The Equity Lab
Where we expand our ability to make sense of cultural differences and commonalities.
Intercultural competency is a driving force in bridging cultural differences and fostering an environment where everyone can belong, contribute and thrive.
The Equity Lab is a hub for equity-focused learning opportunities and one of the many ways Blake carries out its mission, core values and commitment to pluralism.
The lab is run by the Office of Equity and Community Engagement (OECE) whose vision is to lead, facilitate and support individual and school-wide efforts that foster a more equitable, inclusive and engaged community.
The Equity Lab makes sharing topics related to equity and inclusion accessible to everyone by offering and supporting lunch-and-learn sessions, after-school workshops, one-on-one discussions, critical friend groups, professional collaborations, webinars, community partnerships and more.
Call for Equity Lab Proposals
Alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff are invited to create a session for Blake's Equity Lab by completing a proposal, available at blake.mn/elproposal.
Successful session proposals will facilitate conversations that reflect Blake's commitment to pluralism and the OECE vision "to foster a more equitable, inclusive and engaged community."
Proposals should plan for an hour-long session and reflect the current theme: "What does it mean to be anti-racist?" Content should be based in research, model evidence-based practices, draw on personal mastery or reflective practice. Sessions should encourage attendees to continue exploring the subject area and inspire action.
Spring 2021 Equity Lab Events
The Equity Lab presents “Talking to Kids About Race and Skin Color,” a four-part series curated and facilitated by Blake parent Sarah Hardy, a local school district parent educator. Feeling called to discuss race and skin color with your children, but not sure where to start or how to proceed? You are not alone. Overwhelm can turn to paralysis just when we need to speak and take action. But what and how?
Join Hardy in this supportive space to gain understanding and skills as well as specific ideas for how to talk about these complex and challenging topics with children and the resolve to do so. Prior to the first session, a multi-racial panel of Blake Lower, Middle and Upper School families will discuss how they talk to their children about race.
This series is open to all Blake parents/guardians, alumni and faculty/staff. Participants may attend individual sessions or the entire series. Register for these Zoom events at the links below.
Talking to Kids About Race and Skin Color Events
Panel Discussion: How Do I Talk About Race with My Kids?
Wednesday, Jan. 13
Part 1: What Are We Teaching? What Are Our Children Learning?
Tuesday, February 23
Part 2: Skin Color: A Science Lesson; Culture: A Social Studies Lesson
Thursday, March 11
Part 3: Race and Racism
Wednesday, April 14
Part 4: Whiteness and Privilege
Wednesday, May 19
In this interactive offering, participants will design their own identity "molecule," reflecting on the different aspects of themselves that connect and compound. Students will gain a greater understanding of how identities are complex and shift contextually, and the ways in which identities are socially constructed and privileged. This event is open to current Blake students.
Wednesday, Feb. 17
Artistic Maps: An Unprovoked, Aggressive and Most Savage War
Jennings Mergenthal, a senior at Macalester majoring in Indigenous studies, shares a history of Indigenous people and lands in the area we now call Minnesota by presenting a series of original maps. This event is open to all Blake parents/guardians, alumni, students and faculty/staff.
Tuesday, March 2
Intentional Engagement in the Hiring Process: The Long Game
If we are looking to break out of the traditional model of hiring, we have to create non-traditional systems that are not based on financial return. Facilitator Varghese Alexander from the Pipeline Collaborative shares an approach to increasing the presence of employees of color in independent schools. *Q&A welcome. Open to all Blake parents/guardians, alumni and faculty/staff.
Wednesday, March 10