PACE ACADEMY ACTION PLAN FOR RACIAL EQUITY
Statement of Purpose
Pace Academy is committed to eradicating racism and its legacy, and to dismantling any racial hierarchies within our school community. As an institution of learning, we have a responsibility to ensure that every community member feels supported, valued and safe.
Our Action Plan
This Action Plan reflects our commitment now and in the future to look critically at our institutional practices, policies and procedures, and to implement meaningful changes in an effort to establish true racial equity, embedding antiracism in all that we do.
Given the urgency of our national situation and our understanding of the pain, isolation and racism experienced by our Black community members, our Action Plan focuses on anti-Black racism, with the knowledge that our action items will continue to evolve, ultimately enriching the value of the Pace experience for all members of the school community—regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age or ability. This is not a checklist; instead, our plan is an ever-expanding inventory of strategic actions.
This Action Plan calls on all trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and students to take responsibility for fostering an antiracist community—to be a member of this community is to be committed to this process. Given the central importance of this work, the Board of Trustees will provide purposeful support to school leaders as its members work to implement the Action Plan below.
We recognize that we cannot carry out this important work alone. We are committed to enlisting outside support and resources to help us identify further steps to create a more equitable community. It is also vitally important that we continue to listen to the Black voices in our community in the continued development of this plan.
There is no end to this work; this is not a job that we finish. Instead, we must hold each other accountable and strive every day to live out our core values of love, respect and celebration of differences.
Listening & Learning
All members of our community must have the capacity to engage in a manner that demonstrates fluency and strong capabilities to address matters of race, diversity, equity and inclusion. Direct support will be provided by way of training and professional development. To that end, we will:
- Establish cultural competence and an antiracist culture among all school leadership, faculty, staff and students through continued, mandatory training, professional development and education in antiracism, diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Collaborate with the Parents Club, Community of Change and other parent leaders to establish expectations for parent involvement to support an antiracist culture, including educational programming and a deep understanding of community standards.
- Continue to provide robust programming for faculty and staff through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Current initiatives include:
- Diversity and inclusion coordinators in all divisions, available to provide resources, hear concerns, and facilitate training and conversations
- Division-specific faculty diversity committees
- Affinity groups for faculty and staff of color
- A.W.A.R.E. - Pace Alliance of White Anti-Racist Educators has been established as an antiracist ally group for White faculty and staff
Teaching & Curriculum
To become prepared, confident citizens of the world, students must be taught from an antiracist curriculum, one that is factually accurate, includes multiple perspectives and inspires critical thinking. To that end, we will:
- Assess the school's curriculum and content across all grade levels with the assistance of external consultants experienced in providing an antiracist approach to education.
- With the assistance of external experts in the field of antiracist and culturally responsive teaching and learning, assess current teaching practices and provide training for faculty in pedagogical approaches that cultivate belonging for all members of the community.
- Integrate developmentally appropriate student training in antiracism, racial equity and social justice across all divisions.
Pace is grounded in the core value of respect for others and their unique ideas and beliefs. There is no place for hate in our school community. To that end, we will:
- In addition to our existing nondiscrimination and diversity policies, adopt an antiracism policy and community standards to explicitly state our intolerance of behaviors that compromise the experience of any community member.
- Examine the culture around the school's disciplinary system to ensure an equitable, educational, transparent and restorative process.
- Adopt a zero-indifference policy to aggressively address overt racism, the use of hate speech, racist paraphernalia and other forms of bigotry.
- Provide education around informed civil discourse, the use of social media and the role of bystanders in creating an antiracist community.
- Support the continued development of affinity groups for students, faculty and staff in each division.
- Continue to deepen engagement and collaboration with Black and historically underrepresented alumni.
- Develop communication strategies to provide ongoing updates with all constituents regarding antiracist efforts.
To foster a sense of belonging in our school community, all students must see themselves reflected in our leadership, faculty and staff, and must experience meaningful, intentional and authentic support. To that end, we will:
- Ensure that Pace is a safe and supportive space in which to work. In addition to regular training in antiracism for all faculty, specific antiracist and anti-bias training will be provided for school leadership, admissions committees, department chairs and new faculty mentors.
- Hire, support, and retain faculty and staff members who identify with groups historically under-represented at Pace, with an intentional focus on those who identify as Black.
- Throughout the hiring process, clearly communicate our community values, standards and expectations to ensure that we hire faculty and staff who share our mission.
- Explore the creation of a year-long teaching and administration fellowship for young alumni of color interested in entering the field of education, with an intentional focus on those who identify as Black.
Joining Our Community
We strive to be a community reflective of the city and world in which we live. To continue to build an increasingly diverse, inclusive and equitable school family, community members must take seriously their commitment to fostering an antiracist environment. To that end, we will:
- Evaluate the admissions process at all levels to ensure equity.
- Focus admissions outreach efforts on historically underrepresented populations.
- Throughout the admissions process, clearly communicate to prospective families our community values, standards and expectations.
As school leaders, we recognize that it is our responsibility to address this work for the benefit of all—but we cannot do so without committed partners. To ensure that we continue to listen to all community members as we strive toward the aforementioned goals, we will put in place the following feedback loops.
- Schedule regular listening sessions between school leadership and the following community members: student affinity groups, faculty affinity groups, Black parents and the Association of Black Alumni.
- Create a clear process for students, parents, faculty and staff to register concerns about incidents of bias and for the investigation of those incidents. The process must ensure the confidentiality of reporting individuals, and above all, seek to provide resolution.
- Incorporate questions related to equity and inclusion in teacher evaluations and course feedback. Require that faculty leadership address ways in which their grade-level teams and departments have sought to promote inclusive practices in their departments/classrooms in written year-end reports.
- Develop systems for measuring our progress against our stated goals and clearly communicating this progress to our community.
As we embark on this never-ending journey, we pledge to be transparent in our work, to listen, to adapt and to report on our progress. This plan will evolve as members of our community take ownership of its many parts and we make it our own.
Thank you for your partnership in this process.