Holding the image of the human being as a spiritual being is a founding principle of Waldorf Education. Carrying within us the bright flame of individuality, we each come into this life in a distinct and unique way. We are born in a certain geographic place, into a certain family, ethnicity, and culture. We are blessed and challenged with health, illnesses, talents, shortcomings, gender orientations, encounters that lift us beyond joy, and those that burden us sometimes beyond endurance.
The Aurora Waldorf School Faculty, Staff, Board, and Community members are asking ourselves some difficult and liberating questions. Grasping the resources available within our own community as well as with the help of the Waldorf Community and initiatives worldwide, we are taking a good look at our own assumptions and biases as individuals, and also at how we do things here at our school in West Falls, New York.
Two years ago several AWS Staff and Faculty took part in an AWSNA conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and shared inspiring reports. Several parents, faculty, staff, and board members have continued to move these burning issues forward, resulting in honest conversations and a renewed process of self-reflection. This has led to training and engagement on all levels, in the form of readings, attending further conferences and webinars, and discussions during meetings. Review and further development of the City Scholarship initiative are ongoing, as well as work to better internally prepare and train ourselves for the cultivation of a diverse learning community that is sustainable in the long term.
Our full membership with AWSNA now allows us all to network and access a wealth of study material and to take part in ongoing discussions around the continent and beyond. Our school leadership has been actively combing through the offerings and facilitating the work. Invitations have been extended to individuals to help bring diversity to our Board of Trustees. We are examining our curriculum and festival life through different and sharpened lenses and creatively seeking to bring a more conscious balance regarding what we present to the students as stories, literature, and experiences. Some of the resources we are using this summer are listed below. We will keep you updated, and hope you will join us on this enriching journey!