Equity and Inclusion Corner

  • CornerThis is a place where you can read about current practices, find resources about diversity, equity, and inclusion topics and hear about what is happening in the district in relation to this work.
     
    We have chosen this symbol to represent the Equity and Inclusion work we are doing in the Riverdale School District. The top arrow means growth and progress. The triangle is a version of the delta symbol, which means change, and is unclosed to represent openness.
     
    "Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together." ~Jacqueline Woodson
    I look forward to embarking on this journey with all of you.
     
    - Abby Rotwein (she/her)
    Riverdale School District Director of Equity and Inclusion K-12
    Restorative Justice Coach 9-12

Equity & Inclusion and Restorative Justice at Riverdale School District

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  • May 13 Equity and Inclusion Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 5/13/2022

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    Happy Vesak/Buddha Day to our Buddhist community.

    We hope our Jewish community has a wonderful Lag B’Omer.

    May 21st is the World Day for Cultural Diversity, which celebrates “Equitable exchange and dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based on mutual understanding and respect and the equal dignity of all cultures is the essential prerequisite for constructing social cohesion, reconciliation among peoples and peace among nations.” (United Nations Website)

    We wish our Bahá’í community a lovely Declaration of the Báb. 

    Happy Ascension Day to our Christian community. 

    Community Affinity Sessions

    I am overjoyed to share that our Spring community affinity sessions will be held in person at Riverdale High School.  It will be a great opportunity to connect with other caregivers.  While I know mornings are not ideal for all, I try to alternate meeting times to provide opportunities for people with all kinds of schedules.

    No need to RSVP.  Please join us for coffee and pastries.

    These sessions are only for caregivers, not for students.

    Caregivers of Students of Color and Caregivers of Color:  This meeting is for caregivers, parents, and guardians of students who are Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern/North African, Latine/Latina/Latino, multiracial or biracial. This meeting is also for caregivers, parents and guardians who are in any of the above categories.

    Monday, May 16th, 9-10 AM in the Riverdale High School Maverick Room

    Caregivers of LGBTQIA2S+ Students and Caregivers who are LGBTQIA2S+: This meeting is for caregivers, parents and guardians of students who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, Aromantic, Pansexual, Non-binary or have their own label/non-label in regards to their gender or sexual identity. This meeting is also for caregivers, parents and guardians who are in any of the above categories.

    Thursday, May 19th, 9-10 AM in the Riverdale High School Maverick Room

    Caregivers of Neurodiverse Students, Caregivers of Students with Disabilities, and Caregivers who are Neurodiverse or have a Disability: This meeting is for caregivers, parents and guardians of students who have Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, ADD, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Auditory Processing Disorder, ED, specific learning disabilities, physical disabilities, any other categories under IDEA or a combination of these. This meeting is also for caregivers, parents and guardians who are in any of the above categories.

    Friday, May 20th, 9-10 AM in the Riverdale High School Maverick Room

    Upcoming Cultural Events

    Oregon Rises Above Hate on May 14, 2022 in Portland, Oregon

    Join together to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the AANHPI (Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander) community, its resilience, and commit to combat the continued rise anti-Asian hate. Cultural heritage institutions will be open for free to encourage exploration of AANHPI culture & history, including Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Jewish Museum, Portland Chinatown Museum, and others.  Speakers, performances, and more in-person and livestream on https://oregonrisesabovehate.com

    Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration, Sunday May 22nd, noon - 2:30 PM at Millenium Plaza in Lake Oswego

    Come celebrate and enjoy entertainment and food demonstrations!  Sponsored by the City of Lake Oswego, LO for LOve, and Respond to Racism.

    -Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion

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  • April 29 E&I Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 4/29/2022

    Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. See below for ways to learn about and celebrate this month.
    May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which honors the achievements and contributions of Jewish Americans. Learn more at the official website.
    May 1st is May Day, which commemorates the labor movement's fight for rights. It is also known as the International Workers’ Day.  
    Happy Eid Al-Fitr to our Muslim community, we hope you enjoy the end of your fast.
    Happy Cinco de Mayo to our Mexican American community and all who celebrate.
    We wish a lovely Mother’s Day to all mothers and mother figures. We recognize that this can be a special day for many and a hard day for others.   
     

