In March 2019, ADVIS and Carney Sandoe announced the release of a request for proposals for Round 1 of the MCRC@ADVIS/Carney Sandoe – Equity in Action Grant: Pushing for Progress in Our Communities. Together, we awarded funding for three projects by educators from ADVIS member schools for their work on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) topics in independent school communities. Each scholar received a $5,000 stipend for their work.
The grant supports tangible, measurable, and actionable strategies around DEI themes and subject matters pertinent to educational environments, and independent schools in particular. The inaugural class of grantees completed a significant portion of their projects by the end of the 2018-2019 school year in order to submit proposals to present at a number of regional and national independent school conferences and organizations in the 2019-2020 academic year. Conferences include:
The film below, directed by André Robert Lee (Prep School Negro and I’m Not Racist, Am I?), premiered to open our 2020 FORUM/Diversity conference in Philadelphia on Friday, January 24, 2020, and highlights each of the three projects from the inaugural class of grantees, featuring folks from four ADVIS schools. Each project was featured in a one hour workshop at FORUM/Diversity, as well as at the MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference on October 11, 2019, and some at other conferences, including the NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) in Seattle in December 2019, and the NAIS Annual Conference in Philadelphia, February 2020.
View the trailer below or watch the full film here (30 minutes).
Singing Upstream: Developmentally Appropriate DEI Work for Young Learners, Teachers, and Families in ADVIS Schools Through Music
Grantees: City Love: Dwight Dunston, Coordinator of Equity and Justice Education, Friends' Central School; and Brian Caselli Jordan, Associate Kindergarten Teacher, The Philadelphia School
City Love is a social justice music and education duo that has shared workshops and assemblies at schools, colleges, and conferences throughout the country for the last five years. City Love spent last year as the Friends in Residence at Haverford College. Besides their extensive work with students in middle school through college, they recently completed an album of young children's music about diversity, equity, and inclusion called, The Future Is Bright which features both local students and experts in the field, Dr. Howard Stevenson, Dr. Ali Michael, and Dr. Peggy McIntosh. City Love's new album seeks to give families, teachers, and children shared language, narratives, and theme songs to open discussions about race, celebrating our differences, self-love, fairness, standing up for each other, and sharing. View a clip of their lower school assembly called Never Too Young for Justice, as well as their first animated music video, We're All Made of Stars.
Dwight Dunston (Sterling Duns) is a West Philly based hip-hop artist, musician, educator, organizer, and Quaker. He holds a BA in English from Dickinson College and an MA in Poetry from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Sterling is the Coordinator of Equity and Justice Education at Friends' Central School, a facilitator with the University of Pennsylvania Racial Empowerment Collaborative and AORTA Coop (Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance), and serves on boards throughout Philadelphia. He has performed throughout the world and has shared the stage with musical acts such as Talib Kweli, Redman and Method Man, and Rhiannon Giddens. Sterling has worked with youth from all different backgrounds for the last 10+ years and truly believes that if we empower and inspire the youth of today, our future will be in great hands.
Brian Caselli Jordan (Caselli) is an educator and songwriter whose mission in life is to use music to help heal human culture towards love, gratitude, hope, virtue, justice, peace, service, and freedom. He holds a BS in Italian and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Holistic Nutrition Educator certificate from Bauman College, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education at Temple University. Caselli has worked as an educator in a wide variety of settings and capacities for 13 years, from faculty assistant teaching Italian at the University of Wisconsin – Madison to kindergarten teacher and garden educator at The Philadelphia School. He has performed around the world as part of the a cappella group The Cat's Pajamas, and is an award-winning jazz vocalist/guitarist.
Engaging Math Students with Math and Social Justice
Grantee: João Gomes, High School Mathematics Teacher and Upper School Coordinator of Equity & Inclusion, The Agnes Irwin School
João Gomes was born in Lisbon, Portugal and raised in New Jersey. He earned a BS in Mathematics & Computer Science from Fairfield University and an M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, & Society from the University of Pennsylvania. João has worked at independent boarding and day schools in New York, New Jersey, Texas, and now Pennsylvania. He teaches high school Mathematics at The Agnes Irwin School in Bryn Mawr where he is also the Upper School Coordinator of Equity & Inclusion. A SEED trained facilitator, João leads a SEED program for Agnes Irwin parents and board members.
Instructional Fidelity in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative
Grantee: Penn Pritchard, Curriculum and Instructional Leader and member of Head's Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, AIM Academy
Penn Pritchard is a Curriculum and Instructional Leader at AIM Academy in Conshohocken, PA, where they have taught a wide variety of courses, including Interactive Humanities, Visual Arts, and Student Diversity Leadership since 2009. Penn is a graduate of Ithaca College with a background in fine art, art history, and gender studies, and also holds an M.A.T. from The University of the Arts. Currently, Penn sits on AIM's Head's Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a cohort of school leaders that oversees institutional vision setting and strategic planning, and they also regularly design and implement equity-related programming for both students and staff. Penn has presented on the topics of diversity, inclusion, identity, and evidence-based instruction for students who learn differently at a variety of regional and national events.