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  • Lian Blaisdell

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives at CVCHS

Updated: May 1

CVCHS diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives launched in the 2019-2020 school year failed to find footing during the distance learning 2020-2021 school year. These initiatives included an ad hoc (or “as necessary”) Equity Committee and an Equity and Inclusion Lending Library.

The Equity Committee was formed from various interested faculty members, including teachers and administrators. The Equity and Inclusion Lending Library was born out of the Equity Committee, largely under the direction of former English teacher and ASB advisor Karin Westbrook. The ad hoc nature of the committee and the departure of Westbrook strained these initiatives.

“The idea was to address some inequities that were happening on the school campus,” explained Ervin Anderson, a former member of the committee and academic coach.

Anderson noted that the committee was also responsible for the prominent display of flags from “a bunch of countries” across campus during the 2020-2021 school year. However, in the absence of day-to-day student engagement or awareness of the committee, measures like these went unnoticed.

There are no present plans to restore the former Equity Committee.

Casey Gardner, an English teacher, highlighted that the main campus library and the classroom libraries of multiple English teachers contributed to the overarching Equity and Inclusion Lending Library. The library was a complex joint venture aimed to uplift books addressing social and cultural issues, but “a lot of people had really limited access to the library” on account of distance learning.

Westbrook was also the main coordinator of the library, and her departure hindered its management and outreach. Records reflect her classroom book collection alone accounting for nearly a third of the titles listed in the Equity and Inclusion Lending Library, including popular works like White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan.

However, Gardner stressed that “if students wanted to bring it back, I think there are definitely teachers who would be interested in working with students to make that happen.”

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