Navigate Up
Sign In

Building Capacity: Skills, Competencies, and Processes for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

​​​​​​​​​
  • Workshop Session A (Thursday, December 8 10:15-11:30 AM)
    • (In)Visibility of Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander Students in Independent Schools: A Self-Study at San Francisco University High School


      A304

      The race dialogue continues to be a black/white conversation in Hollywood, the media, politics, and even in our schools. This can often alienate other racial groups, including the Asian American/Asian Pacific Islander (API) community, thus creating divisions rather than solidarity. We will use both qualitative and quantitative data from San Francisco University High School to examine why APIs continue to be invisible in our communities. Then we’ll explore  how we educators can create visibility and opportunities to empower our API students around these issues.
      Presented By Rochelle Reodica, Joanna Ro, and Stan Lau, San Francisco University High School (CA)
      -
    • “Ouch!” Lessons to Teach Elementary Students About Microaggressions and Managing Moments That Hurt


      A311

      Microaggressions, the everyday offenses marginalized people experience, affect us all. Children are not immune to the American experience, in which middle class white standards are presented as the norm. They may act on assumptions that hurt people who do not look, sound, dress, or speak the same way. As educators, we should address this problem and improve the way people engage with one another. At this workshop, you will learn one approach to teaching students about how to prevent microaggressions and how to respond when they do occur. Presenters will share lesson content as well as background information to build community and students’ understanding of the impact of their words.
      Presented ByMeryl Heyliger, Kay Miller, and Angela Sandford, Georgetown Day School
      -
    • Blogging Beyond the Classroom: Online Engagement for Professional and Personal Growth


      A410

      This panel discussion features three independent school educators of color who actively blog — not only on educational practice but also on political developments, social justice, and cultural trends. Through their engagement in social media, they have built both audiences and networks that have contributed significantly to their professional and personal development. Listen as they describe their respective journeys to edu-blogging and weigh in on the benefits and risks so far, both online and within their institutions. Then consider your own online engagements and reflect on how these satisfy your desire for professional growth and personal agency.
      Presented By Sherri Spelic, American International School Vienna (AUSTRIA); Christopher Rogers, Greene Street Friends School (PA); Marcy Webb, Watkinson School (CT)
      -
    • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy


      A404

      This highly interactive workshop will examine teaching and learning strategies, concepts, and theories embedded in student-centered learning appropriate for diverse student populations in K – 12 and college classrooms. The emphasis is on instructional rigor and relevance as they relate to culturally responsive pedagogy within the confines of diversity variables such as ability differences, age, gender, race, and ethnicity. You will explore how to actively engage all students in your classes and increase student achievement by identifying, nurturing, and utilizing the strengths students bring to school. You’ll also learn how to create a culturally responsive, well-managed classroom environment that contributes to exploration, discovery, higher order thinking, and depth of knowledge.
      Presented By Lana DuBose, Ravenscroft School (NC)
      -
    • Diversity Initiatives and Global Studies: Partners in Promoting Inclusion


      A303

      Because they share a common goal to increase skill sets and student outcomes, diversity programs and global studies curricula can work in tandem to create a culturally competent environment at your school. Attend this workshop to discuss independent schools’ investment in, views of, and understanding of global studies and diversity. Our goal is to help you understand how an equitable partnership between the two areas can ensure cultural, academic, and community competency.
      Presented By John Creeden, School Year Abroad (MA); Nicole DuFauchard, The Advent School (MA)
      -
    • Experiences of Faculty of Color in Boarding Schools


      A312

      Curious about boarding schools — either because you have worked at one or you’re thinking about it? A panel of seasoned educators will share their experiences in various roles at boarding schools and explore the related benefits and challenges. They will also offer advice to colleagues considering a boarding school career.
      Presented By Celeste Payne, Westtown School (PA); Lisa McGrath, Westminster School (CT); Donnie Smith, The Knox School (NY); Edna-Anne Valdepenas, George School (PA)
      -
    • Parent and Trustee Engagement on Navigating Tough Cultural Conversations and Increasing Cultural Awareness


