On Wednesday, March 29, the Office of Institutional Equity, Justice, and Belonging (OIEJB) offered three professional development workshops for employees. Run by both contracted facilitators and our own talented community members, the sessions were intended to inspire both personal and professional growth in the areas of ability, the lived experience of adults from marginalized identities on campus, and white racial identity development. Afterwards, the OIEJB team surveyed participants about their experience, and feedback about individual sessions has been positive. Faculty and staff responded particularly well to having choice while being required to attend one of the three sessions, and the office will likely replicate the model in the future.
Below are descriptions of the three offerings:
- A “Whiteness Institute” workshop explored the development of “white” racial identity and schemas of identity formation; this workshop was designed for people who identify racially as “white,” and will be followed up with two more sessions that will explore systems and functions of whiteness and spheres of influence to be anti-racist practitioners.
- A workshop focused on ability examined the topic through both the lens of neurodiversity and physical ability. This workshop engaged faculty and staff around language that we use in relation to ability, campus practices, about physical ability, and offered classroom best practices related to neurodiversity across academic divisions.
- A workshop devoted to the experience of living in a marginalized identity on an independent school campus examined the notion of thriving vs. surviving, and discussed how both of those concepts influence the way(s) in which adults show up for students.