October 26 & 27
In Person!
The Westin Waltham Boston
70 3rd Avenue, Waltham, MA

This event is now sold out.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets, should any become available via cancellations, email info@aisne.org. Include your name, your school’s name, and the maximum number of tickets you would like (if wanting to register a group).

The work of DEI & Belonging runs across all aspects of a school’s operations—from student life to the business office, from academics to human resources. Bring all members of your school staff and faculty to this 2-day in-person event and make intentional time to focus on this vital work. You will come away with best practices for making actionable change within your community, and a renewed commitment for building learning environments for every student.


AISNE Members save $100/pp compared to non-members. Not a member? Join today.

 Number of Attendees    AISNE Member Schools    Non-Member School  
 1 – 3  $360  $460
 4 – 7  $325  $425
 8 – 19  $290  $390
 20+  $270  $370


This event is now sold out.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets, should any become available via cancellations, email info@aisne.org. Include your name, your school’s name, and the maximum number of tickets you would like (if wanting to register a group).


AISNE does not have a contracted room rate for the event. We encourage you to explore rates at these nearby hotels:

Agenda at a Glance

Wednesday, October 26

  • 9:00 – 10:00 AM | Registration
  • 10:00 – 11:00 AM | Opening Keynote with Pascal Losambe
  • 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM | Topic Sessions
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM | Lunch with Your Peers
  • 1:45 – 4:15 PM | Deep Dive Sessions
  • 4:30 – 5:30 PM | White Allies Workshop
  • 4:30 – 5:30 PM | People of Color Peer Networking
  • 5:45 – 7:45 PM | Dine on Your Own
  • 8:00 – 9:30 PM | Evening Activities

Thursday, October 27

  • 8:00 – 9:00 AM | Breakfast and LGBTQIA+ Networking
  • 9:00 – 10:00 AM | Keynote: Precious Brady Davis
  • 10:15 – 11:15 AM | Topic Sessions
  • 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Topic Sessions
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM | Lunch with Your Peers
  • 1:30 – 2:00 PM | Closing Performance & Conference Reflections
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM | Afternoon Activities


Wednesday, October 26 | 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Pascal Losambe |
Our Shared Humanity, Belonging and the Brain

Our shared humanity calls for us to live by the golden rule—treat others the way you want to be treated—and by the platinum rule that says to treat people the way they want to be treated.

This platinum rule underscores the need for authentic relationships, an open and humble heart in listening and truly hearing what others are going through, and a desire to know how to support others. If history reveals a core truth to us, it is that interdependence is needed to achieve the most significant potential in our institutions. When we begin to view ourselves and others from the lens of our shared humanity, we will feel compelled to practice self-awareness through reflection and introspection and begin to understand one another’s needs, desires, impulses, thoughts, and emotions.

This presentation will provide insights into our fundamental human need to belong and explore research that highlights the role of the mind and brain in human socialization and identity formation, which ultimately impacts our sense of belonging.

Dr. Pascal Losambe is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of the Synergy Consulting Company. He is a distinguished presenter and thought leader on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion, educational leadership, and organizational culture. Dr. Losambe’s work includes leading schools and other institutions on strategic planning and vision, guiding organizations on cultural competence, and serving as a diversity consultant for Columbus Academy in Ohio. He has spent more than a decade working with independent schools, and has served as a science teacher and track and field coach, and served on the Equity and Justice Committee for the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS). He has presented at the NAIS People of Color Conference, in addition to many national and international speaking engagements. Dr. Losambe is a member of the Purdue University Department of Education and Policy studies advisory board. He is the recipient of Boston College’s Donald J. White award for teaching excellence, and holds his PhD in Educational Leadership and Administration from Purdue University. 

Thursday, October 27 | 9:00 – 10:00 AM
Precious Brady-Davis | I Have Always Been Me: A Sojourn Song of Self-Reliance and Pride

What does it mean to see yourself represented in your society, your local community, and, more granularly, in your school? For students who often feel excluded—including transgender and non-binary students of color—it can mean everything.

