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Across Colors Diversity Conference 2019

List of 3 items.

  • DATE

    November 9, 2019 
  • TIME

    8:30 AM- 3:30 PM
  • LOCATION

    Viewpoint School
    23620 Mulholland Highway
    Calabasas, CA 91302
EMPATHY FIRST: CULTIVATING DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION AND JUSTICE 

The Across Colors Diversity Conference (ACDC) is the flagship of the Independent School Alliance's commitment to supporting the diversity initiatives in independent schools. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for the professional development of parents, board members, faculty and staff of all backgrounds in independent schools. ACDC also allows students to engage in hands-on activities and participate in content-based discussions on the importance of building and sustaining inclusive, nurturing forward-thinking independent school campuses. 
This will be a great event for adults and independent school middle and high school students.

FEATURED GUESTS

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  • RASHEDA CARROLL

    KEYNOTE SPEAKER
    Assistant Head of School for Equity, Inclusion, and Counseling at Westland School
    Read More
  • RODNEY GLASGOW

    AFTERNOON FACILITATOR FOR STUDENTS 
    Head of Middle School and Chief Diversity Officer at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
    Read More

REGISTER TODAY!

During registration, you'll have the option to reserve bus transportation from our Pasadena pickup location. We wouldn't want distance to be a deterrent! (Transportation is free of charge but spaces are limited)

As well, you will be prompted to choose from the available workshops to start creating your personal conference itinerary! Full descriptions of the available workshops are listed under Conference Overview at the bottom of this page.

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

AM SESSIONS

Workshop 1

List of 7 items.

  • Know Who You Are: A Conscious Call to Action for Youth of Color- Apollo Powers

    For Students 
    As we work to embrace the concept of exhibiting empathy toward others we must first have empathy and love for ourselves. I am an African American student and I already experience how society attempts to paint a negative picture of who I am in my school and in this country. As children of color in a predominantly white school environment, we have to make an intentional and conscious effort to know who we are so that we can share the richness and fullness of our excellence with our peers. Only once we love and understand ourselves can we do the same for others and teach others to have empathy and love for us as well.
  • Sharing Stories and Spaces- Youth Ambassadors

    For Students 
    This workshop is led by a group of the Independent School Alliance Youth Ambassadors. The purpose of this interactive session is to cultivate a community between students of color at independent schools. Facilitators will share personal stories, then conduct a circle of support for participants.  Participants will be able to listen to the experiences of their peers and cultivate empathy through understanding differences.
  • Are you ready for a LeaderShift?-Lois Mufuka Martin, Robert Evans

    For Adults
    Developing leadership means understanding one’s current leadership style, where one wants to go (or stay) and creating an intentional roadmap or personal "LeadersShift" on how to get there. A LeaderShift includes understanding job descriptions and evaluation, managing versus leading and the recurring theme "what got you here won't get you there." Everyone needs a "kitchen table cabinet" of Mentors (for advice only), Advocates (recommendations to assist with upward career mobility) and Sponsors (people who can change one's career trajectory) especially when navigating the world of Independent Schools.
  • Disrupting Narratives About Black Students and Families- Melissa Ali, Tunette Powell

    For Adults
    This session examines historical relationship gaps between educators and Black families, as well as implicit, and sometimes explicit, racial bias against Black children and families.  This will be an interactive presentation designed to help school leaders and educators develop everyday strategies to stand in the gap and disrupt racial bias to better serve and build relationships with Black children and families. Additionally, this session interrogates historical narratives and mainstream stereotypes. We will consider the ways in which these narratives and stereotypes shape interactions between educators and Black children and families. Topics covered in this session include: school discipline disparities, relationship building, parent engagement and stereotypes about Black parents and children. As we will discuss throughout this session, it is not enough to simply prioritize diversity, we must do the day-to-day work of addressing racial bias to successfully serve the diverse group of students who attend our schools.
  • Identity Circles- Monique Marshall, Sandi Crozier

    For Adults
    Gathering people in a circle is powerful. This workshop is for anyone who wants tools to build empathy and create belonging in a community. Participants will explore identity and use the lens of empathy to appreciate differences and recognize similarities. This workshop will invite you to "lean in" and challenge yourself while developing strategies to bring back to your school communities.
  • Brown Vs The Board of Education Realized-Luthern Williams, Mario Johonson, Mark Vickers-Willis

    Open to All
    For 25 years New Roads has illuminated how private schools can be laboratories for the fulfillment of Brown and engines of social transformation in their communities. New Roads is ‘a private school with a public heart ’ that demonstrates through its design principles academic and community benefits that flow from an institutional commitment to authentic diversity. More than 40% of all students receive financial aid at New Roads and over 40% of faculty and administration are people of color. What began as a moral imperative is now an academic imperative for the realization of human potential.
  • Microaggressions 101- Nishat Alikhan

    Open To All
    This workshop is an introduction to Microaggressions, what they are and how to handle them. We will very quickly look at real-time examples of microaggressions and talk about how to handle them.

