The Washington Waldorf School is committed to educating children in a welcoming school community that reflects the rich diversity of the greater Washington metropolitan area. WWS is an inclusive community of students, families, faculty, and staff that strives to maintain diversity of race, color, ethnic background, religion, economic status, gender, age, and sexual orientation. We educate our students to respect the dignity of all people.
Leadership Council for Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice Mission Statement
The Leadership Council for Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice is a working group comprised of parents and faculty that seeks to be an engine of meaningful transformation in critical areas of diversity and social justice at the Washington Waldorf School. Our belief is that the holistic and dynamic nature of Waldorf education’s living curriculum and the Washington Waldorf School’s location in metropolitan DC uniquely positions our school to make a lasting and substantive impact on thinking and action. This begins with re-imagining diversity as a living mosaic in which difference is both honored and represented in our curriculum, student body, and faculty.
We aim to raise awareness and provide critical forums for engagement, and are committed to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. This includes intentionally building understanding of one another through meaningful dialogue within our own community. We seek to acknowledge and celebrate the existing diversity within our school, while striving to better mirror the rich lifeways of the world in which we live. In doing so, we hope that our children may then see themselves reflected in their peers and role models. We commit to supporting our school in being a place where everyone is valued and welcomed.
The Leadership Council maintains a list of Resources for Parents as well as Racism 101 Self Development Resources for All.
Over the years, many WWS teachers have sought to broaden the cultural perspective of their lessons to make them more diverse and inclusive. In the summer of 2020 the faculty began a collective, deeper look at anti-racism in the classroom. The first task was an audit of the curriculum at WWS, looking specifically through the lens of anti-racism. The full faculty also engaged in personal reflection and group discussions. Our teachers continue to draw on this inspiring work as they shape their lessons and engage their students in an actively anti-racist education where the children see themselves, and see how the world can continue to be transformed for the better.
Here are some examples of how we have already started to make changes:
- De-centering the history curriculum by, instead of focusing on a "single story," bringing in more voices.
- Expanding reading sources to improve diversity of voice and to increase own-voice narratives and widening our source material for poetry.
- More widely telling stories of people indigenous to this continent and people of color as a central aspect of curriculum.
- Increasing the diversity of geographic study
Statement From the WWS College of Teachers About Steiner’s Writings
At the Washington Waldorf School, we uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
We reject any of Steiner’s depictions of, and any belief in, implications of, or assumptions that the social construct of race has any basis in spirituality. We oppose any racialist understanding of evolution. We reject any suggestion of hierarchy of race, gender identity, sexual expression, ability, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or culture.
We are building a vibrant, welcoming, inclusive, environment and school community. In our curriculum and teaching, we strive to embody Rudolf Steiner’s pronouncement that we “must seek to unite people of all races and nations, and to bridge the divisions and differences between various groups of people.”
We affirm and embrace all backgrounds, experiences, and identities, knowing that every person makes a rich and valuable contribution to our community. Steiner’s statement, ”The individual nature of each person is pushed to the fore” requires that we acknowledge each person in their uniqueness and entirety.
As a result, our aim is to establish a community that reflects Steiner’s Social Motto:
The healthy social life is only found when, in the mirror of each human soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the community, the virtue of each one is living.
Read the Statement of Inclusion and Equity from the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America