The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee consists of representatives committed to personal and systemic anti-racist practice and change within Great Lakes Waldorf Institute (GLWI) and the broader Waldorf community. They are a joint board, faculty, staff, student, Waldorf parent, and community member committee, consisting of representatives who have a demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Committee members have a significant role in the development of strategies and best practices and strive to offer guidance, policies, and procedures to deeply integrate diverse perspectives and backgrounds into GLWI and GLWI’s students’ teaching.
The overarching goal of the Committee is to drive lasting, systemic change within GLWI and the wider Waldorf community. Members strive to improve GLWI’s culture and teaching program to create an educational, inclusive, and culturally responsive experience that empowers GLWI students to develop personal anti-racist teaching practice and implement systemic change within their own environments. The Committee develops, explains, and promotes strategies and best practices within the realms of racial, social, socioeconomic, religious, disability, sexual, and gender diversity.
Amber first came to Waldorf education as a parent nearly ten years ago and has worked in Waldorf, nature-based, and traditional educational environments. A lifelong learner, eternally curious, and dedicated to social justice, she earned her B.S. in Early Childhood Education and M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education from UW-Milwaukee. Amber is deeply committed to strengthening the equity work within Waldorf education and leading GLWI with a renewed vision to meet the social impulse of our times.
Faiza Hashim is an educator. Trained as a physician, she has devoted her life to homeschooling her children in the Waldorf tradition. She is an active member of Ma'ruf, a non-profit organization where she built a community garden that mobilized youth from various ethnic communities. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, she was part of Islamic Resource Group, an interfaith and bridge-builing organization in Minnesota, where she gave presentations on Islam and was active in interfaith groups for ten years.
Gyasi Ayo Kress is a performing artist of multiple disciplines. Raised by his gay, blues-playing mother on the South Side of Chicago, surrounded by poverty, homophobia, racism was the perfect fire to forge Gyasi's commitment to the equality and dignity of all life. Traversing all of life's experiences with a belief in human potential and world peace has reinforced the need to learn and practice healthy dialogue. This commitment to dialogue, the highest expression of non-violence, has created opportunities for him internationally as an artist, mentor, and teacher.
Dawn has a BA in Studio Art and Psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. She has been teaching Handwork at Prairie Hill Waldorf School since 1990. She has presented workshops in felting wool, knitting, and spinning for children and adults. Dawn has done foundation year coursework at Arcturus in Chicago, IL, and has taught Waldorf Teacher Summer Intensives at GLWI in Milwaukee, WI.
Board Member & Committee Co-Chair
Moriya Russell is a parent at Tamarack Waldorf School, where she serves as a classroom leader and active participant of the school’s parent organization. She prides herself on contributing innovative and precise improvements to organizations, processes, and workflows. Moriya earned her BA in History from UW-Milwaukee with minors in Africology, Women’s Studies, and LGBT Studies. She is actively involved in community improvement, education at all levels, and social justice.
Megan is a mother of three Tamarack Waldorf Students. As a member of the Bad River Band of The Great Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, she was curious about Native American culture from a young age. She moved to Alaska after college and worked at a residential treatment center with teenagers, many of whom were Native Alaskan. Her interest in culturally sensitive and trauma-informed treatment really bloomed there. Megan truly believes that education is a right and a key that opens doors of opportunity.
Monika has been involved in teacher education for the past ten years - in addition to her work at GLWI, she is lead faculty at Sunbridge Institute in the Waldorf Elementary Music Teacher Education course and guest faculty at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. She has led workshops at conferences in the US and Canada and provides consultation and mentorship for a number of Waldorf schools. Monika received Waldorf Certification from Sunbridge Institute in New York.