Workshop 2

List of 5 items.

  • Dealing with "Ouch" Moments: Interrupting and Responding to Microaggressions- Farzana Nayani

    For Students
    Microaggressions are slight insults that can be offensive or invalidating - but are often hard to detect, even when they happen to you! Learn how to respond to these difficult moments with tools and strategies to interrupt and address hurtful comments, and also how to be an ally and advocate when you witness this happening to others. In this session, we will also explore identity and the components that makeup who we are, in multiple ways, and how this shapes our experience.
  • Breaking the Binary: Embracing Gender Inclusivity in the Classroom and Beyond- Josh Adler

    Open to All
    This interactive workshop will empower teachers, parents, administrators, and students to re-think the ways that binary notions of gender are often presented in our society. This workshop will explore multiple dimensions of gender and embolden participants to embrace a gender-inclusive framework that can be used in the classroom and beyond.
  • Bridging Gaps Through Athletics-Tara Shima

    Open to All
    Individuals who share common physical challenges build mutual respect that has the potential to bridge socioeconomic, cultural and racial differences. With positive guidance from coaches and administrators, the building of teams has the potential to break through walls and build connections that is uniquely inherent of intense physical activity.
  • Listening Is An Act of Love: Sharing About Our Multiple Identities- Jason David

    Open To All
    Storytelling is at the heart of human connection. It is amazing what happens when we not only tell our stories but when we extend our deepest listening. We’ll watch and talk about a powerful set of animated true stories from StoryCorps, which has been recording and producing honest, moving, and personal interviews with everyday people about the stories that shape their lives. We’ll then build on this and make space to share our own stories rooted in our identities.
  • We Wear the Mask: Stories of the Black Girl Experience in Predominantly White Independent Schools- Tina Evans, Ed.D.

    Open to All
    Using the theories of Critical Race, Black Identity, & Black Feminism as a conceptual framework, this workshop will present research that explores the role of race/class/gender and parental support as contributing factors to the racial consciousness development of Black girls in middle school. An analysis of the narratives of Black girls revealed important factors that contributed in the development of a racial consciousness such as the absence of a Black faculty advocate, the burden of microaggressions, and the tension to define what it means to be Black. Additional findings of the participants’ mothers revealed an emphasis on nurturing Black identity and friendships to help guide their daughters through critical racial experiences. Findings lead to important recommendations to improve the educational experiences of Black girls in predominantly white spaces.

PM SESSIONS

Student Session

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  • Identity Matters- Rodney Glasgow

    In lieu of Workshops 3 & 4, students will engage in an invigorating conversation regarding identity for the afternoon portion of the conference.
    -
    This workshop, designed specifically for students, will use interactive activities to explore our own multifaceted identities and how our identities shape our perceptions, actions, and reactions.  In a highly politicized climate that is wrought with tension about where we agree and disagree and how we see the big picture, now is the time to attune our lenses. We will also look at real school scenarios and practice how, as a student, you can be a part of interrupting bias on your campus, with our own identity in mind.  What identifiers are core to us? Where are our blind spots? How does who we are shaping what we see, what we do, and what we experience? These questions will guide our time together.

Workshop 3

List of 5 items.

