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Strategic Framework: Donate

STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK

Societal Equity.png
Cracked Mud

ACHIEVING SOCIETAL EQUITY

Puzzles Fit Together Because of Their Differences

INTRODUCTION

Explore More Information: Observing the social dynamics within society reveals continuous engagement in conflict from various angles, rooted in the very diversity present. The critical question that needs consideration is whether diversity is pursued authentically to achieve equitable coexistence or if it's merely a tug-of-war to create a new wave of homogeneity or maintain existing hegemony structures, reinforcing marginalization. Neither of these paths leads to societal equity. ​ At the core, the desire for true freedom is universal. It's the inherent right of everyone to live freely and be themselves without constraints. Individuals within federally protected classes, which will be referred to here as the Human Protective Rights Group or HPR, encompass categories such as race, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, color, religion, sex, and more, all of which are part of DEI work. Numerous examples from individuals within each element highlight the need to assert freedom and rights. For instance, the sentiment that "my skin color is shades darker should not criminalize me or label me as a non-entity, burdening me to prove myself or appease someone's biased perception." ​ However, navigating authentic societal equity requires ensuring that everyone's rights to freedom are upheld without resulting in the loss of freedom for another. To navigate true societal equity, creating public value with individual-utilitarian support for collective wellness, personal ethos-empathy assertions for free living, and mirror-window viewing for harmonious coexistence require understanding the reality of our social structures. The historic establishment of hegemonic and marginalized groups in our social structures must be undone, and the aftermath cleaned up, currently being addressed through three essential approaches: ​ 1.    Policy-Making 2.    Legislative Acts 3.    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ​Focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the DEI work is geared towards dismantling the aftermath of insertions of societal hegemony and marginalization to obtain a level playing field. The DEI work involves striving for a humanistic paradigm devoid of political entanglements while simultaneously navigating processes to prevent the fostering of hatred based on differences in values, perspectives, or identity, thereby cultivating a climate of equitable coexistence. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that certain diverse perspectives cannot seamlessly merge into a collective understanding and inherently maintain their unique exclusivity. Take, for example, religion, a federally protected class under the Human Protective Right (HPR) groups, where the belief in God (a religious mindset) and the absence of belief in God (an atheistic mindset) are fundamentally incompatible. Consequently, these diverse perspectives require acknowledgment, together with all other perspectives, values, and identities, whether mutually exclusive or not, and demand delicate navigation and balance to achieve equitable coexistence in our society. The objective is to establish a framework genuinely embodying the essence of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work, promoting equitable coexistence towards societal equity, and ensuring all students experience fair treatment and a safe mental and emotional atmosphere in our schools without continuously violating the dignity of the marginalized. The sensitivity of DEI work can be likened to our response to smells. Some actively seek out equity issues, constantly attuned to detecting disparities like someone trying to identify a foul odor. Others, however, are less inclined to be actively engaged and can become desensitized to the work. This resembles how our senses adapt to a strong smell over time, eventually becoming numb. For those of us where the lingering scent has permeated our nostrils, there is a collective awareness that although some aspects of DEI initiatives may have made commendable strides, the effectiveness of these efforts remains constrained and woefully inadequate. This is primarily due to the flawed positioning of DEI experts in institutions, the restrictions on the work, and, more importantly, the need for an apolitical implementation of the work provided. All these factors have limited relevance to the impact of DEI work on achieving societal equity. At this point, insights will be shared that encompass concerns raised and examples of practical implementation drawn from informed knowledge, covering various facets of DEI work. For clarity, the work of DEI is outlined in three main areas: ​1.    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work aims to foster an atmosphere that cultivates a safe emotional and mental environment and ensures fair experiences for marginalized individuals just like everybody else. This is achieved through proactive and reactive measures across all levels of an institution.  2.    Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion work is dedicated to bringing awareness and education about the ostracized states of marginalized groups and, hence, how the aftermath of their exclusion from participatory roles in the diverse facets of our shared society endeavors and structures looks like today. This is achieved through professional development and candid conversation initiatives across levels of an institution.  3.    Diversity, Equity, and inclusion work in Curriculum focuses on diverse representation and pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. This is achieved through Culturally Responsive Sustainable Education across all levels of academic disciplines, not just within an earmarked DEI class.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSIVITY

