Worcester Academy is committed to providing its community members with supportive resources, including an extension of networks and partnerships that honor diverse identities and beliefs, educate and that create bridges of connectivity across diverse individual and group demographics and lived experiences. We aim to develop more informed and innovative problem solvers, who will be able to successfully navigate globalization through ever-changing social-political, economic, and environmental tumultuous times. We know that language is important, so in addition to a plethora of resources, we also outline foundational definitions that engage and support the work of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion).
These resources support the critically important learning of individuals and collective bodies to take the initiative and time to gain knowledge and understanding of self and others, as it relates to DEI. Given the world by large is focused on the topic of racism, there are currently many curated resources focused on this topic. One key component to understanding, absorbing and engaging these resources and the work of DEI, is the focus on self-reflection, identity development, and implicit bias. We must know ourselves, before we can understand others, in order to build meaningful relationships with people different from ourselves. Through self-identity reflection we are able to first, understand ourselves, and then see others through an objective lens, challenge our assumptions and insular beliefs, and navigate the world beyond our own lived experiences. Ultimately, this will broaden our understanding of people who are different from us and the systems that we live in. This empowers us to become upstanders, and allies as we unpack our biases and then dismantle them, so that while they may persist, they no longer direct our interactions with others and dominate the decisions that we make. Our biases exist as mind shortcuts to make quick assessments. Unfortunately, these calculations are often inaccurate, prejudiced, racist, sexist, etc., and lacking the information needed to make an informed judgement, which creates harm.
Art Credit: "Rise Up" painting (detail) by Zara Nwosu, '23