On February 22nd, we’ll talk about what we’ve learned during this challenging time and what lessons we’d like to carry with us moving forward. Please take this pre-meeting survey to help prime us for the conversation.
● Matt Laskowski (Principal, Rippowam MS in Stamford) chart for facilitating circles on the events at the Capitol on January 6th: Click here for chart
● White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
● Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Breakout Room Questions
● What does it mean to be white? (for white people)
● What does it mean to be a person of color? (for people of color)
● Are there any connections between the content of the book and what happened in DC on January 6th?
● What sections/quotes resonated with you?
● What are your takeaways?
● What, if anything, will you do differently because of this book?
Discussion Points (whole group)
● Teaching about culture and diversity is part of Social Emotional Learning
● Evaluate curriculum, starting at the earliest ages, for representation and seeing where it’s white-dominant and white-supremacist
● Identify opportunity for theme and project-based learning on these topics for students – the students are ready to talk! (See Matt L’s circle prompts, link at top of page)
● Need to teach our kids that there isn’t a finite amount of space or opportunity; white peoples’ fear of loss of respect/power/perceived control drives racism
● Recognize that what we know about trauma and the brain applies to race; racial trauma is genetic just like other traumas
For White People
● Recognize how much of this system is inherited; talking about how we got here isn’t necessarily an affront to your family or heritage
● A big part of this learning includes learning how to be receptive to criticism; DiAngelo models this throughout her book
● White people need to talk to other white people about racism; cannot always be black people being asked to carry this burden. White people need to speak up when they hear or see racism.
● Recognize that there’s a fear that if marginalized people get some power, then there’s a sense of “I (white people) stand to lose” part of the respect/power/perceived control that I have
o January 6th was in part about the perceived loss of assumed power
● Recognize ways that you yourself are perpetuating racism, even unintentionally – “If I don’t know how I am showing up, I won’t know how to change.”
01/11/2021 15:04:08 PM from Jo Ann Freiberg to Everyone: Matt is principal of Rippowam MS in Stamford
01/11/2021 15:05:42 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: my internet is terrible... everyone is cutting out. I'll leave my video off in the hopes that will help...
01/11/2021 15:11:49 PM from Diana Révolus to Everyone: she signed my book in New Canaan
01/11/2021 15:17:41 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: This book is a must-read! Life-changing.
01/11/2021 15:19:30 PM from Denique Weidema-Lewis to Everyone: Please copy these questions as we move into breakout groups. 1. What does it mean to be white? (for white people) 2. What does it mean to be a person of color? (for people of color) 3. Are there any connections between the content of the book and what happened in DC on January 6th? 4. What sections/quotes resonated with you? 5. What are your takeaways? 6. What, if anything, will you do differently because of this book? 7. (One more thing to say...) At the 5-minute warning, allow everyone to complete this sentence before returning to the full group...you can pass!!!
01/11/2021 15:20:35 PM from Robin Ledversis to Everyone: I am having technical difficulties and can't hear anyone. I'm so sorry. Robin
01/11/2021 15:21:35 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: Hi Robin- Do you want to try logging out and then rejoining?
01/11/2021 15:54:55 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Intro. What does it mean to be White? Never considered the question. my appearance is in my head. Critical race theory. Being white is allighned with being in the norm. being alligned in a bad way. The more you read/learn/experience makes you more aware of bad inclinations. Not being POC gives privleges like not being followed around. Are there any links to events of 1/6? Seems obvious. BLM protests did what it was supposed to. so obsurd. how do you break down the barriers that are so strongly in place in our govt., our society. Feeling powerless at the moment to even understand what we need to do. What resonated. White people being defensive about their lack of being racist. It's so hard to define something that's so embeded in our history and lives. Learning to be uncomfortable. Felt author was angry and the book pulled out the scenarios to give examples of the lack of awareness. Author got the point across... she made alot of people feel badly. Question is will
01/11/2021 15:55:49 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: ran out of space and time.
01/11/2021 15:55:56 PM from Olympia Della Flora to Everyone: It continues to be a challenge to understand who you are growing up in any race but it can be more difficult for people of color who feel that they must defend their race.
