University School of Milwaukee believes that, in order to develop students as learners, leaders, and citizens, we must foster an equitable and inclusive community for students, their families, and our administration, faculty, and staff. USM embraces diversity in all of this various forms, including race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, ability, gender, and age.
This commitment is reflected in our mission statement, which drives us to provide "... an exceptional PK–12 independent school education in a supportive, inclusive, community built on the foundation of our Common Trust." The Common Trust calls for us to treat everyone at the school with respect, trust, honesty, fairness, and kindness.
Recognition of, and respect for diverse backgrounds and experiences, is fundamental to building a learning community where students learn to think broadly, critically, and independently. We strive to ensure that the uniqueness of every individual is welcomed and celebrated. We believe all members of this community should feel empowered as they live and work equitably together. The JEDI work through acclimation, curriculum, programming, and culture help create well-prepared students that will become leaders in our diverse world.
We know that our students can only be truly prepared for college and life if they are exposed to thinking and perspectives beyond their own. We know that our teachers, staff, and administration play a critical role in helping our students feel supported and a part of this USM community. As the premier educational institution in the state of Wisconsin, USM has a critical responsibility to create a vibrant school culture that reflects the world our students will help shape upon graduation and beyond.
While USM has a director of equity and student success position at the school, our work in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) is a shared responsibility by everyone in our community. We believe cultural competency is a requirement for every administrator, faculty, and staff member as we recognize the complexity of this work. Teaching empathy and respect is a requirement as we aspire to prepare our talented student body to be ethical leaders. To this end, we commit to engaging in professional development complete with measurable annual goals that align to the strategic plan, and to developing and implementing anti-discriminatory curriculum and practices in our classrooms. We further commit to updating and evaluating our progress as it relates to our initiatives considering the rapid changes that often occur in our communities and within the context of the broader local, regional, national, and international communities.
For questions about JEDI work at USM, please contact Dr. Gina Haughton, director of equity and student success, at 414.540.3413 or firstname.lastname@example.org.