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SESSION 1 WORKSHOPS: 11:25AM-12:25PM
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¡Sí, We Can! A Model for Latinx Student & Family Engagement 

Audience: Teachers, Parents & Students

Presented by Marisol Pérez, Department Chair of Spanish & Coordinator of Latinx Family Engagment at Sequoyah School

In this workshop we will look at how all constituents at a school can play an important role in developing strategies for Latinx student and family engagement and what a road map to that might look like. Parents, students, faculty, and administrators will have the opportunity to listen to each other's visions and ideas for an inclusive plan so they can workshop an action plan of their own!

A World of Difference: Navigating Identity and Championing Equity

Audience: Students & Parents

Presented by Kenya Yarbrough, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access & Advocacy at Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

This youth-focused presentation and conversation centers on acknowledging and valuing our differences. It invites participants to define themselves on their terms, find pride in what makes each of us unique, and explore ways to amplify diverse, authentic voices to help strengthen the sense of belonging.

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Lacking a Magic Wand… Finding Leverage to Center Equity in Independent School Communities: A Collaborative Presentation from the Independent School Alliance, SoCal POCIS, POCIS NorCal, CAIS, and CATDC

Audience: Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Rob Evans, Director of Independent School Alliance; Lisa Haney; Deb Dowling, CAIS Executive Director; Monique Marshall, Board of SocalPOCIS; Mary Anton, Chair of NorcalPOCIS

We challenge participants to identify key strategic changes to address racism and inequity in their schools. We offer tools and tactical approaches to guide and influence those changes, regardless of participants’ role in the school.

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Be What You Needed: Retention of BlPOC Faculty and Staff Through Mentorship and Advocacy

Audience: Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Angela Brown, Director of Athletics at Mirman School

As schools continue to advance hiring strategies around the recruitment of BIPOC faculty and staff, conversations about the retention of BIPOC faculty and staff must be at the forefront. Schools must move from simply checking off boxes to meet “diversity hire” quotas and shift to understanding and centering the experiences of BIPOC faculty and staff. Additionally, schools must not only consider higher salaries and the addition of DEI roles, they must also consider mentorship and advocacy. 

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Belonging and Job Satisfaction of BIPOC Educators: Study Findings and Implications for Schools and Leaders

Audience: Teachers, Parents & Administrators

Presented by Jason Kim-Seda, Humanities Teacher, Instructional Dean, Education Researcher

This workshop presents the findings of a study on the comparative experiences of belonging, support and job satisfaction of white educators and educators of color in Los Angeles-area independent schools, with a deeper exploration of the experiences of educators of color in relation to institutional and leadership support, challenges of discrimination, and adaptation to predominantly white schools. 

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Change, Accountability and Building Institutional Trust

Audience: Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Minjung Pai, Senior Consultant at JONES and Damien Robinson, Principal Consultant at JONES

Many independent schools have Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statements on their websites. Many independent schools have DEI as a part of their strategic plans. Many independent school leaders have released statements about their commitment to DEI and to social justice. And many institutions have encountered similar obstacles. Change can bring conflict and tension. How do schools hold themselves accountable and maintain institutional trust while leading their communities through change? How do schools honor its histories, philosophies and missions, educate future change makers and leaders in social justice, build and maintain trust with all stakeholders, and stay relevant in this ever-changing landscape? This workshop will share frameworks and theories, ask participants to bring their expertise and knowledge about their schools and communities, and together find ways to bring theory into practice.

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Creating a K-12 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team

Audience: Administrators

Presented by Jen Quijas, Upper School Equity and Inclusion Specialist at Brentwood School; Bryce Brady, Middle School Equity and Inclusion Specialist at Brentwood School; Tina Evans, Lower School Equity and Inclusion Specialist at Brentwood School

This session will discuss our experience working as a K-12 DEI team this past year. We will outline the work of each division (lower, middle, upper) specialist that supports faculty growth and cultivates a more inclusive school community. In addition, we will share our individual and collective professional development goals for the upcoming year. Workshop participants will engage in discussing their own community needs and target goals in small group discussions.

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Cultural Competence: Lessons from the Perspective of a Speech-Language Pathologist

Audience: Students, Parents, Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Belinda Daughrity, Assistant Professor at California State University Long Beach

This workshop will cover the importance of cultural competence from the perspective of a speech-language pathologist to illustrate the critical role cultural competence plays in our communication skills. Attendees will learn about the cultural competence continuum, how to develop skills for culturally responsive practices, and how to apply such skills in classroom settings for independent schools.

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Dismantling Systemic Racism: Building School Communities with an Equity Mindset

Audience: Students, Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Dr. Natalie V. Nagthall, Principal Consultant at N2V Consulting, Inc.

