Student Life

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ)

Introduction from the Board

The Pegasus School embraces the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ). DEIJ is not a new concept to Pegasus. These values are woven into the fabric of our school, and it is important to highlight them and to reflect on how they are demonstrated within our community.

This is our statement to the community. But it is just that, a statement. What really matters is action. Our commitment is an ongoing process of learning, discovery, and growth. We need to look inward and have conversations that may make us uncomfortable. We need to acknowledge that inequity exists. We need to talk freely with respect and without judgment. Finally, we need to convert introspection into action in a way that supports our mission. 

This is a commitment that honors the humanity of us all. It is the continuation of a journey that started many years ago, a uniquely Pegasus exercise rooted in respect, compassion, and the constant drive to be better.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Statement

At Pegasus, we believe that each student and member of the Pegasus community deserves a safe environment and an educational experience that leads to a deeper understanding of and respect for people and perspectives. 

We believe that a diverse and inclusive community is stronger, more compassionate, and more sustainable than one that actively, or implicitly, excludes those who are different. 

We seek to acknowledge and understand power, privilege, and inequity, and to accept our responsibility to help create a more just world. 

A commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice is imperative for Pegasus to fulfill its mission.

Definitions for DEIJ at Pegasus

List of 4 items.

  • Diversity

    Diversity at Pegasus refers to the vibrancy of our academic community in which each student, faculty, and staff member contributes their own unique gifts. Our diversity comes not only in the form of identity based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, religious belief, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and physical characteristics, but also through our differences in thought, values, experiences, and perspectives.
  • Equity

    Equity at Pegasus means providing opportunities for every student, faculty, and staff member to reach their full potential. As each person's path through Pegasus may be different, we strive to support each individual with what they need to succeed here. The process of creating equity evolves over time and requires trust among all members of our community.
  • Inclusion

    Inclusion at Pegasus is demonstrated in the compassion and empathy throughout our academic community. Each member’s voice is not merely invited but is heard. A sense of safety, acceptance, and belonging is demonstrated inside and outside the classroom.
  • Justice

    Justice at Pegasus is putting our words into practice and treating each other with dignity and fairness. Justice is achieved by practicing kindness, tackling difficult issues, minimizing bias, and removing barriers. We model justice so that Pegasus students can go on to make a positive impact on society.

DEIJ in Action from Faculty and Staff

The Pegasus School’s faculty and staff have long been committed to the growth and development of an empathic culture that is as equally inclusive as it is diverse. We continue to honor our commonalities and respect one another’s differences as individuals in a complex and intersected community. As educators, we are devoted to confronting acts of racism, prejudice, and bias in order to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families. Through these actions, we fulfill and model our mission to equip our students in making a positive impact on society.

Inclusive Physical Environment

With over half of our community who identifies as people of color, The Pegasus School embraces the inherent diversity of our community. Across the grade levels, our students celebrate, appreciate, and grow because of our unique and eclectic fellowship. We fill our physical spaces with what better represents the faces of our students. We want our students to literally see examples of themselves as they develop self-identity. Through our art program, students engage in identity mapping to reflect on and question the boxes we place ourselves and others in. Self-portraits and album-covers are designed to encourage students to reflect on their internal and external selves. In the classroom, we look ahead to greater opportunities for our teachers to regularly audit their classroom spaces to better reflect diversity. We also look to strengthen our commitment to our students physically seeing themselves on classroom walls and identify with those celebrated in our hallways and at our ceremonies.

Examples in Curriculum

Beginning in Pre-K and Kindergarten, our students experience a wide brush stroke of curriculum with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our youngest students explore the world around them and open their eyes to the diverse world of artists and famous friends. They learn of the various ways that artists have embedded their history and culture into their artwork as well as the contributions of men and women in the fight for social equity. In first grade, our students are learning about the social systems that we all are part of. Students learn of influential individuals within social systems around the world that challenged oppressive systems and paved the way for the diverse communities that we have today. By second grade, our students are engaging with their personal heritage and immigration in their “Coming to America” unit. Reflecting on the obstacles that one faces when immigrating to a new country, students create connections and establish empathy for different cultures. Third graders reflect on the history of our school’s grounds by learning about the natives tribes, Tongva (Gabrielino) and the Luiseno (Juaneno), that previously inhabited this space. They explore the cultures of these important tribes by learning about village life such as food, legends, arts/crafts, and roles of men/women/children as well as their contact with European explorers. When students reach fourth grade, they’re stretched to look through different lenses and take on different perspectives when studying California’s rich history from the natives and explorers through the mission system and the California Gold Rush. Fifth-grade curriculum follows the fourth-grade trajectory of introducing students to a multiplicity of perspectives. Through social studies and art, students examine slavery as the underpinnings of colonial America, while also celebrating the achievements of African civilizations.

By middle school, diversity is interwoven throughout the various subject areas. In sixth grade, for example, while some students are making connections with current world movements and geopolitical events through their studies of the American Civil War, they are also practicing multiple perspectives through a socioeconomic lens as they read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. In seventh grade, our students are introduced to multiple cultures and the foundations to a number of current major world religions. They see the importance of these cultures, make connections to their own lives, and analyze their roles in the world around us. In addition, our seventh-grade students visit the Museum of Tolerance to help them navigate their way through Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. By second semester, almost every unit in seventh-grade Spanish is a lesson on cultural traditions and how they are practiced in unique ways in Spanish speaking countries. By eighth grade, students are seeing diversity through the worldview of characters in literature and the poetry and reflections of our own students. They are researching and participating in socratic seminars about various types of racism and discrimination seen around us, and they learn to listen to many voices and worldviews, especially those of their classmates. This speaks to the very heart of our mission.

Ongoing Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

DEIJ has always been a part of our programming, and last year we formally developed our DEIJ committee, led by Kelly Barlow, fourth grade teacher, and Nicole Roady, first grade teacher. Mrs. Roady especially has  played a huge role in the growth of our DEIJ work this year in the midst of a pandemic, and there are few as passionate as these two teachers in this important work. Over the past few years, we have expanded our classroom and school libraries exponentially with books and media that reflect the many faces of our community. As members of a number of organizations such as the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), California Teachers Development Collaborative (CATDC), and National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), all of our teachers are expected to participate annually in professional development, much of which includes diversity training. Some examples of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice training at our school include: 

  • Becoming a Diversity Responsive School Workshop, CATDC
  • Beyond Diversity 101: Developing Inclusive Communities and Equity Leadership Workshop, CATDC
  • Cultivating Safe School Conditions and Climate for LGBTQ Youth Workshop, OCDE
  • Ensuring Organizational Resilience Workshop, CATDC
  • Evaluating, Auditing, and Diversifying our Collections Workshop, Library Journal
  • NAIS People of Color Conference
  • Preparing for the Work Ahead: Navigating DEI in a Divided Landscape Workshop, ISM
  • Teaching Tolerance: Social Justice Teaching 101 and Facilitating Critical Conversations Workshop, Learning for Justice
  • Teaching While White Seminar
We continue to evaluate our curriculum on a regular basis. While DEIJ work has been embedded in some of our classroom experiences, it is vital to revisit our scope and sequences for intentional vertical alignment of DEIJ content and perspectives as we continue our growth in this area.

The Pegasus School

19692 Lexington Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Tel: 714-964-1224 |  Fax: 714- 962-6047
The Pegasus School is a coed, non-profit, nonsectarian day school in Huntington Beach, California, that serves students in pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8. A Pegasus education equips bright, motivated students to achieve future academic success and make a positive impact on society.