Saturday Academy recognizes that we have significant work to do to become a culturally responsive organization. This document summarizes our efforts to date and provides insight into our next steps. We are continually learning and striving to become a better organization not only for your children, but for the greater community. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Executive Director Jackie Wirz at email@example.com.
We are hosting open forums to discuss the intersection of STEM education and social justice. Current dates and topics are below – please click on the link to register/get materials sent to you:
Culturally Responsive Organization Work
Saturday Academy completed a year-long equity training in 2018. Subsequently, Saturday Academy has been using the Protocol for Culturally Responsive Organizations to guide our equity work. Developed by the Coalition of Communities of Color and the Center to Advance Racial Equity at Portland State University, the Protocol outlines a two-step process: 1) Comprehensive organization-side assessment of policies, procedures, practices, and culture, and 2) Development of an Improvement Plan to create an actionable plan for the organization. We have completed our assessment and are developing our Improvement Plan. Our current work is outlined below.
Organizational Governance and Leadership
- All Saturday Academy staff underwent extensive training with the Center for Equity and Inclusion, including 80 in-class hours, readings, homework, and reflection.
- The Saturday Academy Board received an intensive full day training from the Center for Equity and Inclusion. Board members are asked to read, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving when they join our board.
- Our Equity Statement was formalized and published on our website
- We use and apply our Equity Lens to decisions we make internally and externally.
- All instructors are encouraged to participate in our Focus on Equity Professional Development. This self-guided web-based activity includes two videos, one short reading, and a reflection activity about equity in education – specifically in the teaching practice.
- Saturday Academy to You program brings classes into Title 1 schools free of charge, eliminating financial and transportation barriers to participation.
- Written materials and evaluations are presented in English and Spanish for our Saturday Academy to You program.
- Our classes and camps offer $100,000 in free or reduced tuition to about 500 students annually.
- We waive all application and registration fees for underserved students interested in applying to serve as an intern through our Apprenticeships in Science & Engineering (ASE) program.
- Our Girls Engage Technology (GET) program is 100% grant-funded, removing financial barriers which allows us to host the program for girls at local Boys and Girls Clubs.
- Students, site managers, parents and instructors evaluate the classes, camps and internships providing feedback that informs future offerings.
- We collaborate with culturally specific organizations such as The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Self-Enhancement Inc. (SEI), Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Latino Network, El Programa and Impact Northwest to provide our after-school programming in Title I schools.
- We collaborate with the Inukai Boys and Girls Clubs and the Girl Scouts to provide our Girls Engage Technology program.
- The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee will disseminate our self-assessment and solicit feedback from the Saturday Academy community on our JEDI work to date.
- We will develop a community survey to gather meaningful input on how Saturday Academy performs as a JEDI-informed organization, and how we can do better.
- We are hosting open forums to discuss the intersection of STEM education and social justice. Current dates and topics are below – please click on the link to register/get materials sent to you:
- We are working with several of our friends in the STEM nonprofit education community on a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color STEM Professionals webinar series to highlight the lived experiences of extraordinary community professionals of color.
- Community Engagement Initiatives: We are developing three new avenues for community engagement. If you would like to learn more, please fill out this short survey.
- Listening Labs: Students, parents, alumni, instructors, mentors, community partners, and stakeholders are invited to provide narrative feedback.
- Format: individual, one-on-one session with Saturday Academy staff.
- Time commitment: One 60 minute session.
- Community Advisory Board: Saturday Academy is assembling a Community Advisory Board to help guide the organization using community voice.
- Format: regular meetings facilitated by the executive director.
- Time commitment: 90 minutes, four times a year.
- Community Advisory Board members will be provided a stipend for their service.
- Student Advisory Forums: Saturday Academy is assembling a series of Student Advisory Forums to help provide feedback on existing programming as well as input into future offerings.
- Format: small group, facilitated session. Sessions will be built around specific Saturday Academy programs (ASE, Classes, Camps, GET, SA2U).
- Time commitment: One 30 or 60 minute session