JPS Diversity Task Force members selected, ready to get to work
Updated: Jan 15, 2021
JONESBORO, Ark- Jonesboro Public School Superintendent Dr. Kim Wilbanks announce creating a Diversity Task Force last year to address areas of improvement within the district.
Now, task force members from a variety of backgrounds have been selected and are ready to get to work.
“They spent a significant amount of time really discussing the purpose of the committee or the purpose of the work,” says Dr. Wilbanks. “My charge to all of them was to spend your time with what activities and actions you wanna take. So that has been their goal to come up with two to three immediate actions that they feel will have a significant impact.”
The 50- person task force includes teachers, administrators, school board members, community members, school staff, and parents.
They are separated into four sub-committees and will focus on Curriculum and Instruction, Parent and Student voices, Recruitment and Retention, and Staff and Community Awareness.
One task force member says he’s is ready to see plans turn into action.
“We thought this would be the prime time to try and help orientate the whole entire Jonesboro School system about diversity,” says task force member Dr. Charles Coleman. “Diversity is also not a black thing but a people thing. So that our actual classrooms will actually look like the community, rather than just one type of community.”
All members met together in December, and each subcommittee is actively meeting.
They will continue to meet throughout the year.
Dr. Wilbanks says she wants people to see the changes in multiple aspects of the district, including the classroom.
“Materials that our children today do they see themselves in those materials,” says Dr. Wilbanks. “But does it also help them see where they could be in the world? Does it help them dream or have aspirations in their lives?
Dr. Wilbanks says some actions will be immediate.
The recruitment and retention task force is already planning virtual events for current minority staff and will attend job fairs.
But other actions you won’t see until fall.