    May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    Here are some resources and events where you can celebrate and learn about Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage and history:
    Asian American Books is a compilation of books organized by age group, from early childhood to adult. It includes additional book lists specific to South Asian Americans, Chinese Americans, and Japanese Americans.
    The AARP of Oregon is hosting a number of special events this month, including: 
    Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Slideshow is a resource I developed for teachers and students. It has been shared in K-8 classrooms at Riverdale Grade School.
    If you have not yet visited the brand new Japanese American Museum of Oregon, it is currently open on Fridays - Sundays from 11AM to 3PM.
    Check out the Venture Portland website for their great list of local Asian American and Pacific Islander restaurants, stores, and businesses.
    - Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion
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  • April 15 Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 4/15/2022

    Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    We hope that our Christian community has a lovely Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.
    Happy Pesach (Passover) to our Jewish community.
    We hope that our Buddhist community has a celebratory Theravada New Year.
    Happy Festival of Ridván to our Bahá’í community.
    April 24 is Armenian Martyrs’ day, which recognizes the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey beween 1915 and 1923. 
    We hope that our Muslim community has a meaningful Lailat Al-Qadr.
    April 28 is Yom Hashoah, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day for the Jewish community.  

    Karen Gaffney Assemblies

    It was such a joy and privilege to have Karen Gaffney speak to both our middle schoolers and our high schoolers this past week! She is an incredible speaker and made a big impact on our students. Thank you to the PTC for funding the event at the high school!
     
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  • April 1 Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 4/1/2022

    Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    We hope that all who celebrate had a wonderful ​​Nowrúz and Khordad Sal.
    March 31st was Cesar Chavez day, which honors his legacy and contributions.
    March 31st was Trans Day of Visibility, which celebrates the accomplishments of  transgender and non genderconforming people, while also acknowledging the continued struggle for rights and justice.
    April is Arab American Heritage Month. See below for details about how to honor this month.
    April is Genocide Awareness month. The purpose of the month is to honor the victims and survivors of mass genocides.
    April 3rd – May 2nd is Ramadan. We hope that all who observe have a meaningful fast. 
    Happy Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday to our Christian community.
    We wish our Hindu community a lovely Rama Navami.
    Happy Vaisakhi to our Sikh community.

    April is Arab American Heritage Month

    Here are some resources and events where you can celebrate and learn about Arab American heritage and history:
    26 Books for Kids About the Arab World is a compilation of picture books, books for middle readers, and books for young adults. 
    Check out the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon for information about upcoming community events.
    Arab American Heritage Month Slideshow is a resource I developed for teachers and students.  It has been shared in K-8 classrooms at Riverdale Grade School.
    Arab American Foundation has created a comprehensive slideshow of information and historical background for educators and community members.
    Travel Portland has assembled a list of delicious Middle Eastern Eateries.
    Read the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners 2021 recognition of Arab American Heritage Month.
    - Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion
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  • March 18 Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 3/18/2022

    Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    Happy Purim to our Jewish community.
    We hope that all who celebrated had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day.
    Happy Holi to our Hindu community.
    We wish our Sikh community a lovely Hola Mohalla.
    March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  

    Respond to Racism LO

    Respond to Racism is a local, community-led organization whose mission is: “To educate and empower Lake Oswego residents and institutions with the tools to combat racism in all its forms and make LO — and Oregon — a better place to live for residents of all races and ethnicities.”  
    They hold monthly meetings and events. Information can be found at their website: Respond to Racism. Their next community meeting is taking place on April 11th and will feature Serena Yang, NYC Youth Poet Laureate and National Youth Poet Laureate finalist.  

