December 6, 2019

WELCOME, from the Parent Organization Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

To all parents/guardians of K-12 Oakwood children … this is a shout out to YOU! We want to give you an update on the exciting things that PODEI has been working on and invite YOU to join in our efforts.

1. Who We Are

PODEI is the Parent Organization Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. We partner with Linda Rose-Winters, Director of DEI Programs K-12, and Kevin Golden, Assistant Principal K-6, Associate Director of DEI Programs K-12, as well as Parent Organization President Ginger Sherak and President-elect Tiffany Kolchins to convey, support and engage the parent/guardian community in all programming related to DEI at Oakwood. We have been invited to be the four co-leaders of this Parent Org committee for the next two years. Our goals include:

  • Engaging all parents/guardians in an ongoing & meaningful dialogue around all aspects of DEI.
  • Enlisting all parents/guardians in the work that flows from our committee and subcommittees that we hope YOU will read more about below and sign up to help out.
  • Ensuring that all of Oakwood school events are diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
  • Informing parents/guardians about all things regarding DEI at Oakwood. We want YOU to be fully aware and apprised as to all efforts taking place around DEI that our children are engaging in at Oakwood.

2. What have we done thus far?

  • October 11th, we held our first PODEI meeting of 2019-2020 and it was incredible!
  • Recently, we held a Listening Forum for those who attended and signed up from our first meeting. We plan to meet with Linda and Kevin to share the robust dialogue we had that night.
  • On 11/18, we held a 4-hour mini retreat with participation from the head of school, faculty, admissions, admin, board, and parents to begin developing a strategic framework for DEI as it pertains to the Oakwood community.
  • PODEI BEATS is an ongoing series that communicates DEI thoughts, observations and/or inspirations from our community of Oakwood parents/guardians via the Ape Vine! We are very excited about this!
  • PODEI sold copies of  White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo at Bookwood. Robin DiAngelo is the January 14th Voices Envisioned speaker. You can RSVP here. We plan to organize a book club chat prior to her arrival. You can purchase a copy HERE. Read it. Come out. Learn. A portion of your purchase will go back to Oakwood.

3. What is up next: Upcoming Workshop

On Friday, December 13th@ 8:45am in the Community Room at the Secondary campus, Linda and Kevin will be leading another workshop that will be interactive and informative. All of you are invited.

The feedback on our October workshop was that it was “ nourishing,” “connecting,” “community building,” “educational” and “necessary.” The question asked most afterwards was, “Why is this not mandatory for the entire school to attend?” It’s not. But you can come and feast on the love and information.

4. How can YOU get involved?

It is ALL about YOU. Volunteer! Sign up for any and all of the following committees. Descriptions are below:

  • Admissions Committee (elementary): assist Oakwood elementary Admissions Director, Nancy Goldberg by attending and welcoming prospective parents at admissions events.
  • Communications Committee: Help gather and curate stories for our communications in “PODEI BEATS” in the APE VINE and Oakwood Stories.
  • Multicultural Observance Committee: Planning & organizing various multicultural events such as Black History Month, Diwali, etc.
  • Voices Envisioned: Assist Linda and Kevin with organizing events and volunteer opportunities for the hosted nights.
  • Affinity Gathering Outreach: CAAMASO, Latinx, Adoption, Asian, LGBTQ+ are already active groups but we want to hear from you! What other affinity groups might also support Oakwood families? You can help with already formed groups and/or launch a group you identify with.
  • Diversity Week Committee: Assist Linda and Kevin with supporting Diversity Week events.
  • BOOKWOOD: Help sell PODEI promoted books and plan PODEI events for this annual event.
  • Partybook Committee: Help to create and plan diverse, equitable and inclusive PODEI events for this annual school fundraiser.

All of our efforts to support this DEI work will help us to be more informed and better equipped parents/guardians to foster conversations at home. We will also have a full view and better understanding of Oakwood’s approach to DEI and how it impacts all of us.

Lastly. Did we mention our next PODEI meeting is December 13th@ 8:45am in the Secondary Community Room? We look forward to seeing you there!

Better Together,
Lori Armstrong, 10th & 4th grade parent
Carolyn Chen, 11th grade parent
Rosemarie DeWitt, 1st grade parent
Paula Miranda, 3rd grade parent
Tiffany Kolchins, Parent Organization President-elect
Ginger Sherak, Parent Organization President
Kevin Golden, Assistant Principal K-6, Associate Director of DEI Programs K-12
Linda Rose-Winters, Director of DEI Programs K-12