The Naperville Community Unit School District 203 openly supports segregated events for students. The district has on multiple occasions promoted a group called the “SUCCESS Young Women’s Peer Group.” The name “SUCCESS” stands for “School Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students.” The group has a Facebook page with a post dated September 17, 2022, that exclaimed “S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Young Women’s Peer Group is BACK!” The post states that the organization’s vice president and a district educator “will be hosting The YWPG Kickoff Event this Wednesday, Sept. 21st at 6PM at Jefferson Middle School.” The post then explains the event is limited to specific students:
Due to parent and student requests, we are expanding the grade range of attendees this year! Students who identify as Black / African American and are in grades 6th – 11th are invited to join YWPG programming.
We could not find any equivalent group for boys.
The school district’s website has a page dedicated to the SUCCESS organization. The page explains that the group “is a family-led organization, with the support of District 203 leadership, committed to empowering African-American/Black students and other students of color and their families to enhance academic performance, foster family-school connectedness, and ensure that everyone is welcomed, valued, and respected.” The district then explains on the page:
Since then SUCCESS has established additional chapters at Beebe, Elmwood, Mill St, Scott, Steeple Run, Jefferson, Kennedy, and Madison. SUCCESS presents district-wide and chapter level events and is in the process of creating cluster programming to support students and families at schools that don’t currently have chapters.
Naperville North High School within the district has a newsletter that has promoted SUCCESS events on multiple occasions. In the September 19, 2022, newsletter, the school promoted the “SUCCESS Cookout 2022” event that was held on September 25 specifically for “students who identify as Black / African American and are in grades 6th – 11th.” In the December 12, 2022, newsletter, the school promoted a SUCCESS event called “Cookie Talk” for “fun straight talk, with cookies and cocoa bar” specifically for “D203 Young Women in grades 6th -11th who identify as Black / African American.”
The school district also has a page online titled “Equity Affinity Groups.” Affinity groups are groups that segregate people based on their characteristics, such as race and sexual orientation. The school district promotes the idea of affinity groups for employees on the page:
Naperville 203 Equity Affinity Groups (EAGs) are employee-led and facilitated groups formed to support employees from historically marginalized identity populations including employees of color, employees with disabilities, employees from minoritized cultural groups, and employees who identify as LGBTQ+. Through participation in EAGs, Naperville 203 staff help foster a sense of belonging and positive work environment throughout the District by actively contributing to its values, beliefs, and efforts specific to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
The school district then reiterates that some affinity groups will be limited to specific people: “Therefore, some EAGs may be open to all employees who are supportive of its mission while other EAGs may focus their support on those who identify with a particular historically marginalized identity group.” Members of affinity groups can also participate in “anti-discrimination training.” The district explains: “District admin will offer EAG participants anti-discrimination training, including implicit bias training. This training will educate EAG participants about the benefits of diversity and about everyone’s role in counteracting their own biases.”