence and citizenship, emotional self-regulation and well-being, and digital literacy.
- Develop and complete an action plan following the audit of our Human Resources program, implementing changes designed to encourage the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce
In support of this goal, we will measure the number and impact of DEIB-focused events, workshops, and initiatives conducted throughout the school year through student survey. In addition, we will monitor and analyze changes in the public profile and communication materials to ensure they effectively showcase the school district's DEIB vision, action plan, and progress.