Breadcrumbs

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

 

A school community that honors difference, Penn Charter seeks to be a place where diversity is understood, represented and valued. Statement of Philosophy

A Multifaceted Understanding of Diversity

Penn Charter seeks to build a community representing diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation — as well as learning style, opinion and hometown.

When you walk through Penn Charter's red doors, there is a reason our formal-looking school suddenly feels down to earth: the people. Penn Charter was founded not for some people but for all people. That is as true today as it was in 1689. Penn Charter was one of the first schools to open to children of all religions and races, among the first to educate girls and to offer financial aid.

Despite that history, our community is not immune from the racism, sexism, homophobia and intolerance that challenge this city and nation. Our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work is ongoing, unfinished. 

DEI Task Forces

In July, 2020, Penn Charter formed two DEI task forces – Race and Equity and Gender Equity, Sexuality and Consent – with the goal of identifying and addressing the policies, procedures and practices that uphold systemic racism, sexism and other oppressive and discriminatory attitudes and beliefs. Each task force is made up of Penn Charter board members, senior administration, faculty, staff, students, OPCs and parents. Ultimately, each task force is responsible for recommending action steps to the board, head of school, and/or other school leadership groups, as appropriate, to improve Penn Charter’s educational program, school culture and work environment as related to race and gender. 

Learn More


 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by Division


 

Bias Response Protocol

The Bias Response Protocol was created to provide a guideline on how to address and report a bias incident. Regardless if the person witnessed or if it was reported to them, it is our responsibility as upstanding members of the community to act. The steps laid out in the protocol will assist faculty and administrators in the process.

The Bias Response Protocol form is available to faculty, staff and students in the Hub.

The purpose of this protocol is to:

  • Respond to all bias-related incidents  

  • Create and share proactive measures in maintaining a positive and inclusive school climate

  • Take restorative measures as needed

  • Have a finger on the pulse of the school culture

  • Maintain the connection between students, administrators, and faculty around topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Discuss support options for students 

  • Provide support to the Division Directors and Assistant Division Directors

  • Provide support and share resources with faculty and students

This protocol was not created to circumvent the disciplinary process but to run parallel to any disciplinary actions taken by the school. The purpose of the Bias Response Protocol is clearly to identify the steps faculty and administrators should take in the event of a bias incident. Any incident of harassment will follow the policy found in the handbook.

Why did we create it?

  • Protect every person in the community.

  • Rebuild trust.

  • Create a process that focuses on restorative justice.

  • Provide teachers with clear guidelines on how to respond and report bias incidents

  • Create the School Inclusion Committee to provide support to the students, teachers, and administration.
     

access the bias Response Protocol 


 

Cheryl Irving Student Diversity Conference

Learn more about Penn Charter's annual student-led DEI conference.


 

Professional Development for Faculty and Staff

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Antonio Williams, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Naveena Bembry, Lower School Diversity Coordinator, Fifth Grade Teacher
Jessica Stusnick-Czyzewski, Lower School Diversity Coordinator, First Grade Teacher

Holly Silberman, Middle School Diversity Coordinator, Middle and Upper School English Teacher
Shelby Tucker, Middle School Diversity Coordinator, Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Ruth McGee, Upper School Diversity Coordinator, Visual Arts and Design Teacher


 

Highlighting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at PC

Lessons in Healthy Relationships

A collaboration between an Upper School English teacher and PC's new health, wellness and human sexuality educator shows how topics of gender equity, sexuality and consent inform teaching and learning at Penn Charter.

Meet Teacher Emma

Emma Cohen-Westbrooke is Penn Charter’s first Health, Wellness and Human Sexuality Educator.

Jerry Craft: Graphic Novelist

New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Medal winner Jerry Craft will speak to PC students in grades 5 through 8.

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Antonio Williams, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Lower School

Naveena Bembry, Lower School Diversity Coordinator, Fifth Grade Teacher
Jessica Stusnick-Czyzewski, Lower School Diversity Coordinator, First Grade Teacher

Middle School

Holly Silberman, Middle School Diversity Coordinator, Middle and Upper School English Teacher
Shelby Tucker, Middle School Diversity Coordinator, Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Upper School

Ruth McGee, Upper School Diversity Coordinator, Visual Arts and Design Teacher

 

Get Involved

"You have to join every other movement for the freedom of people."
Bayard Rustin


Below, consider these ways to engage.
 

The Treaty Elm

In front of the school stands a tree that is a direct descendent of the great elm tree under which William Penn is said to have signed a treaty of friendship with the Lenni Lenape.

Just like that tree, we are deeply rooted in time-honored human values of mutual respect, equality and community that are not open for compromise. This is who we are.

As one of our teachers has said, "That's what I like about coming to school every day. I know that there are some things here that will always be open for improving, but there are some things here that will never change."