From a PEF press release on Tuesday, Jan. 18:
The Piedmont Education Foundation (PEF) is pleased to announce the receipt of a letter of intent for the benefit of the Piedmont Unified School District’s (PUSD) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) programming. This grant is an affirmation of the importance of the fight against racism at PUSD and beyond and the creation of an unbiased and inclusive environment that educates, values and respects every child.
The donor will support this important work this year by making a restricted gift of $72,000 to PEF to be used for PUSD’s DEIB work. The donor further intends to match, dollar for dollar, all funds raised for DEIB up to $75,000 in the 2022-2023 academic year and $90,000 in the 2023-2024 academic year. For the academic years ending in 2025 and 2026, the donor may provide a fifty cent-for-dollar match for funds raised, up to $60,000 per year. The community is encouraged to contribute to the match at PiedmontEdFoundation.org/DEIDonate.
These promised funds will be used to supplement PUSD’s five-year budget, created to work toward equity goals. Two years ago PUSD announced these goals, which include fighting racism as an institution, maintaining an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, staff and families, eradicating opportunity gaps for students who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), providing equitable access, inclusion, treatment, resource distribution, and opportunities for learning and achievement for all students.
This program is made possible through the commitment of PUSD and these funders and led by Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wozniack and the recently hired DEI Director, Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard. The budget includes stipends and materials for the DEI Council as established earlier this year, professional development, facilitated training, and restorative practices. PUSD’s five-year plan has an early emphasis on professional development, which will allow for longer-term programmatic sustainability as current teachers and staff members take on larger roles in mentorship and restorative justice facilitation and practice.