Come hear from transgender rights activist and public servant Precious Brady-Davis, who has made headlines for her trailblazing path. Ms. Brady-Davis will tell her story: One of resilience, authenticity, pride, and truth. This inspiring talk will ponder topics of identity and inclusion, and provide a human connection to the value that all families deserve to be treated with dignity.

In search of a way to be her full self, Ms. Brady-Davis’ path has provided a mirror for other trans individuals and has created a safe space for others to fully embrace who they are. Affirming young people and all aspects of their identities has always been at the core of Precious’ work. She will join us for a moderated conversation focused on the importance of having mentors and educators to help each individual within your community flourish. You will come away with ideas for how you can support your students and provide them with a foundation of acceptance that will uplift them their entire lives.  

Precious Brady-Davis is an award-winning diversity advocate, communications professional, and public speaker. She currently serves as the associate regional communications director at the Sierra Club. She served for three years as the assistant director of diversity recruitment initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, her alma mater, implementing the campus-wide diversity initiative and providing leadership and oversight of national diversity recruitment and inclusion policy initiatives. She also served as the youth outreach coordinator at the Center on Halsted, the largest LGBTQIA+ community center in the Midwest. During Precious’s tenure, she launched a $1.6 million CDC HIV prevention grant, which provided outreach, education, youth programming, and testing services to over three thousand young African American and Latinx gay, bi, and trans youth. Precious is married to Myles Brady and lives in Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago, where they are raising their daughter, Zayn.


Wednesday, October 26

9:00 – 10:00 AM | Registration

10:00 – 11:00 AM | Opening Keynote: Pascal Losambe
Our Shared Humanity, Belonging and the Brain
See above.

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM | Topic Sessions

Partnerships and Progress: The Reality of Moving Mountains – Revisiting DEI Work in Predominantly White Schools
For: Heads of School and DEI Practitioners

Presented by Brandon Jacobs, Rick DaSilva, Heather Flewelling, and Jenny Jun-lei Kravitz

Two years after the summer of George Floyd and “Black @” and the Statements of Commitment Letter collectively written by our diversity practitioners at AISNE, we will look at how to integrate proactive and equity-focused messaging across all areas of your school. We will view creating clear and coordinated understandings about how DEI is practiced in both academics and operations as an essential component of school communications. In this session, you will discuss the importance of crafting your own narrative and engaging with your community proactively to elicit more thoughtful reactions if major events occur in our greater society (e.g. Supreme Court decisions, violent tragedies, proposed legislation).

We will also devote time to pause to reread the letter that was written by a collective group of DEI Practitioners from AISNE member schools and consider what has taken place since that time. This session will serve the purpose of bringing together Heads of School and DEI Practitioners to reflect on what progress and challenges have come up and how to move forward with impact and intent.

This group will also dine and discuss together during the lunch session.

Brandon Jacobs is a Seach Consultant at Carney Sandoe & Associates, Rick DaSilva is the Director of Community & Equity Affairs at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA. Heather Flewelling is the Chief Talent Officer for Search and Consulting Services at Carney Sandoe & Associates. Jenny Jun-lei Kravitz is the Director of Equity and Justice at The Pike School in Andover, MA.

Transformational Conversation Skills and Allyship

Presented by Debby Irving
Learn the necessary conversation skills for genuine and authentic allyship. By bolstering these skills you will overcome fear of saying the wrong thing, fatigue, burnout, avoidance, and polarization. Join this session to consider the important and transformational role conversation has in advancing DEI work. You’ll practice having these authentic conversations and take away useful quick tips and resources to bring back to your school community. Though this session is primarily aimed at white attendees who are looking to improve their allyship, all are welcome to attend.

Debby Irving is a racial justice educator, and the author of Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race.

Learning to Depolarize: Helping Students Reach Across Lines of Disagreement

Presented by Kent Lenci
Political polarization imperils the country. It is therefore incumbent upon educators to help prepare students to navigate—and hopefully mend—our polarized society. In this workshop, you will see how political polarization is likely to be an enduring challenge and the role educators can play to help students reach across lines of disagreement. Come to this session to ponder big topics, and discuss vexing questions: For schools committed to the ideal of inclusivity, to what extent does that commitment extend to families of diverse political perspectives? For students committed to engendering a more just and equitable future, to what extent will that goal require collaboration with people who do not share those priorities? Does the appreciation of political or  ideological diversity complement schools’ broader DEI efforts, or are these initiatives in tension with each other? You will be challenged to consider how to help students and adults within your school community reach across lines of disagreement and consider how this fits in with our broader diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. You may come away with more widened perspectives than concrete answers—and that’s a good thing!

