Wildcats for Equity Q and A Series
The Wildcats for Equity Q and A series is designed to give parents and community members a deeper understanding of some of the ways Westminster works toward equity and inclusion on campus, as well as tools you can use to help your family discuss and work through these topics. These conversations are released periodically in the Weekly Parent Update, and this page serves as an archive of past Q and A sessions.
The Wildcats for Equity Q and A Series is designed to give you a deeper understanding of some of the ways Westminster works toward equity and inclusion on campus, as well as tools you can use to help your family discuss and work through these topics. In this week’s installment, Dean of Faculty Thad Persons ’88 talks to our communications staff about what the phrase “windows and mirrors” means and how students grow in an environment where they can see their own experiences and those of others reflected. Thad joined the Westminster faculty in 1997 as an Upper School English teacher. In his role as Dean of Faculty, he oversees the rigorous hiring and onboarding process for all faculty members.
- Q: We talk sometimes about the concept of "windows and mirrors." What does that mean?
- Q: Why is it important for everyone to see their own perspectives reflected in literature—and those of others?
- Q: How do students get from story to empathy?
- Q: How does a teacher know when students are ready developmentally to have conversations that require them to see outside of themselves?
- Q: How does this concept of "windows and mirrors" apply in the makeup of our community? What's the importance of building a diverse faculty?
- Q: What does the School do to have a broad applicant pool?
The Wildcats for Equity Q and A Series is designed to give you a deeper understanding of some of the ways Westminster works toward equity and inclusion on campus, as well as tools you can use to help your family discuss and work through these topics. In the first installment, Lower School Counselor Camille May talks to our communications staff about what “courageous conversations” are and how they cultivate both empathy and agency. Camille has been working in school environments for nearly nine years and enjoys helping families navigate life's challenges. She holds master's and specialist degrees in school counseling.
- Q: “Courageous conversation” is a term we’ve been using around school, particularly when we talk about racial reconciliation. What is a courageous conversation?
- Q: When are students having these conversations at Westminster?
- Q: What about at home? When and how can parents try to have these conversations?
- Q: Should parents do any kind of preparation?
- Q: Why does learning to have a courageous conversation matter?
Leaders of Common Ground, a PAWS committee, sat down to talk about creating an inclusive environment of welcome.
Common Ground’s fall activities have included virtual meetings with the following speakers: Judy Osborne (Upper School Equity and Inclusion Coordinator) and Jennifer Veatch (Middle School Equity and Inclusion Coordinator) about identity development; Dana Ugwonali and Dominique Holloman ’97 about their respective work with the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association Governing Board; Upper School faculty member Dr. Scott Stewart, who told the group about LGBTQ initiatives at Westminster; and a parent sharing Diwali traditions.
- Q: Let's start by talking about what Common Ground is. Can you tell me about the group?
- Q: This year, more than ever, parents are looking for ways to connect with each other and with the School. What has Common Ground been up to this fall?
- Q: Who is part of Common Ground?
- Q: What is the Common Ground experience like?
- Q: How has being part of Common Ground been important for you?
- How to Join Common Ground: