Sustaining and Enhancing Critical Work
Making the Hidden Visible: The Lived Experience of DEIJ Practitioners in Independent Schools by Sudipti Kumar
Explo Elevate, May 3, 2021
"Making the Hidden Visible: The Lived Experience of DEIJ Practitioners in Independent Schools" is essential reading for independent school leaders. The report, written by Explo Elevate's Director of Research Sudipti Kumar, offers both qualitative and quantitative insight into the experiences of DEIJ practitioners at independent schools. Kumar notes that 31% of independent school students are students of color, but 69% of schools don't have a dedicated DEIJ coordinator. Optimistically, though, she cites NAIS data that job postings for DEI coordinators increased by over 100% in the past year. The report presents 10 key findings with further delineation into leadership, school culture, and strategies, all buttressed with qualitative insights from interviews with 30 DEI practitioners. Additionally, Kumar points to the many impediments to creating more equitable school communities while offering a bevy of helpful tips and strategies for sustaining and enhancing critical DEIJ work within schools. Most pressing are concerns about practitioner burnout, lack of administrative support, and confronting institutional history. More generally, avoiding insincere, "curated" diversity efforts and creating space for genuine transformative change remain challenges, but the data and insight in this illuminating resource will certainly help schools continue their evolutions.