The district's board of trustees adopted the RISD Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Policy in a unanimous 7-0 vote on June 10. Approval of the policy comes months after RISD settled a lawsuit accusing it of Voting Rights Act violations that favor white board members and students.
"June 10, 2019, is a big day," Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. "It's a big, big day."
Over the past six months, members of the district's Equity Council met to develop the policy, which seeks to"establish a framework to eliminate any bias, prejudice, or unlawful discrimination that may affect student achievement and learning experiences and to promote learning and working environments that welcome, respect, and value equity, diversity and inclusion."
"This is an opportunity where we get to move our mission, our vision, out values and our focus from mere words to action," district Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Angie Lee said.
The four page policy addresses allocation of district resources, student representation in programs, hiring practices, achievement/opportunity gaps and staff training.
"It is our collective responsibility to make sure this is not just words on paper," trustee Katie Patterson said.
RISD is the first district in the Metroplex to adopt an equity policy. Other districts are already reaching out to learn more about the process, Lee said.
"We have a unique opportunity to lead this work in the DFW metroplex," Lee said.
Once Stone had "enthusiastically recommended" that the board should approve the policy, Patterson moved to adopt it. Trustee Kristin Kuhne seconded. Once approved, trustees and members of the public delivered a standing ovation.