MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
Be the Change & Be Willing to Change: Unpacking Identity, Biases, and Developing Cultural Competency in Lower School Students
Introductory: New to topic / subject matter
Building Capacity: Skills, Competencies, & Processes for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Session repeats - Round 1 & 2
Naveena Bembry, Teacher & LS Diversity Coordinator, William Penn Charter School
Whitney Kerner, 5th Grade Teacher, William Penn Charter School
Lisa Reedich, School Counselor, William Penn Charter School
In this workshop, we will share work that we have done with 5th graders around unpacking layers of identity, examining our own biases, exploring language & microaggressions, thinking about what kind of person we wish to be, and working to be more effective upstanders & allies. Inspired by Sara Ahmed's book
Being the Change
, we used learning activities where students explored their identities and shared parts of who they are through poetry, conversations, and essays. We will also discuss how the School Counselor's weekly sessions with students throughout their time in Lower School prepared them for their deeper work around issues related to identity in 5th grade.
Through this workshop, we will share practical ideas, activities, and techniques for helping students to build cultural competency skills. This work helped raise awareness within our class community about biases, how to address microaggressions, and understanding the difference between skilled and unskilled questions.
This workshop is designed to help educators who are interested in developing tools and strategies for guiding each student in uncovering and celebrating the layers of their identity. This work is a vital step in learning to navigate difficult conversations, tricky situations that arise in the classroom, and creating a more inclusive classroom community.
is a 5th-grade teacher at the William Penn Charter School, where she has taught for 21 years. She teaches history through a social justice lens by considering multiple perspectives and highlighting marginalized voices or uncovering hidden figures in history. She has been active in DEI work and serves as the Lower School Diversity Co-Coordinator. She is a trained SEED (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity) facilitator.
is a 5th-grade teacher at the William Penn Charter School. This is her third year of teaching writing at Penn Charter, but she has also taught in countries like Perú and Mexico. She is passionate about challenging students to write about the world in order to change it. She encourages her students to use their words to impact others positively and to make a difference in the lives of others.
, LCSW, is the Lower School Counselor at William Penn Charter School. Beginning with her experience as a teacher and sociolinguistics researcher for the Urban Minorities Reading Project at the University of Pennsylvania, and then continuing through her training as a clinical social worker at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, she has had a keen interest in understanding the connection between student academic achievement and emotional wellbeing as related to issues of diversity and equity.
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