Equity & Justice Programming Founding Sponsor
EJACE's mission is to ensure a just, equitable, and inclusive school culture, EJACE helps administrators, staff, and students identify and develop mission and vision, values, people, practices, place and narrative that will eliminate the negative impact of inherent bias, social ignorance, prejudices, and systematic intolerance.
EJACE is a year-long experience (7 Full Day Sessions) in leadership growth and development through the Equity and Justice Lens. Each school will bring a 4 person team of staff to include the building principal. The other three members are selected by the Principal (Team Leader).
Students of color experience culture and identity stress impacting health, socialization and emotional well-being. The Equity and Justice Academy in Character Education (EJACE) changes this sequel in St. Louis schools by bringing school staff and students together to develop a mission, vision, values, practices and narrative that fosters a positive impact breaking the chain of long held biases and systemic intolerant attitudes.
A student leadership group will be in place at the school site to help inform the work throughout the year. There will be a required "Changing the Narrative" Project that will be developed throughout the year-long academy. It will be presented at a Narrative Showcase in May by the Staff and Student Leadership Teams. School teams are expected to be in attendance at all 7 sessions.
Ensuring educational equity and justice are at the center of everything we do as educators is incredibly complex and challenging work. The Equity and Justice Academy in Character Education will offer new perspectives, challenge our thinking and create new opportunities for application grounded in practicality.
EJACE will provide intentional opportunities and experiences that will allow leaders to Change the Narrative and create schools where equity and justice are interwoven into the very being of the culture of the school. Through a shared purpose and clear vision to get at the core of doing what is fundamental for the well-being and success of all members, the Academy will focus on changing the narrative through unwrapping and recreating the following elements;
Telling our story (Narrative);
Where are we going and how are we getting there? (Mission, Vision, and Values);
Who are we? (People);
Where/What are we? (Place);
How do we do what we do? (Policies, practices, systems).
We will look at these elements through the characteristics of autonomy, belonging, competence and dignity - resulting in a journey to create communities where each child, family and staff member feels safe, welcomed and included and valued.
CharacterPlus is honored to have school administrators Dr. Grace Lee and Dr. Kashina Bell be EJACE Development, Design, and Instruction Scholars. Their selfless commitment to equity and justice work in school is manifested throughout EJACE's approach. As a result, we are excited to share that the coming EJACE enrollment cohort of schools is full.
EJACE is CharacterPlus's program update to our long-running and successful Gateway 2 Change initiative with area high schools. SJACE takes that work further into the school transformation process from an equity, inclusion, justice and diversity lense.
Gateway2Change Student Summits on Race has inspired and motivated young people to become leaders for positive change in their local community. This unique approach helps young people engage in purposeful conversations about the social and cultural differences that exist within the St. Louis region and create a plan to affect positive change.
Gateway2Change (G2C) was created in 2014 after the tragic events unfolded in Ferguson and has served more than 400 students representing 38 high schools throughout the St. Louis region. Annual cohorts of students participate in summits facilitated by program staff and community partners. Students explore how social and cultural differences influence individual life experiences and perspectives; and apply problem-solving models to develop solutions for issues related to diversity and equity.