Kent Lenci is the author of Learning to Depolarize: Helping Students and Teachers Reach Across Lines of Disagreement. Following 20 years working in independent schools, Kent founded Middle Ground School Solutions in 2019 to help schools face the challenge of political polarization. 

Supporting Students and Faculty by Deconstructing Imposter Syndrome

Presented by Amy Patel, MD
Imposter syndrome is common among students and faculty, especially in high-achieving schools, and more often seen in people with underrepresented identities. While this is often addressed at the individual level, schools must recognize the systemic factors that contribute to imposter syndrome in order to support students and faculty. In this session, we will discuss the concept of imposter syndrome, explore management strategies at the individual and organizational levels, and practice a self-coaching exercise for overcoming negative self-talk.

Amy Patel, MD, is the Dean of Health and Wellness and Chief Medical Officer at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, MA.

Best Practices in Investigating and Addressing Bias-Based Complaints

Presented by Talesha L. Saint-Marc, Bernstein Shur

Bias-based and anonymous complaints present unique challenges even for the most seasoned investigator. Join us as we discuss best practices for conducting effective investigations and maintaining an environment free of discrimination and harassment.  During this session, we’ll cover: selecting an appropriate investigator, addressing microaggressions, and addressing climate issues.

Talesha L. Saint-Marc is a Shareholder and Co-Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Practice Group for Bernstein Shur.

Neurodiversity and Disability: Building Community and a Sense of Belonging Among All Students

Presented by Laura Warner
Disability is not a word you frequently hear in the independent school world. Join us to think more about how to build community within your student (and adult!) population and how to bridge the worlds of neurodiversity and disability.  At Phillips Academy, we have students with a broad range of disabilities: hearing loss, vision impairment, dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, depression and chronic health conditions such as diabetes or Crohn’s disease. We also have students who do not identify as having a ‘disability’ but do identify as ‘neurodiverse.’  Learn how we are including these students in our diversity and inclusion outreach and affinity spaces.  We’ll talk about the word “disability” and share both our successes and challenges.  While primarily focusing on structures and spaces, this session will also explore strategies for teachers, including syllabus statements and language that is welcoming.

Laura Warner is the Director of Student Accessibility Services and the Academic Skills Center at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, MA.

Big Hair, Don’t Care: Honoring Authenticity when Assimilation Is the Norm

Presented by Kimberlee Yolanda Williams
Ever wonder why you pretend to be someone you aren’t when you’re around those different from you? When we say inclusion, do we mean inclusion through assimilation? Come hear innovative ways of moving towards authenticity and away from assimilation to truly become an inclusive school community. 

Kimberlee Yolanda Williams is an educator, DEI administrator, consultant, certified life and health coach, and the author of Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: Hand Me Your Bias, and I’ll Show You Our Connection.

12:30 – 1:30 PM | Lunch with Your Peers
Enjoy being in community with your peers who share similar roles at other schools.

1:45 – 4:15 PM | Deep Dive Sessions

Celebrate Neurodiversity (Sure!)… but First Understand and Embrace It

Presented by Kate Collins and Lainey Sloman

Celebrating neurodiversity requires us to first understand and then to embrace the complex profiles that make our communities diverse. This session will begin with a deep dive into the language/vocabulary of neurodiversity. We’ll put that language into practice by debunking common myths of neurodiverse learners, leading to understanding. Utilizing student-centered case studies, you will then be asked to think beyond accommodations and embrace student’s strengths while supporting their challenges—critical work to embracing neurodiversity. 

Kate Collins is Head of the Upper School at Carroll School in Lincoln, MA. Lainey Sloman is Director of Academic Support at Milton Academy in Milton, MA.

