7:30-8:00 AM − Light Breakfast
8:00-9:30 − Opening Program (Commonwealth Hall):
Keynote Address by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson – Georgetown professor, New York Times opinion writer, contributing editor of The New Republic, author of 19 books
10:00 − Interviews Begin (through 5:00 PM)
10:00-11:45 − Session Block 1
Panel 1: Stop Playing Games: An Interactive Session on Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion (Commonwealth C/D)
Panelists: Sidra Smith and Ara Brown, Whittle School
Set yourself up for FORUM success! As you prepare for a day of interviews and networking, start the day with this interactive session designed to get you examining your communication style and asking tough questions.
Sometimes wires can get crossed even when technically speaking the same language. Explore potential barriers to effective communication and their overlap with identity and lived experiences. How can one make sure to create an environment where all are welcome to engage, in their own terms? What strategies exist to advocate for yourself or others when misunderstandings and/or silence abound? Get ready to challenge your assumptions in this exciting session.
Panel 2: Teacher Identity – In a World of “Impartiality” (Commonwealth B)
Panelists: Jenna Chandler-Ward, Consultant, Teaching While White, and William Yepes, Belmont Day School
Can a teacher truly be impartial? What are the implications of asking faculty to present themselves as unbiased or “neutral”? Is everything a teachable moment? Is it possible to bring our full humanity to our teaching, and encourage students to respond to their reality, when teachers leave parts of themselves at the door? How do students take their cues from educators when we respond (or don’t) to a situation?
Join us for this workshop as we discuss how our identities play a role in teaching and learning. We will also explore how our learning spaces can both encourage students to examine their place in the world while recognizing the shared humanity of everyone in a school community.
Panel 3: Using Compassionate Curiosity to Combat Implicit Bias (Commonwealth A)
Panelists: Oscar Gonzalez, Graland Country Day, Elizabeth Warren, Suffield Academy, David Thompson, The Bishop’s School, Anshu Wahi, The Northwest School
Is there a #bbqBecky or #permitPatty in the classroom? Learn how implicit bias shows up in the classroom and how we can build meaningful relationships with students and colleagues through
compassionate curiosity. As early as age 3, we internalize societal messages and stereotypes about marginalized groups. Learn how to combat these myths. Stereotypes, assumptions, and fear will be replaced with an acceptance for differences and active, intentional contributions to create a sense of belonging and allow community members to show up as their true, authentic selves.
11:45-1:00 PM − Break (lunch is not included)
1:00-2:30 − Session Block 2
Panel 4: Beyond Recruitment Series: Retaining a Diverse Faculty and Staff (Commonwealth C/D)
Panelists: Johara Tucker, Worcester Academy, Angela Garcia, The Fessenden School, Chance Sims, The Northwest School
Explore the myriad social and professional challenges that many faculty of color face once an independent school hires them. The tenure for faculty of color (young, single, etc.) is much lower than peers. We’ll explore the reasons for this and discuss what schools should do in order to successfully support and retain teachers of color. From clarifying expectations to “puzzle piece” positions, adverse racism, and personal introspection, we’ll encourage faculty and those involved in the hiring process to examine ways to recruit and retain teachers of color.
Panel 5: Triple Threat: Being Black, Being a Woman, and Being an Administrator While Navigating Independent Schools (Commonwealth B)
Moderator: Candice Powell-Caldwell, Co-Director for the Office of Identity, Culture and Institutional Equity at Horace Mann School
Panelists: Shanelle Henry, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Greens Farms Academy
Brandie Melendez, Director of Community and Inclusion, Berkeley Carroll School
Diane Nichols, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Winchester Thurston School
Independent schools across the country remain engaged in efforts to diversify the racial makeup of their senior leadership teams. The commitment to recruit black women administrators, however, has not been matched by an equally strong commitment towards retention. This session will address how the overlapping oppression of race and gender impacts the professional growth and emotional health of black women administrators in PWIs. Learn from a panel of experienced black women leaders who will share challenges they faced as senior administrators and diversity practitioners. How have their collective stories and strategies helped them maintain an authentic sense of self while navigating the independent school world?
3:15-4:30 − Session Block 3
Panel 6: Case Study – Building a Community of Inclusion by the Lowell School, Washington D.C. (Commonwealth B/C/D)
Panelists: Kavan Yee, Stefania Rubino, Michelle Belton, and Jason Novak, Lowell School
Lowell School will share and discuss how they have created and retained representation of employees of color, of LGBTQ identity, and international identity in their school community. Their presentation will feature information and efforts to attract, honor, and retain employees that represent various identities in independent school settings. Join Lowell as they will feature their school’s approach highlighting a few of the following details: the search committee, job descriptions, and new employee orientation, to name a few.
4:30-5:00 − Last Interview of the Day
5:00 − Friday Concludes
7:30-8:00 AM − Light Breakfast
8:00-9:00 − Opening Program (Commonwealth B/C/D):
Keynote Address by Dr. Peggy McIntosh – Founder of the National SEED Project, founder and Senior Research Associate of the Wellesley Centers for Women
9:30 − Interviews Begin (through 2:00 PM)
9:30-10:45 − Session Block 4
Panel 7: Independent Queers: LGBTQ Educators in Independent Schools Speak Out (Commonwealth B/C/D)
Panelist: Dr. Philip McAdoo, Consultant
As an educator, activist, and former Broadway actor, Dr. Philip McAdoo has spent his life fighting for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth, families, and educators. Working to combat discrimination in personal spaces, professional places, and public platforms, Dr. McAdoo has always been passionate about equality for all.
What started as an exploration of LGBTQ teachers in the workplace eventually evolved into his dissertation. Independent Queers: LGBTQ Educators in Independent Schools Speak Out is a culmination of his work over the years. Containing over 35 distinguished voices in the space, Independent Queers is an ultimately searing exploration—featuring teachers of all grade levels.
11:00 AM-12:00 PM − Session Block 5
Panel 8: Lifting As We Climb (Commonwealth B/C/D)
Panelist: Lawrence Alexander, White Mountain School & Carney, Sandoe & Associates
“In order to have a conversation with someone you have to reveal yourself.” ~ James Baldwin
This session will be a time to reflect, share your story, and set the table as we bring what we’ve learned back to our communities.
1:30-2:00 − Last Interview of the Day
2:00 − Saturday Concludes
*Please note schedule is subject to change.