It is time for parents to teach young people early on
that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
It is a fundamental goal of Whatcom Hills to bring students to an understanding and experience of the common humanity of all the world’s peoples, transcending the stereotypes, prejudices, and divisive barriers of classification by sex, gender identity, race, socio-economic standing, religious heritage and culture. Through the process of learning, listening and deepening our understanding of equity and inclusion, we humbly strive to create, embrace and support a diverse, equitable and inclusive community where everyone feels respected, connected and valued.
We have taken up this work of creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive school culture with the help of our DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Committee established by our Board of Trustees, guided by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and supported by a committed group of leaders across WHWS’ governing and community entities.
We firmly believe that the work of building mutual understanding, friendship and connection between all people is healing, restorative and life-affirming for everyone involved. By learning to see and understand each other fully in our differences - and to celebrate and cherish the beauty of those differences - we become stronger, and more resilient as a school community and as a society.
Statement on Steiner
Waldorf education espouses principles of respect for human dignity. Any narratives or indications made by Rudolf Steiner that are in contradiction to these principles are not the basis for Waldorf education and we unequivocally denounce such statements.
While we continue to uphold our stated mission, we know that our values are only as important as how we actually implement them. That is why we believe that we must recognize and play an important part in transforming the historical and contemporary injustices faced by so many in our country. We are committed to continuing our active inquiry into the sources of and solutions to injustice as part of our work as educators and builders of the future.
Waldorf education is rooted in anthroposophy, especially in what anthroposophy has to teach us about human development. The founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), dealt with questions of individuality, diversity, and race in his talks and writings in the early 20th century. We acknowledge that some passages characterize race and other group identities in a way that we recognize as incorrect and offensive.
Throughout his life, Steiner spoke about the growing social and spiritual importance of diversity in communities of the future, principles of common humanity that we affirm. We explicitly reject any theory or statement in Rudolf Steiner’s work that characterizes or judges individual human beings as superior or inferior based on racial, gender, ethnic, or other group identity. We honor what diversity brings to the richness of human perspective.
There is no aspect of anthroposophy that the WHWS faculty embraces dogmatically. Rather we continually test it to see what is true in these times and in this particular place and what is healthy for our students. We do this while recognizing the history and ongoing impact of racism and the formative influence of the patriarchal, Eurocentric system on our culture and on educational practice in general. It is our goal to recognize these forces and awaken our awareness of unconscious biases around race, socio-economic status, sex and gender identity, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, age, physical ability, religion, nationality, and any other characteristic that might blind us to the dignity inherent in every individual.
We commit ourselves to a practice of inclusion built upon careful listening, constant learning, and heartfelt understanding of social justice and equity as we work toward a strong, diverse community based on the warmth of human relationship. We reject racism, patriarchy, and all forms of oppression through our work with young people who can bring these values into the future.
We see the future as dependent upon equity, inclusion, and justice, not only as an outcome of the way in which change happens, but more as an inevitable result of a way of being. We strive to emulate such a way of being, one based on love and morality that together manifest in the world as justice.
Land History Acknowledgment
Every community owes its existence and vitality to the hopes, dreams, energy and sacrifices of the generations that came before. In this light, our school acknowledges this place, its history, and the Coast Salish peoples, Lummi, Nooksack, and Semiahmoo—past, present, and future—upon whose beautiful, unceded ancestral lands we are privileged to live and work. To bring our gratitude to the land and its peoples, we recognize the need for reciprocity and to decolonize ourselves and our communities. This is our thanks.