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Diversity at BACWTT

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Diversity at BACWTT

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Diversity at BACWTT

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Diversity Scholars Fund

Emilie Inman Fund

Building Connections and Exchange — Tinkuy

The Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training is striving to build a center for social renewal and human development that has at its core affirmation, normalization and deep respect for the stories of all human beings.

The Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training (BACWTT) is committed to evolving Waldorf education in American schools to be anti-racist and anti-bias, in keeping with our goals to have the highest moral standards for education [1]. We recognize that children are “swimming in a sea of racism and classism,” and in order to truly prepare them to be citizens of the world, we “must not let them swim there alone,” but instead have the courage to educate them in age-appropriate ways to be actively anti-racist [2]. We are called to do this work in collaboration with—and with leadership from—our African American colleagues in education.

References:

  1. Education and the Moral Life by Rudolf Steiner
  2. Internalized Racism and the Imitative Nature of the Young Child, Magdalena Toran, Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America.

Waldorf education was built on the foundation of challenging the status quo around who education is for. The first Waldorf school crossed boundaries of class and gender to allow the children of factory workers in Germany to be educated. While Waldorf education has attracted families of diverse races and ethnicities in the United States and around the world, it is time to very consciously and explicitly take an anti-racist and anti-bias stand in our education, our curriculum, our schools, and among our teachers and our training programs. This change is long overdue.

AWSNA Statement of Inclusion & Equity
WECAN Diversity Statement

What We Are Working On

Over the past year, we have been taking up this work in earnest.

This past February, we hosted the Northern California Waldorf Teachers Conference – Soul of the Nation, Spirit of the Land: Sensing the Call to Evolve Waldorf Education in North America with keynote speaker Orland Bishop.

We are continuing this work as part of our continuing development as an institute, to prepare students to become Waldorf teachers and to create a program environment that is welcoming, supportive and representative to BIPOC students.

Voices From Our Community

It is clear that we have failed to do enough at all of our institutions, including BACWTT, and we have failed to do it quickly. It is truly horrific what is needed to wake us all up. We must be more strident, more brave, and work harder to do the work of anti-racism. The stories we tell are in need of transformation. Our collective human story needs transformation. We must do this work out of ingenuity and imagination, and listening to the other. 

Above is the painting Penumbra by Frank Bowling, painted in 1970 and displayed at the De Young Museum in San Francisco as a part of the Soul of Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983. It is described as “a central work from the artist’s innovative and iconic “Map” series, the painting evokes the global scale, impact, and complexity of the African Diaspora; thus critiquing a long-reigning world view distorted by imperialism and colonialism.

We showed this painting above, in the Diversity Waldorf 101 class with the 3rd Year students to launch our discussion of what it means to be anti-bias and anti-racist, and begin the long work of examining our privilege.  In this painting, the continents of Africa and South America are conspicuously absent. Today we are still struggling with the same questions as posed in this large painting that takes up an entire wall of a large gallery.  Black Lives Matter has given us resources with which to change this conspicuous absence, and evolve from our socially conditioned fear and other-izing of black people. Black Lives Matter has given all of us a voice. How will we change, and write our new story?
Madhulika Chambers, BACWTT DEI Committee              

We must take our strong feelings and actively seek a greater understanding of the depth and breadth of racial oppression and then gather our will forces to commit ourselves to work for justice. This will necessarily be uncomfortable. It is time to explore all that I, as a White person, have been complacent about, and thus complicit in: allowing the constant use of violence by the police against African Americans, not minding the unequal funding of public schools, not noticing zoning rules and housing covenants that exclude Black people from purchasing homes in certain neighborhoods, etc.; in short, being willfully ignorant about the many systemic disadvantages designed to prop up White people and keep Black and Brown people down. May the fires that are burning be purifying fires that help those of us who are White find the will forces to face difficult truths and right the wrongs we and our society have committed against Black, Indigenous, Asian and People of Color. Jennifer Doebler, BACWTT Board Member

We at BACWTT acknowledge the suffering that continues to ravage this country due to the plague of systemic racism so deeply embedded in the marrow of this nation.  We recognize the tenacity of the grip of its tendrils and we commit to dismantling its power.  We stand in solidarity with the Black community and the peaceful anti-racist acts of resistance that are currently sweeping the globe.  We see People of Color in our communities and across this country and our world, we hear you, we stand with you, we honor you. We commit to taking action and responsibility for shifting the collective story of division, marginalization, prejudice and oppression to one of true kinship amongst all people – beholding the likeness of the Godhead in the light that shines from each human being.
Liz Turkel Vose, BACWTT Faculty

Support for All Students

We have a strong student assistance program with 77% of students receiving financial support. In addition to tuition assistance for all students in need, we have two specific programs that seek to rectify systemic injustice and recognize and support Black, Indigenous and People of Color students who are under-represented in our program.

Diversity Scholars Fund

The Diversity Scholars Fund provides funding to African American students to complete the 3-year Waldorf teacher training program. Scholars can receive support to complete the 4-month Foundation Studies as an entry point, before deciding to continue with the full 3-year training.

It is our intention to deepen and broaden the representation of diverse voices and perspectives that enrich the quality of a BACWTT education, as well as to be transformed by the diverse perspectives that our students bring. We continue the evolution of Waldorf education to meet the tremendous need for anti-racist and anti-bias education.

Funds are available to provide tuition for 2 students in each cohort of the 3-year training.

Diversity Scholars Fund Mission Statement

  • To increase African American representation among qualified Waldorf teachers in Waldorf schools and in the Waldorf education movement across North America.
  • To evolve the holistic, healing and strengthening impulse of Waldorf education to include the perspectives of African American teachers.
  • To create opportunities to improve and evolve the BACWTT program through dialogue with African American students and alumni by ensuring that their perspectives are living within the BACWTT community.
  • To ensure that the African American perspectives are included in our intentions for the development of society and culture.  

