Osamagbe Osagie is the Director of Equity and Inclusion at Carroll School and also teaches 5th grade history.
DEI is a philosophy as well as an action. At its most basic level, DEI is about treating each other well and having an intentional framework that values each individual’s perspective, including language, culture, gender, and socio-economic background. As educators, our role is to support each other and our students to become whole, thoughtful, and courageous individuals who are empowered and aware of the world we live in today and the world we are creating for the future. The DEI framework provides a pathway to learn how to do that.
Before coming to Carroll, I had never considered what it meant to learn differently or to be marginalized because of learning differences. For 52 years Carroll has done a great job of looking at DEI through the lens of learning, access to education, reading and the power of literacy. My work has been to make that lens more expansive and enrich the mission of the school. When I came to Carroll, I think there was a healthy level of curiosity and anxiety amongst the faculty and staff. Many didn’t understand what diversity, equity, and inclusion meant and didn’t realize that Carroll already practiced these ideals because of who we serve and the way we teach.
The DEI journey, so far at Carroll, is similar to the growth of a new student. They begin their first year anxious, not ready to be vulnerable, and not ready to trust the process. Over time and by learning different skill sets and tools, a new level of confidence and knowledge emerges. Over our 2½ years of DEI, we have seen a shift in the Carroll community. Faculty and administrators are very curious about this work and after learning to look at their own perspective, unconscious biases, and assumptions we each make about the world, they are excited to find an age-appropriate way to bring the DEI framework to their students.
The beautiful thing about DEI is that it amplifies our mission to “give each child what they most need.” I am excited to see where this journey will take us as a school and a community.
- Student Life