Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice
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.
Over many years, 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 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