    Upcoming Middle School and High School Assemblies with Karen Gaffney

    I am overjoyed to share that we have an incredible guest speaker coming to Riverdale Middle School on Friday, April 8th and Riverdale High School on Friday, April 15th. Her name is Karen Gaffney, and her bio is below:

    KAREN’S STORY

    Karen has been a life long advocate, role model and standard bearer that proclaims DOWN SYNDROME IS A LIFE MEANT TO BE LIVED! And, as she often says, DOWN SYNDROME IS A LIFE MEANT TO BE SAVED!
    Karen graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon and earned a two-year Associates of Science degree from Portland Community College. She successfully swam the English Channel as part of a six-person relay team. She also swam 9 miles, non stop straight across the width of Lake Tahoe, in 59-degree water to raise money for the National Down Syndrome Congress and to show the world that people with Down Syndrome are more alike, rather than different, from everyone else. She has countless open water swims on her athletic resume, including swimming 8 miles across Lake Champlain for the North County Down Syndrome Association and 5 miles from Molokini to Wailea Beach in Maui for Best Buddies of Hawai’i.
    Karen travels the country speaking to a wide range of audiences about overcoming limitations and about what can be accomplished with positive expectations. Karen tackles any challenge she faces with determination and commitment, knowing she has limits, but not allowing them to limit her drive to succeed. 
     
    You can learn more about Karen at her website, Karen Gaffney Foundation. I encourage you to check out her TEDxPortland talk and the video of her swimming across Lake Tahoe. The links are below:

    A big thank you to the PTC for providing us with funds for this special event!!
    -Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion
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  • March 4 Equity and Inclusion Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 3/4/2022

    Equity and Inclusion Corner

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    March is National Women’s History Month. The purpose of this month is to celebrate and educate about the many achievements of women - politically, socially, and economically. See below for more information about this month.
    We hope that our Western Christian community has a meaningful Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.
    We wish a restorative fast to our Bahá’í community during their Nineteen - Day Fast.
    We hope that our Eastern Christian community has a good Clean Monday.
    March 8th is International Women’s Day.

    March is Women’s History Month

    Here are some resources and events where you can celebrate and learn about women’s history:
    100 Years of Women’s Voting Rights is a film from Twin Cities PBS that is free to stream on YouTube.
    The Library of Congress is hosting a number of virtual events and roundtable discussions over the course of this month.
    Women’s History Month Resources is a compilation of information from History.com with links to films, articles, and background information.
    Women’s History Month Slideshow is a resource I developed for teachers and students. It has been shared in K-8 classrooms at Riverdale Grade School.

    From Multnomah Education Service District: 

    Supporting Students Around the Topic of Crisis in Ukraine and Russia
    Our students want and need to talk about what they see, remember, and are feeling now; they need the guidance and safety of adults in their home and in their schools to be able to navigate their own emotions and trauma in a healthy, safe, and productive way.

    For All Ages

    For Elementary/Middle School Students

    Trauma-Informed Resources for School Systems

    The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides resources that can be filtered by topic or keyword and by audience with a focus on how adults can identify traumatic responses in young people and how to support them. Talking to Children about War and Terrorism provides parents and caregivers with information about how to talk to children about war and terrorism. 

    Additional Considerations:

    A resource for school-based mental health professionals, school counselors, staff and administrators.
    The Prevention Institute:
    Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience - A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma 
    Oakland Unified School District 
    Support for your school to create an implementation plan to introduce school-wide restorative practices.

    Culturally Responsive Community Based Organizations:

    Multicultural Counseling Services
    (Early Intervention, Clinical Treatment; Community Wellness and Healing; Community Partnerships and Advocacy)
    Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization
    -Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion
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  • Feb 18 Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 2/18/2022

    Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    We hope that our Buddhist community had a celebratory Magha Puja. 
    February 20th is the World Day of Social Justice. The purpose of this day is to promote social development and human rights worldwide. 
    February 21st is Presidents Day, which honors all U.S. Presidents, past and present. 
    To our Bahá’í community, we hope you have a meaningful Ayyám-i-ha.
    Happy Maha Shivarati to our Hindu community. 

