Thriving as a Diverse Community

We strive to exemplify a diverse community that is inclusive and equitable at all levels, with a commitment to developing cultural responsiveness, embracing 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>>

Committee on Responsive Community (CIRC)

CIRC meets monthly led by volunteer parent co-chairs, Ariel Perkins and Mia Rapier. CIRC also includes two subcommittees:

  • Community Building (led by Leslie Kanter)
  • Parent Education: (led by Celeste Macapia)

If you are interested in joining CIRC, please contact Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ciera Young.

Affinity Groups

Bertschi community members lead regular meetings organized of a variety of affinity groups including:

  • Antiracist Parent Education Group
  • [email protected] Affinity Group
  • [email protected] Affinity Group
  • Hispanic/Latinex Affinity Group
  • Jewish Families Affinity Group
  • LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group

Learn more about affinity groups at Bertschi>>

[email protected] Cookout 2022

Hannukah Celebration hosted by Jewish Families Affinity Group

Hispanic Cultural Celebration 2022

Equity & Inclusion Virtual Speaker Series 2022-23

This series is led by a number of independent schools to offer our communities and beyond the opportunity to connect, learn, and engage in topics around equity, inclusion, and antiracist education and action.

Learn more or RSVP to attend here>>

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Tiffany Jewell
The Anti-Racist Kid: Identity, Justice, and Activism

October 19, 2022 | 6:30-7:45 PM

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Dr. Eddie Moore
The N-word

November 15, 2022 | 6:00-7:15 PM

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Dr. Yuria Celidwin
Healing & Wholeness as Love, Power, and Resistance

January 19, 2023 | 6:00-7:15 PM

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LeDerick Horne
Speaker, Poet, Disability Rights Advocate

March 9, 2023 | 6:00-7:15 PM


Kimberlee Williams
Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: Showing Up as a Safe Space in Our Schools

May 4, 2023 | 6:00-7:15 PM