Six faculty members recently attended the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference in Nashville, Tenn. The theme this year was Equitable Schools and Inclusive Communities: Harmony, Discord, and Notes in Between.
Head of the Learning Village Shannon Montague and Learning Village faculty members Mark Raffinan and Jared Passmore joined Upper School educators Antxon Iturbe, Jon Shoup, and University of Pennsylvania Teaching Fellow Jules Desroches at the event, while Upper School students Cheryl Oppan '21, Neylan Mason '20, and Victor Ji '19 attended the concurrent Student Diversity Leadership Conference.
According to the conference website, "the NAIS People of Color Conference is the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools' commitment to equity and justice in teaching and learning. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.
"PoCC equips educators at every level, from teachers to trustees, with knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools, as well as the attending academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes for students and adults alike."
Attendees had the opportunity to visit workshops like Do You See What I Mean? Facilitating Courageous Conversations Visuallyand Deeper than Diversity: Building a Culture of Equityas well as meet with affinity groups and attend equity seminars.
Lisa Ling, executive producer and host of This is Life on CNN and author of Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhoodand Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home, was a general session keynote speaker.
Luz Santana, the co-director of the Right Question Institute and the co-author of Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), and Marc Lamont Hill, host of BET News, also spoke, among others.
Photo contributed by Antxon Iturbe.