Educators can dismantle systemic bias with a commitment to racially minoritized students and a shift from anti-racist theory to praxis by re-imagining their practices, processes, and pedagogy! This interactive workshop will provide educators a deeper understanding of how systemic racism manifests in schools and classrooms, what it means to be be anti-racist and practical tools educators can use to apply an anti-racist lens to curriculum and services and build a school community with an equity mindset.

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Don't Marginalize the Melanin: How Teacher Choices Silence Minority Voices

Audience: Students

Presented by Apollo Powers, Student at Viewpoint School

Too often Independent School teachers and administrators do not realize how their words, actions, curriculum choices, mispronunciation of ethnic names, "jokes", slights and various other microaggressions harm students from marginalized groups. Though the INTENT of these adults may be harmless, the IMPACT can negatively effect students in long-lasting ways. In this workshop, created for students and led by a student, we will offer a safe space where students can have an open and honest dialogue about their personal experiences of being marginalized in their schools. This is also a space where student allies can listen, learn and support.

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Revisit, Revise, or Draft Your Own Racial Autobiography

Audience: Students

Presented by Jessica Martin, K-12 Literacy and Math Consultant/ Author

Come and explore this genre of writing by studying a variety of racial autobiographies to learn more about what they are, and how they can be used as a tool to develop and deepen racial consciousness and understanding of the racial reality of which we are all embedded in. Then you’ll have the chance to pick up a pen to revisit, revise, or begin to draft your own racial autobiography of how race has impacted your life. Glenn Singleton, author of Courageous Conversations About Race, writes, “ As we become more aware of our own racialized existence, we can more deeply understand the racial experiences of others.”

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Inclusive Language and Practices in the Classroom

Audience: Teachers

Presented by Kristi Eddy M. Ed, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion K-12 at the Sequoyah School

Students rely on teachers to create a classroom culture that builds a sense of belonging amongst students, and maintains a safe space to learn for all students. This presentation will discuss classroom practices-pedagogical and cultural that can create and maintain an inclusive environment.

SESSION 2 WORKSHOPS: 1:30PM–2:30PM
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Examining Racism and the AAPI Community

Audience: Students, Parents, Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Lyssa Ichikawa, Consultant at Liberation Consulting

With the recent rise in acts of violence and hate targeting Asian Americans, it seems the collective attention of our country is being called to turn and face the history of racism and discrimination against members of this highly diverse group. When paired with the racial reckoning we are facing with Black and Brown folks, particularly with regard to law enforcement, it is imperative that we look toward alternative models to promote cross cultural support and solidarity. How do we examine anti-Asian racism without examining anti-Blackness? In this workshop we will review the historical context of racism with, and within these groups. We will discuss and unpack our own racial position and how we participate in and are impacted by racism and anti-Blackness. Participants will be invited to share personal connections, work through problem-solving strategies, and develop confidence and readiness for the immediate application of tools and modes of thinking to confront the specific challenges practitioners face within the education system and the national climate. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of the systemic and cultural evolution of these complex racial histories as well as resources and suggestions for articles, books, and other media such as podcasts and TED talks to further this essential work.

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Fostering Student Mental Health: Considering Race and Class in Independent Schools

Audience: Teachers, Parents & Administrators

Presented by Deborah Offner, Consulting Psychologist at Beacon Academy and Sarah Smith, Director of Student Support Services, Dean of Students at Beacon Academy

What are some of the issues affecting the emotional well being of Students of Color in white majority independent schools? How do adolescent identity development, racial dynamics, and student mental health intersect and interact on campus? We will share observations from our ongoing journey with students of Beacon Academy: a one-of-a-kind, full-time preparatory program for low-income Students of Color entering day and boarding schools in New England and beyond. Join us for this about current trends and our evolving understanding of our students' experiences!

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From Support to Empowerment: How Affinity Groups Can Serve as a Catalyst for Student Empowerment

Audience: Students, Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Mychal Johnson, Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion; Haeley Green, Student, Brentwood School; Rahul Yates, Student at Brentwood School

Affinity groups serve as a place of support and affirmation for underrepresented students. Affinity groups should also serve as a space of empowerment and capacity building for students who want to be leaders in the broader school community. Workshop participants will hear from students and advisors about the value of affinity groups and how those spaces have empowered them to explore other leadership opportunities in their educational journey. Come prepared to learn, share perspectives, and brainstorm how this work can translate to your school.

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How to Guide Your Students to STEM Degree Success

Audience: Students, Parents, Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Sarah Hunt, Special Programs Manager at BEAM; Ayinde Alleyne, Analyst at BEAM

Suppose a Black 10th grader walks into your office and says they want to be an engineer: what do you do next? What factors should you be aware of around the underrepresented experience in STEM? What should your student be aware of? What can you do now (or even earlier than 10th grade) to support their success? In this workshop, we will discuss how STEM college readiness differs from broader college readiness, the racial equity gaps in STEM education, and what happens to students who enter college intending to major in STEM fields. We will define precursors to STEM success and also discuss how to support students, especially underrepresented and minoritized students, in middle school, high school, and college.

