School Board Vice President Judy Appel (center) represented BUSD, along with BAM parent leader Yusni Bakar (left) and Malcolm X teacher May Lynne Gill (right).
Berkeley Arts Magnet (BAM) and Malcolm X Elementary Schools were two of the ten schools, and Berkeley Unified was one of two districts awarded the HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence. The Seal recognizes the strong commitment to building welcoming schools and communities that “stand up against bias and bullying and embrace a diverse community.” The Welcoming Schools approach is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) inclusive, and creates school climates that welcome all family structures and all students. Welcoming Schools provides resources, training, and technical assistance to support elementary schools in developing a positive school climate and bullying prevention.
BAM Principal Kristin Collins shared this with her community, “Everyone who walks in the building contributes to being a welcoming school. Creating a respectful environment, in which everyone is safe and included, is the goal. This is wonderful news to be honored, and a special shout-out to Welcoming Schools teacher liaison Ms. Sinai!”