Engaging Across Difference: Hand Me Your Bias, and I’ll Show You Our Connection

Presented by Debby Irving and Kimberlee Yolanda Williams
This workshop is a space for people of all racial identities to engage in unfiltered conversations about the experiences of Black and brown people. Attendees will focus on how to authentically and meaningfully discuss race across racial lines, an essential step for forging authentic friendships that embrace difficult conversations. Presenters Kimberlee and Debby will tear down the cycle of secrecy that can exist between white people and people of color, beginning with a fireside chat-style conversation and culminating with an opportunity to engage in scenarios and practice conversations. 

Kimberlee Yolanda Williams is an educator, DEI administrator, consultant, certified life and health coach, and the author of Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: Hand Me Your Bias, and I’ll Show You Our Connection. Debby Irving is a racial justice educator, and the author of Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race.

Taking Control of your Narrative: Going Beyond your DEI Statement

Presented by Jenny Jun-lei Kravitz
Look at how to integrate proactive and equity-focused messaging across your school to tell stakeholders how DEI is practiced in both academics and operations. In this session, you will discuss the importance of crafting your own narrative and engaging with your community proactively to elicit more thoughtful reactions if major events occur in our greater society (e.g. Supreme Court decisions, violent tragedies, proposed legislation). We will interactively analyze best practices and case studies, culminating in a supported reflective exercise examining challenges and opportunities in our own school communities.

Proactively Preparing Your School: A Deep Dive into Supporting Trans and Gender-Diverse Members of Your Community

Presented by Will Malloy
In this interactive workshop, attendees will develop skills to elevate trans and queer stories and gather resources to bring back to their school communities. Having navigated middle school and high school as a trans person himself, Will will share parts of his own story, guide participants through mock scenarios and other hands-on activities, and answer questions. Attendees can expect to walk away feeling more prepared to support current and future trans community members. 

Will Malloy is an award-winning speaker and advocate for transgender and queer students. He is a college student based in Rhode Island and has been speaking at schools, conferences, and other health & education venues in New England for several years.

Bringing Social Class to the Conversation

Presented by Adj Marshall
Our educational institutions are viewed as vehicles for social mobility but rarely do we discuss the foundations of social mobility—socioeconomic class and social class. Why are these subjects so challenging to engage with? Compared with race or gender, class is less obviously inscribed on the body and more poorly understood, making class identity development a slower and more fraught process. The fog surrounding class stratification makes it difficult to talk about, teach about, and build policies around. We will spend time unpacking our own class identity backgrounds and class paths allowing us to better understand how we do or don’t communicate about class within our spheres of influence. Together we will build a plan for taking class identity from a taboo subject to one we bring with us to the table for creating change.

Adj Marshall is a JEDI trainer, writer, and advocate for socioeconomic equity with over 15 years of experience as a writer, speaker, and trainer, on social class with a focus on cross-class communication. Her work has been published in the anthologies Teaching Economic Inequality & Capitalism in Contemporary America and At the intersection: Understanding & Supporting First-Generation Students.

The Identity Conscious Educator: Building Habits and Skills for a More Inclusive School

Presented by Liza Talusan
Learn powerful, practical strategies for creating an inclusive school community. Liza Talusan and the Identity-Conscious Educator provide a framework for building awareness and understanding of five identity categories: Race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Take time to explore some of the vignettes and personal stories that illuminate how to address identity topics in your personal and professional life. Then, develop skills in engaging in meaningful interactions with students and peers.

Liza Talusan is an educator, facilitator, and strategic change partner for organizations, corporations, leadership teams, schools and individuals who are looking to build their skills in areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and leadership. She leads with compassion and connection, even when conversations are difficult and challenging.

4:30 – 5:30 PM | Racial Identity Meetings

Facilitated Self-Care for People of Color 

Facilitated by Emmanuel Daring and Kate Thomas

Racial justice work carries the burden of sustaining individual harm in an oppressive system while laboring to prevent systemic injustice for people who self-identify as BIPOC. Too often we are encouraged to seek out self care outside of our working hours, even though our own restorative practices are vital and necessary for the work we are tasked with. We will create opportunities to practice self-care during this affinity time, recognizing that this is an integral part of our racial justice practice and a habit we need to cultivate as a critical component of our work. Most importantly, we will celebrate identity and create intentional space for connection, community, and joy.

