How can we create a Cross-Community Table of Champions for Equity and Inclusive Education and how could it support and guide local/regional activity?
- We need to ensure that we engage new people in developing this Table of Equity Champions but in doing so we need to be conscious of barriers that people in the community, especially students and parents, may feel when deciding whether or not to get involved.
- One parent indicated speaking up can be a tough decision because of fear that you or your child will be judged for holding these views.
How can we support local/regional activity on these issues?
- A planning meeting modeled after the one conducted in Burlington where local individuals come together to discuss ideas was suggested for smaller communities (i.e. community conversations).
- Part of supporting local/regional activity is acknowledging that there are different stakeholders with differing views and needs. We need to find a way to support equity and inclusion work specific to different regions.
What kind of communications could be used to maintain cross-community connections and engagement on these issues?
- Developing a list of existing resources to be shared across communities.
- Distancing analysis could be a tool used as a way to access and hear the relevant voices. (http://closingthedistance.spno.ca/tb_deep.php )
- Providing email contact list for all participants in the August meeting to ensure that we can stay in touch with each other within and across communities.
- A drop box or other media-sharing platform could be established so communities can easily share information.
What kind of wider communications strategy could be developed for sharing our learning and progress beyond the KNSWB project (i.e. targeted outreach or public communications)?
- Social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter)
- Through social media we can reach a wider audience as well as engage youth.
- Creating videos about the work we are doing or about lived experiences of individuals living in poverty.
- Developing a podcast to discuss or interview relevant champions.
- Involving more mainstream media such as the newspapers
- A blog was suggested as a way to share information across communities.
Beyond these questions some individuals had suggestions on what they would like to see happen with this project moving forward:
- We need tools for participation. We are aware of the issues but the difficult part is engaging individuals to participate in actually changing the current situation.
- We need to develop a common equity framework to ensure that we all share a common understanding that can then be applied to the unique needs of each region.
- We need to ensure that what is being taught in the classroom is relevant to students. One teacher suggested that when he got involved in the local community he learned what was relevant in the lives of his students and could use this information to teach lessons in a more engaging framework.
- Equity is not given the attention and funding that other issues such as math are provided with, so how are we going to bring this issue to the forefront?
From their group discussions, participants reported an interest in organizing and promoting conversations on the issues in their communities that could be brought into the SPNO Fall Conference in November for priority-setting.