Equity & Inclusion at EPS

By Bess McKinney (Equity, Inclusion and Compassionate Leadership Coordinator)

Four years ago, when I first walked onto EPS’s campus, I was struck by the sense of community here—by the kindness and connectedness I observed around me.  I was reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision for a “beloved community,” a community in which the diversity of humanity is celebrated and in which people of different backgrounds recognize that we are all interconnected, that our individual well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of others.

Over the past four years at EPS, as an Upper School Social Science teacher, junior and senior advisor, club sponsor, and coach, I’ve seen the ways in which our students and adults support one another and try, in small and big ways, to build a version of Dr. King’s beloved community. This year, I will be taking on a new position as Equity, Inclusion and Compassionate Leadership Coordinator.  In this role, I will be helping support all of us here at EPS in this endeavor, ensuring that all students, all faculty and staff, all EPS families, feel that they are part of, feel connected to, and feel they can be all of who they are at EPS.

What does that mean I’ll be doing in practice? I’ll be working with faculty and staff to help us all build our capacity to talk about identity and difference here at EPS and to continue to develop our interconnected and interdependent community—in class, in advisory time, in class meetings, in assemblies, in faculty trainings.  I’ll be supporting student clubs and groups in their work to form and enlarge our own beloved community at EPS.  I’ll provide an open door, an ear, and a sounding board to all EPS students, particularly those who feel as though one part of their identity is hard to express fully here at school.  Further, I hope to be talking to you.  I’m very interested in hearing from and connecting with you, the families of EPS, and invite you to stop by my office on campus, LPC 203, email me (bmckinney@eastsideprep.org) or call me at (425) 822-5668 ext. 582. I look forward to meeting and talking with more of you over the course of this year.