Explore More Information: 1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work aims to foster an atmosphere that cultivates a safe emotional and mental environment and ensures fair experiences for marginalized individuals just like everybody else. This is achieved through proactive and reactive measures across all levels of an institution. Proactive and Reactive Measures: Proactive measures focus on building empathy by acknowledging lived experiences without perpetuating the "othering" of marginalized individuals. Reactive measures concentrate on restorative practices and cultural humility to counteract discrimination, emphasizing true empathy over sympathy. A. Proactive Measures ​Focused on empathy building through navigating elements of lived experiences across all institutional levels as Example of Concern Raised: Empathy building should not perpetuate the "othering" of marginalized individuals but recognize their identities beyond reductive labels, such as viewing someone as a scientist first rather than primarily through the lens of race. However, poorly executed empathy-building efforts can backfire, reinforcing stereotypes, oversimplifying the challenges faced by marginalized groups, or fostering empathy bias by focusing on specific groups at the expense of others. Moreover, performative empathy—superficial gestures lacking in meaningful change—can undermine genuine attempts to tackle systemic issues, turning diversity and inclusion efforts into mere formalities rather than sincere attempts to understand and address deep-rooted disparities. Vivid Example: For instance, instead of categorizing someone as solely a "black scientist," the focus shifts to acknowledging them as scientists who happen to be black. Example of Practical Implementation: Effective empathy-building and anti-stereotyping measures include peer mentorship and student support circles emphasizing genuine understanding over tokenism. This approach involves valuing the unique perspectives of individuals from marginalized backgrounds without reducing their identities to mere quotas. Promoting cultural competence encourages an appreciation for cultural nuances without appropriation or oversimplification. By recognizing the diversity within marginalized groups and avoiding assumptions or generalizations, this strategy fosters an environment where diverse cultures are authentically celebrated and understood, helping to prevent the reinforcement of existing biases. B. Reactive Measures Focused on restorative practices, navigating elements of lived experiences, and exercising cultural humility across all levels of institutional engagements. Example of Concern Raised: Restorative practices can unintentionally support a deficit narrative about marginalized individuals by promoting sympathy over genuine empathy. True empathy requires deeply understanding others' experiences as if they were one's own. For instance, a Black person should try to empathize with a Jewish person facing anti-Semitism by relating it to their own experiences of racial slurs. Empathy, thus, involves a deep connection and understanding beyond mere sympathy, which can sometimes position offenders as superior to victims by suggesting that victims need offenders' pity for validation. Vivid Example: For instance, suppose a Jewish person encounters the derogatory "K-Word" from a Black person. In that case, empathy involves the Black person envisioning themselves in a similar situation, not as a Jewish person, but as a Black individual subjected to the derogatory N-word. Example of Practical Implementation: Implementing reactive measures against discrimination involves using restorative circle practices, acknowledging diverse experiences, and fostering cultural humility across all institutional levels. This strategy establishes a discrimination-free environment, ensuring fairness for everyone, especially marginalized individuals. Essential actions include facilitating restorative circles for open dialogue, offering personalized support, providing cultural humility training, setting up transparent reporting systems, holding people accountable for discrimination, and regularly assessing the effectiveness of these measures. These efforts help create an environment that actively fights discrimination and supports equal opportunities for all. 2. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion work is dedicated to bringing awareness and education about the ostracized states of marginalized groups and, hence, how the aftermath of their exclusion from participatory roles in the diverse facets of our shared society endeavors and structures looks like today. This is achieved through professional development and candid conversation initiatives across levels of an institution. Professional Development and Candid Conversations: Professional development in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work aims to distinguish these efforts from political underpinnings clearly. The focus is on maintaining humanistic values associated with the work, respecting individual preferences, and acknowledging diverse experiences. Candid conversations are centered on enhancing Social and Cultural Competency to dismantle marginalized and hegemonic structures for equitable coexistence, promoting open discussions to address cognitive dissonances and situate conceptual ecologies within diverse societal perspectives. A. Professional Development Focused on delineating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work from socio-political underpinnings to maintain the focused humanistic efforts associated with the work. Example of Concern Raised: There are concerns about potential resistance to acknowledging the historical roots of racism and ethnicity-based oppression within professional development. Some argue that delving into historical aspects may trigger discomfort or resistance among individuals who feel they bear no personal responsibility for past injustices. However, the goal is not to assign blame but to cultivate understanding, fostering a shared commitment to dismantling systemic inequalities. Vivid Example: For