  • Clearing the Smog: A Deep Dive Into Elementary D & I Work-Jasmine Novick, Salah Farrag, Mayanthi Jayaratna

    For Adults 
    In recent years, Viewpoint School has made great strides in incorporating educational psychology into faculty teaching practices. As educators, it is vital that we understand how to optimize learning and motivation to achieve the best learning outcomes possible for our students. We can promote this goal by creating learning environments where students and faculty have a sense of safety and acceptance, therefore empowering them to truly “find their voice, give their best, and go beyond.” To this end, we created a curriculum that would enable each individual to see themselves represented in the School’s programming and to gain perspective on and learn from the experiences of others. Our diversity and inclusion curriculum takes the approach of “Windows and Mirrors,” which is the idea that each individual should be able to see themselves reflected in the organization (mirrors) while also acquiring a view of others’ perspectives (windows). The K-5 Diversity and Inclusion curriculum fosters this notion by guiding students through discovery of each aspect of their individual identity and enabling them to understand their similarities and differences with others. This serves to both celebrate individual student identities while respecting the identities of others, promoting students’ self-worth and empathy. Students are then better able to understand their similarities and differences with others. This serves to both celebrate individual student identities while respecting the identities of others, promoting students’ self-worth and empathy. Students are then better able to understand and identify instances of unfairness around them and are empowered to act for positive social change by standing up for both themselves and others.
  • Creating and Implementing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement, Policy and Plan- Farzana Nayani

    For Adults
    School leaders are challenged with how to create and implement an effective diversity, equity, and inclusion statement, policy, and plan. Where does one begin? How to ensure it is in alignment with your educational institution’s overall objectives? How to make sure the components you have included are not only relevant but are also actionable? Learn about the essential components of creating a DEI strategy for your institution, as well as how to determine key focus areas to include, and how to create "traction for action". This session will expose attendees to a straightforward process that enables the involvement of key stakeholders, focused decision-making, and community impact.
  • Humanizing Migrants, Making Space for Perspectives-Jason David

    For Adults 
    Teaching current events can be challenging: the news cycle moves quickly, stories are complex, and the issues can spark strong emotions. How can we prepare students to have reflective and respectful discussion of current events, especially those that may be controversial or divisive for some? How can we use current events to do more than help students know what is going on, but to also develop their capacity to be aware of bias and injustice, to make meaningful connections to their own communities and relationships, and to begin to feel their own agency and voice regarding the issues affecting the society they live in? This workshop will focus on the topic of migration and will offer resources and strategies from Facing History and Ourselves to support your ability to humanize migrants in the news cycle and create brave space to hear different perspectives.
  • The Magnitude of Microaggressions: How Unintentional Missteps by Educators Impact Children of Color- Kelli Kirkland

    For Adults
    An honest discussion on how educators can make simple adjustments to ensure an equitable school experience for children of color who are in predominantly homogenous independent schools.
  • Swastikas in the Bathroom: Connecting the Dots and Enhancing Empathy to Promote Inclusive School Communities (Part 1-Must Attend Both Sessions)-Shelly Tochluk, Ph.D.

    For Adults
    “No school wants to be the one with the Nazi problem,” said the co-author of the Confronting White Nationalism in Schools toolkit. She is right, of course. Unfortunately, the online recruitment tactics of white nationalist groups are far-reaching, creative, and savvy. Their influence is more widespread and successful than most of us would like to admit. Students as young as 11 are targets, and due to the prevalence of YouTube and online algorithms, the numbers of those embracing the disinformation and hate-filled rhetoric is growing exponentially. For those of us invested in equity, inclusivity, and diversity, we must confront the fact that this recruitment effort is designed to reduce young peoples’ value of empathy. To respond effectively, we must do two things. First, we should invest in policies and programming that emphasize empathy. Second, we need to understand the current threat.

    Let’s be honest…this is not a workshop anyone wants to have to attend. It is essential, however, that we work collectively to understand the essential role that empathy will play in pushing back on this increasing threat to our school communities.
     
    This workshop will do the following: 
    1) Provide an overview of the various groups currently targeting white middle and high school students for recruitment. 
    2) Explain the ideology underlying white nationalists’ efforts.
    3) Support administrators, faculty, and parents to identify warning signs.
    4) Identify preventative steps school leaders can take in their schools.
    5) Introduce a toolkit that prepares school staff to respond to incidents of hate on campus.

Workshop 4

List of 6 items.

  • Addressing Bias in Independent School Hiring, and its effects on Diversity Recruitment- Anthony Gaskins, Ralinda Watts

    For Adults
    When critically examining mission statements of private schools throughout our country, institutions are still struggling with the essential question, "what does it actually mean to be diverse and inclusive?" Most institutions have it embedded in their mission statements to be equitable and inclusive places of learning but are still sorting through generalizations of what thriving diverse communities look like. 

