Our mission calls on us to embrace the rich backgrounds, experiences, talents, cultures and contributions that our students, families and staff bring to the work of transforming schools and communities. Diversity is a vital resource and integral part of who we are as an organization.
Our relational approach drives us to ensure a sense of safety and belonging for all. We cultivate a flourishing professional community where staff of every background and experience can thrive; where we treat each other with caring, dignity, and respect for differences, and; where all members are valued, heard, and respected.
Our passion for social justice calls on us to be honest, transparent, and equitable in all that we do. The transformation we seek to create in schools and communities requires profound, radical, and sustainable ongoing growth. We strive to explicitly embed diversity, equity, and inclusion in our policies, systems, and strategy; to operate with a sense of urgency and accountability grounded in compassionate leadership and equity-minded practice; and to build a culture that inspires constant learning and continuous improvement.
“In order for our work to truly be effective, we must understand the complexity of the education system, the racial and systemic barriers that exist, including the historical, cultural, economic, and social conditions that impact student learning. Diversity, equity, and inclusion informs our work so that students can have better educational outcomes.”Sharon Vigil
“In our society, it is difficult to talk about race and diversity. But we at CIS are having those difficult conversations and are committed to equity, and so have developed a plan that favors action and accountability over mere intention.”Suki Steinhauser
What do we mean by diversity, equity, and inclusion?
These concepts can mean different things to different people.
At Communities In Schools of Central Texas, these are our definitions:
We are made stronger by a range of human differences. These include race, age, gender expression, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background as well as differences in ideas, experiences, body size, values, and beliefs. Our differences are leveraged to make us better learners, leaders, educators, and colleagues.
Equity means justice. There is profound and persistent evidence of structural racism in our city, state, and nation. We acknowledge racial equity as a robust framework for understanding and undoing the deeply racialized systems that depress outcomes and opportunities for our students and families.
- We work to correct these deep and pervasive disparities within the communities we serve – especially with those who have the least and suffer the most from systemic oppression.
- We take thoughtful action to break down barriers, share power and resources, and address imbalances.
Inclusion puts the concept and practice of diversity into action. It creates spaces of respect and dignity in an atmosphere of non-judgment and genuine acceptance. We actively work to amplify and invite multiple voices and perspectives, co-creating a positive culture in which every member of our community feels welcomed, respected, accepted and encouraged to contribute to their fullest potential, every day.