instance, within a professional setting, addressing the historical context of discriminatory practices may evoke discomfort for those who were not directly involved but are part of the system inheriting its consequences. It's akin to a team inheriting a losing record from the past season – the discomfort may arise not from personal fault but from the shared responsibility to improve the team's future performance. Example of Practical Implementation: Professional development programs can navigate these concerns by framing historical discussions as opportunities for collective learning and growth. Emphasizing the shared responsibility to create an inclusive and equitable work environment, the focus should be on developing strategies to address present-day challenges rather than assigning blame for past injustices. B. Candid Conversations Focused on enhancing the underpinnings and understanding of Social and Cultural Competency in dismantling both marginalized and hegemony structures towards attaining an equitable co-existence for all. Example of Concern Raised: In candid conversations addressing ethnicity othering, concerns emerge regarding the unintentional reinforcement of cultural stereotypes. Some express worry that discussing cultural differences may perpetuate biased beliefs, contributing to the division between ethnic groups. However, the primary goal is to foster a deeper understanding of diverse cultural backgrounds, moving beyond stereotypes and promoting unity through shared experiences. Vivid Example: Discussing stereotypes about a particular ethnic group's traditional practices may inadvertently reinforce biases. Instead, a candid conversation could explore the rich history and significance of those practices, encouraging participants to appreciate the cultural diversity within the group. Example of a Practical Implementation: Implementing guidelines for candid conversations emphasizing the importance of dispelling stereotypes through shared narratives. Facilitators can encourage participants to share personal stories, traditions, and cultural practices, fostering empathy and breaking down preconceived notions. This approach ensures that candid conversations contribute to building bridges between different ethnic communities and promoting a more inclusive and equitable coexistence. 3. Diversity, Equity, and inclusion work in Curriculum focuses on diverse representation and pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. This is achieved through Culturally Responsive Sustainable Education across all levels of academic disciplines, not just within an earmarked DEI class. ​Curriculum Reconstruction  and Pedagogy:  Culturally Responsive Sustainable Education (CRSE) integrates diverse cultural perspectives across all academic fields to foster a more inclusive, equitable, and engaging learning environment. Implementing DEI in curriculum reconstruction involves promoting true representation and equity while avoiding the appearance of indoctrination, using appropriate pedagogical methods. The focus across disciplines is on enhancing critical thinking, encouraging open dialogue, and ensuring a balanced perspective. True equity is achieved by embracing diversity without enforcing a singular narrative, creating an inclusive and intellectually stimulating atmosphere for all students.  ​A. Curriculum Reconstruction  Focus on Representation  Social Studies: Authentic representation entails exploring historical events from multiple perspectives, integrating diverse cultures beyond Eurocentric focus—encompassing Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East for global significance. ​History: Authentic representation involves expanding the curriculum to include lesser-known events and figures from indigenous cultures, women, and minority groups, presenting a comprehensive and inclusive narrative that highlights achievements despite power dynamics and marginalization. ​Science: Authentic representation includes highlighting contributions of scientists from diverse backgrounds and incorporating traditional ecological knowledge for a holistic understanding. This ensures a comprehensive exploration of scientific topics beyond mainstream principles. Literature: Authentic representation in academia involves diversifying the literary canon by incorporating works from authors of diverse ethnicities, genders, and cultural backgrounds, ensuring students see themselves reflected in empowering ways. Mathematics: Authentic representation involves incorporating examples from diverse cultures to illustrate the universal applicability of mathematical concepts. Achieving equity requires integrating real-world issues, mathematicians from diverse backgrounds, and diverse family structures in problem sets. B. Pedagogy  Focus on Pedagogical Approaches Social Studies: The approach involves Comparative Analysis with the goal of fostering a nuanced understanding of diverse cultures and histories, promoting empathy and respect for varied perspectives. History: The approach is Inclusive Narrative, aiming to encourage students to critically evaluate historical contexts without imposing value judgments. It provides a comprehensive and inclusive narrative that respects diverse experiences. ​Science: The approach integrates Traditional Ecological Knowledge, emphasizing the interconnectedness of scientific concepts and cultural contexts, offering a holistic understanding of science that values diverse perspectives and knowledge systems. Literature: The approach is Diversifying the Literary Canon, encouraging critical analysis of texts without imposing specific interpretations. It provides students with a rich and varied understanding of human experiences, allowing them to connect with literature on a personal level. Mathematics: The approach is Real-World Problem Solving, encouraging students to approach problem-solving with cultural sensitivity and promoting the application of mathematical principles in diverse contexts. This allows students to recognize the relevance of math in their own lives and communities.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TOPICS

