Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Uncommon, diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to achieving our mission. We believe that all students deserve to see themselves in the adults who shape their lives, and that diverse teams are strong teams.
We have proudly built schools where more than 50% of our teachers identify as people of color - over twice the national average - where our leadership team reflects the diversity of our staff, and where diversity and inclusion practices inform how we work together as an Uncommon team. We cultivate and strengthen our diversity through hiring, retention, and leadership development practices, as well as through our innovative Summer Teaching Fellowship program. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team develops deeply reflective staff training sessions, facilitates a regional speaker series, and supports authentic student and staff discussions across our schools, and more to help ensure that our school and workplace culture allows all of us to bring our whole selves to work every day.
Our students engage in cross-cultural studies each year starting in Kindergarten, covering topics such as the Harlem Renaissance, Latino/a heritage, and the civil rights movement. Evolving our curriculum continuously to include and value a wide range of voices and perspectives is central to our mission. We teach our students to value themselves and each other. We ask them to read diverse authors, to debate their ideas in class, to engage with global issues during and after school, and to be part of a strong community. We develop our students’ voices not only because they will need them to succeed, but because the world needs to hear them.
Taking a Stand
We don’t shy away from engaging with tough issues. We use our voice—and encourage our students to use theirs—to support positive changes for the communities we serve.
March for Our Lives
Uncommon students and staff participated in the National School Walkout. We engaged in activities across our schools in all six cities which was designed to amplify the voices of our students and raise our own alongside them, to say that it is past time to put an end to the gun violence harming our schools and our children.
Dreamers, We Stand With You
When the status of students protected by DACA was thrown into question, we were both outraged and called to action. We are so proud of our Uncommon alumna and DACA recipient pictured above, Flor Reyes, who bravely told her story at the New York Immigration Coalition press conference saying, "I feel a great sense of disappointment. We have come out of the shadows only to be in more danger." We stand behind our Dreamers and continue to support them in every way we can.
Fighting for What's Right
Uncommon spoke out strongly against the 2017 federal administration budget proposal, co-authoring a USA Today op-ed against the draft budget and pledging to fight for what is best for ALL students. The budget had proposed increasing funding for charter school growth, but slashed funding for other federal programs impacting our community. We raised our voice loudly to oppose it.
Where we Stand
We unequivocally support and stand by our refugee, immigrant, undocumented, and Muslim community members. When a travel ban to Muslim countries was issued, we made sure our community knew where we stand on this issue.