What does it mean to be white? What does it mean to be a person of color?
- What sections or quotes resonate with you?
- Unless you have been in a situation where you have felt singled out or as if you didn’t fit in then it is hard to understand
- Authentic anti-racism is rarely comfortable.
- It is important to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and to expect it.
- We must be comfortable to have the uncomfortable conversations.
- It is important to help other reflect upon and understand this content such as in a professional development setting.
- Are we giving students the language and opportunity to learn about diversity and different cultures?
- We have a great opportunity to to help our students make sense of what they are seeing and to help them process.
01/11/2021 15:56:01 PM from Bridget Fox to Everyone: What does it mean to be white? - unearned privileges; - privilege to stop the conversation about racism/not think about it.
01/11/2021 15:56:36 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Being white provides the privlidge of ignorance.
01/11/2021 16:01:13 PM from KimH to Everyone: What does it mean to be white? White privilege is not having to think about the outcome if a rule is broken; white people are privileged and we don’t give a lot of thought to it; something that’s invisible and we don’t always recognize it and there’s a difference in the way we react to certain situations; the book opened our eyes about how our whiteness has opened up doors because of the color of my skin.
01/11/2021 16:02:28 PM from KimH to Everyone: What does it mean to be a person of color? Rich in culture; a pride like no other; something I would never want to not be; fabric of my being, it’s in everything I want to see in my lineage; also comes with situations like having to fight for education, having to be followed in a store, concerned about nephews; has its heaviness but it’s a beauty I would never replace; constant pursuit of freedom; something that’s wanted so much and that’s part of its persecution;
01/11/2021 16:08:16 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: DITTO!!! Jo Anne!
01/11/2021 16:10:24 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: special education teachers have worked to teach about diversity for a long time...
01/11/2021 16:12:13 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Is it realistic to hope that, as a result of the insurrection last week, people will be more willing to have these conversations?
01/11/2021 16:12:35 PM from Mory Hernandez to Everyone: ABSOLUTELY!
01/11/2021 16:13:23 PM from Betsy McNeil to Everyone: I found this to be helpful in processing and reflecting on my actions moving forward....https://www.proinspire.org/facing-white-supremacy-by-focusing-on-power-people-and-practice/
01/11/2021 16:14:10 PM from equartararo to Everyone: Thanks Betsy, I'll put that link in the notes.
01/11/2021 16:15:33 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: Carrie—I missed it-is your colleague white or a person of color?
01/11/2021 16:15:47 PM from Jo Ann Freiberg to Everyone: I heard a person of color
01/11/2021 16:16:27 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: She's a person of color
01/11/2021 16:17:07 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: Got it. Thanks.
I don’t see the book in the same way—at all.
01/11/2021 16:18:49 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: I also asked her if I could share her opinion. She shared that she has not read the book.
01/11/2021 16:25:56 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: What they were is white nationalists. Nazis.
01/11/2021 16:26:21 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Our presendent has worked diligently to spead the lies to make people afraid.
01/11/2021 16:27:16 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: President
01/11/2021 16:29:06 PM from Bridget Fox to Everyone: I need to join my next meeting but thank you all for this important disussion. My only additional thought is how important these conversations are with colleagues, family and friends. We cannot talk about dismantling racism enough. Thank you all
01/11/2021 16:31:45 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Libery AND Justice
01/11/2021 16:32:16 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: I don’t think Jan. 6th was about race alone. Again—it was about the perceived loss of assumed power. Bigger than race but definitely included race and sociology-economics. In my opinion
01/11/2021 16:34:10 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: It took the Jews in Europe years to understand what Hitler was doing.
01/11/2021 16:34:49 PM from Jo Ann Freiberg to Everyone: I agree with you, Charmaine...I just can't understand how people of color can join openly racist folks and march side by side. It's tough for me to fathom
01/11/2021 16:35:36 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: Here’s your dollar back Diane!! 💵
01/11/2021 16:37:57 PM from Sam Meyers to Everyone: Yes Danielle!