Explore More Information: Dismantling Harmful Ideologies and Fostering Racial, Color, and Ethnic Equity Through Education, Advocacy, and Outreach Introduction: The subtle propagation and deliberate reinforcement of harmful ideologies that demean and exert control over others erode our authentic sense of identity. Understanding the root causes sustaining these ideologies necessitates thoroughly examining past incidents' outcomes. By confronting these harmful beliefs, advocating for equity, and implementing tangible strategies, we can progress toward a society devoid of racism, colorism, and ethnic othering. Through active community involvement, educational assistance, and inclusive educational materials,  P-CoC Inc is dedicated to cultivating racial and color equity for everyone. Conceptual Framework: Racism, colorism, and ethnicity-othering stem from the minimal group paradigm, which systematically affects societies worldwide. Race constructs hierarchies to establish social dominance, while colorism uses skin color as a criterion for racial identification. To foster equitable coexistence, it is necessary to challenge the notions of race, unlearn the dominance associated with whiteness, reconstruct ethnicities as demographic identities, and promote multiculturalism, cultural competence, and humility. Language and Culture: Language and culture are intertwined, and mastering a second language may result in cultural assimilation. Understanding the impact of language acquisition on culture is crucial for promoting cultural competence and humility. Marginalized cultures often face pressure to assimilate into dominant cultures, with language and accents used as cursory identifiers. Assimilation is wrongly presented as a superior form of educational attainment. P-CoC Inc.'s Holistic Approach to Promoting Race, Color, and Ethnic Equity VIP, PAS, PIC, and RAP Initiatives Fighting racism, colorism, ethnic-othering means tackling harmful ideologies, not individuals. It calls for adopting an equity perspective, tracing outcomes, promoting fairness, and strategizing to dismantle discriminatory practices. Creating equitable spaces like communities and schools is vital. Understanding diverse aspects of human experience, including social, natural, cognitive, conscious, and spiritual dimensions, is essential to each other's holistic state. P-CoC Inc.'s Strategic Framework strives for race and color equity through community outreach, personalized academic support, and parallel curricula as supplementary measures. Value Integration Programs [VIP]: Identifying marginalized groups and fostering integrative support. Creating environment ecologies that promote coexistence and integration. Personalized Academic Support [PAS]: Establishing safe and inclusive academic spaces that address educational, social, emotional, and physical well-being. Design scenarios catering to learners' backgrounds, preferences, and academic personality types. Parallel Integrative Curricula [PIC]: Integrating diverse perspectives and experiences in curricula. Collaborating with schools, educators, authors, and publishers to promote racial and color diversity representation. Engaging in community outreach and advocacy through cultural expression showcases, workshops, and support services. Restorative Action Process [RAP]: Moral development is closely tied to the amygdala's growth and function, which plays a vital role in empathy development, observable through size correlations. The amygdala exhibits ongoing neurogenerative tendencies, suggesting that empathy can be nurtured throughout life. Restorative action processes are crucial to encourage this neurogenerative process and foster empathy. Restorative Action Process (RAP) is a preventative measure within disciplinary systems, particularly concerning human protective rights like race and color. This approach helps individuals develop their amygdala and enhance their empathetic skills. Implementing this in schools requires rethinking traditional responses to misconduct. Unlike standard disciplinary actions like detention or suspension, RAP involves confrontation, collaboration, and repairing relationships, ensuring genuine remorse and validation rather than superiority. Ineffectively implemented restorative justice can be counterproductive, inadvertently elevating the wrongdoer and leaving the victim feeling at the mercy of the wrongdoer's compassion rather than feeling validated in the restorative experience. Effective restorative justice promotes healing, reconciliation, and mutual understanding among all parties involved. Proactive and Reactive Restorative Framework Concern = Othered Effect: Response: Emphasize diversity as the primary focus. Approach: Establish a sense of belonging within the broader diversity of our world, where individuals see themselves as integral parts of this rich tapestry. Concern = Eroding Innocence: Response: Frame information as knowledge acquisition, not indoctrination. Approach: Provide information as a tool for acquiring knowledge, avoiding any attempt to erode innocence. The goal is to educate rather than alter perspectives or identities. Concern = Traumatization: Response: Use exposure as a preventative navigation strategy. Approach: Acknowledge the existence of marginalization and hegemony, desensitize individuals to potential challenges they might face, and empower them by highlighting their historical cultures and contributions to counteract deficit mindsets. Concern = Deficit Mindsets: Response: Empower individuals by countering deficit mindsets. Approach: Simultaneously address the deficit mindset by empowering students with knowledge about their rich cultural heritage, fostering pride in their contributions to the world. This empowerment aligns with the preventative navigation against trauma. Concern =  Empathetic Process: Response: Shift from sympathy to empathy. Approach: Encourage an empathetic understanding rather than a sympathetic response. Empathy involves sharing the hurt and anger others feel by connecting with relatable elements from one's lived experiences to mirror marginalized perspectives. Foster an environment where individuals connect with others through genuine understanding, avoiding a superficial or patronizing approach. Pre-Teaching Sensitive Topics Pedagogical Technique: Culturally Responsive and Affirming Approach Pre-teaching sensitive topics, like the Holocaust or Slavery, through open dialogue ensures a nuanced understanding while empowering students to appreciate diverse experiences. However, careful framing is crucial to avoid leaving students from oppressed groups feeling ashamed or diminished. This technique aims to collectively empower students, fostering reflection, empathy, and a commitment to positive change, thereby ensuring lessons promote understanding and resilience without reinforcing negative stereotypes or biases. Build Trust and Establish a Safe Space: Foster a classroom environment that encourages open dialogue and respect. Establish trust through activities that promote understanding and community building. Provide Context and Trigger Warnings: Offer context and frame the lesson with clear objectives. Give students advance notice about the sensitive nature of the topic to prepare them emotionally. Offer Diverse Perspectives: Present a range of voices and experiences, including those of resilience and empowerment. Showcase stories of individuals who resisted oppression and contributed positively to change. Empowerment Through Education: Emphasize the importance of learning from history to promote understanding and prevent the repetition of injustices. Connect context of content to contemporary issues and actions for positive change. Facilitate Critical Thinking and Discussion: Encourage critical analysis of content context and their implications. Provide space for respectful discussion, allowing students to express their thoughts and feelings. Use Multimodal Resources: Incorporate a variety of resources, such as videos, literature, and guest speakers, to offer different perspectives. Use materials that portray the strength and resilience of oppressed communities. Acknowledge and Validate Emotions: Recognize that discussions on sensitive topics may evoke strong emotions. Create opportunities for students to share their feelings, ensuring a supportive atmosphere. Connect Learning to Empowerment: Conclude the lesson with a focus on how understanding these historical events can empower individuals to contribute to a more just and equitable society. Highlight positive actions and initiatives that promote inclusivity and social justice.