      B401

      Now more than ever, schools are assessing how ready their faculty and parents are to discuss tough cultural topics — especially in light of events involving bias toward Muslims and immigrants, transgender identity, and police killings of African American males. Would your alumni join in singing chants using the N-word? Do they feel confident and comfortable with their own cultural identity as they navigate and communicate with other cultural groups? How well do you prepare parents to have tough cultural conversations with their children? Hear from a parent and trustee on effective strategies to increase cultural responsiveness, ways to engage all parents, and action steps you can take at your school.
      Presented By Tiffany Taylor Smith, Newark Academy (NJ)
      -
    • Speaking From a Place of Strength: Black Lives Matter Dialogue from Personal Understanding to Community Implementation


      A301

      With our world being torn apart, our psyches damaged and in the resurgent wake of extrajudicial executions of black and brown folk nationally, we need solutions all educators can pursue to make change in a violent world. Workshop participants will process and explore their personal understandings of Bryan Stevenson’s work within the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, using a framework of the interpersonal, societal, and historical levers that will help us to restore justice to all humans in our country. Materials from Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative will serve as a catalyst for this process and an example of how to promote dialogue and implement programs that will educate adults and children on how to make black lives actually matter. Finally, participants will have an opportunity to develop a plan beginning this crucial work in their schools and communities.
      Presented By​Carol A. Swainson, Bentley School; Orpheus Crutchfield, StratéGenius
      -
    • Supernatural Phenomena in Black Literature and Media: Zombies, Ghosts, and Spaceships to a New Future


      B402

      Explore ways to incorporate current popular culture trends into a secondary-level black literature or interdisciplinary course. We will discuss unit and lesson plans that expose students to Zora Neale Hurston‘s anthropological work in Haiti, the Yoruba religion, and Vodou through contemporary music and film; cultural haunting in Toni Morrison‘s Beloved; and Afrofuturism in Octavia Butler‘s Parable of the Sower. We will also discuss ways to incorporate positive racial identity activities for students of diverse cultural backgrounds. You will leave with tangible resources to use in the classroom and ideas for curriculum building.
      Presented By Naa-Norley Adom, Durham Academy (NC)
      -
    • Watching the Watcher: Articulating and Deconstructing the Authoritarian “White Gaze”


      B403

      Using excerpts from ethicist Sharene Razack’s book Looking White People in the Eye while also analyzing contemporary cultural examples, this session provides a place to examine how the white gaze and the relentless fetishising of the darker body creates spaces ripe to replicate oppressive behaviors. Examine the ways that watching the pain of oppressed people is often misused as a teaching tool to navigate and manage varying levels of racism. You will unpack these and related issues through small and large group discussions. In addition, you’ll take away critical tools to help understand and articulate how the white gaze operates in and beyond academic spaces.
      Presented ByStacey Gibson, Francis W. Parker School (IL)
      -
  • Workshop Session B (Thursday, December 8 3:30-4:45 PM)
    • Building the Beloved Community Through Social Action


      B308

      What does it take to work toward realizing Martin Luther King’s dream of the beloved community? Adaptive self-empowerment, appreciation of community cultural wealth, and an understanding of solidarity. In this workshop, discover models for applying critical race theory and best practices in community engagement to empower students to see themselves as change agents for justice. You will learn how to shape assignments that encourage students to engage with the world beyond the classroom, including partnering with nonprofit organizations. You‘ll also get tips on how to collaborate on schoolwide endeavors — such as engaging diversity days and student-led community discussions on social justice topics — to build the beloved community.
      Presented By Lauren Brownlee, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (MD); Shields Sundberg, Sidwell Friends School (DC)
      -
    • Deep Diversity: Using Brain Science to Overcome Us vs. Them


      A409

      What if your interactions with people whose races differ from yours are influenced by things happening below the radar of awareness, hidden even from yourself? Research demonstrates that — in spite of good intentions and fair-mindedness — our unconscious mind and automatic brain processes frequently favor those most “like us.” This creates racial blind spots and hard-to-see discrimination that is systemic, and it results in a society in which many hard-working people are unable to get ahead. Through this award-winning presentation, you will explore how influential the unconscious mind is in human interactions, the prejudice habits we’ve learned regarding racial differences, and the negative impact of racial blind spots in schools and the workplace. Using an interactive storytelling approach, you will explore the impact of racism and Islamophobia as well as the strategies that can reduce such biases.
      Presented By Shakil Choudhury, Anima Leadership
      -
    • How to Explain White Privilege to Skeptics in One Hour


      A314

      Using a series of pointed questions, we will work together to create a graphic map of social groups based on locations and roles in U.S. history and society. You and your fellow participants will think together about which groups have not had access to rights, resources, and respect — ultimately revealing the social positioning and impact of white privilege and dispelling illusions of a level playing field. Once the graphic has been created, you will explore social dynamics, dominant cultural attitudes, and behaviors that perpetuate power and privilege patterns, even when best intentions are in play.
      Presented By Debby Irving, Debby Irving Racial Justice Education & Consulting
      -
    • Is It Getting Better? Exploring #BlackLivesMatter and the Civil Rights Movement with Middle Schoolers (5th-8th)


      A302

      Too often, anti-bias education is limited to increasing students’ self-awareness and identity development. It is critical for students to understand the powerful impact of unchecked unconscious bias that results in violence and injustice. In this interactive workshop, middle school teachers will gain skills, language, and tools to design lessons and facilitate discussions that help students make connections between their own self-awareness and bias, the need for racial justice movements, and social activism. As a participant, you will act as both learner and teacher by engaging in small-group discussions and brainstorming how to adapt these materials and lessons to make them developmentally appropriate for grades 5 to 8.
      Presented By Rebecca Yacono and Mellisha Culpepper, Shady Hill School (MA)
      -
    • Rebranding Diversity Day: Engaging Students, Faculty, and the Community in the 21st Century


      A406

      Does your school set aside a day for students and faculty to deepen understanding of themselves and others through the lens of diversity and inclusion? Is it meaningful? Is it worth having? In this workshop, speakers from Colorado Academy will tell how a rebranding strategy won the support of administration, faculty, and students and transformed Diversity Day perceptions, engagement, and buy-in. The new initiative is PlatFORUM, a full-day conference that encourages and models brave conversation around identity and social justice. You‘ll walk away with relevant, realistic, and manageable strategies that can make celebrating and critiquing humanity a powerful, meaningful, and necessary experience.
      Presented By Adrian Green and Michael Davis, Colorado Academy (CO)
      -
    • Rethinking How We Teach the Civil Rights Movement in History and Literature


      A408

      The civil rights movement is frequently presented in classes as a triumphant series of marches and peaceful protests that turned the tide against racial segregation and discrimination in the South. However, recent scholarship offers us a number of ways to open up that interpretation. Teachers can include a longer span of black activism, a wider array of rights movements, and the need for continued action today. This workshop will make a case for reframing the civil rights movement and provide tools to go beyond the standard textbook narrative and deepen students’ understanding of these struggles.
      Presented By Candace Chen, Benjamin Cullen, and Jason Chang, Bentley School (Lafayette Campus) (CA)
      -
    • Speak Up, Not Over: Helping White Allies Move Beyond White Fragility to Real Solidarity


      A402

      Explore how white allies can more thoughtfully engage in anti-racist work in post-Ferguson America. In this workshop, we will discuss how white educators’ tendencies to dominate conversations, monopolize emotional energy, and assume a “savior” stance can undermine effective allyship in our schools. Informed by current research and interviews, this session provides a framework for change and empowerment. The framework encourages white allies to break down barriers, build relationships, and create institutional climates that seek an end to racism in our schools and in ourselves.
      Presented By Candice Powell, Newark Academy (NJ)
      -
    • Using Activist Assessment to Engage Students as Responsive Agents, Architects, and Partners in Their Learning Journey


      B401

      ​Assessment practices are most effective when they help students become engaged self-assessors, capable of monitoring and regulating what and how they learn given specified expectations. This workshop introduces a holistic “self-in-context” assessment resource that helps learners — students and educators alike — develop the skills and perspectives to proactively engage in critical self-analyses, reflection, and reflexive praxis.  You will explore who you’re perceived to be as an educator in relation to your students and your curricular/co-curricular content. You will also examine how you can better assist your students and yourself employ internal and external feedback to make real-time adjustments in what you do (or don’t do) to improve teaching and learning. This session is geared to upper school teachers, curriculum specialists, academic deans, and other administrators.
      Presented By​Hazel Symonette, University of Wisconsin-Madison
      -
  • Workshop Session C (Friday, December 9 10:15-11:30 AM)
    • #POC4EachOther: Bridging Activism Between Communities of Color


      A304

      The powerful #BlackLivesMatter movement has transformed our cultural approaches to awareness, action, and advocacy. We see examples of solidarity and bridging communities of color in #AsiansforBlackLivesMatters and the historical work of Yuri Kochiyama. Why is it important to show up for each other? What do we do when others push back on race-centric movements? What does this look like in our schools? Join us to explore how we must apply an intersectional lens to our activist work and why the frameworks of whiteness and white supremacy created tensions in community-of-color organizing.
      Presented By Liza Talusan, The Park School (MA); Tinia Merriweather and Ricco Siasoco, Ethical Culture Fieldston School (NY); Rochelle Reodica, San Francisco University High School (CA)
      -
    • “What Do You Really Do?”: Defining the Purpose and Professionalizing the Practice of Diversity Leadership


      A303

      Imagine what would happen if your school hired a chief financial officer who has successfully managed a household budget but has no formal financial management training, no corporate or school finance experience, and no knowledge of accounting best practices. This would never happen, right? Then why does it happen when schools hire diversity leaders? This workshop will share a framework — grounded in best practices, diversity management research, and professional experience — that outlines five levels of diversity leadership in independent schools.
      Presented By Eric Polite, Leadership for Educational Equity
      -
    • A Conversation: The Fluidity of Gender, Racial, and Sexual Identities in Young People Today


      A407

      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 this interactive conversation about the implications of these emerging identities and ideas in a school community. *This workshop is offered in two tracks: one for educators of color (Friday) and one for white educators (Saturday). https://padlet.com/vsavas/nwi3s5hrctyv 
      Presented ByMorgan Darby, San Francisco University High School (CA); Vanessa Savas, Cambridge Friends School (MA)
      -
    • Developing Strategies to Support Students and Families of Color Through The College Admissions Process


      A404

      This session will help school administrators and college counselors develop programming for students and families of color, including first-generation individuals who have limited experience with college admission. Drawing on their wide range of experience working with diverse populations at the secondary and post-secondary levels, the presenters will focus on managing expectations and dispelling myths. You’ll explore topics such as developing productive partnerships with community-based organizations, finding appropriate school fit so that students thrive, and understanding the realities and misperceptions surrounding affirmative action policies in college admission.
      Presented ByKhaliah Williams and Carolyn Middleton, The Berkeley Carroll School (NY)
      -
    • Teaching American History Through the Lens of Critical Race Theory


      A401

      So many recent events have drawn national attention to issues of racism and race — the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Sandra Bland, as well as the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. As teachers of American history, how do we best respond to this? We believe the goal of social studies education is to improve the human condition. Critical race theory allows us to guide our students to awareness, inclusion, equity, and empowerment for all. Critical race theory challenges the dominant narrative and promotes the voices of the marginalized and under-represented. By teaching a narrative that helps students see and navigate the world, we can empower them to seek change and justice.
      Presented ByTed Chen and Merissa Reed, Lakeside School (WA)
      -
    • The “Trump Effect” in Independent Schools: Supporting Student Diversity After a Racially Divisive Election


      A312

      Hateful rhetoric and attacks against people of color entered some of our independent school communities during the 2016 presidential election. As a result, students of color and student diversity initiatives have come under pressure. The way the media have rewarded the overt racism of the Donald Trump campaign has created an atmosphere where “political correctness” has been framed as a liberal tool to suppress free speech. Students who underscore microaggressions in juvenile humor are called hypocrites for allegedly being intolerant of conservative voices. This workshop will reflect upon what we’ve done to help our students of color during this election cycle, and what we can do to continue to support them in the wake of the election and the inauguration of a new president.
      Presented ByTim Rosenwong and Sidra Smith, Pacific Ridge School (CA); Marcus Chang, The Bishop's School (CA); Rosetta Lee, Seattle Girls' School (WA)
      -
    • The Children are Watching: Developing Principled Relationships Between People of Color and White Colleagues


      A405

      Given the long legacy of racism in schools, how do you ensure that the working relationships between people of color and white colleagues are based on respect and promote equity? This workshop’s presenters will share a case study about their 13-year partnership as well as examples from other teacher-administrator cross-racial relationships. You will examine the contexts, pitfalls, and transformations that can happen when you learn to speak with and not for your colleagues. You will also look at how teaching is enhanced by authentic connections based in both an understanding of and respect for racial identities and how they influence teaching and learning.
      Presented ByElizabeth Denevi, Mid West Ed; Mariama Richards, Friends' Central School (PA)
      -
    • The Right to Fulfill Their Dreams: Designing and Destigmatizing Support Services for Students of Color


      A403

      This workshop examines a case study highlighting the need for more professionals of color in independent school support services. Drawing on the perspectives of a learning specialist, an advocate for students of color, and a counselor, we will share and brainstorm best practices with you about changing practices and techniques to destigmatize support services and ensure that all students are comfortable reaching out for support.
      Presented By Stephen Wright, Eleannor Maajid, and Pamela Buchanan Miller, Latin School of Chicago (IL)
      -
    • Weaving Cultural Competence Through After School Programming


      A302

      This workshop will explore ways in which after-school programs can accommodate children with different interests: visual arts, performing arts, technology, creative writing, makerspaces, sports, movement, and homework help. Additionally, we will cover the significance of after-school as a crucial time for social-emotional learning, building executive functioning skills, and developing cultural awareness and competency. You’ll discover how exposing students to different teaching styles and enrichment models can lead to a more authentic model of diversity.
      Presented By Francoise Saint-Clair and Katy Saintil, The School At Columbia University (NY)
      -
    • Writing the Wrongs: Creating the Space for Important Conversations Through Slam Poetry


      A402

      By design, private schools are exclusive spaces. As we groom our students to become critical thinkers, it is imperative to hear their voices and their experiences in order to transform these exclusive spaces into inclusive ones. This workshop will show how educators can create space for inclusive dialogues through slam poetry clubs and curricula. Performance poetry can create a vehicle for students to explore their own identity, connect with other students, and blossom into leaders and change agents. Ultimately, slam poetry can offer a megaphone to a group of marginalized voices that may otherwise go unheard.
      Presented ByNina Candia, The Madeira School (VA)
      -
  • Workshop Session D (Saturday, December 10 10:00-11:15 AM)
    • A Conversation: The Fluidity of Gender, Racial, and Sexual Identities in Young People Today


      A412

      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 this interactive conversation about the implications of these emerging identities and ideas in a school community. *This workshop is offered in two tracks: one for educators of color (Friday) and one for white educators (Saturday). https://padlet.com/vsavas/nwi3s5hrctyv
      Presented ByMorgan Darby, San Francisco University High School (CA); Vanessa Savas, Cambridge Friends School (MA)
      -
    • Dialogue Across Difference: Sharing Our Stories to Build Understanding and Connection


      B405

      We all know that meaningful dialogue is critical to making transformative change in schools and in communities, but how do we facilitate effective conversations? Join us to learn how to design dialogue across differences in race, class, gender identity and expression, sexuality, religion, culture, and more. Discover how Garrison Forest School has used this powerful approach to encourage difficult but important discussions with students, faculty, and staff. The school has even trained its young people to lead those conversations. Get ready to practice leading discussions during this session so you can best understand the many elements of dialogue facilitation and design.
      Presented ByJessy Molina, Garrison Forest School (MD)
      -
    • Navigating "Ouch" Moments: Dialogue and Listening Tools for Microaggressions


      B407

      How do you navigate those incidents that offend or hurt, even though they may be unintended? Can you reduce defensiveness, preserve relationships, and also stop the behaviors? Learn some of the obstacles to authentic conversations. Then discover practical strategies for what to do or say when you are the target of, witness to, or agent of microaggressions.
      Presented ByRosetta Lee, Seattle Girls' School (WA)
      -
    • The Courage to Be Our Authentic Selves


      A404

      As people of color, we are conditioned to compartmentalize our identity, especially at work. There is an inherent conflict between our identities and our survival/endurance/growth/vitality at predominantly white institutions. Attend this workshop to hear from fellow people of color working in independent schools and predominantly white institutions. We‘ll explore together how we can be our complete, authentic selves at our jobs.
      Presented ByMin Pai, Westland School (CA); Cornelius Minor, Teachers College at Columbia University
      -
 

 Highlighted Sponsor

 
 

 From Twitter...