People have been asking about some of my speaking engagements, work with teachers and training programs this fall. Themes I speak about generally examine global, cultural and racial competence – and particularly how these intersect. Here’s a sampling of some of the topics, venues and formats:
- The school year and launch of Global Kids kicked off at a wonderful Chicago Public School, where I spoke to the parents’ association on Raising Children to Thrive in a Globalized World. This theme has been thought-provoking and helping to initiate challenging conversations among parents of diverse backgrounds (this has also been the case from Columbus, Ohio to Colombia, South America!). I love that the parents’ association (in Chicago) translated the invitation in order to make a strong signal about inclusion. It was great to see so many families in attendance whose first language is Spanish. The parents also arranged simultaneous translation!
- The next day in Chicago, Eric Dozier and I presented all day to a sold-out group organized by the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS). Here’s the (long) session description from the website:
Deeper Than Diversity: The Quest for Racial Justice and Relationships: In this heart-opening, thought-provoking, intimate learning experience, centered in research, diverse examples, and multiple literacies, we ask the driving question: What would it take to build a school culture centered around unifying principles that value each member of the community, release genius, and nurture genuine relationships? We believe this calls for a profound change in the attitudes, behaviors, and structures that make up a learning environment, and with that, new skills. We will draw from leadership principles of movement-building and global wisdom traditions to inspire long-term change from the bottom-up, while simultaneously exploring the responsibility of current school leaders. This workshop will activate creative imagination by dreaming up a school environment characterized by a vibrant, deep cultural equity and not just fleeting episodic incidents of cultural interaction.Why people should attend and who should attend:
Amidst the backdrop of uncertain social, economic and political forces and what seem like growing divisions across ideology, race and culture, our task as educators and leaders remains: to nurture the next generation to make a better world. This day-long experience offers a chance to examine these forces and gain inspiration, knowledge and tools to begin the process of going deeper than diversity — at all levels of school culture, curriculum, and operations. As complex as the problem appears, solutions lie in small steps that can be learned, discovered, and co-created.Learn to:
- RE-TOOL your learning journey with key facts, trends, and US history you might have never been taught, along with exposure to key authors and media, rich wisdom traditions, and faith practices which have emerged from diverse cultures over thousands of years.
- SHARPEN the language you use to facilitate dialogue around your equity work by increasing your understanding of the ever-evolving social justice and racial equity lexicon. Practice how you might react to various scenarios that are common, yet hurtful or tinged with bias.
- BUILD an active understanding of the Five Elements of Relationship Building from the OnenessLab model: Frequency, Proximity, Reciprocity, Knowledge, and Imagination to impact the culture of your school and enhance your teaching practice and leadership abilities.
- LEARN how to nurture empathy and psychological safety to honor diverse temperaments and perspectives, and encourage honest discussion and breakthroughs in understanding.
- ACTIVATE IMAGINATION through multiple literacies: silently, through mindful meditation and active reflection; musically, through group singing and movement; and artistically, by creating visual representations of meaningful interactions and communities they have imagined.
- The following week I got to speak to parents at the Wellington School in Columbus, Ohio, followed by an all-day, all-staff professional development day around the theme: Difficult Conversations About Race+ to Build Courage and Enhance Learning. I’m truly grateful to the open-hearted staff and reports that “this was our most meaningful, dynamic professional development we’ve ever had.” (wow!)
- This was followed by my annual weekend serving as a trainer with the National Education Association Foundation’s Global Learning Fellows. Many of these fellows have been selected as the Teacher of the Year for their respective state, so they are an enthusiastic, inspired and ready to learn crew. My main focus has been to present on building a “global mindset” and how the fellows can take their learning home, since only one is chosen from each state. During the year we have continued the learning around topics like: understanding and building global competence; how to build buy-in among their school communities; overcoming challenges in introducing global learning themes; and a wrap-up session on how to bring the world into any zip code.
- I’m honored to serve as the annual JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Program and Dinner speaker for the NJ Association of Independent Schools at the Hun School in Princeton on October 24. Here’s the REGISTRATION INFO. https://www.njais.org/cf_forms/view.cfm?formID=357
- Later this month I’ll head to Rome to serve as Keynote Speaker at the Mediterranean Association of International Schools. An interesting dilemma for international schools lies in the fact that just because they are “international,” doesn’t mean they are truly “global”. I’ll be challenging educators on how to break out of their bubbles.
- I’ll have a couple days at home, then head to one of my new favorite cities: Louisville (LOU-uh-vul)! It’s ISACS annual conference time, and not only do I get to give a keynote on Deeper Than Diversity with Eric Dozier, but I’m also diving deep into “Nurture Belonging & Deeper Learning: Recognize & Overcome the Challenges of Teaching for Global & Cultural Competence: Explore lessons learned after an intensive yearlong process creating the activities deck, Global Kids. Learn what it takes to recognize implicit bias and cultural appropriation, decolonize learning, respect diverse parenting styles, face sensitive topics touching on history, politics, religion, gender, and cultural practices in age appropriate ways, and translate them into deeper engagement for global and cultural competence. Learn about tools, techniques, and talking points for leaning into these challenging issues for any age and how these lessons can foster greater belonging and inclusion, whatever your school’s demographics. For K-12.
- November 15-16, 2019, Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, PA, AND January 10-11, 2020, Atlanta International School, Atlanta: BIG QUESTIONS INSTITUTE, with Will Richardson – register here!