Diversity, inclusivity and transformation

Collegiate has been on a transformation journey since October 2016 when the Transformation Task Team, with a year’s mandate, was established. This resulted in the creation of the Comfortable in Our Skins Policy which aims to “to create and maintain an integrated and harmonious learning environment in which difference is embraced and all members of the school community (learners, educators, management, parents and visitors) feel physically and emotionally safe; are protected from demeaning and disrespectful behaviour and expressions; are treated with due care and sensitivity; and are adequately counselled and equipped to communicate and thrive in a diverse and multicultural society”.

In 2020, Collegiate renewed its commitment to transformation and intentional change driven by dialogue, reflection and courageous action involving all stakeholders.

Transformation is a leader-led journey towards diversity and inclusivity. The Diversity, Inclusivity and Transformation (DIT) Committee of the School Governing Body comprises all stakeholders: parents, learners, educators, school management, non-educators and alumnae. The committee recognises that transformation and intentional change involves the “head, heart and hands”.

It starts with the heart – emotional engagement and personal change through listening, empathy and attitudinal change. The head is the intellect, understanding what should be done and why it should be done, and developing the vocabulary and strategy to do it. The hands are the implementation of the process – both attitudinal change of parents, learners and educators, and systemic change of policies and procedures.

“Inclusion is grounded in what we do with that diversity when we value and appreciate people because of and not in spite of their differences.” – Ferdman and Deane

Being comfortable in our skins and courageous in our communities encapsulates the Collegian spirit of diversity, inclusivity and transformation. The DIT Committee works to ensure the comfort of our learners and manages the school’s approach when responding to the needs and expressions of the communities it embraces.

From Simamele forums that create platforms for conversations about topical issues on race, gender, culture, religion and heritage, to charting new routes to knit closer relationships with stakeholders from every area of the school, the DIT Committee is key to unlocking Collegiate’s policies that encourage enquiry on how we are comfortable in our skins and courageous in our communities. We are, after all, all in this together – changing our hearts, changing our minds.