01/11/2021 16:38:53 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Agreed. All based on lies too.
01/11/2021 16:39:08 PM from Sabine Romsaint to Everyone: Agree Danielle!
01/11/2021 16:39:36 PM from Denique Weidema-Lewis to Everyone: yes Danielle!!!
01/11/2021 16:41:41 PM from Sabine Romsaint to Everyone: I'm late for another meeting. Just wanted to say thank you for having me. This was a lot but very informative.
01/11/2021 16:42:30 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: YES
01/11/2021 16:43:05 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: TOTALLY AGREE DAVID!!!
01/11/2021 16:44:40 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: Voting to fund ALL of our public schools
01/11/2021 16:44:52 PM from Danielle Jean-Guillaume Sittol to Everyone: Who defines equity though? How can we do this without assigning value to one group or the other and can we communicate that everyone benefits when we meet peoples UNIQUE needs?
01/11/2021 16:45:48 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Starts with Education, and truth telling
01/11/2021 16:46:03 PM from Jo Ann Freiberg to Everyone: There will be a survey going out to capture our "magic wand" thoughts around what we want our schools & community organizations and communities themselves post-Covid. This will help us with the next convening.
01/11/2021 16:46:47 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Diana - you are awesome
01/11/2021 16:49:26 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: Speak up when racism is seen and/or heard
01/11/2021 16:53:07 PM from Principal Tim Thompson to Everyone: Thanks Deborah!
01/11/2021 16:57:29 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: The kids are READY to talk! 👍🏼
01/11/2021 16:58:10 PM from Mory Hernandez to Everyone: Totally agree Carrie!
01/11/2021 16:59:04 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: so sorry, need to jump to another meeting.
01/11/2021 16:59:11 PM from Felice Miller Baritz to Everyone: Thank you so much
01/11/2021 17:00:31 PM from MELISSA LOMBARDO to Everyone: Thank you very much to everyone.
01/11/2021 17:01:18 PM from Principal Tim Thompson to Everyone: Thanks everyone. I hate that I missed the first portion. These discussions help me to better articulate the necessary conversations with the people around me.
01/11/2021 17:01:21 PM from Richard Concepcion to Everyone: Thank you everyone!
01/11/2021 17:01:28 PM from Carly to Everyone: Thank you!!
01/11/2021 17:01:29 PM from Charmaine to Everyone: THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! ❤️
01/11/2021 17:02:04 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: LOVE the book club style ;)
01/11/2021 17:02:12 PM from Carrie Ramanauskas to Everyone: Thank you all!
01/11/2021 17:02:13 PM from Jackie Davis to Everyone: Thank you for this. This was awesome. JoAnn I apologize I was trying to unmute and respond to your question but my device would not allow
01/11/2021 17:02:15 PM from Tania Recinos to Everyone: Laws were enacted to ensure that black people had no chance right after December 6, 1865. Laws mostly benefitted whites. It is sad that as much as progress has been made ever sense racism, is alive and well only that it has change its form. When you have an administration that is deaf to the suffering of other human beings, speaking of others as less than and ignoring their rights only makes things worse.
Jo Ann opened the morning with a brief slide deck covering the intersection of racial equity and working restoratively. See slides attached separately. She reminded the group that this is the 2ndconvening we’ve held focused on re-entry and the “new normal.” The recording for the first convening can be found here: RECORDING: https://schoolclimateconsultants.com/ (
scroll down on page click on the tab for Convening/Video Documents). [note to Elizabeth: as soon as that is done…probably today, I can give you the exact name of the tab)
SAVE THE DATE: We are planning to hold our next convening on Friday, July 17th from 9-11am.
RESOURCES SHARED DURING TODAY’S CONVENING
· Abolitionist Teaching, 1.5 hrs, recorded here.
