By: Tristan Richardson,
Program Curriculum and Instruction Specialist
As an organization that predominantly works with and serves People of Color, it’s imperative we create and maintain culturally relevant programming for our kids and families. We have always worked towards this truth. But today, we are making an even greater effort to prioritize this goal and use it as a compass to guide how we operate. This involves working with our staff on the ground to help them identify biases
and gaps of knowledge, as well as, creating SEL programming that is inclusive and culturally relevant.
Our overall goal at WINGS is to work towards creating an equitable SEL space which means giving kids
the space to question the world around them, seek solutions, and be change agents!
Our WINGS kids see themselves in the WINGS programming, they feel a sense of belonging and learn what makes them unique. They learn this through the mentors who lead them, and by practicing the life skills we weave into fun games and activities and the learning materials we present. One of the most important roles WINGS has in the lives of our students is to foster an environment where staff are
consciously creating a program structure that is culturally relevant and works to identify — and then breakdown — systems that perpetuate negativity and lack of self-worth.
As you know, inclusion goes beyond just skin color. This past year we learned about Women’s History Month – where we intertwined SEL skills with women who broke the glass ceiling in a variety of male-dominated professions.
Because Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are important to WINGS, we have been continuously training and supporting our staff throughout the past academic year by:
- Creating guides to help staff use culturally relevant and anti-bias strategies in their programs
- Hosting monthly meetings where staff are able to collaborate on strategies and activities for their programs
- Asking our staff on the ground to assess the strength of our DEI practices
We’re excited to take our work even further in the 2022-2023 school year!