A school doesn’t cultivate a culture of diversity so that one particular group can begin to understand the rest who are different. We do it so that everyone can have a better understanding of everyone else, not entirely sure of where we will end up but having faith that the consequent richness will bring us to a more secure and more promising future. The colonizing impulse to spread a better way of life has resulted in many side-effects that were unforeseen, unintended, and horrible. Perhaps that impulse is a historic relic now. At school, we do see a great range of backgrounds, colours, preferences and ethnicities, and those who feel vulnerable in this mix might prefer at times to be less visible, more part of the background. It is complex, the diversity story, not one that can be written down and narrated ahead of time. The plot has to be worked out as we live it.
Our current process of developing and communicating the plan to build a new Junior School has been influenced by many people, but a key person in this process has been Gary Pooni, a consultant recommended by one of our Junior School parents to guide us through the various issues we encounter. A couple of weeks ago Gary sent me this story of challenges on the path to diversity.