INDEX DEI Meeting – VanZandt Hotel, Austin, TX

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Wednesday, January 26

7:30 – 8:30 am Buffet breakfast (Meriwether Ballroom – First Floor)
8:30 – 9:00 am Convene and Introductions
Lisa Pullman, Executive Director, INDEX
9:00 – 9:30 am Coffee Conversations
Time to get to know your colleagues and ease into the topics we are about to explore.
9:45 – 10:45 am The Polarization of DEI Work
Caroline Blackwell, VP for Equity and Justice, NAIS
10:45 – 11:15 am Break
11:15 – 12:15 pm The Polarization of DEI Work (continued)
12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch (Meriwether Ballroom)
1:15 – 2:15 pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Equity Audits and Curriculum Reviews (Davis Room)
    Alexis Kent, Director of Community Life & Head Chaplain, Breck School (MN)
    Following the murder of George Floyd, schools across the country leapt to engage in an equity audit, reviewing policies, practices, and pedagogy. Schools are sincerely committed to identifying where harm has been caused and where we as educators can do better, with curriculum and teacher capacity indicated as the most urgent area of attention. Where does our curriculum need to change and grow? How does the content and pedagogy of a course influence the identity development of our students as well as student achievement and outcomes? This session is intended to show how one school used their equity audit to embark on a curriculum review with an equity lens. We will show how we got started, what actions steps we are taking, and where we hope to go. While one school example will be the focus, there will be clear takeaways that can be applied to your school, including teacher capacity building examples, to integrating a DEI lens in content, pedagogy, and classroom environment.
  • Been There, Done That, What’s Next? Updating your DEI Toolkit! (Red River Room)
    Erica Moore, Director of Faculty Equity & Inclusion, MICDS (MO)
    Well, you have done the speaker and small group discussion thing, you’ve done the send a couple of people to PoCC and let them tell us what they learned thing, and you’ve done the let’s-assess-the-community-and-see-what-that-tells-us thing, and you seem to be in the same place you were when you started this DEI thing. Been there, done that, what’s next? How do we move the needle on this work, so it is truly making an impact on our school community? Join this conversation to learn more about using cultural competency assessment (Intercultural Development Inventory) in conjunction with professional development – formulating equity and inclusion learning groups – to move your community toward intentional and meaningful DEI work for the faculty and staff that elevates the impact on students.

2:15 – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 – 3:45 pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Bias Incident Reporting (Davis Room)
    Johára P. Tucker, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Head-Royce School (CA)
    The Bias Incident Reporting Initiative is part of Head-Royce’s commitment to providing a safe environment where all of our students can learn and thrive without fear of bias and discrimination. The purpose of the Initiative is to provide a structure for action by keeping a record of bias incidents, be an avenue of assistance and support for the reporter, communicate effectively and timely in the event of bias, and provide resources, education and opportunities for dialogue about inclusion and cultural responsiveness on our campus. The workshop will go through the process of how this initiative grew from a call to action from students to a full-on system at one school including trends, responses and community buy-in.
  • Meaningful Parent/Family Education and Programming Regarding DEI in Our Schools (Red River Room)
    Eleannor Maajid, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Kate Lorber-Crittenden, Diversity Coordinator, Latin School of Chicago (IL)
    In this session, presenters will discuss their approach to parent/family education and programming regarding DEI at their institution. We’ll discuss the ways different constituents engage (or don’t), the steps we take to bring more people into the conversation, and our successes and failures in the process. Specifically, we’ll discuss our Parents/Families of Students of Color Group (an affinity space for connection and support for families of students of color) and our Latin Learning Together Program (a space that provides parents and adult family members the opportunity to participate in exercises about identity.)

3:45 – 4:15 pm Debrief, Share-out, and Adjourn for the day
6:30 pm Reception and Dinner. Cafe 605 (Lobby Level)

Thursday, January 27

7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast (Meriwether Ballroom)
8:30 – 9:00 am Final Discussion Topics Selection
9:00 – 10:00 am Concurrent Sessions

  • Flourish, Fizzle, or Fail: Organizational Culture Meets Strategy (Davis Room)
    Marcus R. Ingram, Equity & Inclusion Director, Greenhill School (TX)
    Have you wondered why strategies flourish, fizzle, or fail? In an interactive, inquiry-driven workshop session, participants will be invited to engage definitions of mission, organizational culture, and strategy as gateways to understanding organizational identity. These notions of identity will then be used to explore how to craft a strategic agenda for diversity, equity and/or inclusion that is likely to succeed in its given context. Multiple models of organizational culture will be introduced alongside approaches to drafting strategies/strategic plans to ground the session. Up to two case studies of real independent schools that have embarked on this work in recent years will be presented for engagement. Participants will have the opportunity to gain conceptual knowledge and practical perspective about the ways in which organizational culture may influence what strategic endeavors are possible, particularly concerning diversity, equity, and/or inclusion efforts.

  • If You Build It, They Will Come (Red River Room)
    Erica Coffey, Director of Global Engagement and Inclusion, Collegiate School (VA) and Jason Mundy, Director of Equity and Community Engagement, Kent Denver School (CO)
    Working in an independent school does not mean that you have to work independently. By creating a network of schools in your region or state, you can be part of something bigger, gaining and providing support for crucial progress in under-resourced inclusion work. This workshop will focus on how to start and sustain a flexible and responsive non-profit organization in your area that caters to the specific professional development needs of the schools in your area and just around the corner. From regular faculty of color socials to intensive, day-long workshops with influential leaders and thinkers in equity work, your state needs YOU to look beyond the confines of your school’s triumphs and challenges and start a team with long-term goals — goals that can be reached as independent schools together.

10:00 – 10:15 am Break
10:15 – 11:15 am Final Discussion Topics – Roundtable Discussions
11:15 – 11:30 am De-Brief, Wrap-Up & Adjourn