Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

TEA's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Statement

TEA embraces Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI&B) as a vital component in developing the whole child from a place of gratitude, joy, and belonging.

All students at TEA are supported in bringing their diverse cultures, experiences and perspectives into our learning community. Students are also supported in building empathy, collaborating with and learning from others, and developing the strength of character to speak up and advocate passionately for equity, justice, and belonging.

From all of our students at every level, we foster learning environments that support them as they grapple with real-world issues. We build students’ capacity to engage in constructive discourse and find ways to address complex problems in a community of belonging, creativity, and mutual respect.

TEA strives to adhere to NAIS’s Principles of Good Practice

Respect for Cultural Diversity

We believe that the intellectual, emotional, social, and psychological development of our students happens most effectively in a community that embraces and values diversity, whether based on cultural and ethnic background, nationality, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion or creed, ability/disability, political orientation, learning style, age, or generation.

Short History of TEA

TEA was founded on a set of important guiding principles, at the center of which is a focus on building character in young people by tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues. We believe we can instill critical traits in young people like compassion, collaboration, and gratitude through intention and practice. We also believe that young people have the power to make a real difference in their lives and the world around them.

With these core principles in mind, we are continuing to develop a learning environment that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and fosters a deep sense of respect, gratitude and joy for different cultures, experiences and perspectives. Only when our students are able to understand the complexities of the world are they able to take action. It is with this spirit in mind we aim to develop critical thinkers, global citizens and young people who can stand up for what they believe and actively work to make the world a place where everyone thrives.

Summer 2022 Update to our DEIB Work

First off we would also like to shout out our amazing student leaders who have pushed this work forward at TEA through their advocacy and wisdom: Diego Martinez, Bella Auerbach, Summer LaFleur, Nico Bolen and Isha Vedock. Second, we deeply appreciate our DEIB Strategic Planning and Design Process Participants who co-created our DEIB Strategic Plan – whether you attended a design session for a couple of hours OR participated in the two day planning “retreat”, you lent your time, expertise, and your voice to this collaborative process and we are sincerely grateful.

As an update and share out of our journey – in Spring 2022 parents, staff, faculty, students and board members from Tahoe Expedition Academy (TEA) met over 3 days to create a five year strategic plan, spending 19 hours in highly participatory collaboration, reflecting, sharing and establishing priorities to guide the school’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts. The process began with an education session. Acknowledging that we all enter this work with varying experiences and knowledge, the education session was an opportunity to establish a baseline of shared knowledge. The group co-constructed TEA’s history via a History Wall, reviewed key concepts and vocabulary, and shared important resources. We then collaborated to create a shared vision of what we wanted to see in place in 5 years at TEA. After creating the shared vision, the group named the blocks that prevent the vision from becoming a reality. Four strategies were created to deal with the blocks and move the communiTEA towards the practical vision.

TEA’s Four Strategic Directions are:

  1. Cultivating and Embracing DEIB Education
  2. Committing to Policies, Practices, and People
  3. Building a More Connected and Collaborative Community
  4. Reimagining Our Financial Model with a DEIB Lens

Next Steps:

  1. The four strategic directions will guide TEA’s activities for the next five years.
  2. A DEIB steering committee (composed of members of our strategic planning participants) will be assembled this summer in order to provide oversight and drive implementation moving forward and then we will reconvene in the fall for a five hour virtual meeting to co-create a first-year implementation plan.
  3. We will then invite others in the CommuniTEA to review the plan and join the implementation process.

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A resource to support adults who are trying to talk about race with young children. The goals of these conversations are to dismantle the color-blind framework and prepare young people to work toward racial justice. If we commit to collectively trying to talk about race with young children, we can lean on one another for support as we, together, envision a world where we actively challenge racism each and every day. Many of the blog’s posts are geared toward White people but a community of guest bloggers represents diverse backgrounds and the strategies discussed may be helpful for all.

It starts one conversation at a time.


Our mission is to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy.

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.


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