An Equitable and Inclusive Community

The Meridian School promotes diversity of thought and identity by bringing together community and curriculum, connecting awareness to actions, and celebrating the contribution of the individual to the community.


We believe that the challenges in our world require culturally competent, well-rounded, critically thinking individuals who are prepared to be responsible and active global citizens; that diversity brings perspectives and authentic experiences central to an education that balances the intellectual, emotional, and social growth of children; and, that a school community and learning environment that is inclusive and more diverse will promote a deeper understanding of varying points of view, and will fuel innovation, creativity, and progressive change.

  • Our Equity and Inclusion Commitments

    Institutional Level:

    • We commit to an organizational structure that identifies, challenges, and addresses bias and prejudice, and supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in our program and community.
    • We commit to employment practices that reflect and advance our vision of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the school.
    • We commit to open and honest communication about identity so that students feel valued in our school community and comfortable being themselves.

    Program Level:

    • We commit to an intentional curriculum that:
      • Engages students in conversations about identity and perspectives.
      • Discusses social and environmental issues.
      • Empowers students to collaborate and take action to improve conditions.
    • Through this curriculum students will develop leadership skills while understanding their role as global citizens.
    • We commit to the continuous development of the school’s administration, faculty, governing body, and families to build cultural competence.

    Community Level:

    • We commit to a community environment that is positive, nurturing, and emotionally safe, embraces the integrity of individual identities, and allows for authentic sharing of personal stories, experiences, and perspectives.
    • We commit to an admissions process that offers an accessible education.
    • We commit to an inclusive culture of respect and integrity that we will model in our daily interactions and relationships so that all members can thrive.
  • Visiting Educators

    Throughout the year, we offer opportunities for administrators, faculty, parents, and students to engage in courageous, educational conversations and cultural competency workshops. Local and national experts bring topics such as media literacy, poverty competency, gender diversity, multicultural education, and race and privilege, among others.

    Visiting professionals include:

  • Community Engagement

    We believe that excellent education happens when students are connected to, collaborate with, and learn from their local community. For this reason, we develop and sustain meaningful partnerships with many organizations in the Seattle area.

    Ongoing partnerships include:

    We also partner with the following non-profit organizations that share our community building, The Good Shepherd Center: Tilth Alliance, Wallingford Community Senior Center, EarthGen, and Program For Early Parent Support (PEPS)

  • Definition of Terms

    Definition of Equity and Inclusion Terms

    Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that leads to racial equity and is substantiated by antiracists ideas.

    • Antiracist ideas suggest that the racial groups are equal in all their apparent differences and recognize the historical and current impact of racism in our society and systems.
    • An antiracist policy is a measure that produces or sustains racial equity among racial groups.
    • Racial equity is when two or more racial groups are standing on a relatively equal footing.   

    Belonging is an individual sense of worthiness, acceptance, and value one feels in a community, and it means feeling seen, heard, included, valued, respected, connected, and empowered to thrive.

    Biases are people’s personal preference for, or against, an individual or group, which can interfere with our judgment and influence our behaviors. They can be implicit or unconscious.   

    Cultural competency is the process by which individuals attain awareness, knowledge, and skills to confront bias, reflect on their actions and privileges, and intentionally promote positive social change in their daily lives.

    Discrimination is the unjust treatment of people based on their social identities due to people’s conscious and unconscious biases that favor one group over another with their thoughts and actions.

    Diversity is a state of being relevant to everyone and inclusive of all the different aspects of identity and thought that impact social experiences.

    • Diversity of thought means the different ways people look at, think about, and interpret the world. This may include a variety of beliefs, creeds, styles of communication, political persuasions, and learning abilities.
    • Diversity of identity means the characteristics by which we self-identify or by which others may define us. These characteristics may include age, country of birth, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender expression, physical ability, physical appearance, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and socio-economic circumstances.

    Equity is a set of policies and practices that offer access, acknowledge diversity, equalize the ability to thrive, and address institutional biases and discrimination.

    Ethnicity is a person’s cultural heritage, including language, traditions, and ancestral history. It is not the same as their race. 

    Global citizens are people who possess the awareness, knowledge, and skills to take action to promote positive social change locally and globally.

    Inclusion is a sense of belonging, worthiness, and value one feels in an organization so all members of the community can thrive.

    Institutional racism refers to the unfair policies and discriminatory practices within and across institutions that routinely produce racially inequitable outcomes for people of color and advantages for white people. 

    Oppression is the systemic suppression and discrimination of a group or groups, by a group in power.

    Prejudice is an attitude toward an individual or group of people based on the social group they belong to. It influences thoughts and actions.   

    Privileges are benefits, advantages, and power given due to the social identities shared with the dominant culture. Privileges are granted and favored by institutions and social norms that were created by those in the dominant culture. 

    Race is a socially constructed term that divides people based on their skin color and physical characteristics. It is not based on scientific fact or grounded in genetics. 

