Diversity and Inclusion

Our kids are a beautiful patchwork of voices and experiences.

Allen Smith on the Issues - Diversity and Inclusion

All students deserve an equally exceptional education

Mecklenburg County is a beautiful mosaic of lifestyles, backgrounds, and beliefs, and I am committed to ensuring CMS provides every child with an unrivaled educational journey regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what future they want for themselves. CMS has made strides in this area, but there is still much to do to close the opportunity gaps that exist for underserved groups.

A diverse learning environment

Immersing students in an environment where they can learn alongside peers who see the world through different lenses increases engagement and leads to improved performance for everyone. Diverse classrooms are fatal to prejudice and unconscious bias. I believe it is imperative that we find ways to increase diversity at every CMS school. In addition to making conscientious adjustments to assignment boundaries, we should provide opportunities, incentives, and resources for students to attend outside of their home school. Where possible, CMS should work with city and county officials to address the geographic concentrations of poverty and affluence that feed segregated schools.

A culture of inclusion

Bringing diverse students together is an honorable goal; but without nurturing an inclusive culture, it’s a half measure at best. Inclusion creates an atmosphere where all students feel safe, supported, and equally important in their journey to adulthood. There are many pathways to achieving this goal, but I believe the best approach is a comprehensive strategy that helps enlighten and coach CMS employees, parents, and students.

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