Equity & Inclusion

Virtual Speaker Series 

The Equity and Inclusion Virtual Speaker Series is a program led by a number of independent schools to offer our communities and beyond the opportunity to connect, learn, and engage in topics around equity, inclusion, and antiracist education and action. The purpose of this series is to raise awareness, challenge ourselves, deepen understanding, and empower our communities to advance their efforts to actively recreate systems into equitable, inclusive, and antiracist institutions. The program invites 4-5 speakers throughout the academic year to create access to recognized authors and speakers that engage participants in complex topics through dialogue, cross-cultural communication, and a deeper understanding of the impact that racism and oppression have in our institutions and the greater society. This event is sponsored by various schools members of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, NWAIS, and aims to serve a public purpose by making this programming free and accessible to non-NWAIS schools and communities. 

Free and Open to the Public Virtual Series 2022-2023

Disability, Race, and Identity

March 9, 2023 6:00-7:15 pm

Within this presentation LeDerick Horne  will draw from the book “Empowering. Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success.”  LeDerick will share his own experience navigating special education classes and will give advice to help all students develop positive identities as people with disabilities. Strategies to help students reach their transition goals will be provided. The audience will also explore the intersectionality of disability, race, and identity to help them create more inclusive schools and communities. LeDerick’s personal story and poetry will also be shared during this talk.

Participants will be able to:

• List several evidence-based practices and strategies which can empower students with disabilities to reach their transition goals.

• Describe the importance of disability identity to reduce stigma and improve student engagement and disability pride.

• Address many of the challenges facing students with disabilities from communities of color to help service providers and families build a more equitable learning environment.

• List sources of mentors and role modelsto help students build a meaningful connection to the disability community.

Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: Showing Up as a Safe Space in Our Schools

May 4, 2023 6:00-7:15 pm

Kimberlee Williams, Author of Dear White Woman, Please Come Home, is a humanist first and believes that racism can be dismantled through authentic relationship building where a mirror is held up to interrogate one's assumptions, beliefs, behaviors, and patterns of interactions. With a shift in any and all of the above as authentic relationships dive beneath the surface, the power and harm caused by the legacy of racism can be dismantled.

Past Presentations

Healing & Wholeness as Love, Power, and Resistance

January 19, 2023 6:00-7:15 pm

In community, we pause, 

we open, we nourish, 

and we become. 

We pay attention, and all we hear is urgency. The challenges are innumerable, but also infinite are the opportunities. Our grief is daunting, but also heartening is our compassion. This historical moment encourages us to reflect, make sense, and participate in the collective transformation expected from the human world today. Contemplative living reminds us that intentional action requires mindful assessment of the causes and conditions that have shaped who and where we are today. I suggest three contemplative insights are crucial to advance our shared journey towards collaborative and restorative solutions: the reckoning of the harm caused by human othering of self, others, and the Earth; a sense of ecological belonging that engenders a feeling of being part of an ever-expansive circle of care and concern for Earth systems and communities; and the realization of a collective path of spiritual becoming honoring life on Mother Earth.

The Anti-Racist Kid: Identity, Justice, and Activism

October 19, 2022  6:30-7:45 pm

Grow your antiracist consciousness! Using a framework similar to This Book Is Anti-Racist, learn how to take action and work towards creating anti-bias anti-racist classrooms, libraries, schools, and community spaces. Listeners will grow into their awareness and start to make a plan on how to support their own growth and that of those they are working with. Learn how to authentically center the voices of those who are too often silenced, ignored, and left out of history in our own spaces! Build an inclusive anti-bias antiracist community that empowers all who enter! 

NWord: Is There a Message in the Madness

November 15, 2022  6:00-7:15

Who is allowed to say the N!word? What do we do or say when the N!word is said in our classrooms, hallways, practices, cafeterias and resident halls? Ignoring the N!Word is not an option anymore - You can hear N!Word everywhere nowadays. Participants are challenged to examine their personal/professional histories with N!Word when and/or how they first heard N!Word and pictures/feelings associated with the word. The workshop encourages all people, but specifically future leaders, educators and parents, to consider the ramifications of casual or uniformed usage of a powerful and troublesome word.

Participants will leave the session with:

2021-2022 E&I Virtual Speaker Series

Indigenous People, Race and Education with Gyasi Ross

Native American voices work to raise awareness about the unique challenges that Indigenous people face, and to acknowledge the important contributions they've made to the diverse traditions and cultures of America. Ross is the author of Don’t Know Much About Indians (but I wrote a book about us anyways) (2011) and How to Say I Love You in Indian (2014). He is a speaker on race, social justice, and white privilege as well as issues specifically affecting contemporary Native Americans. 

Asian Americans in America's History: A Look to Xenophobia and Racism with Dr. Erika Lee

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing group in the US and have long and complicated histories in the country. Still, most Americans may only know Asian Americans through the stereotype of America's "model minorities." Award-winning author and historian Erika Lee joins us to dive deep into the history of Asian Americans in the United States, with a specific focus on anti-Asian xenophobia and racism. This lecture and discussion will offer new insights into the Asian American experience and what it means to be American today.

A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum about Race and Racism  

The ongoing senseless killing of Black men and women has prompted much-needed and long-overdue conversations about race and racism. Many of us wonder, how do we talk about this with our kids? How do we teach them about racial identity and equality? Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, an award-winning clinical psychologist, a national authority on racial issues in America, and a thought leader in higher education, joins us to look at why these conversations are so difficult and share her insights on how to talk with kids and each other about race and racism and how to be actively anti-racist.

Racism and Young People's Literature with Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author who writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences. His award-winning book, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, was a National Book Award finalist, Carnegie Medal winner, and was named one of the best books of 2019 by NPR, The New York Times, School Library Journal, and more. Look Both Ways is composed of interconnected stories, each centering on a different student from the same school and tells what happens after the dismissal bell rings, brilliantly reminding readers to look at our surroundings more closely and notice all the things that connect us to our communities.

We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom with Dr. Bettina L. Love

Dr. Love discusses how Hip Hop Civics Ed, when linked to the framework of intersectionality and Abolitionist Teaching, creates a space where Black lives matter and analytic sensibilities are nurtured to engage youth in the work of fighting for visibility, inclusion, and justice. Her talk will end by calling for us all not only to teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through innovative and radical civic curriculum, but also to expose youth to the possibilities that come with envisioning a world built on Black joy, creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists. 

Sponsoring Schools