    Racism is personal prejudice, bias, and discrimination against someone based on race.

    Stereotype is an exaggerated belief, image, or distorted truth about a person or group. It is a generalization that allows for little or no individual differences or social variation. 

    Systemic racism is institutionalized laws and policies that give advantages and disadvantages to people based on race. It involves one group having the power to implement those policies and practices and to shape cultural beliefs and values that support them. 

    White supremacy is the assumption or theory that whites are superior to all other races and should be in power and control. It is a structural system built into the founding of our nation and still in place today.

    Gender Identity Key Definitions

    Assigned sex at birth: The sex a person was given at birth, usually based on anatomy or chromosomes (e.g., male, female, intersex, etc.).

    Gender refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behaviors that are compatible with cultural expectations are referred to as gender-normative; behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non-conformity.

    Cisgender: A term used to describe people whose assigned sex matches their gender identity and/or gender expression (e.g., someone who was assigned female at birth and whose gender identity and/or gender expression is also female).

    Gender expansive: A wider, more flexible range of gender identities or expressions than those typically associated with the binary gender system.

    Gender expression is how a person expresses their gender, often through their behavior, emotional expression, mannerisms, dress, grooming, interests, and activities.

    Gender identity: A person’s internal and deeply-felt sense of being female, male, both, non-binary, gender expansive or other—regardless of the gender assigned at birth.

    Transgender: A term often used to describe a person whose gender identity or expression, or both, are different from those traditionally associated with their sex assigned at birth.

    Transitioning: The process in which a person goes from living and identifying as one gender to living and identifying as another.

    Please view further information about Meridian’s Equity and Inclusion terminology.

  • Recommended Resources

    Meridian E&I Padlet

    Diversity Calendar: a Seattle Public Schools project, created in collaboration with local equity and inclusion professionals.

    Teaching Tolerance publications: Beyond the Golden Rule: A Guide for Parents.



  • Equity and Inclusion Professional Development

    During fall and winter 2021, our faculty and staff are attending a variety of professional development programs focused on equity and inclusion.

    • Understanding Microaggressions in the Age of Black@, NWAIS
    • Demystified and Simplified: The Neuroscience Behind Behavioral Issues, NWAIS
    • What’s Up with White Women? Strategies for Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege, Ilsa Govan, M.A., and Tilman Smith, Cultures Connecting
    • Fourth Annual Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference
    • NAIS Online People of Color Conference

“I have been very impressed with the school’s efforts to make Meridian a caring and safe environment for students who are celebrated for their cultural, racial, socioeconomic, and gender diversity, as well as their unique strengths and backgrounds. It makes my family very proud to be at Meridian, which is committed to equity and inclusion, not just on paper but in action. By participating in the Equity and Inclusion Team, I have learned a lot from the teachers and fellow parents and I have become even more confident that our family’s goals for our daughter were being supported and complemented by The Meridian School. I have been touched by the deep thoughtfulness, discussions, and efforts that were behind every event and speaker topic this school year.  As a result of the care, support, and sensitivity of her teachers and classmates, our child is proud of who she is and all her ethnic heritages. She is receiving instruction in the meaning and value of community which she will carry with her always.”
—A Meridian Parent

Join our team! We are seeking dedicated, culturally competent faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.


For Aspiring Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Educators

Full-Time Instructional Associate Position and Teaching Certification Scholarship!

Are you…

  • A curious and creative teacher excited to bridge intellect, heart, and imagination in the classroom?
  • A compassionate and collaborative educator and role model for students?
  • An enthusiastic community member eager to collaborate and build relationships?

Yes? Then read on!

Ideal candidates possess an interest in elementary education; previous experience working with students either in a school, or an after-school, summer, or camp program; and curiosity about becoming a phenomenal educator.

We are seeking someone who enjoys partnering with faculty, and is passionate and committed to meeting the needs of students in an elementary setting. The ideal candidate demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and cultural competency skills.

The Meridian School offers a full-time instructional associate position and up to $10,000 each year toward tuition for an aspiring BIPOC educator enrolled in a University of Washington teaching certification program.

The fellow will work with two classes and teachers at one grade level (K–5). Other opportunities include observations of other classrooms and mentoring and support throughout the program.

On Thursday, October 27, 2022 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on Zoom, the University of Washington and Seattle-area independent schools will host a panel sharing opportunities available to aspiring BIPOC educators. If you are interested in attended the panel, please  RSVP. See our flyer for more information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Director of Equity and Inclusion Yaneth Vrentas.


Global Competency

At Meridian, we believe that the challenges of our world require culturally competent, well-rounded, critically thinking individuals who are empowered to inquire, investigate, innovate and impact their communities.


Service Learning

Integrity, compassion, and responsibility are essential to the mission of Meridian. Students are guided toward self-discipline and thoughtful decisions, mindful of both themselves and the community.



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