    No Place for Hate at Riverdale High School

    No Place for Hate is a student-led program at RHS in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League. The program helps students shift school culture by focusing on the topics of bullying, bias, equity, and inclusion. 
    At RHS, we have 17 students in the group and three staff leaders: Abby Rotwein, Jack Marvin, and David Thompson. Students in the group have completed 12 hours of formal training and meet after school each week for two hours to learn and plan events that will positively impact our school culture. It is a big commitment, and we are proud of the students for their hard work and dedication. 
    This week, No Place for Hate students led a training for high school staff on the topics of identity and microaggressions. Over the course of the month of March, No Place for Hate students will teach similar content to all students at the high school during three advisory sessions. It is not easy to stand in front of your peers and discuss these challenging topics - we appreciate the leadership and bravery of these young people.
    - Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion
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  • Equity & Inclusion Corner 

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 2/4/2022

    Equity & Inclusion Corner 

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    February 1st was National Freedom Day, which celebrates the abolition of slavery with the passage of the 13th Amendment.

    We hope that all who celebrate had a wonderful Lunar New Year.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to those who observe the holiday.

    We hope that our Buddhist community has a meaningful Nirvana Day and Magha Puja.

    February 15th is Susan B. Anthony Day, which celebrates her birth and leadership in the women’s suffrage movement.

    Holocaust Remembrance Day

    A big thank you to the Jewish Student Union and special guest Yaffa Nemer for our assembly at the high school on January 27th!

    February is Black History Month

    Here are some resources and events where you can celebrate and learn about Black history:

    Books by Black Authors for Ages 1-18 is a great compilation of books from the Conscious Kid. When you click on an image of a book, it gives you a summary and age level.

    Black History Month Slideshow is a resource I developed for teachers and students. It has been shared in K-8 classrooms at Riverdale Grade School.

    Black is Beautiful is an article written by local educator Kara Hinderlie sharing how she talks about race in her kindergarten classroom. 

    Oregon Black Pioneers (30 minutes) and Portland Civil Rights: Lift Ev’ry Voice (1 hour 22 minutes) are two outstanding documentaries created by Oregon Public Broadcasting that tell stories of Black history in our state.

    PDX Jazz Festival features Grammy winning artists and takes place from February 17th-26th.

    Respond to Racism LO is an organization whose mission is, “To educate and empower Lake Oswego residents and institutions with the tools to combat racism in all its forms and make LO — and Oregon — a better place to live for residents of all races and ethnicities.” Check out their website for a number of events they are hosting this month.

    Support Black-Owned Restaurants - Bookmark this page for a huge list of Black-owned restaurants to support this month and year-round.  

    Thurgood is a play showing this month at the Portland Playhouse about the Supreme Court Judge Thurgood Marshall. 

    - Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion

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  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 1/7/2022

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

    January 17th is a federal holiday that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

    While many of us know his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech, I encourage you to take some time on this holiday to learn more about his broader work. For example, have you read/viewed his speech “The Other America” or learned about the “Poor People’s Campaign?” Did you know that MLK’s views were considered radical in his lifetime, with two-thirds of Americans viewing him unfavorably in the years before his death? Let’s honor his legacy by moving past popular quotes and towards a deeper understanding of his dream.

    MLK day is unique in that the intention of the holiday is not a “day off,” but rather, a “day on.” The purpose of the day is service, learning, and community. There are many volunteer and celebratory events happening in the Portland Metro Area. View the list here. 

    Volunteer with SOLVE - Street Clean Up

    SOLVE is hosting 4 different clean up projects on Monday, January 17th. Pre-registration is required, please click the link to sign up for an event at one of the locations below:

    Waterfront Park at the Burnside Bridge 

    The Benson Hotel 

    The Standard 

    Central Eastside Industrial District

    Volunteer with Blanchet House - Care Kits

    Blanchet House is recommending making care kits: 

    Honor the life and service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the upcoming holiday by making care kits for the houseless. Bags containing essential items like rain ponchos, hand warmers, socks, and snacks are given out daily to our guests. These kits are so appreciated!

    Instructions at BlanchetHouse.org/care-kits.

    Volunteer with Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership - Tree Planting

    Plant trees and shrubs to restore native habitat and improve water quality of Burnt Bridge Creek!  

