Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences has announced the launch of the Equity & Justice Institute, a program that will empower students and community members to take meaningful action on local, national and global issues through a variety of transformative educational activities, partnerships and initiatives.
The new Institute — scheduled to roll out in September 2018 and made possible by generous donors — will feature a comprehensive K-12 equity and justice curriculum and a reimagined service learning program as well as an innovation laboratory, avenues for collaboration with nonprofit organizations and wide-ranging support for students and faculty.
Equity and justice are already woven into the fabric of Crossroads: in institutional community service programs, student and teacher activism, student-run clubs, community outreach and daily coursework. Now, the School is strengthening this commitment by hiring a full-time Institute director whose position will exist in perpetuity; creating a cohesive platform for educating students on major societal issues; and channeling resources to find impactful solutions to these great challenges.
“Crossroads has a remarkable opportunity to become a national and even international leader in the field of equity and justice,” Head of School Bob Riddle says. “Our students are ready and eager to apply their skills, intellect and passions to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems. The Equity & Justice Institute will provide the framework and resources to help the leaders of tomorrow make tangible, meaningful change in the world today.”
The Institute is founded on three core commitments: deepening teaching and learning; supporting community action; and providing resources for the public good. Through the Institute, students will develop a commitment to activism and community engagement; devise solutions to address equity and justice issues locally and globally; tackle questions of power and privilege while learning understand and interact with others; and enhance skills in collaboration, communication, entrepreneurship and leadership.
Included in the Institute is the School’s newly established Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series, which will help stimulate dialogue among students, educators and community leaders committed to tackling the problems of racism, poverty, war, environmental degradation, educational inequities, religious persecution, genocide and other forms of injustice. The lecture series began in February with a “Recovered Voices” presentation by Maestro James Conlon, the music director of LA Opera, about music suppressed during the Nazi regime.
A dedicated facility will eventually house the Institute, serving as a campus nexus for community engagement and far-reaching activism. A national search for the Institute director has begun.
For more information about the Equity & Justice Institute at Crossroads, visit xrds.org/equityandjustice.
Submitted by Jeff Goodman, Communications Manager, Crossroads School