Kent ​ISD Diversity Initiative



Kent ISD will be a place where all persons feel welcomed, have a right to be treated equitably and without prejudice, and have a responsibility to treat others the same way.
~ Resolution adopted by Kent ISD Board on December 14, 2009

Working Together

Kent ISD school districts are building systems that Understand, Respect, and Embrace Cultural Differences by:

  • Providing curriculum and instructional programs that are culturally inclusive.
  • Fostering staff and students who have the will and ability to build relationships across differences.
  • Promoting the healing of racism and other forms of intolerance.

2017-2018 Kent ISD Diversity Professional Development


January 25 – A Silent Crisis: Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for LGBTQ Students

This workshop is designed to help educators and administrators understand, assess, and improve school climate and safety for all youth, especially those who identify as gay lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. Research consistently finds sexual minority youth to be at higher risk of homelessness, alcohol and substance abuse, harassment, assaults, suicide, school failure/dropout, and truancy. Some of the legal and ethical obligations that school systems and their employees have-to serve and protect this population-will be addressed.

May 22 – Planning for Action: Next Steps in Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for LGBTQ Students

This “201-level” workshop is specially designed for individuals who have participated in the Silent Crisis: Creating Safe Schools for Sexual Minority Youth workshop. Building on lessons learned, this more advanced session will strengthen participants' knowledge and skills to collaborate and foster district-wide impact. The focus will be on practical strategies such as building supportive networks, identifying resources for forming and sustaining gay-straight alliances (GSAs), and planning for action. Topics will include: impact of law and policy changes, supports for transgender and gender non-conforming students, and best practices for improving academic and health outcomes for all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

May 3 - Cultivating Equitable Classrooms and Schools for Each Student: An Equity Literacy Approach with Paul C. Gorski

Many of the biases and inequities that disrupt students' success are subtle and unintended. Celebrating diversity is great and learning more about this or that culture can be useful, but if we are unable or unwilling to learn how to recognize these subtle barriers and challenges and reshape what we're doing in response to them, we have little opportunity to close the opportunity gaps that lead to outcome disparities between groups. In this workshop we will use the equity literacy approach —strengthening our literacy around equity—to practice this recognizing and reshaping. We will consider classroom-based case studies revolving around race, class, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, language, and other identities, developing the knowledge and skills we need to cultivate equity and inclusiveness in our classrooms and schools. We also will discuss strategies for applying equity literacy knowledge and skills to everyday classroom practice.


Julie Mushing
Diversity Coordinator

E-mail:  JulieMushing@KentISD.org
Phone:  616-301-8847

Our Goal

The goal for our Diversity initiative is to focus the ISD and all of our districts on diversity and healing racism to improve student achievement. Strategies include leadership/coordination for county-wide efforts, educational opportunities and communication.

District Diversity Goals and Indicators (PDF)

District Diversity Rubric (PDF)



DIVERSITY is the existence of an environment in which there is an awareness and understanding leading to a valuing and embracing that many perspectives exist in the world.

HEALING RACISM is the condition and environment where racism is intentionally and actively addressed in individual attitudes and institutional policies/practices.

EQUITY is when all students receive the individualized support they need to reach and exceed a common standard.