    In this symposium, we will have the opportunity to speak with Diversity Practitioner, Ralinda Watts, Head of Diversity at The Buckley School (Klingenstein Center, Columbia University Teachers College, LA21’). In a conversation on topics focused on school mission statements vs school reputation and our current independent school hiring practices, Ms. Watts will share pieces of her research that explain the landscape of hiring teachers/administrators of diverse backgrounds but also how it affects recruitment and retention efforts to support the students of diverse backgrounds within our institutions.
     
  • Did I Sell Out?- Marielle Sallo

    For Adults 
    As a person of color, have you ever questioned if you made the right move to a predominantly white institution? Have you felt culture shock when you realized you are serving the opposite end of the socioeconomic status spectrum than you're used too? This workshop provides a look into the perspective of POC who have recently joined PWIs from Title I schools. We will discuss navigating the transition into independent schools, the resources needed to survive, and how to play an important role in your school's community. Join us as we share how recent experiences at PWIs encourage POC to make peace and find their purpose in independent schools.
  • Learning Empathy through Exploring the Armenian Genocide- Tassie Hadlock-Piltz

    For Adults
    Developing empathy has to be a part of a teacher’s approach and curriculum. I will be sharing some of the lessons I use to facilitate empathy building as both a by-product and a means to learning about the Armenian Genocide. This will be a participatory workshop to give participants a taste of a few methods and/or strategies they might take with them and apply to the content they teach. Teaching about the Armenian Genocide has the advantage that students usually know nothing about the diverse groups of people who were involved or how the early stages of exclusion led to further choices that ultimately ended in genocide. It almost makes it easier to have them “try on” other’s perspectives because they do not bring previous biases to the table. They can start with the abstract concepts of equality and justice, and as they begin to empathize with the multiple groups involved, they can better understand deeper meanings and applications of equality and justice.
  • Resistance and Empathy- Elana Goldbaum

    For Adults 
    What makes people stand up to oppression? How does empathy connect to resistance? What counts as resistance? Through this workshop, we will learn about a variety of people in history who stood up in the face of injustice. No matter how big or how small the action, it all starts with feelings of empathy. This session utilizes resources that can be used in grades 6-12 and is good for all subjects.
  • Swastikas in the Bathroom: Connecting the Dots and Enhancing Empathy to Promote Inclusive School Communities (Part 2-Must Attend Both Sessions)-Shelly Tochluk, Ph.D.

    For Adults
    “No school wants to be the one with the Nazi problem,” said the co-author of the Confronting White Nationalism in Schools toolkit. She is right, of course. Unfortunately, the online recruitment tactics of white nationalist groups are far-reaching, creative, and savvy. Their influence is more widespread and successful than most of us would like to admit. Students as young as 11 are targets, and due to the prevalence of YouTube and online algorithms, the numbers of those embracing the disinformation and hate-filled rhetoric is growing exponentially. For those of us invested in equity, inclusivity, and diversity, we must confront the fact that this recruitment effort is designed to reduce young peoples’ value of empathy. To respond effectively, we must do two things. First, we should invest in policies and programming that emphasize empathy. Second, we need to understand the current threat.

    Let’s be honest…this is not a workshop anyone wants to have to attend. It is essential, however, that we work collectively to understand the essential role that empathy will play in pushing back on this increasing threat to our school communities.

    This workshop will do the following: 
    1) Provide an overview of the various groups currently targeting white middle and high school students for recruitment. 
    2) Explain the ideology underlying white nationalists’ efforts.
    3) Support administrators, faculty, and parents to identify warning signs.
    4) Identify preventative steps school leaders can take in their schools.
    5) Introduce a toolkit that prepares school staff to respond to incidents of hate on campus.
  • What Well-Intentioned White Educators Need to Understand About White Supremacy-Sheri Lyn Schmidt

    For Adults
    While recent overt displays of white supremacy are abhorrent and alarmingly on the rise, educators need to understand that implicit forms of white supremacy are much more pervasive, go mostly unchallenged, and arguably, do more to perpetuate systemic racism. This session will explore the ways that well-intentioned white educators may unwittingly perpetuate racism, even when they believe they are working against it. We will outline specific steps white educators can take to understand their own racial socialization and enhance their ability to work toward equity. An overview of how a yearlong professional development program addressed this issue at The Nueva School will also be presented.
Thank you to Viewpoint School for hosting ACDC 2019!