Professional Development Schedule

There's so much in store during the professional development portion of FORUM/DEIB.

This year, we are grateful to welcome educators, diversity practitioners, and school leaders from across the country. As an attendee of FORUM/DEIB, you're invited to get inspired by their stories, best practices, and advice and empowered to bring lessons and learning back to your school communities.

All times are listed in Eastern Time. Schedule is subject to change.


Friday, January 26             Saturday, January 27

8:00-9:30 AM

Welcome and Keynote Address Keynote Speaker – Dr. Howard C. Stevenson

Along with CS&A Team Member, Dr. Darryl J. Ford

Block 1 – 10:00-11:15 AM

Title Presented By Description
Session 1 Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Faculty Hiring Page Fahrig-Pendse, Carol Miller, Charla Okewole – Germantown Friends School
Join with us in an exploration of the work of the Diversity Hiring Committee at Germantown Friends School. This session will use this case study of collaborative work as a way to examine the way hiring practices can be amended in order to meet the changing landscape, and the increasingly challenging, faculty recruitment process.
Session 2 Do You Have Any Questions for Us? Megan Chounoune – Beauvoir School; Dr. Anna Carello – Collegiate; Dr. Cheleah Googe – Breck School
Learn how to navigate the interview process and how to ensure your authentic self shines through. This workshop seeks to illuminate and examine the interview process closely for those who are interested in new roles or leadership.

Block 2 – 11:30 AM-12:45 PM

Title Presented By Description
Session 1 Say More About That: Demonstrating DEIB Skills in the Interview Process John Gentile – Calhoun School; Brandie Melendez – Berkeley Carroll School This workshop is intended for participants interested in considering how diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging skill sets might be demonstrated during an interview process. Participants will have an interactive experience that will explore strategies to authentically share or assess one's approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging while seeking to attain or hire for roles within our communities.
Session 2 How To Partner with Your Carney Sandoe Representative Gina Marcel – Brookwood School; Priscilla Morales – The Park School of Baltimore Are you getting the most out of your partnership with Carney Sandoe? As BIPOC, we don't always know what to expect when working with established firms like Carney Sandoe. We have many questions that stem from our past experiences with implicit bias and impostor syndrome that can make us feel unsure. However, there are unadvertised steps we all should take to get the most out of our job search experience. This discussion will reveal those secret steps for fully leveraging your working relationship with Carney Sandoe Placement Associates, firmly placing you in a personal space of agency and assuredness to land a teaching or leadership role.
Session 3 Preparing Yourself, as a BIPOC Educator, to Succeed in a PWI Dr. Yerko Sepulveda – Porter-Gaud School Are you excited about joining an independent school yet a little worried about what it means to be in a predominantly white institution (PWI)? In this workshop, we will explore the cycle of racial socialization and the multiple identity markers that will shape your experience. Through hands-on activities and reflection, you will walk away with tools and strategies to be successful as you transition into your new job.

Block 3 – 1:00-2:15 PM

Title Presented By
Session 1 Curriculum for ALL: A DEIBJ Approach to an Audit Experience Joule Bazemore, Elizabeth Higgins – Wooster School This presentation highlights the work that Wooster School has done using the lens of DEIBJ to audit our curriculum and course of study. This experience has allowed for more student voice, choice, and agency in our curriculum design. Tools, such as The Culturally Responsive Scorecard, student panels, and teacher/student surveys, will be shared as models for engaging in this type of work. Participants will leave with tools and strategies to implement a comprehensive curriculum audit at their school.

Session 2


The Mirror Effect: How Black Women Can Learn to Thrive in Independent Schools



Cydny Jean –

The Hackley School

This presentation invites Black women-and allies-to learn about “mirroring” or “the mirror effect”, a framework that explores sponsorship, affirmation, empowerment, and enactment of Black women leading mission values-aligned work within independent schools.  Through guided self-reflection, Black women leaders will find a space to explore questions that will help them return to their home institutions with new language and renewed strength to engage in the work they were destined to do.

Block 4 – 2:30-3:45 PM

Title Presented By Description
Session 1 Tools for Coming to Consensus Elizabeth Markowitz, Erica Thompson – St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School Coming to consensus is hard. It can also be time consuming. This session will explore components of Design Thinking and Polarity Mapping strategies that can be used to tackle layered concepts in time efficient ways while providing avenues for all voices to be heard equally.
Session 2 Seeds of Change: Growing Inclusive Classroom Cultures with a Systems Approach Justin Cerenzia, Allison Schultz, Iman Loyola, Rachel Smith – The Episcopal Academy The Episcopal Academy's Center for Teaching and Learning is reshaping education through a systematic approach to inclusivity, supported by the Hirtle Grant for Inclusivity. This session will showcase the transformative ‘Anti-Bias, Anti-Racism & The Stripes' initiative, where elementary teachers integrate ABAR principles into monthly reading sessions. This strategy not only enriches curriculum but also fosters a culture of belonging, affirming our dedication to nurturing inclusive community spaces.
Session 3 End the Exodus: Strategies for Retaining Faculty of Color Claudia McGuigan – The Hotchkiss School In recent years, the most forward-thinking schools have turned their eye to expanding diversity amongst the faculty to provide mirrors for the student body. However, without solid retention efforts, a school may experience the “leaky bucket effect” and need to attract exponentially more faculty of color just to maintain their current levels. This workshop will cover several strategies and tools your institution can use to increase retention amongst BIPOC faculty.

