Special Events

Click or tap on an event to get expanded details, including the time, summary, and location. You may also browse these events in the PoCC Program.

Title Description Time Location Activity Type Price Registration
ES1. Building Bridges: Unlearning Anti-Blackness Within Communities of Color How does Anti-Blackness divide us? How can we build power together? Through discussion centered on black and Asian-American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, this interactive seminar will explore how white supremacy affects the relationships between people of color. You will reflect on your racial identity and life experiences to begin to dismantle Anti-Black narratives. Then you will engage in honest and complex cross-racial dialogue as we rededicate ourselves to an inclusive fight for social justice.

To allow you to share unique experiences, this seminar will include focused breakout groups — one for AAPI educators, one for black educators, and additional groups as needed. You and all other participants will then come together to share-out your reflections and examine what keeps communities of color from showing up for each other. Together, we will strategize about ways to make a greater collective impact in our independent school communities and beyond.

PRESENTERS: Jacqueline Thompson, Alta Vista School (CA); Rochelle Reodica, San Francisco University High School (CA); Tinia Merriweather, Ethical Culture Fieldston School (NY)
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-1:00 PM
202A Half-Day Equity Seminar $95.00 Required
ES2. Deep Diversity: How Brain Science Advances, and Challenges, Racial Justice Education In this award-winning training session, you will explore how the unconscious mind dominates in human interactions, especially those related to perpetuating racism and Islamophobia. This interactive seminar will demonstrate how you can advance racial justice education by integrating neuroscience. You’ll learn 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.

PRESENTER: Shakil Choudhury, Anima Leadership
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-1:00 PM
202B Half-Day Equity Seminar $95.00 Required
ES3. From Diversity Practices to Strategic Diversity Initiatives: The Path to a Sustained, Inclusive Culture Although no single recipe for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is right for every school, all diversity practitioners (and their allies) must approach their work from a strategic vantage point. If your school needs more faculty of color, you should take a systems approach to hiring. If you want to improve cultural competence, you must rethink professional development for all faculty and staff. This seminar draws on change management research plus principles of strategic planning and systems of operation within schools. Working from that foundation, you’ll understand how to identify a sound DEI practice and develop sustained protocols so that DEI naturally becomes a recurring practice in your school.

PRESENTER: Andre Withers, The Madeira School (VA)
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-1:00 PM
203A Half-Day Equity Seminar $95.00 Required
ES4. Measuring Equity and Inclusion: Assessment and Accountability for Institutional Growth Learn how institutional assessment of equity and inclusion can help you see how well your community is fulfilling the educational promise you make to every student and family. This seminar will build your understanding of what assessing equity and inclusion involves; why it’s vital; and how other schools and organizations are assessing their equity and inclusion growth, efficacy, strengths, and needs. The session will draw from specific case studies, principles of effective practices, and participant questions. Then it will show how your commitment to assessing equity and inclusion is its own professional growth process — a process that enhances your school’s understandings, tools, and capacity to know where it is now compared to where it envisions being in the future.

PRESENTER: Alison Park, Blink Consulting
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-1:00 PM
203B Half-Day Equity Seminar $95.00 Required
CANCELED ES5. Access, Privacy, and Security: Examining Our Digital Lives as Educators of Color This seminar is canceled.  Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
207B Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES6. Advanced Facilitation Skills for People of Color Navigating Difficult Conversations About Racism, White Privilege, and Oppression This seminar is for people of color who, formally or informally, engage in facilitating social justice interactions and difficult conversations related to racism and oppression.

In this skill-building workshop, you will grow your ability in — and deepen your comfort with — clearly defining, explaining, and discussing the construction of oppression with individuals at varying levels of experience. You’ll witness and learn how to establish and hold safe(r) spaces for dialogue, enabling groups to lean into discomfort. You’ll also study and practice using facilitation tools and various methodologies that you can apply one-on-one and in large and small groups when leading meaningful, effective conversations related to racism and oppression. Finally, you will address challenges that are unique to people of color who engage in difficult conversations, including the need for performing self-care and maintaining safety.

PRESENTER: Natalie Thoreson, inVision Consulting
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
210A Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES7. Ally Is a Verb: The Role of White Educators at PoCC and Beyond This seminar, intended for white participants, will cover why and how white educators can better support equity and justice initiatives in schools. The focus is on the importance of white affinity work and the development of accountable cross-racial partnerships.

Topics include how white educators can deepen their understanding of race and racism, whiteness, and the potential for transformative pedagogy by working with each other to develop their identities as anti-racist educators; the history of institutional racism and its current manifestations in the U.S.; the role of white educators at PoCC and beyond; and why it’s important for white educators to examine their own racial identity. Participants will learn how to support each other in their ongoing work to understand the impact of race and racism on their lives and teaching practice.

