We’ve been practicing social justice at the Seed since we first began in 1977. Granted, our students were very young and there were just a few of them, but even in those early days we talked about saving the planet and being kind to each other. Children made bumper stickers to save the whales and wrote their senators letters asking them to clean up the air. Over time, as we grew larger and expanded our curriculum, our expression of social justice became more intentional. We started having harder conversations and asking more questions. Several wise friends and parents helped guide this work, being available with answers to our questions. Studies about the Civil Rights Movement, human rights activists, and advocates for a better life on Planet Earth cropped up around the school. This work continued in an organic way, with our emergent curriculum model serving the needs and interests of both children and teachers.
When I started blogging in September 2010, my plan was to use the blog to highlight various aspects of Seed life. As it all evolved, I realized it was not only a huge opportunity to create a window into the Seed, it was also a chance to develop my voice and use it to speak up about social justice. There was a particular shift after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Afterward I immersed myself in books and podcasts that were informative and often made me feel uncomfortable. As a staff we shifted our professional development training to topics such as implicit bias, identity, color blindness, micro-aggressions, and cultural appropriation. We spent time with the social justice standards from Learning for Justice, and each teacher selected a standard or two as a focus for this year’s classroom work.
This past year, for the first time in the Seed’s history, we extended our social justice practices to include work at the board level. We now have a diversity, equity, and inclusion committee that meets bi-monthly to discuss ways to broaden our social justice mission. There is an emphasis on how the board can support the teaching staff and how we can all support parents in navigating social justice topics. At our last committee meeting, a suggestion was made to create a Seed social justice website, similar to our seedfood site, that could archive our work and be a helpful resource for other schools and parents. The idea resonated, and this post will be the first for the new site. In time it will feature writing and examples of social justice work happening throughout the school. Guest bloggers from our community and beyond will be encouraged to contribute, and we’ll gradually add resources to the collection. I’ll be pulling from my blog archives for examples of the wonderful work that has already been happening, as we also add new material about future projects.
It’s our intention that seedjustice will be yet another way the Seed can serve and help heal Planet Earth.