Saturday, January 27

Morning Session – 8:30-9:15 AM

Title Presented By Description
 Session 1
The Work Now and The Work Ahead: A DEIB Practitioner's Roundtable Panel Discussion Brandon Jacobs – CS&A

Janine Hancock-Jones – Harvard Westlake

Johára Tucker – Dalton School

Jason Mundy – Durham Academy

Erica Snowden – Episcopal Academy

Attendees to this panel will see and hear from a deeply experienced group of DEIB practioners from a wide range of schools across the country. Panelists will share their experiences, strategies, and stories in fostering diverse and inclusive environments. From implementing innovative DEIB programs to addressing challenges and driving cultural transformation, our panelists will provide valuable insights and practical tips for schools striving to build equitable and inclusive communities.

Block 1 – 10:00-11:15 AM

Title Presented By Description
Session 1 Using an Equity Lens Through the Hiring Process Namita Bhattacharya – CS&A The guiding question of this session asks, “How can we (both job seekers and school representatives) maintain an equity lens through the interviewing process?” While we aren't going to completely answer our guiding question in the allotted time, the goal of the session is to provide attendees a basic toolbox to feel more prepared to maintain an equity lens while interviewing and to feel more prepared to do so in a successful way.
Session 2 KESA (Knowing, Enduring, Service and Action): In Service and Support of Black Male School Leaders Mikael Yisrael – Abington Friends; Dr. Philip Smith – Fordham University; Norman Bayard – Friends Select; Bartley Jeannoute – Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Substantive research and findings on “leading while Black and male” (Smith, 2019) endorse the creation of formal leadership development opportunities, networks, mentoring and frientoring, and other pathways to support the leadership ambitions of Black male heads of school and aspiring leaders in situ. In this workshop, a group of Black educational leaders‚ with expertise in independent schools, university research and scholarship, professional practice, and professional development facilitation, share their strategies and approach to the formation of KESA (Knowing and Enduring through Service and Action), a group dedicated to supporting the leadership, and leadership development of current and aspiring Black male heads of school and leaders. Participants will learn more on KESA's efforts to create regional and national leadership consortia for Black male school leaders.
Session 3 Mammyfication of Black Women in Independent Schools Loris Adams – National Cathedral School The goal of this workshop is to examine the challenges of women of color in leadership in schools with an acute focus on Black women/anti-blackness in independent schools. The inspection and reflection of this reality is part and parcel to understanding the experiences of girls of color in independent school settings. Participants will hear a framework from COCo (the Centre for Community Organizations) adapted to independent schools and will begin a thought process on the de-mammyfication of women of color in their institutions.

Block 2 – 11:30 AM-12:45 PM

Title Presented By
Session 1 The ADL's A World of Difference in Action at Ranney School Gregory Martin, Ron Crocker – Ranney School; Spencer Cronin, Anti-Defamation League Ranney School partnered with the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) to take part in their “World of Difference” program where students and faculty are trained on anti-bias and bullying prevention. The relationship was born out of some ugly incidents in the outside community but has served to strengthen Ranney's approach to building an inclusive and welcoming community.
Session 2 Assess, Reframe, Strengthen: A Restorative and Anti-Racist Approach to Building Community Linda Hughes, Eric Barber, Po-Wei Weng, Melissa Cassel – Walnut Hill School for the Arts Building a community-wide restorative and anti-racist culture in a boarding and day school is a complex and challenging task. It requires strong leadership and a clear shared vision, thorough and mindful planning and implementation, and a long process of forming community-wide understanding and buy-in. Key drivers for building an anti-racist institution include using assessment tools, reframing community norms, examining hiring and retention strategies, and strengthening relationships. This collective effort must include all constituencies: the board, administration, parents and guardians, faculty and staff, alumni, and students. Join this session to learn about our journey and story of community change, what worked well, what lessons we learned, and how we continue to grow and move forward for future success.
Session 3 Our Gender Journey: Our Goals and Growth Raquel Majeski, Dennis Canty – Lawrence Academy After training with and implementing best practices from Gender Spectrum in addition to other research based best practices, we were able to implement a gender support plan for our adult and student community. Through small group discussion, in addition to whole group presentation, participants will walk away with a framework to implement mission aligned change in their gender support. Join us as we share our journey in creating spaces and places to support the spectrum of gender in our community.


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