Articulating Our Commitments
In July, Potomac welcomed Tamisha Williams to its senior administration in the newly created role of director of equity and community initiatives. The addition of this position to the school’s leadership team reflects Potomac’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of its operations. An experienced DEI professional who previously served as dean of adult equity and inclusion at San Francisco’s Lick-Wilmerding High School, Tamisha is delighted to be at Potomac and has already had a significant impact.
This summer, as racial tension escalated around the nation in response to the unjust killings of Black Americans, Tamisha helped to organize a series of listening forums at Potomac. These virtual events were opportunities for alumni, students, parents, and faculty to come together to talk about issues related to race and racism at Potomac.
Tamisha recalls, “Helping to create those opportunities, those spaces for candid conversation, was really how I launched into my new role. The forums were primarily centered around Black voices, and those constituents wanted to know that Potomac’s leadership had an eye on what was happening in the world around us and right here at school. Throughout the summer, certain themes kept emerging in those conversations – so the next step was to come up with a way to articulate the themes without getting bogged down in the details.”
Enter the Potomac Commitments for an Inclusive Culture and Climate. Using the input from the forums and other feedback from parents, students, faculty, and alumni, Tamisha led the development of a list of five broad areas on which Potomac will focus going forward: equity and racial literacy; health and wellness; a culturally responsive curriculum; recruitment and retention of faculty and administrators of color; and equitable transportation. Committees were assigned to propose action steps under each topic, and that work continues.
Tamisha emphasizes the importance of keeping communication open during this process, so that all concerned can be assured that Potomac is working toward its goals of being an anti-racist community and a place where every individual is valued, respected, and treated justly. She notes, “It’s important to provide transparency about what we’re doing, to demystify the process and share the direction in which Potomac is moving. This work is both exciting and important, and I am very glad to be a part of it.”
The school has identiﬁed ﬁve broad areas of focus for this work going forward:
- equity and racial literacy
- health and wellness
- a culturally responsive curriculum
- retention and recruitment
- equitable transportation.
These commitments and related action steps were shared with the Potomac community in September. In the video below, Director of Equity and Community Initiatives Tamisha Williams explains what each area of focus means for Potomac and how we foresee each one moving us toward our goals.
For more information about The Potomac School’s work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, please visit https://www.potomacschool.org/about-us/diversity.
Potomac is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of its operations. Recent discussions have shown that there is significant interest in establishing affinity spaces within our community. The Alumni Governing Council (AGC) is working to facilitate the establishment of affinity spaces for Potomac alumni. The AGC’s DEI Committee invites alumni from all class years to partner in advancing this effort. If you are interested in helping to develop an alumni affinity group or would like to participate in one, please click here. Alumni participation and input are critical as Potomac continues to invest in the work of becoming a more inclusive, equitable, and just community.