White Racial Justice Practice: Moving Beyond Performative Allyship

Facilitated by Margaret Lloyd, Deb Olander, and Stacey Wright

What should a white person do to combat racism? For individuals who self-identify as white, it is often challenging to act as an ally for our BIPOC community members without overshadowing them in the context of a white-centric environment that rewards virtue signaling and saviorism. In this session, we will explore ways to interrogate and embrace our own whiteness in service of racial justice work. This calls upon white allies (particularly in predominantly white institutions) to interrogate and disrupt the preservation of white privilege in their institution.

During this session, we will consider how we, as white allies, can leverage our privilege and explore ways we can engage in advancing equity and justice in our schools and the ingredients for success.  The panel of presenters will provide brief presentations on the following topics followed by Q & A:

  • The AWARE (A White Anti-Racist Educators) group, creates space for white people to develop and foster a racial identity that is grounded in solidarity with and support of BIPOC.
  • Strategies to partner with a school’s Board of Trustees to re-write foundational statements such as a Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Justice, Inclusion, and Belonging.
  • Collaborating with BIPOC colleagues in order to center their voices while building accountability partnerships.

5:45 – 7:45 PM | Dine on Your Own
Enjoy dinner in the surrounding area, including these restaurants: 

8:00 – 9:30 PM | Evening Activity 

Bebidas and Bailar: Sangria, Seltzer, and Salsa

Led by Rodney Eric Lopez

Come have fun and learn some new moves at this active dance shindig, led by Rodney Eric Lopez. Rodney is an accomplished dance instructor and performer and was the director of the Salsa Program at Dance Manhattan, one of New York’s finest social dance studios. Today, he is the CEO of Rodney Eric Lopez Enterprises, which provides coaching and consulting services in the areas of arts education, fundraising and development, and nonprofit leadership. 

Thursday, October 27

8:00 – 9:00 AM | Breakfast & LGBTQIA+ Networking
All attendees will enjoy a delicious breakfast, and an intentional space will be created for those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community to dine and network together.

9:00 – 10:00 AM | Keynote: Precious Brady-Davis
I Have Always Been Me: A Sojourn Song of Self-Reliance and Pride
See above.

10:15 – 11:15 AM | Topic Sessions

Retaining BIPOC Faculty, Administrators, and Staff: How to Fortify Your Efforts

Presented by Princess Sirleaf Bomba and Christine Savini

NAIS’s Facts at a Glance calculated that AISNE member schools overall had 25% students of color, but only 13% professionals of color at the end of the 2021-22 academic year. While some AISNE member schools have made excellent strides in hiring and retaining diverse professionals, others report some success in hiring, but still face challenges in retention. This workshop will share the reasons BIPOC Faculty, Administrators, and Staff tell us why they may choose not to remain at their current independent school. The presentation will also provide a Retention Check-List, which will help you explore if your school has developed intentional policies and procedures to retain and promote BIPOC educators at your school. Learn about the onboarding techniques, mentorship, and advancement practices that will help you retain the diverse hires you worked so hard to recruit.

Princess Sirleaf Bomba is the Director of Unity & Diversity at The Wheeler School in Providence, RI. Christine Savini is the Principal Consultant for Diversity Directions and the Director of their Independent School Seminar. 

Scaffolding for Successful DEI Programming: Working Together with Your Board of Trustees

Presented by Eddie Carson, Linda Hughes, Pascale Musto

This workshop will explore the core components of running successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs at your school. We will examine programs do’s and don’ts and give participants practical takeaways to apply and adapt to their schools and circumstances. We will examine what factors can be controlled and navigate unforeseen circumstances and how each may affect your programs differently. In addition, we will provide a toolbox to help negotiate budgets, time, space, communications, and marketing, among other aspects of programming. These tools will help to ensure the likely success of programs with students, faculty, staff, parents, and alums, no matter what curve balls might be thrown during the process.

Eddie Carson is the Dean of Multicultural Education at the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA. Linda Hughes is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA. Pascale Musto is Director, Pascale Consulting.

