About a year ago, some international school alumni raised a critical voice about the way our schools discuss (or not!) social justice issues, such as #BlackLivesMatter or #MeToo. Their main argument was that in spite of their diversity, international schools actually contribute to global inequality and increase implicit bias within their communities. There was a lot of support for their views, but they also met fierce resistance and counter arguments.
While there may be many opinions about this, one thing is certain: this is something we need to talk about. We invite you to bring your voices to the conversation. We'd like to hear about your experiences while you attended ISP, and also about how being a member of an international school community has shaped you and your thinking later in life.
ISP's mission, vision and guiding statements clearly commit us to creating an inclusive culture and fair and sustainable world. It's time to act, and give diversity, inclusion and equity permanent space in our curriculum and conversations.
The work has already begun. Our student-led group OnJustice, with a mission to “discuss the past and present to define an equitable future”, meets weekly to discuss and act upon social justice issues. They promote learning about social justice throughout the school, and work with external organisations to raise awareness in the larger community. Members of the OnJustice group will join the Zoom and are eager to hear about your experiences fighting for social justice both at and outside of ISP.
ISP staff and board members recently attended Council of International Schools (CIS) diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training. In collaboration with the OnJustice group, these trained adults are developing structures that will ensure DEI at ISP.
ISP's Vision "Educating for Complexity" supports our Mission of "preparing students to engage with and succeed in a complex world." Two of our seven guiding statements explicitly refer to issues regarding social justice:
Embracing Diversity: "We explore and celebrate differences and similarities to create an inclusive culture that can engage globally"
Global Citizenship: "We share a responsibility to act individually and collectively to create a fair and sustainable world."