    Pre-registration is required and space is limited. All ages and abilities are welcome!

    Sign up here on eventbrite

    Volunteer with Surfrider PDX - Street Clean Up

    To honor the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., join Surfrider Foundation Portland Chapter and the City of Portland for a fourth year in a row (minus 2021), in serving the community and the environment on this National Day of Service. Come volunteer with us and clean up MLK Blvd on Monday January 17, from 10am-12pm.

    Read details here.

    The Skanner Foundation 36th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

    Monday, January 17, 2022 at 9:00AM (Online Event)

    The Skanner Foundation again invites the community to share breakfast and celebrate the life, work, and vision of civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. with its 36th annual celebration the morning of Jan. 17, 2022.

    In past years, the breakfast has hosted more than a thousand attendees, often including the governor and both state and U.S. senators and representatives. Out of caution for yet another forecasted surge in the pandemic, the foundation has elected to hold its celebration on a virtual platform for a second year.

    For more information, or to purchase a table or make a donation, visit the Skanner web site.

    Monday, January 17, 2022 at 3:00PM at the Hollywood Theatre

    This historical film documents African-American communities in Oregon honoring the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Since 1978, World Arts Foundation, Inc. (WAFI) has hosted an annual MLK tribute event. With King’s work as a guide, KEEP ALIVE THE DREAM highlights pioneering activists, community leaders, artists, musicians, and youth whose valiant efforts have left lasting impacts in Oregon’s African-American community.

    In addition to the film, the program will feature live music and a Q & A with community members.

    Admission is free but a ticket needs to be claimed for entry: https://hollywoodtheatre.org/events/keep-alive-the-dream/

    World Arts Foundation Inc. presents KEEP ALIVE THE DREAM

    Monday, January 17, 2022 at 3:00PM at the Hollywood Theatre

    This historical film documents African-American communities in Oregon honoring the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Since 1978, World Arts Foundation, Inc. (WAFI) has hosted an annual MLK tribute event. With King’s work as a guide, KEEP ALIVE THE DREAM highlights pioneering activists, community leaders, artists, musicians, and youth whose valiant efforts have left lasting impacts in Oregon’s African-American community.

    In addition to the film, the program will feature live music and a Q & A with community members.

    Admission is free but a ticket needs to be claimed for entry: https://hollywoodtheatre.org/events/keep-alive-the-dream/

    United Way of King County's Advancing Racial Equity: A Conversation with Clint Smith

    Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    6:00 PM – 7:30 PM PST (Online Event)

    Listen and learn from educator, poet, and New York Times bestselling author, Clint Smith and then participate in a discussion with local experts specializing in African American history in our area. 

    Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and the poetry collection Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.

    Please join us to listen, learn and be in community with one another. More information, including tickets are available here.

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  • Dec. 17 Equity & Inclusion Corner

    Posted by Abby Rotwein on 12/17/2021

    Holidays and Celebrations 

    December 21st is the Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day and longest night of the year.
    Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.
    Kwanzaa is from December 26th to January 1st. We hope those who celebrate have a wonderful holiday.   
    December 29th is Wounded Knee Day. The purpose of this day is to remember the more than 300 Lakota Sioux adults and children who were massacred by the U.S. Army in 1890. Learn more from National Geographic.
    Happy New Year to all. See you in 2022.

    Riverdale Grade School Food Drive - 3,001 Pounds of Food Collected!!

    Thank you to all who contributed to our food drive and made it such a whopping success! We collected a school-wide total of 3,787 items! Congratulations to 4th grade and 8th grade for collecting the most items.
    On a rainy Saturday morning, 8th Grade Leadership students and caregivers transported items into cars, to LiftUp Portland, and into their warehouse. After weighing the items in at 3,001 pounds, we sorted all the foods into categories.  It was hard work but well worth it! We learned more about LiftUp Portland’s work and process for distributing food.
    A big “well done” to 8th Grade Leadership for their great work, and thanks to the whole community for helping to feed those in need! 
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