Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Staff/Faculty Training

Westport Public Schools partners with organizations to bring workshops to our students, teachers and staff that foster inclusive, informed, and empathetic environments by building awareness and understanding. Recognizing the importance of cultivating these values early on, these initiatives aim to equip students with the necessary skills to navigate an increasingly diverse world with empathy and respect.

ECHOES & REFLECTIONS plays a crucial role in Holocaust education by transforming how educators and students perceive and engage with this monumental event in human history. It emphasizes the Holocaust’s significance not just as a historical event, but as a critical part of the human story that carries profound lessons on morality, ethics, and human rights. By partnering with educators, the program aims to provide the necessary resources and support to introduce the complex themes of the Holocaust, striving to cultivate a deeper understanding of its lasting effects on the world. This initiative is vital for developing critical thinking, empathy, and a nuanced understanding of historical events among students.

ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE INSTITUTE addresses the pressing issues of bullying, cyberbullying, and bias in schools, offering interactive workshops and assembly programs tailored for students across all educational levels. Its goal is to create a safe and inclusive school environment where all students feel valued and protected. This program is essential for teaching students about the importance of diversity, respect, and the impact of their actions on others. It equips both students and educators with practical tools to combat bias and bullying, promoting a culture of inclusivity and respect that extends beyond the classroom.

LGBTQ+ Allyship in Practice (Youth Support Focus) is centered around allyship with LGBTQ+ youth, participants in this interactive and discussion-based training brainstorm practical ways in which we can be affirming as school leaders, examining current areas of strength, as well as areas for improvement. Participants will leave this training with a “Toolkit” of best practices and ideas with which they can begin to build safer, more supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals. Groups will also have the opportunity to submit situations or scenarios they have experienced prior to the session.

Learning goals include:
  • Space to discuss any questions or comments that people have from previous LGBTQ+/DEI trainings.
  • Defining allyship and exploring the allyship continuum.
  • Understanding the importance of allyship in real life situations, including the current issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community and individuals.
  • Brainstorming practical next steps and action items to create a school environment that is affirming and celebratory of LGBTQ+ people.
We’re learning as we go:​

Together, these programs are instrumental in preparing students not only academically but also as socially responsible individuals who value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. They contribute significantly to the creation of educational spaces where all students can learn and grow in a safe, supportive, and respectful environment. We value your insights and contributions on this collective journey. Should you be aware of any initiatives, programs, or commendable DEIB efforts within the community or in other districts that we might not have highlighted, we are eager to learn from you. Your input is invaluable to us. Contact us at the email below.

Contact Information:
For more information about Echoes and Reflections, A World of Difference, Triangle Community Center, or about ADL Education, contact Lauren K. Francese by email at lfrancese@westportps.org.