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Loving the Skin You are In—Building Blocks Toward Confidence and Self-Esteem

Audience: Students, Parents, Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Bernadette Fernandez

When children feel confident and secure, they're more likely to succeed in school and achieve personal goals, and as they age, they will also learn to confront problems and resist peer pressure. More importantly, having a positive self-image helps a child feel happy and capable of maintaining personal relationships, setting goals, and becoming successful in life. This idea is especially vital in children of color. Knowing who you are and "Loving the Skin You Are In" at an early age is a critical component for children of color to believe in their values and self-worth. Understanding your value and self-worth is essential to success in life. This workshop will provide students with techniques in building confidence and self-esteem by providing the necessary skill sets to appreciate and love the skin they are born in.

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More Stories, Greater Truth

Audience: Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Linda Sue Park, Author

How can educators use books for young readers in the interest of greater truth for all of us—as individuals and as a community? Linda Sue Park will share what she has learned from students, teachers, librarians, parents, and other creators during hundreds of school visits throughout her career.

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Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) Toolkit from the Race Forward

Audience: Teachers & Administrators

Joana Sosa, Manager Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Schuler Scholar Program; and Nicole O'Connell, Manager of Learning and Development at the Schuler Scholar Program

As educators and advocates of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in education, we’re often faced with opportunities to make decisions that will drive change for the benefit of our students. The global health pandemic and ongoing climate of racial injustice we’re living through have brought to light the systemic inequities that exist and continue to affect the daily lives of Black, Indigenous and People of Color in our country. Now and moving forward, we need to approach our work through a DEI lens. Racial equity needs to be at the forefront of our decision-making process, helping to prevent us from creating or perpetuating further racial inequities. In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to the Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) toolkit from the Race Forward organization, you’ll practice using it through a case study, and you’ll walk away having identified opportunities to apply this process at your schools and organizations.

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Revisit, Revise, or Draft Your Own Racial Autobiography

Audience: Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Jessica Martin, K-12 Literacy and Math Consultant/ Author

Come and explore this genre of writing by studying a variety of racial autobiographies to learn more about what they are, and how they can be used as a tool to develop and deepen racial consciousness and understanding of the racial reality of which we are all embedded in. Then you’ll have the chance to pick up a pen to revisit, revise, or begin to draft your own racial autobiography of how race has impacted your life. Glenn Singleton, author of Courageous Conversations About Race, writes, “ As we become more aware of our own racialized existence, we can more deeply understand the racial experiences of others.”

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SITting in the Eye of the Storm

Audience: Students

Presented by Amber Gravely, Educational Equity Consultant for Student Opportunities for Success

In this workshop, students will learn strategies to remain strong in their identity while the chaos of prejudice, microaggressions, and "-isms" swirl about in society. Through interactive activities, students will learn ten tools in mindfulness, self-compassion, and leadership to generate the energy of change.

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Student Activism: Power from the Mouths of Babes

Audience: Students

Presented by Jon Carroll, Middle School DEI Director at Harvard-Westlake School

This seminar will engage upper school students in key social movements around race that were led by or heavily influenced by youth. We will make use of historical texts, interviews, articles and other media to show participants how students have leveraged their voices and energy for institutional change. Student sit-ins at lunch counters in the Jim Crow South, Divestment from South Africa, and Black Lives Matter are examples of movements we will explore.

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The Courage to be Yourself

Audience: Students, Parents, Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Meg Zucker, President and Founder of Don't Hide it, Flaunt It

This workshop will follow Meg Zucker's personal journey as a person and parent of kids that are different towards the joy of achieving unconditional self-acceptance and how you and your kids/students can attain it too.

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Should I Stay or Should We Go: The Recruitment and Retention
of Faculty of Color Within Independent Schools

Audience: Teachers & Administrators

Presented by Anthony Gaskins and Ralinda Watts

When critically examining the mission statements of private, independent schools across the country, it is clear that institutions are struggling to grapple with the essential questions such as, “What does diversity look and feel like on campus?” and “What does it mean to have a diverse teaching faculty?” In the aftermath of the racial reckoning of 2020, many institutions have begun to identify both their hiring goals and needs, in order to align with their mission-driven proclamations in real time. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn best practices with regard to the hiring process, based on independent school research and application, that will examine the relationship between recruitment and retention efforts, bias in the hiring process, and first-hand accounts from faculty of color panelists within independent schools, sharing their nuanced experiences.