• In service of learning, we practice responsive and progressive education, and strive for equity.

  • In service of the whole person, we embrace unique gifts, experiences, and relationships.

  • In service of social justice, we foster responsibility, advocacy, and compassion.

  • In service of democracy, we nurture individual and collective growth.

  • In service of the world, we cultivate curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

Stance Against Racial Injustice

June 1, 2020

Wingra community,

The sun rose this morning on a nation in deep pain. Anger. Sadness. Unease. Outrage. Worry. Fear. All justified emotions in this crisis.

The pernicious and deep-rooted racism that plagues our community persists. And, it’s allowed to persist when people don’t stand up and speak out against it. In the midst of these emotions and crises, we can find a unity–we are feeling pain. From this unity, we can and must act, do better, for our society, for our communities of color, for our children, and for our future. Our work is what comes next.

Wingra was founded to stand against injustices, and that same imperative holds true today. Our mission calls on us to act in service to society and to hold ourselves accountable for dismantling racism and racial and social oppression.

  • We are committed to naming what we are up against.

  • We are committed to listening, to speaking out, and to anti-racist action.

  • We are committed to looking at our individual narratives and to examining our institution’s critical role in advancing anti-racist thinking, practices, and policies.

  • We are committed to building race-consciousness through conversation, curricula, and reflection.

It is all of our shared responsibility, as Wingra School, to help foster a more equitable and just society. We stand in service, and our work continues.


With many emotions, including hope,

Debbie Millon, Head of School

Wingra School Lobby

Because Wingra’s neighborhood has historically been racially homogenous, we work every day to ensure that students understand that sameness is not the norm. In addition to social justice’s deep integration into our curricula, you will see examples of non-white non-heteronormative excellence all throughout our building. These women in STEM posters in our lobby were created by Nevertheless Podcast and offered free-of-charge to schools and businesses.

Wingra School Entrance

Our vestibule houses photographs from the Wisconsin Historical Society of Ho-Chunk summer and winter dwellings in the Madison area, as well as old and new photographs of our school.

Land Acknowledgement: We begin by acknowledging that the land on which Wingra School sits is the enduring sacred ancestral home of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Known as Teejop, or DeJope, to the Ho-Chunk people, the Madison area and beyond holds a continuous connection to land, water, and community. This land was ceded under duress and without free, prior, informed consent in the Treaty of 1832, and the history of colonization remains pervasive. This acknowledgement is integral to a shared future of partnership and collaboration. The traditional knowledge embedded in the Ho-Chunk way of life is a source of inspiration to offer respect and care for all beings — of which land is included — for all time.

Social Justice

At Wingra, we are committed to shared respect for human diversity and social justice. Children who experience themselves as socially valuable throughout their childhood, feel trust and have the greatest likelihood of facilitating the transition to a socially just world. Adults can use this information to restructure their own relationships toward a more just society. Each stage of a child’s development has a unique expression of social justice. When these natural capacities are developed, it is not whether a person participates, but how. Participation becomes a societal norm when each person’s contribution has been recognized, appreciated, and engaged. That appreciation of social justice becomes an initial condition for the transition into adult life.


Our shared respect for inclusion and social justice in each age of childhood is supported by our learning materials as well as our educators’ attitudes and activities. Recognition and respect for the child’s valuable contributions to social justice fosters and encourages:

  • Each child’s sense of self-identity and well-being
  • Acceptance of diversity by allowing children to ask about and explore differences
  • Empathy towards others
  • The ability to identify acts of discrimination and stereotypic images of their world
  • The ability to stand up for her/him/themselves and others in the face of bias

As a progressive school, Wingra also embraces a century-long commitment to educating students to be active participants in our democracy. We honor and emphasize the process of learning and create an environment in which children’s strengths and unique ways of learning are supported. With inquiry at the heart of our curriculum, we teach children to be thinkers, wonderers, and challengers.

The best way to learn more about us is to visit us!

Email johanna@wingraschool.org to schedule a visit today.