Anti-Discrimination & Commitment to Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI)
In alignment with AISJ’s Purpose and Principles in general, and in particular, the principle of “our differences make us stronger”, AISJ recognizes, values and promotes social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the school community.
1.3.1 AISJ abides by the anti-discrimination legislation of its host country, South Africa. This includes the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), the Employment Equity Act (1998), the Labour Relations Act (1995), the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (2000), the Protection from Harassment Act (2011), Criminal Law, the Child Protection Act, the Child Justice Act, the South African Schools Act, and other relevant legislation.
1.3.2 As an organization, AISJ is committed to actively promoting an environment that is anti-discriminatory. AISJ condemns and prohibits all acts of unfair discrimination referenced in legislation outlined in 1.3.1 including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, religious intolerance, hate speech, sexual harassment, and harassment based on other prohibited grounds, as well as gender-based violence and violence based on other prohibited grounds.
1.3.3 Complaints about all manifestations of unfair discrimination as referenced in 1.3.2, are investigated and dealt with in a manner that ensures the appropriate confidentiality of parties. It is the responsibility of the School Director to ensure that investigative procedures are outlined in the HR Portal (within the AISJ Staff Portal) and in the division Handbooks.
1.3.4 Breach of this policy will initiate a disciplinary process that could include, but is not limited to, restorative justice, disciplinary action, or appropriate dispute resolution. It is the responsibility of the School Director to ensure methods and procedures are outlined in the HR Portal (within the AISJ Staff Portal) and in the division Handbooks.
1.3.5 The AISJ JEDI Committee, comprised of members that represent the diverse nature of the AISJ community, promotes social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the AISJ community. It is responsible for developing initiatives designed to redress past and present unfair discrimination, to safeguard against future unfair discrimination.
1.3.6 The AISJ Board is responsible for ensuring funding is available within the annual budget for key JEDI activities and initiatives, taking into consideration the recommendations of the JEDI Committee and School Director.
1.3.7 The School Director is responsible for the implementation of key JEDI activities and initiatives.
1.3.8 The JEDI Committee is responsible for reporting, at least quarterly, to the AISJ community on progress against key JEDI activities and initiatives.
AISJ JEDI Definitions
At AISJ, justice is based on the principles of equity and inclusion. It refers to systems and structures developed so that members of our community feel safe and know that there is fairness when concerns are shared. Our community is empathetic and compassionate when resolving issues. Ultimately, all community members will develop a sense of their own agency as well as a sense of social responsibility towards others.
At AISJ, equity is the fair treatment, opportunity, and access to the support and resources each person needs to be successful and be contributing members of our school. The principle of equity acknowledges systemic imbalances. Individual circumstances need to be recognized, considered, and addressed when seeking to eliminate barriers.
At AISJ, diversity refers to the range of similarities and differences in individual characteristics which shape our school community. These include race, gender, ability/disability, national origin, color, language, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, family responsibility, and political opinion. Diversity also encompasses the intersectionality of identities and recognizes the power dynamics related to this.
At AISJ, inclusion is a sense of belonging. A culture of inclusion is premised on mutual respect and dignity for all where each member of our community feels valued for who they are as an individual or a group. Each member of our community feels heard, feels supported, and has access to resources and systems to be successful.
FINAL GOAL STATEMENTS
To improve governance, with a focus on policy and oversight, of JEDI recommendations and actions within AISJ. We will develop a sustainable structure for monitoring JEDI Action Plan implementation.
To improve workforce representativity, as well as JEDI awareness and practice amongst AISJ employees. This action group will develop an action plan that integrates JEDI into the other established processes such as recruitment, communication, and other workforce structures to ensure diverse representation.
To provide for greater JEDI within the AISJ school curriculum. This action group will support the process of reviewing the PreK-12 curriculum with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion lens to enrich our shared experiences and develop culturally responsive teaching and learning opportunities.
To establish management processes and procedures, which support and promote Diversity and Inclusion within AISJ. This action group will identify gaps in the school's current processes and procedures, then through a benchmarking process embark on developing new processes and procedures taking into account the unique South African context.
To improve Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion amongst students. This action group will develop an action plan to ensure that our students have a sound knowledge and understanding of JEDI while fostering student agency and voice-related to JEDI.
To foster a school culture that is supportive of JEDI. This action group will utilize a (research-based) cultural change model (such as this example) to guide and conduct our AISJ action plan and our work to foster and improve our school's cultural components of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.