· Clear Masks Vendor:
· Various SEL Models: Explore SEL by Harvard GSE, Click here
· Bridgeport Student SEL Survey: Click here
· Bridgeport Student SEL Survey Results: Click here
· State of Illinois SEL Standards: Click here
· Morale Pals: Opt-in, adults in the building leave each other encouraging message, etc. (like Secret Santa)
· Hands up: Grade level teams have designated times to go through entire list of students, when name is called, adults do positive shoutout or mention a struggle that student is facing. If no one shares about a student, adults flag for follow up.
· Book Rec: My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Heads and Bodies. Click here
· CT State Priorities – includes SEL. Click herefor full text.
o “The CSDE had established social and emotional well-being as a priority pre-COVID-19, given its relationship to improving conditions for learning and ultimately improving students’ school and life outcomes. The COVID-19 related trauma, anxiety, and distance from the relationships formed at school during the long period of class cancellation, have intensified the need for quality social emotional supports for students as well as educators.
§ CARES Act funding will augment the development of a statewide social and emotional learning (SEL) framework that will support educator professional learning and implementation of evidenced-based programs.
§ Provide professional learning through RESCs and SERC to support educators in providing social and emotional supports;
§ Provide resources to districts for delivery of general behavioral and mental health screening;
§ Promote implementation of universal SEL curriculum/programming at the district level and secure resources for outreach or professional learning on Equity, Implicit Bias and Inclusion.”
o Gill Lopez, P. (2019). Self-care: Mind-body best practice. In M. A. Bray & C. Maykel (Eds.) Promoting Mind–Body Health in Schools: Interventions for Mental Health Professionals. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.
o Gill Lopez, P. (2017). Self-care: The missing piece in best practice, Part 2. Communique’ Vol. 45 (5).
o Gill Lopez, P. (2016). Self-care: The missing piece in best practice, Part 1. Communique’ Vol. 45 (4).
· Implicit Bias and Mindfulness: Gill Lopez, P. (2020). Teacher know thyself: Implicit bias and mindfulness. In S. B. Storms, S. K. Donovan, & T. P. Williams (Eds.) Breaking Down Silos: Innovation, Collaboration, and EDI Across Disciplines. Rowman and Littlefield.
· From a program that has reopened: Do not underestimate the level of staff stress. Some staff will have lost family members to Covid. Some have underlying conditions and worry about returning to work. Put into place a solid wellbeing plan for staff.
· A sense that some will feel the need to make up for lost academic time, at the expense of building relationships and establishing a sense of safety, care, and predictability for students.
· In response to the trauma from Covid and racial injustice, people may clamp down on instruction because that’s their safe place and something they can control. Addressing these challenges feels too big to tackle, and adults might default to focus on teaching as a method of avoiding/controlling what they can control.
· We are on our own journeys to become aware of our own biases. How do we get our staff to take the journey seriously too? Also, trepidation about diving into race and bias work with staff without skill and capacity-building first.
· While teachers prepare to go back into the classroom, they also maintain anxiety about improving online learning in case we need to return to it.
· Leadership must emphasize that the social emotional piece comes first.
o Messaging on priorities need to come from the top.
o Make SEL a part of what teachers know they’ll be evaluated on.
o Teachers need to be able to be compliant and meet students’ needs. Standards need to match students’ needs.
· Building leadership must model self-care for other adults in the building. Build it into the schedule.
o Teachers can then model for students, build routines and rituals that students can engage with to build community and practice their own self-care. (Routines that can be conducted remotely too.) Routines are important because one of the foremost things kids and adults will need upon return is knowing what’s coming next.
o Have a wellness leader or a group of wellness leaders in every building. Every student and parent/caregiver can be accounted for. The wellness leader isn’t responsible for the relationship, but for accounting for the relationship. It’s explicit and measurable. Similar structure for staff/adults in the building too; make success plans for the adults too.
· Develop re-entry models around SEL. Work SEL into existing academic curricula. (waiting for link)
· Provide opportunities for people to share their stories and be heard. Include families too.
· Clear masks so students can see facial expressions (waiting for link – Eq emailed Judy)
· Let us know if you prefer a different day/time for these gatherings
· Let us know if you would like to focus on a certain theme
· Save the date: Friday, July 17th, 9-11am