Dalton News

From Diversity to Community – Dalton Conference 2011 Makes a Difference

On Saturday, May 21, the first sunny day in what felt like ages, trustees, faculty, administrators, parents, alumni and students from 16 independent schools – each group representing a school “Pod” – arrived at Dalton ready to focus their attention on analyzing and developing strategies for evolving more inclusive and diverse school communities.

View a complete photo gallery of the event

Community Life &
Diversity Trustee Committee
Casper Caldarola ’77, chair
Katie Danziger
Richele Jordan-Davis
Arielle Tepper Madover ’90
Alvaro Martin
Chandni Prasad
Valerie Rubsamen
Felicia Washington
Melinda Wolfe
Ellen Stein ’65
Melissa Bernadin
Kelvina Butcher
Will Fisher
Geoffrey Perry
Natalie Sanchez
Sage Sevilla
Lisa Waller

Conference 2011 Committee
Casper Caldarola ’77, chair
Kathy Chan, chair
Liz Curtis, chair
Amy Hikida, chair
Richele Jordan-Davis, chair
Felicia Washington, chair
Dani Da Costa
Dominica Jones-Samuels
Melinda Wolfe
Ellen Stein ’65
Kelvina Butcher
Emily Kasof
Sage Sevilla
Lisa Waller

Conference Facilitators
Josh Bachrach
Precious Bonaparte
Diana Bromfield
Kelvina Butcher
Andrea DeJesus
Lissie Diringer
Tom Dyja
Nora Elish
Roxanne Feldman
Will Fisher
Anita Fusco   
Daniel Glass
Andrew Glassman
Will Hopkins
Lisa Issroff
Leah Johnson
Dominica Jones-Samuels
Richele Jordan-Davis 
Babby Krents ’68
Linda Saxl Minton ’78
Michael Maloy
Debbie Reilly
Sage Sevilla
Janet Shaw
Monique Vogelsang
Felicia Washington 
Fred White
On Saturday, May 21, the first sunny day in what felt like ages, trustees, faculty, administrators, parents, alumni and students from 16 independent schools – each group representing a school “Pod” –arrived at Dalton ready to focus their attention on analyzing and developing strategies for evolving more inclusive and diverse school communities.

View a complete photo gallery of the event

The conference, titled "From Diversity to Community: Creating a Generation of Inclusive Thinkers and Community Leaders," was conceived to help schools to grow a high-functioning, diverse and inclusive independent school community, in which all constituencies engage in supporting and valuing diversity. The purpose of the day was to "To promote action and strengthen leadership by collaborating to deepen the dialog, address challenges, share best practices and generate next steps." Ellen Stein, Dalton Head of School, welcomed the attendees with her compelling remarks on the challenges particular to independent schools, as they strive to reflect and attract the broad diversity of students in New York City.

Casper Caldarola, Chair of the Community Life & Diversity Trustee Committee, provided leadership for the event in collaboration with a large volunteer committee, including Melinda Wolfe, past Dalton parent and Diversity Committee Chair of the Board or Trustees and corporate diversity expert. Ms. Wolfe introduced keynote speaker Deborah Roberts, of ABC’s “20/20” and current Dalton parent. In her keynote address, Ms. Roberts shared warm and compelling memories illustrating references from her school experiences growing up in the segregated Deep South. She experienced school integration first hand. Ms. Roberts remarked that, along with her parents love, support and encouragement, she was deeply impressed by a teacher’s recognition and inspiration, “You are a very smart girl and don’t let anyone ever take that away from you.”

The attendees later worked together with Dalton facilitators in morning breakout sessions by constituent group to articulate specific challenges and best practices, later discussing them after lunch in private school Pod meetings, in which each school devised an Action Plan to take back to its community. A member of the Dalton community facilitated each breakout session. The conference came back together for a student exercise, including one student from each school, ably led by Lisa Waller, Dalton High School Director, on the important cultural influences, which students bring with them to their school.

Attendees remarked about the excellent structure and atmosphere established by the speeches and the many members of the Dalton community who contributed their special talents to make this a very meaningful and successful event.
Back