Equity Seminars

PoCC Equity Seminars are opportunities for deep-dives into pressing equity and justice topics for independent schools. Pre-registration is required for all seminars, and there is an extra fee to attend. Lunch is provided at the all-day seminars. 
Title Block Time Summary Track
ES1. Deeper than Diversity: Building a Culture of Equity Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Summary: What would it take to build a school culture centered around unifying principles that value each member of the community, release genius, and nurture genuine relationships? We believe this calls for a profound change in the attitudes, behaviors, and structures that make up a learning environment, and with that, new skills. Draw from leadership principles of movement-building and global wisdom traditions to inspire long-term change from the bottom-up, while simultaneously exploring the responsibility of current school leaders. Activate creative imagination by dreaming up a school environment characterized by a vibrant, deep cultural equity and not just fleeting episodic incidents of cultural interaction. Form small groups to create visual representations of distinct elements you have imagined, and join them together in the form of a group collage made in part using repurposed materials. Collectively, the group’s creation offers a glimpse into a culture of equity.
  • Room number: 201 A
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Morning)
  • Presenters: Eric Dozier, Episcopal School of Nashville (TN); Homa Tavangar, The Oneness Lab
Equity Seminar
CANCELED ES2. Healing Justice: Using Restorative Process to Interrupt the School to Prison Pipeline Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Summary: In this award-winning training, explore how predominant the unconscious mind is in human interactions, especially related to the perpetuation of racism and Islamophobia. Join this interactive session to uncover how to advance racial justice education through the integration of neuroscience. Key workshop design factors include strategies that reduce resistance and backlash by learners, especially by those with the most privilege, and avoid common activist traps that unwittingly support oppression, cynicism, and burnout.
  • Room number: 201 B
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Morning)
  • Presenters: Shakti Butler, World Trust Educational Services, Inc.
Equity Seminar
ES3. Ideas to Action: Strategic Planning to Meet Your Equity and Inclusion Goals Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Summary: Goal setting and strategic planning are the keys to effective equity and inclusion work. Unless intentional planning time is set aside, many schools find it challenging to balance the time demands of diversity programming, student support, and long-term institutional equity goals within the hustle of the academic year. Join this highly interactive workshop for equity and inclusion leaders who want to galvanize their teams to move from talk to action. Take advantage of the time away from school to focus on planning and strategy. Leave the workshop with a vision statement, prioritized strategic goals, and ideas for how to best communicate with various stakeholders.
  • Room number: 202 A
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Morning)
  • Presenters: Stephanie Bramlett, Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)
Equity Seminar
ES5. A Pathway for More Equity and Inclusiveness by Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Summary: Imagine classrooms alive with students actively formulating their own questions, learning how to improve their questions, and strategizing about how to use them. The ability to ask questions is both an academic skill and a democratic habit of mind that is now more important than ever. Students who learn to ask questions become more curious and engaged, take more ownership of their learning, and learn more deeply. Moreover, they gain practice with a critical-thinking and participation skill that is a cornerstone of civic engagement and getting your voice heard. By teaching this skill to students, educators can catalyze a stronger, equitable, more inclusive democracy and society. Examine the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) as an evidence-based strategy that activates three different thinking abilities: divergent thinking, convergent thinking, and metacognition. Experience the QFT and see examples of how to use it. Unpack how it works, plan how to integrate it into your practice, and reflect on the importance of all students learning to ask their own questions.
  • Room number: 202 C
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Morning)
  • Presenters: Luz Santana, The Right Question Institute
Equity Seminar
ES11. Advanced Facilitation Skills for POC Facilitating Formal (and Informal) Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression Workshops and Seminars Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: Attend this interactive session to learn to effectively facilitate/moderate difficult interactions. Addressing oppression as a root of facilitation challenges empowers us to overcome nuanced issues that derail groups, create a safe space, and manage common facilitation challenges effectively and successfully. Build skills and grow your ability and comfort in clearly defining, explaining, and discussing the construction of oppression to individuals at varying levels of experience. Witness and learn how to establish and hold safe(r) space for dialogue, enabling groups to lean into discomfort. Study and practice facilitation tools and various methodologies needed to lead meaningful, effective, 1:1, large and small intergroup conversation related to racism and oppression. Finally, address challenges unique to POC engaging this work, including the importance of self-care and emotional and physical safety.
  • Room number: 204
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Natalie Thoreson, InVision Consulting
Equity Seminar
ES12. Ally Is a Verb: The Role of White Educators at PoCC and Beyond Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: White educators, gain insights into why and how you can strengthen your competencies in supporting equity and justice initiatives in schools. Focusing on the importance of white affinity work and the development of accountable cross-racial partnerships, examine how to deepen your understanding of race and racism, whiteness, and the potential for transformative pedagogy by working with each other to develop your identity as an anti-racist educator.
