The Kalmanovitz School of Education took on the complex issues of equity and inclusion in their 3rd annual Summer Leadership Institute on Thursday, June 21. After a warm welcome by Dr. Kathy Perez, SLI Committee Chair, and Dr. Phyllis Metcalf-Turner, Dean, the day began with the keynote, or in this case, “play-note” called “Borderless” by New Wilderness Project, an educational program that focuses on diversity awareness, art, leadership and community development. Over 120 participants watched a compelling performance that wove original music, spoken word and visual storytelling together in order to create a conversation about community transformation and a vision of how we can thrive in the 21st century. See photo gallery here.

Following the performance, audience members had the opportunity to attend two of four workshops:

  • Tarah Fleming of Start Dialog conducted the workshop, “Examining the Culture of Ally and Intersectional Social Justice.” Tarah guided participants to examine their own relationships with privilege and then practice language that supports and models a respectful, welcoming and inclusive learning environment that inspires student leadership.
  • In Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz’s presentation, “‘The Real Test’: A new way to assess 21st century skills for students in the 21st century,” he advocated for five essential competencies that demonstrate the strengths of diversity and represent a unique approach which utilizes student experiences as the basis for a new framework for educational excellence.
  • Alison Park, founder of Blink Consulting, conducted a cultural-competence-in-action workshop entitled, “‘That’s Racist!’ Talking to Students, Families and Colleagues about what is (and isn’t) really racist.” After defining what is meant by bias, discrimination and racism, participants were given useful, developmentally supportive tools and approaches for helping students, colleagues and themselves think about race and the difference between what’s racial and racist.
  • KSOE graduate, Dr. Kathy Moore, and Carol Loflin, of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, presented “Working with a Diverse Community: The Shaping of Culturally Proficient Leaders.” In this session, attendees were guided in how to examine their own attitudes, behaviors and biases. Activities were provided to help them define their leadership roles and deepen their understanding of why strong leaders must possess cultural proficiency.

In the afternoon, Dr. Gloria Sosa, professor in the KSOE Graduate Counseling Program, moderated a panel composed of:

  • Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz of E3 is a noted presenter on immigration, youth and education.
  • Orpheus Crutchfield, founder of Strategenius, LLC, which helps over 50 schools nationally consider all aspects of diversity in the context of leadership.
  • Lizette Dolan is Dean of Equity and Inclusion at Athenian School in Danville, CA, and has served as the co-chair of People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS) of Northern California. Lizette is also a current student in the KSOE Ed.D. Program and one of the driving forces in organizing this year’s Summer Leadership Institute.
  • Tarah Fleming is the founder of Start Dialog, a consulting practice that creates courses in cultural competency, facilitating conversation and new perspectives on issues of equity and inclusion in education.
  • Alison Park is the founder of Blink Consulting, an educational consultancy that is critically and compassionately rethinking diversity and has collaborated with 40 schools in the Bay Area.

The panel addressed such thought-provoking questions as, “How do educational leaders move from diversity reform efforts to the transformation of schools where living equity and inclusion is an institutional imperative?” and “What role can equity and inclusion efforts play in developing solidarity between living the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.?”

Feedback received from the participants at the end of the day was very positive. One attendee wrote: "Fabulous training – relevant, meaningful, useful + great ideas to immediately use at my school site.

View a gallery of pictures from the event.

Jane Joyce, Kalmanovitz School of Education

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