Booker T. Washington Middle School has established an Equity Team whose goals include enhancing and improving efforts to ensure academic success by closing opportunity gaps and providing equitable and inclusive working and learning environments for all students, families, staff and communities. Additionally, it is intended that increase in diversity and equity and establishing these conversations will lead to tangible and intangible results such as increased cultural understanding and decreased discipline rates. The specific goals of the Equity Team will be determined by its committee so that we can determine the focus most appropriate for our school.
The NYC Department of Education has established the Equity and Excellence for All program with the intention of supporting diversity in New York City public schools. For the NYC Department of Education "Equity" means meeting every student where they are, and providing the support, resources, and high expectations for them to achieve at consistently high levels.
District 3 has asked that all schools create a distinct Equity Team comprised of parents, students, faculty and administration to begin the process of assessing what equity and diversity means for their school community and begin the process of establishing an open dialogue.
The definition of diversity includes: Socio-economic, Region, Disability, Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, Language, Age, Religion.
The DOE is committed to creating and supporting learning environments that reflect the diversity of New York City and with the belief that all students benefit from diverse and inclusive schools and classrooms.
Randee Johnson, teacher
Nildania Perez, parent
October 19, 2021
November 23, 2021
NEWS and resources
Transgender Awareness Week
November 13 - 19, 2021
Fostering a safe and affirming community in which all students thrive is a central tenet of MS54’s Equity work. We do this by providing support and raising awareness of different communities within our school. This week we encourage you to read the DOE's guidelines on supporting transgender and gender expansive students and best practices for families to support their children.
Native American History Month
November is National Native American Heritage Month. Manhattan, the ancestral home of the Lenape tribe, is derived from the Lenape language and is loosely translated as “place of many hills”.
National Museum of the American Indian Meetup
November 11, 2021 @ 11am
RSVP by November 9th was required to attend. All participants 12 years and older are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit the museum.
If you could not make it to the meet-up, there are many online resources and activities available to help you celebrate and learn more about Native Americans. Read the work of our current and first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo.
The New York Public Library has a collection of resources to help you explore and learn more about Native American cultures, languages and literature.
Celebrate the best of Native cinema with the Smithsonian’s Native Cinema Showcase running November 12 - 18, 2021. Featuring the cultures and perspective of thirty-nine Native communities in the Western Hemisphere, this online showcase includes full length features, shorts, and filmmaker panel discussions available on demand.
Learn about the various thanksgiving traditions in Native communities and the origins of the “First Thanksgiving”.
Diwali, November 4, 2021
This week, Diwali, or Deepavali, is celebrated worldwide by people of South Asian descent, including Hindus, some Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Both a secular and religious holiday, it marks the triumph of light over darkness and is celebrated by the lighting of candles, exchange of gifts and enjoying meals together. Learn more about Diwali.
October 2021 Meeting Summary
The Equity Team hosted an open meeting in which we discussed ways to foster a welcoming and safe community for all of our students. Topics included providing discrete support for menstruating students; building positive relationships with parents/guardians; and creating spaces for students to constructively resolve conflicts.
We also introduced the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework developed by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) to assist school communities in implementing a pedagogical approach that capitalizes on students’ cultural assets. Read the meeting slides and learn more about the CR-S Framework.
Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15th through October 15th marks Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month. This month we will celebrate the culture and accomplishments of people of Hispanic and Latinx descent by highlighting stories, artists and thinkers that will inspire you.
Welcome to 2021 -2022!
The Equity Team welcomes you to the 2021-2022 school year! You can learn more about our mission and access our resources here and in our archives. We encourage you to share your ideas, questions and suggestions for creating an inclusive and equitable community at Booker T.
October 2021 Meeting
We invite all members of the community to join us for an open meeting on Tuesday, October 19th at 7pm. We will discuss our goals for this academic year and do a deep dive into culturally responsive educational practices. Here is a summary of last year’s activities, insights and suggested goals for this year.
STUDENT AFFINITY GROUPS
ASIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
The Asian American Association was founded by a cohort of students who were inspired by the growing sense of Asian activism during the winter of 2020.
If you’re interested in joining us for the 2021-2022 school year, please fill out the prospective member survey!
GENDER SEXUALITY ALLIANCE
The GSA is a safe space for all students to be themselves and to discuss LGBTQ+ issues, problems and experiences - while both improving the schools community and of course, hanging out with friends and having fun!
If you are interested in joining us or have questions, please sign up for more info (you must have a DOE account) or e-mail Ms. Saltzman.
SHADES: A MULTICULTURAL AFFINITY GROUP
Do you identify as Black, African American, Latinx, Caribbean American, or a person of color? Do you want to have a space to talk about topics relevant to our communities? Come join us to constructively discuss topics unique to young people of color.
If you are interested in joining us or have questions, please e-mail Mrs. Weisz, Ms. Mason or Ms. Johnson.