Dalton News

Dalton Takes Part in 2020 NAIS People of Color Conference

This year four Dalton students and twenty faculty and staff members joined in the virtual conference and participated in a series of workshops, equity seminars, and master classes on diverse topics relevant to people of color in independent schools.
The NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC), an annual five-day event, is designed to provide a safe space for leadership, professional development, and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in the education landscape. Dalton community members joined NAIS peer institutions and independent schools around the country to learn together and reflect on their individual experiences.
 
Director of Robotics Danah Screen and Director of Health and Wellness Justine Fonte had the opportunity to lead workshops on Racial & Ethnic Identities and Social Justice in this year’s virtual conference.
 
In her workshop, “Leveraging One’s Occupational Privilege to Expand Equitable Programming,” Danah joined Samiyrah Kellman from the Horace Mann School to share their journeys as female educators of color and Caribbean heritage and used their expertise to build a robotics camp from the ground up on the island of Barbados. During their session, they shared their knowledge and experience to help attendees understand how they can utilize, access, and leverage nearby resources to enhance equitable programming beyond school walls.
 
Justine’s workshop, “The Weight of Wearing Two Masks: Asian Americans, Coronavirus, and the Responsibility Behind an Asian Face,” focused on geopolitical definitions of beauty and the ways Asian Americans are perceived by stereotypes centered on whiteness. In addition to providing uplifting examples on how individuals can gain control of their own narrative, the session provided helpful ways that educators can help Asian American students see themselves and develop positive self-worth.
 
Justine also presented in a second workshop, "Island Womxn Rise," alongside 6 other Pilipina educators from independent schools in a roundtable workshop centered on Kapwa, a Pilipinx cultural value of “togetherness” or “inner belonging” and how this virtue can help school communities heal, restore, renew, and create an inclusive sense of belonging.
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