Madison Country Day School Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Madison Country Day School’s vision is for all members of the school community to feel valued and supported as well as inspired to embrace the diversity of each person. MCDS respects, affirms, and protects the dignity and worth of each member of its community. We seek to establish a culture wherein every member feels safe, valued, and encouraged to participate in every aspect of the community.
Our mission promises an intellectually stimulating, personally enriching, and academically challenging educational program. MCDS achieves this endeavor in part through our IB programmes, which naturally support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by:
- Encouraging students of all ages to think critically and challenge assumptions
- Encouraging students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts
- Becoming more culturally aware, through the development of a second language
Additionally, the aim of our IB Learner Profile character education program is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. We take pride in developing balanced, principled, open-minded, caring, reflective, risk-taking students who think astutely and are exceptional, empathetic communicators. We will make mistakes and will learn from them together. We will offer grace and truth. To this end, we encourage and present courageous conversation opportunities to promote greater connections and understanding amongst the members within our community and in the world beyond MCDS.
MCDS will establish clearly defined policies and procedures that promote an equitable and affirming climate of emotional and physical safety among its community members. MCDS community members will be attentive to the quality of life of all members of MCDS and take appropriate actions to ensure all members feel honored, valued, and respected. This work is both our shared responsibility and our shared opportunity.
This work is important and ongoing. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Rachel Fleming, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee Chair.
Head’s Letter—May 31, 2020
Dear MCDS Community,
The last several months have been disorienting for all of us. Recently, the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd have again brought to the forefront the unequal value our society places on the lives of humans depending on the color of their skin. While we are all clamoring for life to get back to “normal,” it is important to acknowledge that the normal that exists for many of our community members isn’t good enough.
There are a number of great resources for adults, both for your own education and to help you speak with your children about racism, including an upcoming 3-part workshop for parents on how to talk to your white children about race. (Happily, the June workshop is already full, which means our community is not the only one leaning into this work.) Other great resources:
- Raising Race Conscious Children
- EmbraceRace: 10 tips for talking to your child about race
- Center for Racial Justice in Education: a gathering of resources including articles and advice from experts
- Teaching Tolerance: a guide for speaking with students about race
- Sojourners: For our white friends desiring to be allies
Our goal is to graduate global citizens who are reflective and open-minded. Engaging in hard and uncomfortable conversations, reading literature with a diversity of perspectives, and asking questions are all critical components of becoming a global citizen. Many of you have been wondering what you can do to help now:
- Give yourself time to think introspectively about how you are feeling and reacting.
- Engage in hard and uncomfortable conversations about racism and justice with your children, your family, and your community.
- Evaluate your sources of information; use critical thinking skills when viewing social media.
- Be a role model for your children and those around you. Words matter, but actions speak volumes.
- Donate to the emergency relief fund for the Madison businesses impacted by the vandalism yesterday.
- Volunteer with organizations that work to solve the underlying problems of unequal access to education, legal aid, housing, jobs, medical care, and resources.
We have work to do as parents, as educators, and as community members. The work ahead is not simple, but worthwhile work never is.
Interim Head of School