Launched in September 2018, the Equity & Justice Institute quickly established itself as an exciting and impactful force on campus and beyond.
Under the leadership of Founding Director Derric J. Johnson, the Institute has hosted a roster of renowned speakers through the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series; participated in and co-sponsored local and national conferences on social justice issues; and stimulated dialogue among students, faculty, staff and parents on the development of new initiatives and community partnerships.
Three Core Commitments
The Equity & Justice Institute is founded on three core commitments:
Deepening Our Teaching and Learning
Providing Resources for the Public Good
Supporting Community Action
The Equity & Justice Institute
Because of the work of the Institute, all Crossroads students (K-12) develop:
A sincere commitment to and experience with activism and community engagement.
An empathetic approach to developing innovative solutions that address issues of equity and justice facing local and global communities.
The academic knowledge to be fluent in questions of power and privilege and social-emotional skills to successfully understand and interact with myriad individuals, peoples and cultures.
Enhanced skills in collaboration, communication, entrepreneurship and leadership.
The Equity & Justice Institute
Now in its second year, the Institute continues to design and implement programs that affirm its three Core Commitments. In collaboration with Crossroads faculty and staff, students and partner organizations, the Institute is currently developing:
A comprehensive equity and justice curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade will provide a cohesive program that builds as students progress through the School and serve as a national model for equity and justice education.
Students will have deeper opportunities to engage in meaningful work with the wider nonprofit world and to develop and steward their own projects through the revolutionized Community Service program, opening doors and bringing new ideas and perspectives to work for the global community.
Faculty will receive financial and administrative support to create new courses; develop lessons; organize assemblies and conferences; cultivate residencies; sponsor fellowships; hold rallies; and bring new community organizations, allies and vitality to the Crossroads campuses.
Two guiding committees will work closely with the director to develop strategic goals for the Institute. One will be a senior-level Advisory Council consisting of national and international thought leaders and social justice advocates to help set the course for the Institute and create partnerships throughout the world. The second will be an Educational Steering Committee made of up Crossroads faculty and students who will focus on operations and programming.
As the Institute grows, we will develop and implement additional initiatives, including:
A reimagined vision of service learning, leadership and activism will put Crossroads at the forefront of student engagement with the greater community, facilitating meaningful change and creating programs that will inspire and serve as models for other independent schools.
Student clubs will enjoy new meeting spaces and receive professional support and guidance to pursue their goals and organize their activities and programs. New clubs will be developed and students will be encouraged to cultivate authentic passions and work on making a tangible impact. The innovation laboratory will help students develop ideas, create nonprofit partnerships and help provide the infrastructure necessary for moving their work beyond the Crossroads campuses to true engagement with the global community.
New opportunities will enable students to travel domestically and internationally to support and participate in the work of our partner organizations and engage in cross-cultural experiential education, preparing them to be contributing members of a 21st-century global community.
An innovation laboratory, following the model pioneered by the Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation, will incubate and support Crossroads student and community activism initiatives that empower other communities here at home, nationally and even globally.