Application Process

Candidates for a Diversity Scholars Fund Scholarship must:

  1. Self-identify as African American
  2. United States citizenship
  3. Be enrolled in the BACWTT teacher training program
  4. Be currently working in, or intend to teach in, a Waldorf school (preferably AWSNA or WECAN affiliated)

To Apply:

  1. Complete the Enrollment Application and mutual interview with the Director.
  2. Complete the Tuition Assistance application.
  3. Complete the BACWTT Diversity Scholarship Fund application.

Please note that applications are received each year for the upcoming academic year. Students continuing through the 3 years of the program must reapply for Diversity Scholars funding for the coming academic year when they complete their student re-enrollment contract.

Selection Process:

Following successful enrollment in the program, applications for the BACWTT Diversity Scholars Fund will be reviewed by the BACWTT Diversity Committee.

The decisions of the BACWTT Diversity Committee are final.

To continue as a Scholar for the 2nd and 3rd Year of the program, the student must be in good standing with the course requirements.

Contributing to the Diversity Scholars Fund

If you would like to contribute to this important work, we ask you to join us in supporting the BACWTT Diversity Scholars Fund. While sustaining donors making recurring monthly or quarterly contributions are especially appreciated, we welcome one-time-only gifts of any amount throughout the year.

How to Contribute

PayPal Giving Fund

Make a secure gift online by credit card
*Please note the donation is to be used for the Diversity Scholars Fund

By Mail

The Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training
c/o The Diversity Scholars Fund
P.O. Box 21265
El Sobrante, CA 94820

Emilie Inman Fund

The Emilie Inman Fund was created in honor of Emilie Inman, an exemplary BACWTT student from September 2014 to January 2017. Emilie lived her life as an example of openness, combined with a determination to unite people beyond fixed stereotypes and preconceived ideas.

The Emilie Inman Fund provides funding to students who identify as Indigenous or People of Color, so that they may complete the 3-year Waldorf teacher training program. Scholars may receive support to complete the 4-month Foundation Studies, as an entry point, before deciding whether to continue with the full 3-year training.

It is our intention to deepen and broaden the representation of diverse voices and perspectives that enrich the quality of a BACWTT education, as well as to be transformed by the diverse perspectives that our students bring. We continue the evolution of Waldorf education to meet the tremendous need for anti-racist and anti-bias education for Waldorf teacher education students and Waldorf teachers in the US and around the globe, and to further develop the multicultural, humanistic aims of Waldorf education.

Emilie Inman Fund Mission Statement

  • To increase Indigenous and People of Color representation among qualified Waldorf teachers in Waldorf schools and in the Waldorf education movement across North America.
  • To evolve the holistic, healing and strengthening impulse of Waldorf education to include the perspectives of teachers who are Indigenous and People of Color.
  • To create opportunities to improve and evolve the BACWTT program through dialogue with students and alumni that are Indigenous and People of Color by ensuring that their perspectives are living within the BACWTT community.
  • To ensure that the communities of Indigenous and People of Color are included in our intentions for the development of society and culture.  

Application Process

Candidates for an Emilie Inman Fund Scholarship must:

  1. Self-identify as Indigenous or a Person of Color
  2. United States citizenship
  3. Be enrolled in the BACWTT teacher training program
  4. Be currently working in, or intend to teach in, a Waldorf school (preferably AWSNA or WECAN affiliated)

To Apply:

  1. Complete the Enrollment Application and mutual interview with the Director.
  2. Complete the Tuition Assistance application.
  3. Complete the BACWTT Emilie Inman Fund application.

Please note that applications are received each year for the upcoming academic year. Students continuing through the 3 years of the program must reapply for Emilie Inman funding for the coming academic year when they complete their student re-enrollment contract.

Selection Process:

Following successful enrollment in the program, applications for the BACWTT Emilie Inman Fund will be reviewed by the BACWTT Diversity Committee.

The decisions of the BACWTT Diversity Committee are final.

To continue as a Scholar for the 2nd and 3rd Year of the program, the student must be in good standing with the course requirements.

Contributing to the Emilie Inman Fund

If you would like to contribute to this important work, we ask you to join us in supporting the BACWTT Emilie Inman Fund. While sustaining donors making recurring monthly or quarterly contributions are especially appreciated, we welcome one-time-only gifts of any amount throughout the year.

How to Contribute

PayPal Giving Fund

Make a secure gift online by credit card
*Please note the donation is to be used for the Emilie Inman Fund

By Mail

The Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training
c/o The Emilie Inman Fund
P.O. Box 21265
El Sobrante, CA 94820

Building Connections and Exchange – Tinkuy

BACWTT is active in building connections in diverse communities around the globe. Through Waldorf education, through our students and alumni, and through teaching colleagues, we are very fortunate to meet and exchange ideas, traditions and culture.

Tinkuy is the Quechua word that expresses the wonderful human resource that we can access when we meet in the mood of mutual respect and exchange.

The Tinkuy Project has built a connection and exchange with students and teachers at Kusi Kawsay Andean School, Pisac, Peru. Since 2013, we have been visiting the school to assist teachers in the classroom, help the development of their Waldorf curriculum and provide Waldorf teacher training workshops. In return, we have been deeply inspired by their connection to their cultural heritage, as well as the cosmos and nature. This has been a source of nourishment for our work here in California.

In January 2019, we hosted Rosaura Farfan Aguilar from Kusi Kawsay School so that she could exchange ideas with Waldorf educators in the US. She spent time in the classrooms at the Marin Waldorf, Summerfield Waldorf and Eugene Waldorf schools, and joined BACWTT for courses and our February Waldorf teachers conference.

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