Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We at Wildcat Canyon Community School (WCCS) understand that no single statement creates diversity, equity, and inclusion…only active shifts in consciousness and a true commitment to more just ways of being. This includes (but is not limited to) our hiring and retention, enrollment outreach, tuition model, curriculum implementation, governance structure, and communications, among other actions that create a felt sense of belonging for all students and families.
We at WCCS remain committed to an increased consciousness and correction of systemic injustices. This includes anti-racist and non-discriminatory trainings for faculty and families; pay equity amongst school staff; a sliding-scale tuition model**; a co-operative school governance structure (“Circles”); the pursuit of land justice through a rematriation process***; evolving the Waldorf pedagogy to a 21st century understanding of diversity; and a restorative, transformative justice approach to conflict resolution that honors the community’s many perspectives and experiences, including acknowledgement of multiple structural and institutional oppressions facing many members of the school and broader community.
In order to authentically enact the principles of land-based justice, we at WCCS believe it is core to our healing and reconciliation of past harms to pay tribute both in spirit and in fact. WCCS is committed to paying $1,200 annually as our Shuumi Land Tax, a small step towards acknowledging and supporting the Ohlone people and Bay Area Indigenous community. For more information, please visit the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust’s website. We encourage families attending the school to consider making individual contributions as well.
“The goal of Waldorf education is to…liberate the spiritual essence of the child, to remove all obstacles and hindrances, and to make possible the full child’s talents for later services on behalf of humanity.” -Theodore Huebner
Institutional racism and discrimination can be found within the curriculum, pedagogy and hiring practices of many to most educational spaces within the U.S. and is not unique to a Waldorf education, however we wish to state clearly that we at WCCS explicitly renounce any and all ties to racist statements made by Steiner in the past and are committed to an evolution of Waldorf education alongside AWSNA, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.****
In order to best “remove all obstacles and hindrances” to a liberated existence for all of our children, we at WCCS will continue to prioritize the ongoing work of racial and social justice, in theory and in practice, across all school domains.
*The Ohlone people are not a federally recognized tribe. Federal recognition is meant to ensure the protection of tribal assets, resources, sacred spaces, heritage sites and artifacts under NAGPRA. The Ohlone people currently have no federal rights or protections and must seek other forms of incorporation in order to maintain and build political power.
**Tuition is a way for a community of families to come together and share the cost of operating a school. The school needs to honor our teachers with fair wages, maintain the beautiful campus and tend the land, promote and practice safety and virus awareness, and provide our children with the most robust programming possible. It is also important that families can afford the tuition. We at WCCWS trust families to choose their tuition tier and authentically contribute what they can afford. We respect each family’s financial situation; WCCS does not review personal finances. There are many more ways to give beyond monthly tuition and we look forward to coming together as a community to achieve our school’s path and purpose.
*** “Rematriation” means “to restore a people to their rightful place in sacred relationship with their ancestral land.” ( from the STLT website). The WCCS Board of Trustees is currently considering a proposal to transfer 79 acres of land back to the Ohlone people through the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, an urban Indigenous women-led organization that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people.
AWSNA Statement on Equity and Racial Justice
The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) recognizes the historic and ongoing impact of racism on our continent and the injustice and discrimination faced by Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color. We understand that racial justice in education is a journey of both moral and educational imperative. As such, we take seriously our responsibility to bear witness to what is happening in the world, to center the voices of color in justice work, and to change the course of inequities by identifying and breaking down structural racism in all forms within Waldorf education.
We acknowledge that Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf education (1919), offered many profound insights that support the value and dignity of each human being and form the foundation of our organization’s histories and worldview. Yet, he also made statements that reflect harmful assertions regarding race and ethnicity. Racism, explicit or implicit, stands in direct conflict to the fundamental principles of Waldorf education. We commit to working to address any dehumanizing or disparaging aspects of our history and practices.
Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is one of the compelling forces behind AWSNA’s strategic priorities. These priorities are central to our work and aim to bring us closer to the world that we want for our youth.
We know that we have far to go as an association and as individuals in our understanding of racial oppression and social justice. Please join us by elevating your own commitment to social renewal and transformation.
As a member of the Council for Anthroposophical Organizations (CAO) AWSNA shares in a joint Commitment to Racial Justice, Equity, and Social Transformation.
“The healthy social life is found when, in the mirror of each human soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the community, the virtue of each one is living.”
— Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf education