PoCC Workshop Submission Guidelines and Tips

Thank you for your interest in submitting a presentation for the NAIS People of Color Conference. This page will provide guidelines, tips, and information for submitting an effective NAIS proposal.

The submission period is closed. 

This year’s theme—Reckoning with Impacts, Rolling with Just Intent—calls schools into the movement for accountability taking place across the nation. It also heralds the emergent, systemic, and determined action needed to reverse the momentous loss of civil and human rights that threaten democracy and destroy the lives of Black, Indigenous, Asian, and other children and adults of color. We expect all who submit proposals to present at PoCC to reflect on this theme and allow it to inform your session design.

Submission Types

There are two different types of presentations at the NAIS People of Color Conference. To prepare in advance, please view the submission requirements below, which will outline what information is needed for each. Each person can submit a maximum of two equity seminar and two general workshop proposals.

  • Equity Seminars: PoCC Equity Seminars are highly interactive, in-depth sessions that allow participants to deepen their skills as advocates, educators, trainers, activists, and leaders working to build more equitable, just, and inclusive teaching and learning environments. PoCC Equity Seminars may align with one of the conference tracks, or introduce a different content theme/area of focus. The Equity Seminars will take place on Monday, November 29, and Tuesday, November 30, 2021, and will either be full or half-day workshops. 
  • General Workshops: These 60-minute presentations will be offered from December 1-4 and will be organized by tracks: Organizational Development & Institutional Change, Building Capacity: Skills, Competencies, and Processes for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, Equity & Justice Exemplars: Programs, Models, Best, Promising, Next Practices, Racial and Ethnic Identities: Developmental Models, Frameworks, Approaches, Self-Efficacy & Empowerment: Mind, Body, Spirit, Leadership & Management for Equity and Inclusion, Racial and Social Justice-Activism from the Classroom to the Community, Data Use in Activism: Evidence-based Equity and Justice Programming, Research and Evaluation, and Anti-racist Teaching, Training, Activism & Allyship.

How Your Proposal Will Be Evaluated

To be successful, a proposal to present at the NAIS People of Color Conference should demonstrate how the session will add to the body of knowledge independent school educators need to create more equitable and just school communities. The predominant lens or perspective of each session should be the lived experiences of people of color.

NAIS will critically evaluate all proposals for congruence with the conference’s mission and purpose, and for evidence of experiences and deliverables that have practical application for the wide range of contexts and professional roles present in the independent school sector. Sessions should help conference attendees, the majority of whom are People of Color, solve real-world problems; expand their knowledge of relevant theory and research; challenge their thinking; and offer opportunities for reflection, collaboration, and interaction.

As the lead presenter, please make certain that your session’s deliverables are clearly stated in your proposal. NAIS will evaluate all proposals for the following:

  • Relevance: Each proposal should reflect the conference mission and purpose as well as the felt needs, challenges, experiences, and opportunities of people of color in independent schools, in organizations, and in society at large.
  • Approach: The following should be clear: 1) the session description and objectives; 2) how the session adds value to the conference and serves attendees; 3) who the target audience is; 4) what modes of facilitation the presenters will use; and 5) what takeaways participants can expect.
  • Creativity and innovation: The session should present new/current information, data, and/or a new lens or perspective on its topic.
  • Demonstrated expertise: The session should present original research, applied knowledge of (others’) recognized research or theory, models or use of evidence-based practices, personal mastery, and reflective practice.
  • Impact: The session should lend itself to professional or personal application and change. It should encourage attendees to follow-up or continue exploring the subject area and inspire content application in their schools or organizational settings
See the 2021 PoCC Reviewer Guide here.

Success in Presenting at PoCC

NAIS seeks session proposals from individuals experienced in matters of social justice; racial and ethnic identity; and equity-minded practice, pedagogy, research, and programming. Priority is given to workshop proposals submitted by people of color, per the conference’s mission and purpose. Abstracts from white allies and accomplices co-presenting with people of color are also welcome. 

Because PoCC focuses on racial equity and social justice as opposed to "diversity" writ large, experience shows it is not the event at which to present if you are:

  • Averse to naming and addressing issues related to whiteness, systemic racism, and the destructive nature of white supremacy or if you are unwilling or unable to tolerate the discomfort associated with these topics or analysis.
  • Unwilling or unschooled at interrogating your own privileges, implicit and explicit biases, and locating them in the context of your own race, racial identity, and intersectionality.
  • Inexperienced with racial or ethnic marginalization, being in the racial or ethnic minority for an extended period, or if you question the relevance of such experiences in the context of PoCC, its mission and purpose.

However, those who recognize and acknowledge their own racial and ethnic identities and privileges and are willing to critically examine, and even confront them, in a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural context where people of color are the majority, find PoCC a generative community of praxis. 

Successful presenters and participants respect the unique mission and context of PoCC by recognizing and considering multiple ways of knowing and being, power differences, and other equity-minded principles and practices. They honor the culture and ethos of the conference by amplifying the voices and experiences of people of color in independent schools and society, and contribute to the building of a safe, spiritually nourishing, and rejuvenating professional learning milieu.