Thriving as a Diverse Community

We strive to exemplify a diverse community that is inclusive and equitable at all levels, is committed to developing cultural responsiveness, embraces different perspectives, and challenges biases and assumptions.

The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Bertschi is multi-faceted and ongoing, and is essential to our mission. Bertschi recognizes that creating a community where every member feels affirmed and has a sense of belonging is a continuous process. The work is larger than periodic professional development, guest speakers, or summer reading; it requires accountability, vulnerability, intentionality, and meaningful self reflection. We believe this work is a rigorous yet rewarding journey that we must embark on side by side.

Explore the Work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

An intentional curriculum in each grade level promotes age and developmentally appropriate content to stimulate learning in the areas of identity, diversity, justice, and action. We believe that children thrive when they are given opportunities to see themselves reflected in the literature they read, the projects they create, and the problems they solve. Additionally, children increase their capacity for empathy and collaboration when they are offered a diversity of perspectives and ideas. This belief informs the curriculum across all content areas.

As equity-focused educators, we focus not just on exposing students to multiple perspectives but also raising students’ awareness of their role as change makers. Moving from compassion to action happens on the playground, in classroom projects, and in spontaneous teachable moments. Bertschi students learn that their voices matter and that their actions can make a difference.

Our board of trustees leads a DEI Committee to guide continued strategic work. In addition, our Director of DEI leads a parent group called the Committee on Inclusive and Responsive Community (CIRC) that regularly hosts events that educate, build community, and celebrate our diverse cultural backgrounds. The school also hosts affinity spaces for families to bring people together in their common experiences and in their differences.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work is one of three strategic pillars of our current strategic plan. All members of the Bertschi community are committed to ensure our commitments are achieved and move the work forward. Our DEI Director, in partnership with our DEI Committee, oversees capacity-building opportunities throughout each year. Our faculty/staff and families work with local and national experts on topics such as media literacy, gender diversity, multicultural education, cultural competency, culturally-responsive teaching, race and privilege, and anti-bias awareness. Bertschi also partners with the Hilltop Educator Discussion Series to engage in important conversations with local educators.

Bertschi School offers a full-time teaching associate job and up to $10,000 each year toward tuition for an aspiring Black educator enrolled in a University of Washington teaching certification program.

Learn more>>

Family Affinity Meetings (FAM)

FAM meets monthly led by volunteer parent volunteers. FAM also includes two subcommittees:

  • Community Building
  • Parent Education

If you are interested in joining FAM, please contact Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Amina Loftin.

Affinity & Community Groups

Affinity & community groups play an important role in building a more inclusive community by providing spaces to nurture positive identity development, empowerment, and belonging. Participants use these spaces to connect, discuss topics connected to their identities, plan cultural celebrations, share personal accomplishments, and support each other in addressing challenges their communities experience. We also host community groups that bring together families with similar support needs to help one another and share resources and ideas.

Learn more about affinity and community groups at Bertschi>>

Diwali Celebration 2023

Hannukah Celebration hosted by Jewish Families Affinity Group

Hispanic/Latinex Cultural Celebration 2023

Equity & Inclusion Virtual Speaker Series 2023-24

Bertschi School is a member of the People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS), a consortium of NWAIS independent schools that exists to help people of color thrive in independent schools. POCIS hosts a virtual Equity and Inclusion Virtual Speaker Series that offers our communities and beyond the opportunity to connect, learn, and engage in topics about equity, inclusion, and antiracist education and action.

Learn more or RSVP to attend here>>

Rodriguez Prisca photo courtesy of the author

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez
Storytelling as Resistance: Experience at Predominantly White Institutions and Generational Trauma

October 5, 2023 | 6:00-7:15 PM

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Dr. Bernice A. King
A Conversation with Dr. Bernice A. King

February 15, 2024 | 5:00-6:15 PM

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Dr. Megan Asaka, PhD
Beyond the Model Minority: Asian American Histories of Resistance and Renewal in the Pacific Northwest and Beyond

March 13, 2024 | 6:00-7:15 PM

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Ruha Benjamin
Race to the Future? Reimagining the Default Setting of Technology and Society

May 23, 2024 | 6:00-7:15 PM