DEIJ

What is the DEIJ committee up to now?

  • The DEIJ committee at LFS is an active committee, meeting together every first Wednesday. If you are interested, please email deij@lancasterfriends.org and we will send you the Zoom link to join us.

  • We are planning our school celebrations for Dr. MLK Jr. Day and connecting with local resources to help us honor this important holiday.

  • We have begun our work as a committee to conduct our yearly review of DEIJ @ LFS.

  • We are completing a review of our logo to ensure that the imagery we have developed is not hurtful, promotes inclusion, and fosters justice at LFS. If you are interested in providing feedback, please check out the "Our logo" page and take the short, anonymous survey.

  • We are updating our webpage! Sharing our work with the world is an important part of being transparent and community-oriented.

  • We are reaching out to the Lancaster community to connect with local organizations as well as marginalized groups within Lancaster. If you have suggestions for outreach or would like to connect with us in a partnership capacity, please do not hesitate to give the school a call or email deij@lancasterfriends.org.

  • We are completing an ongoing review of our Equity scholarship fund stewardship. A wonderful way to help advance DEIJ @ LFS is by donating to the school, either to the general fund or to the Equity scholarship.

  • We are gathering information for potential speakers and topics for our family education workshops.

What does DEIJ mean?

DEIJ stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.

The below definitions from the J.E.D.I. collaborative give a good, but not comprehensive, definition of the terms comprising DEIJ.

Diversity

All the differences between us based on which we experience advantages or encounter barriers to opportunities. Diversity isn’t just about racial differences.

Equity

Allocating resources to ensure everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers -- the ‘isms’ -- exist.

Inclusion

Fostering a sense of belonging by centering, valuing, and amplifying the voices, perspectives, and styles of those who experience more barriers based on their identities.

Justice

Dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals and communities can live a full and dignified life.

Definitions from the J.E.D.I. Collaborative, 2021.

What about DEIJ @ LFS?

The DEIJ committee has worked together to assemble the following definitions expanding upon the above summaries to fully articulate what the concepts of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice look like at LFS.

What does DIVERSITY mean at LFS?

Diversity at LFS includes and goes beyond the diversity which we can see. A rich and expansive definition of diversity fosters learning, encourages personal growth, and prepares students for the differences of thought, background, and identity which they will encounter in their lives after LFS.

Diversity at LFS includes and goes beyond the diversity which we can see. A rich and expansive definition of diversity fosters learning, encourages personal growth, and prepares students for the differences of thought, background, and identity which they will encounter in their lives after LFS. In the same way that biodiversity is necessary for the health of our earth, diversity in human culture is necessary for the health of our social and cultural world. Intentionally stepping out of our homogenous surroundings takes work and effort, but greatly improves our social experiences.


Unseen diversity means that, when we come together, there is a rich medley of stories to be shared. Differences of value, faith, spiritual practices and beliefs, interests and hobbies, culture, language, economic background, ability, age, family structure, physical characteristics, gender, origin, and more all make our narratives and interpersonal experiences more interesting. To list everything that can make a community diverse is impossible. Diversity at LFS fosters understanding and personal emotional growth.


When encountering someone new, it helps us to grow our capacity for empathy to understand their differences, and embrace them as individuals and as a part of our community. Recognizing that working together with people who are different from each other brings a more creative and much richer solution to problem solving than when solutions arise from people who have similar biographies and think alike. Students can experience the beauty of diversity as together they problem solve in the classroom. This is a part of our mission to ready children for their role as responsible, caring, and empathetic global citizens.

What does EQUITY mean at LFS?

Our definition of equity is based on active inclusion and access. This means to us that we will provide access to, funds to support, and ways to be heard for all members of our community, and that we will hear and treat all voices with trust and respect.

Quakers believe in the value of each individual person, which comes from the understanding that we are all filled with the Light. LFS brings this core Quaker value into our daily operation through implementing equitable policies and practices, and holding ourselves accountable. Our definition of equity is based on active inclusion and access. This means to us that we will provide access to, funds to support, and ways to be heard for all members of our community, and that we will hear and treat all voices with trust and respect.

Equity also means recognizing the unique needs of students, families, and other community members to provide appropriate and individualized resources based on those needs. Reaching out to families and community members to take initiative in addressing issues is an important part of our definition of equity. We recognize that marginalized communities already have great burdens in the field of DEIJ, and we acknowledge that it is our responsibility to create connections in order to share in and elevate that work. It is equitable that we make a concerted effort to learn more about our community members and to hold ourselves accountable by providing space for sharing, but not requiring marginalized community members to do the work of creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just community; those are efforts in which we all participate.

Equity in our pedagogy also means that we provide a culturally diverse and responsive curriculum that represents those inside and outside of the classroom and encourages multicultural learning, cultural appreciation, and representation for all. Equity also means, much as in the Quaker value of equality, to treat children as peers, and recognize that we learn from each other.

What does INCLUSION mean at LFS?

Our definition of inclusion is based on authenticity, fostering a sense of belonging for all of our community members, and highlighting and lifting up marginalized and oppressed voices.

Inclusion is central to providing a welcoming and safe environment for all LFS students. Our goal is that students experience diversity through their interactions with others who each have their own unique stories, and that we are guided by the Quaker principles to honor and nurture students’ individuality. We come together with open hearts and minds to see and acknowledge the beauty in our differences. Each of us has many intersecting identities which come together to create our whole selves, and we must acknowledge these in each other to lift and celebrate our community.


Part of inclusion is providing equity to those who have been technically invited, but may not have the resources to participate. We work towards equity using our Equity Scholarship fund, to ensure that our invitations to join our community are genuine and actionable. Inclusion also means authenticity. In the classroom, this looks like providing authentic voices to speak on issues which pertain to certain groups and highlighting, rather than speaking over, marginalized and oppressed voices. All of our work to be an inclusive community centers around our goal: to foster a sense of belonging and warmth for all members of our community and to ensure that we live the values which we espouse.

What does JUSTICE mean at LFS?

Knowing how our world works empowers our students to become involved, and LFS puts a strong emphasis on incorporating all community members in working for justice.

Justice at LFS is a strong part of our mission and purpose. We teach true history with the incorporation of diverse narratives, attempting to answer the hard and thoughtful questions asked by students and diving deeply into the “whys” of our world. Using these lessons of history, we are driven to action. Knowing how our world works empowers our students to become involved, and LFS puts a strong emphasis on incorporating all community members in working for justice. By showing students from an early age that their activism, for others and for themselves, can make a difference, we equip them with the skills to be activists in any and every career in the future.


Every area of the LFS curriculum includes a justice component. Through art, Spanish, science, music, and everything in between, marginalized and oppressed voices are lifted up. Students not only learn about individuals, but how they use different mediums and methods to fight for justice. This ensures that the diversity of interests our students hold are all valued equally in their growth as justice-seeking individuals; there is no one right way to fight for justice.


In our own practices, we use our Equity scholarship fund to ensure justice at LFS and to make our invitations to join our community authentic and meaningful. We show students, through our own receptive listening, that their voices matter and that they have the agency to make change within their own community.

If you have any suggestions or feedback for LFS regarding DEIJ, please feel free to reach out. We are available at deij@lancasterfriends.org. We want to hear from you!

Keep an eye out for more information about DEIJ @ LFS including upcoming events and news items!