Independent Schools, Tax-Exempt Status, and Title IX:  Implications of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Presented by Brian Garrett

Federal courts in both Maryland and California have recently held that an independent school’s 501(c)(3) status, alone, subjects it to Title IX. While these rulings are, for the moment, limited to the independent schools at issue in the respective cases, they signal a potential sea change in whether or how independent schools must comply with various federal non-discrimination laws, including, but not limited to, Title IX (sex), Title VI (race), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (disability). In this engaging session, we will analyze the impact of these rulings on independent schools in New England. You will come away understanding the basics of Title IX, including its various obligations on covered institutions, and the options your school may have to address this development.

Brian Garrett is Of Counsel for the Litigation Department and Vice Chair to the Education Law Practice Group for McLane Middleton.

Disabilities and the Opportunity They Bring

Presented by Aaron Golub

Come see how adversity is perceived limitation and reframe your thinking about disabilities within your school community. Learn the steps to turning disadvantages into advantages by homing in on techniques to shift your mindset away from the drawbacks and challenges disabilities bring. This work will help create a lasting school culture that is truly diverse and inclusive. The workshop will include time dedicated to learning about the largest misconceptions people have around disabilities and how to address them. You will also work through some challenging scenarios schools face when working with a diverse team and student population.

Aaron Golub is the first blind athlete to play Division I football. He is the CEO and founder of Initiate Connections, a consulting and motivational enterprise that works with young people to empower and include disabled students. He has given numerous TED Talks and hosts the podcast Blind Ambition, which features interviews with extraordinary people who overcome significant obstacles. 

Thinking Expansively About Access and Equity in Independent Schools

Presented by Rosanna Salcedo

This session will help departments across your institution be intentional about examining how students are impacted by policies and practices, and how to use an equity lens to be responsive in our work. You will be invited to explore the question, “What does having full access to the educational program look like?” We will explore a model for non-tuition financial aid, as well as other programs and practices aimed at approaching our aspirational goals for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Rosanna Salcedo is the Dean for Equity and Inclusion at The Cambridge School of Weston.

Building Black and Asian Solidarity: Remembering the Past, Acknowledging the Present, & Charting the Future

Presented by Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter and Vivian WuWong 

In this session, we will discuss ways to build unity across racial lines as educators and administrators. The backdrop for this conversation will be the concept of “the model minority,” a label affixed to Asian Americans during the height of the Black Civil Rights Movement. This myth was re-introduced during the 1980s, which fueled attacks against affirmative action then and has been used to do so through today. Since its inception, “the model minority” stereotype has divided People of Color and reinforced white supremacy—especially in our schools. We will unpack this harmful myth and recognize its intersectional significance as explore positive ways to stand united. 

Vivian WuWong is the Chair of the History & Social Sciences department and the Asian Society Advisor at Milton Academy in Milton, MA. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter is a mental healthcare consultant and works as a Psychologist at The Park School in Brookline, MA.

11:30 – 12:30 PM | Topic Sessions

Seeing the Unseen: The Invisible Plight of Disabled BIPOC Women In Independent Schools

Presented by Lizz Albany and Jaleesa Anselm

Historically, the role of support within institutions falls on the shoulders of women, particularly social-emotional support. Add to these traditional gender roles the intersections of race and ability, and BIPOC women with disabilities find ourselves consistently stigmatized as “incapable of balancing” work with other commitments, especially when we fall ill and need to prioritize our own well-being. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to effectively perform our jobs while still prioritizing our health. We will share ideas for how we advocate for ourselves when people cannot “see” our illness and thus dismiss its validity. This workshop will ask what authentic support from colleagues looks like. Come hear from three BIPOC women with invisible disabilities who have had to navigate this intersectional complexity while serving in independent school spaces.

Lizz Albany is the Grades 7 & 8 Math, PreK-8 Math Coordinator at the Charles River School

Jalessa Anselm is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, at Tenacre  Country Day School

A White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE) Model

Presented by Kim Boland, Deb Olander, and Molly Swain

Many of our schools have begun to organize white-identifying adults on campus to join more intentionally in the work of creating a community based on justice and equity.  You will hear from colleagues who are creating a space for white-identifying colleagues to interrogate and understand their racial identity, racial privilege, internalized supremacy and dominance, and other manifestations of systemic racism.  White anti-racism work acknowledges that a robust anti-racist practice continually weaves together self-reflection and action, challenges colleagues to embrace discomfort, and encourages them to show up authentically every day to take action against racist policies, practices, and attitudes.  We will share what has worked well and the challenges in this work, and invite audience members to share how their schools have brought white co-conspirators into this work.

