When I first started working with schools on the rapidly changing definition of gender identity and the dramatically increasing emergence of transgender and gender non-binary students and adults, my principal focus was how we create school communities that understand and support transgender and gender non-binary people. Very, very quickly these enthusiastic conversations began to include all students and groups who felt excluded from the school culture because of race, sexual preference, class as well as gender identity. More and more the terms equity, inclusion, social justice, social action, service and unconditional love became the focus of my interactions with students, faculties, boards, parents and administrations.
Through my visits to schools and organizations from Massachusetts to Hawaii I have found a uniform and overwhelmingly positive response to working together to address our current cultural “me first” crisis. Students and teachers are acutely aware society is on an environmental and social precipice and recognize that schools have a unique opportunity to model and lead us out of a tenuous situation and into a just and collaborative future. But first, we must address issues of racial, gender, sexual preference and class injustice and prejudice. Only through recognition and mindfulness work can we put an end to macro and microagressions, understand ourselves and each other, and work together.
Schools and organizations, particularly those whose core values and mission, vision and diversity statements reflect the importance of being emotionally healthy, non-discriminatory, and bullying-free communities will benefit from encouraging student conversations, professional development and faculty training, program and curriculum review, and facilities planning at the intersection of racial, gender, sexual preference and class issues. How we nurture and encourage each other directly reflects the overall emotional health of a community and our ability to solve problems together.
Alex Scott Consulting has two primary missions; first, facilitating conversations and creating action plans to address long-standing issues around race, class, gender and sexual preference. Second, to help students and parents find a school that is a safe and supportive match for their student’s educational goals. As a transgender educator with more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, counselor and administrator and who has a lifetime of deep and extensive experience as a social justice advocate and in civil rights work , I am uniquely qualified to lead this work.