​PROPOSED DEMOGRAPHIC IDENTITY

In light of concerns regarding racialized ethnicity, we are undertaking an initiative to propose an update to our demographic identity framework. For instance, the term "White" in our current demographic ethnicity options perpetuates historical notions of white superiority and extends them into contemporary contexts. This initiative aims to better represent the diverse backgrounds within our society, acknowledging the complex ancestral heritages and underscoring the connections that link us to our ancestral continents and nationalities. Below is a preview of the proposed changes to reflect the evolving demographics within our society.

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Disclaimer:
This initiative to update our demographic identity is a voluntary and internal effort within our organization. It is not a replacement for the official U.S. Bureau of Census demographic data. Our aim is to celebrate the diverse heritage within our community and highlight ancestral connections. The information gathered through this initiative is for organizational purposes and does not influence official government records.

Sources
Disclaimer: Sources are continuously updated to maintain the currency of information; thus, the addition date of any content on this page may precede the most recent years mentioned in the sources. Consequently, observing a source with the most current year listed as for example 2023 does not necessarily indicate that the information on this page was posted in 2023.

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  • Bernard, C., & Talbot, B. C. (2023). Music Teachers’ Experiences with Implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Music Educators Journal, 109(3), 26-33. https://doi.org/10.1177/002743212311596

  • Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. Teachers College Press.

  • Heath, M., Due, C., Hamood, W., Hutchinson, A., Leiman, T., Maxfield, K., & Warland, J. (2017). Teaching sensitive material: A multi-disciplinary perspective. ergo, 4(1).

  • Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465-491. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312032003465

  • Moore, M. H. (1997). Creating public value: Strategic management in government. Harvard University Press.

  • New York State Education Department. (n.d.). Culturally responsive-sustaining education framework. Retrieved from http://www.nysed.gov/crs/framework

  • Paris, D., & Alim, H. S. (2017). Culturally sustaining pedagogies: Teaching and learning for justice in a changing world. Teachers College Press.

  • Passarella, A. (2017). Restorative practices in schools.

  • Thorsborne, M., & Blood, P. (2013). Implementing restorative practices in schools: A practical guide to transforming school communities. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

  • Unknown/Anonymous. (personal communication, n.d.). Examples Provided.

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