  • Room number: 205 A
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Anshu Wahi, The Northwest School (WA); Randy Clancy, CARLE Institute; Benny Vasquez, Border Crossers; Xiomara Hall, The Chapin School (NY); David Byrnes, Educational Alliance
Equity Seminar
ES13. Beyond Diversity 101: Inclusive Communities and Equity Leadership Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: The path to creating truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) school communities is often fraught with obstacles—both predictable and unforeseen. While school communities do have dynamics, traditions, and circumstances that are unique, many of the DEI challenges that occur in our independent school spaces are common and often predictable. Learn from three facilitators who share a combined 50 years’ experience in DEI work in education to better understand the DEI landscape in independent schools and engage with practical tools, case studies, frameworks, research, and professional and personal experiences. Increase your DEI knowledge and awareness, develop toolkits, and sharpen skills to support the development of the inclusive communities for which so many of our schools are striving.
  • Room number: 205 B
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Matthew Balano, The Thacher School (CA); Juan Carlos Arauz, E3: Education, Excellence & Equity; Amer Ahmed, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Equity Seminar
ES14. Creating Your School's Dashboard Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: Join this Inclusion Dashboard Retreat for a journey toward creating your own data-driven inclusion dashboard. Spend the morning looking at examples of what dashboards could look like and how they can inform strategic planning, evaluation, and annual reporting. Examine inclusion survey best practices and the scaffolding needed to get the most out of dashboarding. During the afternoon create, evaluate, and share themes to generate questions to be used to inform your school’s inclusion dashboard metrics, which you can easily create using the pre-work we do during this session.
  • Room number: 205 C
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Kalyan Balaven, The Athenian School (CA)
Equity Seminar
ES15. Do You See What I Mean? Facilitating Courageous Conversations Visually Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: As educators and activists leading the work around diversity, equity, and inclusion in our schools, we are often called on to facilitate courageous conversations across identity, power, and difference. Though there are many dialogue models and tools, visuals can help set the stage, support thinking, and catalyze breakthroughs. Engage with a veteran facilitator to learn common facilitation models, avoid pitfalls, and manage polarity. Learn visual facilitation from an expert to help people see issues and perspectives more clearly. Unpack practical strategies on facilitating courageous conversations and leave with a visual toolkit to deepen your practice.
  • Room number: 208 A
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Kawai Lai, consultant; Rosetta Lee, Seattle Girls' School (WA)
Equity Seminar
ES18. Connecting the Dots in Culturally Competent Leadership for Independent School: Climate, Recruitment, Hiring, Retention, and Accountability (for heads of school and school leaders only) Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: Join fellow heads of school, chief diversity officers, and school leaders to explore the boundaries of change to increase equity and meaningful inclusion for all members of your school community. Leverage opportunities to practice, discuss, and adapt practices and methods that move schools toward greater cultural competence in policies, procedures, and practices. Learn from culturally competent leaders and faculty from both higher education and independent schools to examine what it means to be a culturally competent leader. Explore: -What does cultural competence mean for leaders in independent schools? What would your school look like and how would it function if every faculty member, administrator, and staff member were working to improve their cultural competence? -Who has the cultural capital to create change that increases equity and meaningful inclusion in your school? Who takes the lead? Who deals with the pushback? Who pays the costs? Who benefits? -What are the risks, benefits, and challenges for you as a leader when you use your cultural capital to move the needle toward increased equity and real inclusion at your school? -What strategies work to recruit culturally competent faculty, administrators, and staff for your school to join you in this work? What existing patterns and structures in hiring get in the way of doing this? -What strategies can you use to ensure that your hiring process—including search committee selection, paper screening, question development, and methods of candidate evaluation, as well as search committee processes and practices—results in hiring the best culturally competent candidate? -What does cultural competence look like when applied to your school’s accountability measures for your faculty? Administrators? Staff? -How do you build ongoing accountability into your policies and practices in order to clearly reinforce changes toward greater equity and meaningful inclusion for all members of the school community?
  • Room number: 209 C
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Emma Coddington, Willamette University; Cris Clifford Cullinan, ALiVE: Actual Leadership in Vital Equity; Ruth Jurgensen, Francis Parker School (IL); Amani Reed, The School at Columbia University (NY); Christopher D. West, The Association of Black Employees, Pasadena City College
Equity Seminar
ES19. Supporting Student Organizing to Dismantle White Supremacy and Drive Institutional Change Wednesday, November 28,
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: In response to student demands, Columbia School of Social Work institutionalized a mandatory course on power, racism, oppression, and privilege (PROP) to shift school culture and better prepare students for practice. The result is an innovative course grounded in the undoing of anti-black racism and centering voices of students of color. Explore a timeline of collaborative institutional change processes, student-developed teaching tools, course evaluation, and experiential exercises to demonstrate the power of student organizing and necessity of an anti-racist lens. Beyond detailing the process of systemic change and ways it can be adapted to other institutions, experience parts of this course firsthand and begin to unpack these concepts. Join us if you want to move student demands into action, work in historically and/or predominantly white institutions, and seek to develop an anti-racist lens.