PRESENTERS: David Byrnes, The Nightingale-Bamford School (NY); Randy Clancy and Xiomara Hall, CARLE Institute; Anshu Wahi, The Northwest School (WA)
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
207C Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
CANCELED ES8. Building Equity, Justice, and Community for LGBTQ People of Color in Independent Schools This seminar is canceled. Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
209A Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES9. Code-Switching 2.0: Doing the Right Things Right From Multiple Vantage Points If you want to improve your roles and practices concerning cultural responsiveness, this experiential session will help you break new ground. Explore ways to deepen, anchor, and illuminate your core values, beliefs, expectations, and orientations as you access empathy to extend your own borders — that is, the boundaries of self. This session uses integral theory and culturally responsive self assessment resources from the presenter’s original research.

This seminar will help you build skills and competencies that forge critical pathways toward ethical practice, inclusive excellence, and social justice in schools and other organizations. You will emerge from this experience strengthened in self empathy and social empathy. You’ll also be empowered to provide “helpful-help” in teaching, evaluation, advising, and other educational contexts.

PRESENTER: Hazel Symonette, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
210C Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES10. A Conversation: The Fluidity of Gender, Racial, and Sexual Identities in Young People Today Young people are exploding the traditional binaries and boxes that society has used to define identity. As the understanding of gender, race, and sexual orientation as social constructs becomes more socially accepted, gender is no longer about being just male or female. Race is no longer about being just black or white. And sexuality is no longer limited to being gay or straight. Join current educators for an interactive conversation about the implications of these emerging identities and ideas in a school community.

Note: This workshop will be in four parts so that all participants can learn collectively and share unique experiences in two focused breakout groups: one for educators of color and one for white educators. All participants will then come together to share-out their reflections on inclusive practices.

PRESENTERS: Morgan Darby, The Children’s School (GA); Daniel Chin, The Park School (MA); Vanessa Savas, Beaver Country Day School (MA); Jen Willsea, Senior Associate, Interaction Institute for Social Change
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
207D Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES11. Equity Through Collaboration: Building and Sustaining Academic Excellence Equity work is often seen as an add-on; schools rely on the diversity director or a few key personnel to offer programming that promotes “inclusion.” Although cocurricular programming is exceedingly important, it doesn’t fully address what happens in the classroom. This session will explore the research that affirms diversity as a vital element in academic excellence. We will look at institutional and classroom practices that promote academic success for all students. By developing the skills to evaluate and assess teaching and learning on campus, we can create school communities that move beyond cultural competency and embrace a true equity pedagogy.

PRESENTERS: Elizabeth Denevi, East ED; Mariama Richards, Friends Central School (PA)
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
208B Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES12. The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys This workshop is based on the new book The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys, created to support white women as they engage in focused inquiry around their relationships with black male students and the impact of race and racism on those relationships. Like the book, this seminar requires you to work through activities that may challenge you, to honestly reflect on who you are and where you come from, and to consider your role in possibly perpetuating an inherently white and privileged society.

The goal is to support you as a white teacher as you seek opportunities for personal growth as an educator and for encouraging the academic achievement of your black male students. While engaging in personal and professional introspective work, you’ll experience works by experts, stories by educators and students, and videos that will help personalize the educational lives of black males.

PRESENTERS: Eddie Moore Jr. and Marguerite Penick-Parks, The Privilege Institute; Ali Michael, The Race Institute for K–12 Educators
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
209B Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES13. Real World “Get Out”: Film as Springboard for Cross-racial Solidarity The film “Get Out” by director Jordan Peele used a number of different lenses to examine race, racism, exploitation, complicity, and violence within, among, and against communities of color. Since its release, some on social media have used the phrase “sunken room” to describe the climate and conditions in which people of color experience historically white independent schools. While depicted as a horror movie, “Get Out” prompted many people of color to comment that this wasn’t horror — it was everyday existence. Many also reported that they heard different reactions depending on whether discussion of the movie took place in predominantly white or predominantly black/brown circles. We will discuss issues of race, racism, white fragility, and cross-racial interactions that are highlighted in the film and explore how they mirror our own experiences.

PRESENTERS: Liza Talusan, The Park School (MA); Shanelle Robinson, Friends Academy (NY); Steven Tejada, Maret School (DC)
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
208A Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES14. Seeking Cultural Competence in Hiring: Practical Methods and Strategies for Identifying the Administrators, Staff, and Faculty Needed in 21st Century Independent Schools Independent schools can no longer afford to hire faculty, administrators, and other staff who are not culturally competent. Lack of cultural competence directly affects the environment for students; it leads to lower achievement rates for underrepresented individuals and miseducation and poor role modeling for all. Hiring without cultural competence in mind also leads directly to problems with retention. Without shared responsibility for inclusion and equity, the overworked few who possess the necessary skills will often want to leave as soon as other opportunities become available.