The Public-Private Connection: Taking Action to Address the Opportunity Gap

Presented by Ivy Alphonse-Crean, Maria-Veronica Barnes, Aline Gery, Haris Kuljancic, and Allison Webster

Learn about the positive impact of hosting a six-week, tuition-free summer program—the Horizons program—for students in the greater community. What does it take to open your doors to students whose families are eager for a summer school/enrichment program but can’t afford it? Learn about the funding, implementation, and logistics from program leaders at Dedham Country Day School and Lexington Montessori School who have hosted the Horizons program on their campuses for years. Hear how adding Horizons to your campus can further align your school’s mission and DEI & Belonging goals. You will discover how Horizons can positively impact students on campus and in your community.

Understanding and Supporting International Students

Presented by Rick DaSilva and Tasha Otenti

Understanding the unique needs and nuances of our international students is essential to improving the sense of belonging at our schools. It is vital to recognize the process of which international students enter new school communities—whether developing cultural training for faculty and staff, onboarding programs for student support, or implementing community-wide DEI initiatives. Most international students experience a period of adjustment where they process being in a new environment amongst new people and with new expectations. However, not every student will manage this experience in the same way. Simultaneously, the school community itself may also go through its own adjustment, one that can be just as intense and long-lasting. Join this workshop to learn how to navigate these challenges and make your school more welcoming and inclusive.

Rick DaSilva is the Director of Community & Equity Affairs at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA. Tasha Otenti is the Director of International Student Services and a Latin Teacher at Milton Academy in Milton, MA.

From Beginning to the End and Back Again: How to Recruit, Retain, and Recognize BIPOC Faculty and Staff

Presented by Brandon Jacobs
Recruitment season is creeping upon us as we settle back into the school and look forward to what is next. Now is the time for schools to begin looking at and analyzing their hiring process, in particular with an emphasis on attracting BIPOC colleagues. Though there is no “magic bullet” to ensure this process, there are best practices and intentional plans that can be implemented to better ensure an inclusive hiring process.
In this workshop participants will:
  • gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of implicit bias within the hiring and onboarding processes
  • understand the phases included in an inclusive hiring process, from beginning to end
  • delve into opportunities for improving the onboarding experiences of people of color, with a focus on interrupting implicit bias;
  • discuss what best practice looks like when it comes to making your school community an environment in which people of color wish to remain, and thrive.

Athletics as a Change Agent in Independent Schools

Presented by Matthew Lawlor, Melissa Lawlor, Lamar Reddicks, and Jini Rae Sparkman

Athletics plays a vital role in the development of school culture in many schools and can be a positive force for engagement and initiating change in school environments. All too often, however, we see athletics siloed off as a place not to engage in conversations on race and ethnicity. Our playing spaces and locker rooms are not immune to bias, microaggressions, policies, and practices that harm and exclude athletes and coaches of color. In this session, we will explore the powerful partnership one can build between DEIJ and Athletics, and how to activate student athletes and coaches to become powerful agents of change in our communities.

Matthew Lawlor is a member of the Milton Academy Athletics Department faculty in Milton, MA. Melissa Lawlor is the Director of Equity and Inclusion at Milton Academy. Lamar Reddicks is the Director of Athletics and Physical Education at Milton Academy. Jini Rae Sparkman is the Director of Equity & Inclusion and a member of the English faculty at Holderness School in Holderness, NH.

12:30 – 1:30 PM | Lunch with Your Peers

12:30 – 1:30 PM | Reunion Lunch for AISNE’s Leadership & Racial Justice Fellows

This luncheon is a dedicated time for the members of the Summer 2022 Leadership and Racial Justice Fellows group. In addition to this time being a reunion for our Fellows, this is an excellent opportunity to share with your peers the performance task you are leading at your home school. We hope to see you there!

