Judicial Watch announced today that it received 111 pages of records from Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts which confirm the use of “affinity spaces” that divide students and staff based on race as a priority and objective of the school district’s “diversity, equity and inclusion” plan. The school district also admitted that between September 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021, it created “five distinct” segregated spaces.
Judicial Watch obtained the records after filing a May 17 Massachusetts Public Records Law request for records concerning the number of affinity spaces, the policies regarding their creation and use, the topics discussed, and any analysis of whether affinity spaces that exclude certain races are consistent with state and federal law, which would include the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the MA Equal Rights Amendment and/or the MA School Attendance Law.
The Wellesley Public School records include a document detailing the school district’s “Equity Strategic Plan 2020-2025” which includes a “District Equity by Design” plan with the stated goal of amplifying student voices by providing “opportunities for affinity spaces for students with shared identity.”
In a section of the document titled “Diversity Staffing,” a stated goal is to “Provide resources for affinity spaces for specialized populations within the wider Faculty/Staff (ie. ALANA, Admin Leaders of Color, LGBTQ+, White Educators for Antiracism, etc.)”
Wellesley Public Schools states in its plan for “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:” “We will practice risk-taking and challenge one another to continuously examine systems of privilege and bias, and work collectively to disrupt and dismantle inequity in all its forms.”
In an email on March 18 to Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Charmie R. Curry, the day of the so-called “healing space,” a Wellesley High School fitness & health teacher writes: “I wanted to check first, is it appropriate for me to go to this healing space?” Curry responds: “This time, we want to hold the space for Asian and Asian American students and faculty/staff. I hope this makes sense.”
In an April 12 email to school district colleagues, Curry notes that “Equity Literacy” is required coursework in the district. Curry writes: “There is still plenty of time to enroll in the two required courses – ‘Understanding Equity and Inequity’ and ‘Learning to Be a Threat to Inequity.’ These courses, with a keen focus on helping us to build/sharpen our structural ideological lenses, are essential to our ability to address inequities in our community. Our students who are being impacted by inequities such as racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. need to be equipped to respond today to their needs in order to positively impact their experiences.”