For all these reasons, your school should view hiring for any position as an opportunity to improve cultural competency at every level. Your hiring processes should include ways to evaluate candidates’ actual knowledge, skills, and abilities to work effectively, respectfully, and inclusively with all current and future members of your school community — colleagues, students, parents, alumni, and community members. Your processes should also differentiate knowledgeable candidates from those who lack these critical skills.

PRESENTERS: Cristine Clifford Cullinan, ALiVE: Actual Leadership in Vital Equity; Ruth Jurgensen, Francis W. Parker School (IL); Catherine Georges and Doug Le Blanc, The School at Columbia University (NY); Steve Morris, San Francisco School (CA)
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
210B Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
ES15. Uniting Our Efforts for Deeper Impact: Intersecting Cultural Competence, Global Competence, and Culturally Responsive Practices Too many schools place diversity and inclusion, global programs, and teaching and learning in silos. This misses the opportunity to integrate inclusivity, global education, and culturally responsive teaching for greater strength and impact. Often, it also leaves you jockeying for resources. This seminar will provide a framework for finding common ground while recognizing where each area has a distinct role to play. It’s for teachers, global and diversity directors, and administrators who want to explore how these areas currently function and then develop a comprehensive plan to bring them together effectively. You’ll walk away with greater understanding, frameworks, and action plans.

PRESENTERS: Rosetta Lee, Seattle Girls’ School (WA); Jennifer Klein, PRINCIPLED Learning Strategies; Kapono Ciotti, Wai’alae Elementary Public Charter School (HI)
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
207A Full-Day Equity Seminar $195.00 Required
The PoCC Leadership Institute for Educators of Color Gain powerful strategies to help you advance to the next level of leadership while building your network of fellow leaders, mentors, and sponsors in this unique seminar for educators of color. The PoCC Leadership Institute (PLI) offers state-of-the-art leadership development tools and strategies. These include the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders Profile, a research-based skills inventory that will provide 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 a compelling vision for fulfilling your career goals.

Through facilitated dialogue with education leaders, you will gain an insider view into critical moves for long-term professional and personal growth. Topics include working effectively with mentors and sponsors, “hiring” and evaluating your advocate during a search process, acquiring the critical skills heads of school and key leaders wish they had before assuming their positions, and developing professional growth plans. You will also be invited to a post-institute online leadership development and support community.

Note: This institute is open to educators of color employed in pre-K–12 schools.
Wednesday, November 29,
8:30 AM-4:30 PM
ACC, 210D Full-Day Institute $195.00 Required
First-time Attendee Reception Join fellow first-time attendees to get to know the conference and each other!  Wednesday, November 29,
6:00 PM-7:00 PM
ACC, 204B Reception Not required
Master Class with Kimberle Crenshaw In this class, you’ll be guided through the realities of structural racism, both historical and contemporary, via The African American Policy Forum’s Structural Racism board game. The game was created to encourage conversation about intersectionality in ways that go beyond theory and reading. It simulates privilege and oppression by using historical events as experienced by different racial and ethnic groups. You will be encouraged to think about how intersectionality could be further unpacked in some of these historical instances and have time for more discussion at the end of class.

Sponsored by Carney, Sandoe & Associates.
Thursday, November 30,
10:15 AM-12:15 PM
ACC North, 156 Master Class $75.00 Required
PoCC Food Trucks Experience local cuisine via food trucks provided through a partnership between PoCC and the Anaheim Convention Center. Each attendee will receive one $15 voucher to use at the food trucks and other outlets in the convention center. Thursday, November 30,
12:15 PM-2:15 PM
Arena Plaza Lunch Not required
Affinity Group Session 1 (Thursday) PoCC hosts affinity group sessions to provide an opportunity for sharing and exploring your life and experiences within safe and supportive spaces defined by membership in a specific racial or ethnic identity group. Led by a team of trained facilitators, affinity group participants celebrate identities, share successes and challenges, and engage freely.

Affinity groups are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

Thursday Locations: 
  • Asian, Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 162
  • Black, African Heritage Affinity Group: Ballroom ABC
  • First Nations Heritage Affinity Group: 203A
  • Greater Middle Eastern Heritage Affinity Group: 202A
  • International Affinity Group: 202B
  • Latinx Heritage Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 156
  • Multiracial Heritage Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 152
  • Transracially Adopted Affinity Group: 203B
  • White, European Heritage Affinity Group: Ballroom DE
Thursday, November 30,
1:30 PM-3:15 PM
Various Affinity Group Free Not required
PoCC Networking Lunch in the PoCC Hub Join fellow attendees on Friday to network and reflect on your experiences in the PoCC Hub. This is a complimentary lunch to celebrate you and how important you are to the mission and vision of NAIS! Friday, December 1,
12:15 PM-1:30 PM
PoCC Hub: ACC North, Level 1 Lunch Free Not required
Affinity Group Session 2 (Friday) PoCC hosts affinity group sessions to provide an opportunity for sharing and exploring your life and experiences within safe and supportive spaces defined by membership in a specific racial or ethnic identity group. Led by a team of trained facilitators, affinity group participants celebrate identities, share successes and challenges, and engage freely.

