Race and School Culture: A Five Part Deep Dive

Interactive Series to help school leaders explore how to help move their school culture to be anti-racist.

Five Tuesdays: February 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET 
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PT

Since the summer of 2020, there has been an international reckoning with racism. Educational leaders are grappling with how to have meaningful and appropriate discussions to facilitate making changes in our schools, building a culture of equity both internally and within our broader communities.  Join colleagues from across North America to:

  • Create deep, meaningful and quality expressions of your commitment to this work.
  • Improve your school’s intentional approach to identifying and addressing a racist statement or micro-aggression.
  • Understand new tools and approaches to tailor specifically to your school’s culture and community.
  • Use what your team learns  to enhance your program in the unique and specific manner that will fit your school.

Program Outline

Each session is designed to build upon the previous learning throughout the series. Schools who participate are expected to send a team of up to four professional leaders who will commit to attending all five sessions. Following the program there will be the opportunities to continue to connect and collaborate.

February 9: Building a Culture and Community of Change
Many schools describe themselves as having strong programs addressing racism, but haven’t yet found ways to embed anti-racism work into their school culture. Nishant Mehta, master educator and diversity, equity and inclusion trainer, will join us for an overview of anti-racism work beyond the programmatic lens. Nishant will provide guidance about how to build an institution’s commitment to anti-racism work and investment in a culture and community of change. Through relevant case studies and focused group conversations, participants will learn how to structure and systemize this work.

February 11 (optional): Diverse Jewish Community, Diverse Jewish Schools 
Series participants are invited to attend an optional program Prizmah Perspectives with Shahanna McKinney Baldon. In this session Ms. McKinney-Baldon, a former Jewish day school teacher, will share her story of growing up in Milwaukee, and will outline strategies for Jewish educators to increase belonging for Jews of color and diverse Jewish families in our day school communities.

February 16 and February 23: Looking Inward as we Model Working With our Schools
Guided by facilitators from Facing History and Ourselves, participants will consider our own complex identities and their impact on our capacities to educate others. Facing History educators will address implicit and explicit biases while confronting our own awareness of the many factors in society that shape us. Using intentional teaching strategies and primary sources, these two workshops are designed to model ways to bring this work directly into your schools. Start with a historical lens and leave with tools to engage in the work that you want to bring to your school including, most importantly, how to implement them.

March 2: Learning From the Field
School leaders currently engaged in a range of anti-racism work will share their processes, programs, and culture shifts with program participants. Through interactive dialogue and small group work, we will learn what is currently working in Jewish day schools and yeshivas. 

March 9: Next Steps
With all the knowledge, experiences and ideas your team has gathered over the past month, this session is designed to support you in moving your school’s anti-racism work forward. We will focus on next steps for the cohort of program participants as a whole, and on ways for each school team to bring clearly articulated next steps back into your own community.

Ways to Continue Your Engagement
Utilizing the power of the Prizmah network your work can continue on after this experience in a more defined and collaborative space:

  • Join a Reshet - a peer-to-peer professional development community for sharing resources, asking questions and celebrating successes.
  • Join a Collaborative - a working group of Jewish day school colleagues from schools around North America working on specific goal-oriented next steps.
  • Choose from a curated list of prestigious consultants to move your school’s work forward at subsidized rates.

Target Audience

Teams of school leaders from 25 Jewish day schools and yeshivas across North America. 
Bring a maximum of four professionals from your school who are dedicated to exploring race in Jewish day schools and interested in addressing the topic within your own school and community. You know your team best; choose the professionals who are the right fit for this work, including at least one person who has the ability to make culture-changing decisions in your school. This group might include your Jewish Studies principal, director of teaching and learning, admission professional, fourth grade teacher, etc. 

Presenters

Steven L. Becton is the Chief Officer for Equity and Inclusion for the international educational foundation Facing History and Ourselves. He writes and speaks for Facing History on urban education and equity issues in and beyond the classroom. He presents at national conferences, writes blogs, and conducts workshops and webinars for educators and for the larger community centered on having courageous conversations about race and education. He is a skilled facilitator and experienced presenter.

He leads a team of Facing History staff who are working deeply in these schools to create whole school culture and transformational educational experiences that would equip educators, while also empowering students to overcome the systemic issues that have placed them at risk. Steve has a MS in Educational Leadership and is a final term PHD student at the University of Memphis where his research focuses on the historical construct of race and its impact on education. Walmart, CSAA/AAA, Bank of America, and AllState are among the many corporations Steve has presented for.

Nishant Mehta is Managing Director & Independent Schools Practice Leader at Storbeck Search. Prior to joining Storbeck, Nishant served as Head of The Children’s School (TCS), an independent JK-8 school in Atlanta that was lauded in 2017 as a “model to follow” for innovation by NAIS’s Independent School magazine. In addition to his leadership of TCS, Nishant has twice co-chaired the NAIS People of Color Conference, served on the faculty of the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the Diversity Leadership Institute, authored articles for NAIS publications, served on the NAIS and the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) boards; led workshops on topics such as equity and inclusion and governance and school leadership at national and regional conferences, and was the founder of The Children’s School’s Master Class in Inclusive Leadership, a summer leadership opportunity designed specifically for women and people of color. Since 2018 Nishant has served each summer as a faculty mentor of the NAIS Institute for New Heads, where he coaches new heads of school.

Staci Rosenthal is a Program Associate on the Jewish Education Team at Facing History and Ourselves, where she has facilitated workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators in Jewish settings across the country for over four years. She brings to Facing History a Master’s in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice, which she combines with deep knowledge of Holocaust history, former teaching experience, and passion for societal reform through education. Most recently, she has been leading Facing History and Ourselves’ Jewish Education Team in their Teaching for Equity and Justice work.

She lives in Hudson, Massachusetts normally but is currently working from Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

Registration Fees

Prizmah Network Schools: $180 per school team (up to four professionals)
Non-Prizmah Network Schools: $225 per school team (up to four professionals)

Participants from Canada, enter the following codes in the discount field to receive Canadian pricing:
Canadian Prizmah Network Schools: $135 US per school team (up to four professionals) (Code: CADNETWORK)
Non-Prizmah Network Schools: $168.75 US per school team (up to four professionals) (Code: CADNON)

For participants from the US, the registration system will automatically charge you the correct price based on whether or not your school has joined the Prizmah Network. For participants from Canada, please check this list to determine whether you should use the network or non-network code.