  • Room number: 210
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Ama Konadu Amoafo-Yeboah, Mary McDowell Friends School (NY); Elise Jayakar, The YA-YA Network; Sydnee Corriders, SRCorriders, LLC
Equity Seminar
ES17. The PoCC Leadership Institute for People of Color Wednesday, November 28,
8:30 AM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: Note: This event begins at 8:30 AM. Gain powerful strategies to advance to the next level of leadership while building your network of fellow leaders, mentors, and sponsors in this unique seminar tailored for people of color. The PoCC Leadership Institute (PLI) offers state-of-the-art leadership development tools and strategies including the Everything DiSC™ Work of Leaders Profile, a premier research-based skills inventory that provides you with a deeper understanding of your individual leadership strengths and style. The seminar format includes in-the-moment coaching, peer exchange, and post-institute follow-up—all in an encouraging atmosphere designed to nurture and propel a compelling vision for fulfilling your career goals. Through facilitated dialogue with education leaders, gain an inside view into critical moves for long-term professional and personal growth and success. Topics include working effectively with mentors and sponsors, “hiring” and evaluating your advocate in the search process, acquiring the critical skills heads of school and key leaders wish they had before assuming their positions, and developing professional growth plans. Get invited to a post-institute online leadership development and support community.
  • Room number: 209 A-B
  • Category: Full-Day Equity Seminars
  • Presenters: Amani Reed, The School at Columbia University (NY); Nicole DuFauchard, The Advent School (MA)
Equity Seminar
ES7. Conscious Use of Power for Effective and Inclusive School Leadership (for Heads of School Only) Wednesday, November 28,
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: Humans have a complicated relationship to power, a concept that is poorly understood yet exercised and contested on a daily basis. Power is the culprit behind a host of micro-behaviors and macro-outcomes including bullying, harassment, an inability to receive feedback, and over-policing and under-treatment of minoritized groups. In social justice circles power is harshly criticized and resisted while in corporate contexts it is sought after and over-valued. But neither fearing nor craving power is the answer. The solution lies in its conscious use, as unhealthy power dynamics are a result of its overuse or underuse, whether in our professional or personal lives. Research suggests school leaders need more training on how to use power effectively in order to advance racial justice and equity in both the classrooms and workplaces under their charge. Tackle the subject of power directly by: Understanding the importance of the unconscious mind in human behavior, choices, and attunement to social status; Exploring Arnold Mindell’s groundbreaking power model in order to leverage both our social and personal power; Recognizing Julie Diamond’s common “traps of power” and how school leaders can avoid them; and Developing both political and emotional literacy skills in order to lead with integrity and effectiveness.
  • Room number: 201 A
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Afternoon)
  • Presenters: Shakil Choudhury and Annahid Dashtgard, Anima Leadership
Equity Seminar
ES8. Discover Your Distinction, Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence Wednesday, November 28,
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: In this dynamic training session, participate in an experiential encounter that puts emotional intelligence front and center. Learn how to create the optimal conditions necessary for school leaders and educators of color to support development in five core social-emotional competencies that open hearts, inspire minds, and help educators of color and allies navigate their school communities more effectively.
  • Room number: 201 B
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Afternoon)
  • Presenters: Tony Hernandez, Reflective Wisdom; Lilliangina Quinones, North Atlanta High School (GA)
Equity Seminar
ES9. How to Build More Effective Partnerships with Families Wednesday, November 28,
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: Envision a community where schools and families come together in partnership to best support children’s education, where parents and guardians ask questions to actively participate in decisions that affect their children, and where educators work with parents to build fundamental partnering skills. Learn how to use the Right Question Strategy, a flexible tool that can be implemented immediately into existing work with parents and families. It does not require additional staff, budgets, or administration. The strategy distills key theories and best practices for working with families into a cost-effective, adaptable approach that enhances the various things schools and educators already do in this area, including teachers meeting one-on-one with parents; school counselors or parent liaisons interacting with small groups of parents; Title I staff engaging more parents effectively; staff working with parents in individualized education program (IEP) meetings; and administrators communicating and collaborating more effectively with families. Use active-learning and skill-building exercises to learn core principles and simple, effective methods to strengthen partnerships between schools and families. Leave inspired and excited, with a clear action plan ready to implement in your school immediately.
  • Room number: 202 A
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Afternoon)
  • Presenters: Luz Santana, The Right Question Institute
Equity Seminar
ES10. Make America _______ Again: What Happens to an American Dream Deferred? Wednesday, November 28,
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
  • Summary: In 1931, James Truslow Adams coined the American Dream as, “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” However, is the American Dream truly attainable by all? While that may have been the ideal, everyday life and long-term opportunity can play out differently for everyone. Take an innovative approach to raising awareness and organizing your school community around issues of structural oppression and inequity. As featured in the documentary, I’m Not Racist… Am I?, The American Dream board game is a perspective-taking exercise that simulates experiences of inclusion and exclusion based on race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, and ability. Through structured play experience moving around the board in the new life-sized version of the game to provoke discussion about the intersectionality of identity, privilege, and equity.
  • Room number: 202 B
  • Category: Half-Day Equity Seminars (Afternoon)
  • Presenters: Shanelle Henry, Greens Farms Academy (CT); Andre Robert Lee, Germantown Friends School (PA)
Equity Seminar