Utility Container

Mobile Menu Trigger (container)

Off Canvas Container (Do Not Edit)

Site Info Container

History of Our Work


A Brief Overview & Timeline

In 2009 the Parent Association’s Diversity Committee was founded. The group’s goal was to help welcome all families to the school.

In 2013, the Equity, Inclusion, & Social Justice (EISJ) Committee name arose out of the PA’s Diversity Committee in order to reflect a new school-wide commitment to deeper diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) work that included faculty, administration, Board members, and Room Ambassadors. The group’s monthly meetings adopted a formalized syllabus, exploring social justice issues in the school curriculum as well as in the world beyond The Oaks. EISJ provided DEI training for all new families, introduced evening programming, and invited visiting speakers to the school.

We hope you join us as we continue to expand our work!



Leadership & Vision

With a new administration willing to take the lead, it was time for a new direction after 2013 saw the departure of four families of color. It was determined that a new approach was needed for diversity and inclusion work at The Oaks. The Board of Trustees began forming the long-range vision and allocated significant, ongoing funding for this work.

The PA Diversity Committee was reconfigured as the Equity, Inclusion, & Social Justice Committee (EISJ). Leadership expanded to include Board members and administration.

The Oaks School Long Range Plan was published, with “We Are Multicultural” as one of the key initiatives.

Oaks Community Education & Inspiration

Administration, families, and faculty members attended the Wildwood Multicultural Leadership Summer Institute. This core group formed the first Multicultural Vision Committee (MVC) and began to plan and implement a multi-year strategy to both diversify the student body and create an inclusive school community.

VISIONS, Inc. trainings led by Terry Berman and Jim Turner with the faculty, with yearly re-evaluations. The focus was on a personal approach to change and equity. 

EISJ began hosting monthly meetings and VISIONS, Inc. trainings for families. Administration and faculty began sharing and highlighting EISJ elements of the curriculum at the monthly meetings.

Successes & Application of the Work

Teachers began constructing curriculum that represented multiple perspectives.

The “Guidelines for Inclusivity” were adopted for school-wide shared language and goals. 

The Board of Trustees retreat included a full-day VISIONS, Inc. training.

Faculty members trained with Monique Marshall at Wildwood in the “Never Too Young” workshop and The Oaks hosted a seminar, “Let’s Talk About Whiteness,” with Jason David from AWARE-LA.

Faculty members attended Project Zero Classroom's Summer Institute with a focus on how to support students in building understanding, expressing diversity of thought, and becoming engaged citizens of the world around them.



Leadership & Vision

It was determined that more bandwidth would be needed to continue diversity and inclusion work and the Board of Trustees approved a new position, Director of Admission and Civic Engagement.

MVC was streamlined to consist of Head, Assistant Head, Director of Admission and Civic Engagement, EISJ PA Chairs, and two faculty members.

Oaks Community Education & Inspiration

EISJ organized and hosted “Night Out” events, including a screening of the film, Loving, and attending René Rivera’s one-man play, King of the Desert.

Administrators and Board members attended the PACE intensive in Oakland.

Successes & Application of the Work

The EISJ Prospective Parent Night is introduced for families interested in learning more about the school and its DEI work. 

The Director of Admission and Civic Engagement was hired.



Oaks Community Education & Inspiration

Room Ambassadors received DEI training from members of the EISJ committee. 

Faculty members attended the NAIS People of Color Conference: “Voices for Equity and Justice: Now and in Every Generation.”

The Admission Office and EISJ co-hosted the first Dive Deeper event for prospective families, giving them hands-on experience with the curriculum and how it incorporated multiple perspectives. 

EISJ hosted a book club discussion of Blowout! Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice.

Successes & Application of the Work

The number of enrolled students of color increased by 7%.



Oaks Community Education & Inspiration

The Center for Civic Engagement hosted Ursula Wolfe-Rocca from Zinn Education Project who led two workshops, one for faculty members from The Oaks and other schools and one for the fifth and sixth grade students. 

The Center for Civic Engagement hosted artist and activist Barbara Carrasco who led art classes and presentations for K-6 students and then “L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective,” an evening event for families and other local community members. 

The Center for Civic Engagement hosted a screening of Dawnland with producer Tracy Rector and a discussion of Native and Indigenous activism. 

Book Club with Ted event is held for community members on So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.



Leadership & Vision

Seeing the need for families to have shared language and a deeper understanding of the work in the classroom,  EISJ meetings were reconfigured as Courageous Conversations. These sessions were guided by faculty members and built to incorporate what was occurring within the curriculum with students.  

The EISJ Committee was redesigned as the Multicultural Leadership Committee (MLC) and expanded to include at least one faculty member from each grade level as well as members of the Board. 

Oaks Community Education & Inspiration

The school hosted activist and artist George Takei to discuss his memoir, They Called Us Enemy, and the history of Japanese incarceration. 

Racial affinity groups began to hold meetings for community members, including families and members of the faculty/staff. 

Successes & Application of the Work

Anti-Bias Education (ABE) units of study and a K-6 scope and sequence explicitly addressing various aspects of identity were written.



Leadership & Vision

It was determined that the next steps were to further develop the ABE curriculum and finalize an evaluation tool for the books in the classroom and school-wide libraries.  

Oaks Community Education & Inspiration

Courageous Conversation meetings were held addressing topics including The History of Black History Month and What Is Abolition?

The MLC hosted a screening of the Oscar-winning short film, Two Distant Strangers, along with a Q&A session with director Travon Free, producer Chris Uettwiller, and actor Zaria Simone. 

Successes & Application of the Work

Faculty members began using the ABE units of study and gave feedback on what resources and support they needed to best address the needs of the students and their own growth. 

The Library Committee developed evaluative tools to ensure that books that are used in the classroom are free from harmful stereotypes and allow teachers to address gaps in representation.



Leadership & Vision

This year we will continue to expand the ABE curriculum and complete the evaluation of the books in the classroom and school-wide libraries.   In addition, we are developing a reporting process for identity-based harm and harassment, fine-tuning the restorative process, creating COVID-safe ways to re-engage in service learning, and expanding our relationships with Asian & Asian American, LatinX, and LGBTQIA+ organizations in the greater Los Angeles area.