Affinity groups are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

Friday Locations:​
  • Asian, Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 162
  • Black, African Heritage Affinity Group: Ballroom ABC
  • First Nations Heritage Affinity Group: 203A
  • Greater Middle Eastern Heritage Affinity Group: 202A
  • International Affinity Group: 202B
  • Latinx Heritage Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 156
  • Multiracial Heritage Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 152
  • Transracially Adopted Affinity Group: 203B
  • White, European Heritage Affinity Group: Ballroom DE
Friday, December 1,
1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Various Affinity Group Free Not required
State and Regional Meetings Take advantage of this dedicated time to meet with others from your state and regional associations. During these self-organized and self-directed gatherings, you will have an opportunity to interact with colleagues.
Find your state and regional meeting below: 
❚❚Bermuda, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and International: 208B
❚❚Colorado: 202B
❚❚Connecticut: 210B
❚❚Florida: 208A
❚❚Maryland: 204A
❚❚Midwest (OH, MI, MN, MO, IN, IL, WI, KS): 207D
❚❚New England (MA, NH, VT, RI): ACC North, Room 160
❚❚New Jersey: 203B
❚❚New York: 207ABC
❚❚North Carolina: 203A
❚❚Northern California: Ballroom ABC
❚❚Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, UT, ID): 210C
❚❚Pennsylvania & Delaware Valley: 210D
❚❚South (AL, SC, GA, MS, KY): ACC North, Room 153
❚❚Southern California and SoCal POCIS: Ballroom DE
❚❚Southwest (LA, AZ, TX, NV, NM): 210A
❚❚Tennessee: 202A
❚❚Virginia: 209A
❚❚Washington, DC: 209B
Friday, December 1,
4:30 PM-5:15 PM
Various State and Regional Meetings Free Not required
Club PoCC Music by DJ Van Vader. Friday, December 1,
9:00 PM-12:00 AM
ACC North, Level 2, Katella Patio Club PoCC Not required
Affinity Group Session 3 (Saturday) PoCC hosts affinity group sessions to provide an opportunity for sharing and exploring your life and experiences within safe and supportive spaces defined by membership in a specific racial or ethnic identity group. Led by a team of trained facilitators, affinity group participants celebrate identities, share successes and challenges, and engage freely.

Affinity groups are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

Note: While in the past students have joined adults for Saturday Affinity Group meetings, students will have separate programming on Saturday morning this year. There will be an opportunity to meet with students at the State/Regional meetings on Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.

Saturday Locations:
  • Asian, Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 162
  • Black, African Heritage Affinity Group: Ballroom ABC
  • First Nations Heritage Affinity Group: 203A
  • Greater Middle Eastern Heritage Affinity Group: 202A
  • International Affinity Group: 202B
  • Latinx Heritage Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 156
  • Multiracial Heritage Affinity Group: ACC North, Room 152
  • Transracially Adopted Affinity Group: 203B
  • White, European Heritage Affinity Group: Ballroom DE
Saturday, December 2,
8:30 AM-9:45 AM
Various Affinity Group Free Not required
Student-led Adult/Student Dialogues (By State/Region) ❚❚Bermuda, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and International: 304C
❚❚Colorado: 303C
❚❚Connecticut: ACC North, Room 155
❚❚Florida: 304B
❚❚Maryland: 204A
❚❚Midwest (OH, MI, MN, MO, IN, IL, WI, KS): 210D
❚❚New England (MA, NH, VT, RI): ACC North, Room 160
❚❚New Jersey: 304A
❚❚New York: ACC North, Room 158
❚❚North Carolina: 303A
❚❚Northern California: ACC North, Room 154
❚❚Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, UT, ID): 204C
❚❚Pennsylvania & Delaware Valley: ACC North, Room 157
❚❚South (AL, SC, GA, MS, KY): ACC North, Room 153
❚❚Southern California and SoCal POCIS: ACC North, Room 163
❚❚Southwest (LA, AZ, TX, NV, NM): ACC North, Room 161
❚❚Tennessee: 303B
❚❚Virginia: 209B
❚❚Washington, DC: ACC North, Room 151
 
Saturday, December 2,
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
Not required