In 2019 FuelEd began the journey of examining and challenging its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization and formally committed itself to centering DEI in all parts of its work and functioning.
FuelEd acknowledges that every facet of education in the United States has been shaped by pervasive, enduring, corrosive, and invidious structural and institutional prejudice on the basis of race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability. The progress toward education transformation, which FuelEd is dedicated to, cannot be accomplished without an explicit acknowledgment that these impediments have caused communities of color and other marginalized communities to suffer systemic and systematic underinvestment and active disenfranchisement.
We commit to exploring how our organization’s work can be reparative, healing, and renewing; where diversity thrives, where inclusion and belonging is the norm, and where equity in all its forms is the outcome. We believe in the potency of inclusion. We embrace complexity as a cause for collaboration and recognize the wisdom and creativity within every community as essential to solving the most pressing problems in the education sector. We are committed to honesty and forthrightness, calling out racism and oppression, both overt and systemic.
This commitment begins inside our own organization. Through critical examination of the values, implicit biases, policies, and practices that drive both our internal culture and external engagements, we will strive to fashion an organization that propels, rather than impedes, progress for the most marginalized individuals.
We are consistently seeking professional development opportunities to encourage discussions about structural discrimination, privilege and power. We will create the internal forums that set accountability and clear standards for inclusion at all levels of the organization, and which annually review the mission, vision, policies, procedures, board agreements, etc. Only when we have built a shared and strong diversity, equity, and inclusion framework within ourselves and helped to build it within our work will our mission of building emotionally intelligent educators who create relationship-driven schools be authentic and possible.
We are striving to make learning experiences as accessible as possible for as many people as possible by: Creating accessible and inclusive virtual and in-person event environments and applying a DEI lens to our curriculum development.
Inviting participants to process the shame narratives and emotional harm that come from being a victim of microaggressions and structural racism is part of creating a coherent attachment narrative. In addition, naming the ways in which attachment relationships, both individual and collective, create safety in the midst of collective trauma can contribute to the development of resilience.
To be trauma-informed is to ask “What happened to you?”, and to be racially trauma-informed is to ask, “What happened to your people, and what is still happening today?” Attachment history cannot be separated from collective stories of trauma around race and identity, and processing must happen through a lens that integrates both personal and collective attachment histories.