The Many Faces of Diversity: Diversity is more than just multiculturalism. It has many faces…including: race, colour, culture, ethnicity, linguistic origin, physical or mental ability, socio-economic class, age, ancestry, national or aboriginal origin, place of origin, religion, faith, sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, family status, and marital status.
Halifax Regional School Board’s Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding And Human Rights In Learning Policy (policy code C 0.010):
…the Board recognizes that certain groups in our society are treated inequitably because of individual and systemic biases related to race, colour, culture, ethnicity, linguistic origin, physical or mental ability, socio-economic class, age, ancestry, national or aboriginal origin, place of origin, religion, faith, sex or gender, sexual orientation, family status, and marital status.
We recognize that the biases existing within our society are also present in our school system. We also believe that the school board and its schools, like all organizations in Canadian society, have an ongoing responsibility to understand and work toward eliminating all forms of discrimination. Therefore, we place a high priority on the effective implementation and monitoring of the board’s Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding and Human Rights (RCH) Policy Framework.
Curriculum materials in our schools will provide opportunities for all students to:
• Understand and develop positive attitudes about diversity, including respect for race, culture, gender, religion, ability and sexual orientation.
• Understand the causes of inequity in society.
• Learn the skills and knowledge required to name, discuss, think critically about, and challenge inequitable practices in schools and society.
We could learn a lot from a box of crayons.
Some are sharp, some are pretty, and some are dull.
Some have weird names and all are different colours,
But they all have to live in the same box.
The Best: “Canada is perhaps the only country on earth that is strong because of our differences, not despite them. Diversity is core to who we are, to what makes us a successful country. We live it everywhere, in small towns and big cities, all over the country. It is one of our most important and unique contributions to the world. ….I believe our openness is at the heart of who we are as Canadians. It has made Canada the freest, and the best, place in the world to live.” (Prime Minister Trudeau)
Embracing Diversity: Park West School has a Diversity Statement. This document is a statement of our beliefs and values, and is intended to guide our daily practice. It’s a definition of what we, as a school community, believe we are and aspire to be. Cultural competence is enabled when we institutionalize cultural knowledge. This occurs when practices, policies, and programs change. Our Diversity Statement was created by our school diversity team, in consultation with students, parents, and community members:
Diversity is a significant part of the fabric of Park West School. Our school’s mission is to build a school community where we learn from, celebrate, and embrace our diversity; by doing this, we create a culture of acceptance. Park West is strongly committed to ensuring a sense of community in which every member is safe, valued, respected, and treated with dignity. We believe that a broad range of experiences and viewpoints enhances learning and enriches life. We believe knowledge generates understanding and understanding generates acceptance. We envision a school that welcomes everyone regardless of sex, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, religion, family structure, socioeconomic level, culture, age, sexual orientation, language, and physical or mental abilities. We want Park West students to emerge “culturally proficient,” equipped to thrive in a rapidly changing world with open hearts, open minds, a sense of their own value, and a commitment to effect positive change.
At Park West School you will experience a “culture of acceptance”.