Community
Board of Trustees

DEIJ Board of Trustees Statement

On behalf of the school, the Board of Trustees declares Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley’s (EB) commitment to building a shared understanding for every member of our community about the relevance and importance of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) work.
Our DEIJ Vision, Grounded in our Mission and Values

EB is a school where everyone should feel they are exactly who and where they should be. EB is a place of warmth, joy, and kindness that welcomes all people and nurtures in its students inquisitiveness, creativity, empathy, and a rich and engaged outlook on the world.  

As set forth in our Mission, EB is a force for good in the world. We envision the school and its community to be an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that is welcoming, accessible, and reflective of both our core values and our widely diverse, international community members.  Our space should be one that embraces the delights and challenges of our similarities and differences and works to provide equal and just opportunities to every one of us.   

EB prepares our graduates to positively impact their diverse communities and the local and international spaces in which we all belong. We believe a diverse educational environment is paramount to these efforts, and that our school must live and embody the key principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ). Those key principles are reflected in EB’s five core values:  Unity, Reflection, Integrity, Zeal, and Endeavor. As a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just community, EB seeks to not only acknowledge differences, but to mindfully support them by respectfully embracing all people and points of view. Further, we actively work to identify and dismantle structural inequalities in order to provide equal and just educational access and opportunity to all within the EB community. 

What Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Means to Us 

At EB, DEIJ is defined as:
 
  • Diversity: recognizing the spectrum of individual human differences, including but not limited to language, race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, ability, style of learning or thinking (neurodiversity), religion, and political beliefs. A diverse school community fosters and cultivates understanding, empathy and culturally-competent learning within our school community, the local community, the nation and the world.

  • Equity: maintaining fair and just systems that help ensure that everyone has equal opportunity for success, taking into account each individual’s experiences, needs and challenges.

  • Inclusion: maintaining a school community in which each member feels welcomed and respected and where students, parents, faculty and staff have a sense of belonging and are valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds.

  • Justice: recognizing that not all groups have (or have had) equal access to power, wealth, and resources, that the unequal distribution of resources creates privileges, and working to counteract these social, cultural, and economic inequalities.
Who We Are

EB was founded by a group of dedicated parents with a vision to provide their children with a bilingual education in a rich, multicultural environment. 
 
Our school has deep roots in Berkeley and the Bay Area, a community known for its strong and longstanding commitment to social justice values. Our founders and the French members of our community brought to our community France’s enshrinement of “liberté, égalité, and fraternité.” Our Francophone and international community members have further introduced and entwined equally important perspectives and values to our school culture. As the community has continued to grow and embrace new members, we have navigated, and we continue to navigate, the challenges and complexities of developing shared understandings. We recognize, for example, that the French tradition of strict separation between church and state (“laïcité”) may in some instances be in conflict with individual traditions. 
 
We are continuously working to expand our community’s existing rich mix of languages, cultures, ideas, and identities while maintaining a community of mutual respect that acknowledges and honors differences in cultural norms. In addition, we are equally committed to not only acknowledging but attempting to address factors that might divide our community and limit access to the opportunities the school offers, such as differences in cultural understandings, differences in how particular group identities thrive, and imbalances of privilege and opportunity both within and beyond our school.  
 
We recognize that this is an ongoing exercise in learning and growing, and one that will not be completed overnight, if ever. As a community, we are neither perfect nor infallible. We ask each member to be compassionate with one another, and to recognize that we are all on a collective journey of understanding and action.
 
What We Practice

Diversity and Educational Excellence: As is the case with immersing students in a bilingual educational environment, diversity strengthens our students’ learning. In addition to being essential to building a just and fair society, understanding different perspectives allow us to more easily challenge ideas and assumptions and push us to expand our thinking and approach problems in new ways. Through this work, EB can further enhance the excellence of the education it provides and achieve its mission of sending active, engaged, and compassionate learners out into the world.  
 
Confronting Structural Inequalities: As a community, EB is on a continual journey of shared learning to recognize and combat bias and injustice. In addition to EB nurturing creative, multilingual learners, we also cultivate our students to recognize and confront the structural inequalities of our society. We encourage them to work to stand up for the necessary changes to build more just and fair systems, as they mature into young adults and venture out into the many diverse global communities to which they will belong. 
 
As such, the EB community endeavors to:
 
  • understand how our differences shape our experiences in the world, in order to build healthy relationships and community;
  • interact through respect and kindness with everyone in the community and beyond;
  • recognize and value the contributions of all people, including those from underrepresented or under-appreciated groups;
  • practice mindfulness in our approach to activities, programming, and messaging, in terms of respecting and appreciating differences and giving consideration to voices that may be marginalized or minoritized; and
  • embody anti-racist and social justice principles by confronting and working to undo structural inequities within our educational environment, and striving to undo racism and racist structures within ourselves, our immediate environments, and the wider world.

Our Path Forward

Acting upon these principles is of critical importance and must be a priority for the school and for all members of our community. We charge all members of the EB community, including the Board of Trustees, to conduct an ongoing and active review of their practices, processes, and procedures and, wherever possible, to make changes that will further our commitment to making EB a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just community. We pledge to maintain open channels of communication within the EB community on these important issues.