PoCC Workshop Submission Guidelines and Tips

The submission deadline was June 10, 2022. Submissions are now closed.

Thank you for your interest in submitting a presentation for the 2022 NAIS People of Color Conference. This page will provide guidelines, tips, and information for submitting an effective NAIS proposal.


This year’s theme—Reunited in Purpose: Elevating Our Worth, Our Agency, and Our Excellence—calls us together after the pandemic’s two-year disruption to connect with one another and the source of our highest personal and professional attributes and aspirations. Grounded in purpose, this motif also heralds the emergent, determined action needed to reverse the loss of civil and human rights that threatens democracy and harms those who experience identity-based discrimination. 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 workshop sessions at the NAIS People of Color Conference. To prepare in advance, please view the submission requirements below, which outline what information is needed for each. Each person can submit a maximum of two Equity Seminars and three 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 Wednesday, November 30, and will be either full- or half-day workshops.
  • General Workshops: These 75-minute presentations will be offered from December 1-3 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 from the Classroom to the Community; Data Use in DEI: Evidence-based Equity and Justice Programming; Research and Evaluation; Anti-racist Teaching, Training, Activism & Allyship; and Technology, Artificial Intelligence, and DEI.

How Your Proposal Will Be Evaluated

To be successful, a proposal for the NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) should demonstrate how the session will add to the body of knowledge independent school educators need to create safer, more equitable, and just school communities.

All proposals will be evaluated, rated, and selected through a Peer Review Process for congruence with the conference’s mission, 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. Approved sessions should help conference attendees 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, as well as abstracts that advance the work of allies for racial justice.
  • 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 2022 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. Because PoCC focuses on racial equity and social justice as opposed to "diversity" writ large, successful presenters demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Openness to naming and addressing issues related to racism in all its forms as well as racial and cultural hegemony 
  • Comfort with the discomfort associated with navigating and facilitating difficult conversations 
  • Acknowledgement of and practice in interrogating their own privileges, implicit and explicit biases, and locating constraints in the context of race, racial identity, and intersectionality
  • An understanding of the mission and culture of the NAIS People of Color Conference
  • Willingness to advocate for racial and social justice in schools and society as ways to realize the highest goals of a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural democracy

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 building a safe, spiritually nourishing, and rejuvenating professional learning milieu.