1:30 – 2:00 PM | Closing Performance & Conference Reflections

Spoken Word | Troublemaker: Poems on Resistance, Non-Conformity, and Community Activism

Performed by Dariana D. Guerrero
“Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” —Rep. John Lewis
Join self-proclaimed troublemaker Dariana D. Guerrero in an interactive spoken word performance that will inspire the ethos and sentiments of good (necessary) trouble to facilitate social change. Attendees will leave feeling revived and uplifted by Dariana’s work, centering race, mental health, body image, class, and her audacity to live authentically.

Dariana D. Guerrero is a celebrated writer, activist, and educator from Lawrence, MA. Beginning her teaching career at Phillips Academy Andover and Noble and Greenough School, respectively, Dariana taught high school English and championed the voices of women of color and other marginalized writers in her classroom. As a queer mestiza Latina, Dariana views her identity as a resource and catalyst for expanding, deepening, and challenging the traditional canon of English literature. Dariana’s works featured in a wide variety of publications including, Caustic Frolic Literary Journal, Exposed Brick Literary Magazine, Glass Poetry Journal, Voices and Visions, and Women: A Cultural Review, and Witness Magazine to name a few. Her debut collection of poetry, Sancocho was a finalist for The Sexton Prize for best outstanding poetry. You can check out more of her work on her website.

2:00 – 3:00 PM | Afternoon Activities

Information Session: AISNE’s Student Conferences

Presented by Eliza Alexander
Come hear about some exciting changes to AISNE’s Middle School and High School Student Conferences as they return to in-person formats in 2023 and beyond. Learn how your school can apply to host in future years and how your community can participate and lead in these student-centered events.

Eliza Alexander is AISNE’s Managing Director of Northern New England.

Personal Healing through Yoga and Energy Work

Presented Erica Nunnally
During this yoga session, Erica will hold the space for personal healing through meditation, asana (yogic poses), and energy work. Erica weaves humor, music, and drumming through her sessions to support your journey. Beginners are welcome and no experience is required, simply bring your curiosity and a smile. Dress for movement.

DEI Practitioners: Using Self-Reporting Demographics to Support Belonging
A Discussion for All DEI Practitioners
During this session, we will talk about the importance of accurate demographic information at our schools, as well as the means of which we gather and utilize this data beyond admissions and marketing. We will also discuss the value of creating a self-reporting survey that partners with a support system that develops and sustains DEI programming and initiatives that support belonging.

Book Talk: Titles for Your DEI Work
A Discussion for Educators and Administrators
During this session, we invite classroom teachers, support staff, and academic administrators to come talk about the books that you’ve used in your work and your classroom to explore DEI, Belonging, Racial Justice, and Anti-Racism.  This is a space to learn about new and new-to-you fiction and non-fiction books, discover and celebrate authors, get geeky about reading, and chat with your fellow attendees.  Whether you want to learn about or share books that are great for your students or for yourself, this is the session for you.

Join Your Peers

We look forward to welcoming Teachers, DEI Practitioners, Heads of School, Administrators, and Business Officers from across New England.

  • The Academy at Penguin Hall
  • Beacon Academy
  • Belmont Hill School
  • The Bement School
  • Berkshire School
  • Boston University Academy
  • Brooks School
  • Brookwood School
  • The Cambridge School of Weston
  • Cardigan Mountain School
  • Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall
  • Charles River School
  • The Chestnut Hill School
  • Cheverus High School
  • Commonwealth School
  • Cushing Academy
  • Dana Hall School
  • Dedham Country Day School
  • Derby Academy
  • Dexter Southfield
  • Dublin School
  • Emma Willard School
  • Fay School
  • Fayerweather Street School
  • The Fessenden School
  • Fryeburg Academy
  • Glen Urquhart School
  • The Gordon School
  • Gould Academy
  • Heads-Royce School
  • Holderness School
  • Inly School
  • Jewish Community Day School of RI
  • Kimball Union Academy
  • Kingsley Montessori School
  • The Learning Project Elementary School
  • Lexington Montessori School
  • Milton Academy
  • Miss Hall’s School
  • Moses Brown School
  • New Hampton School
  • The Newman School
  • Northfield Mount Hermon School
  • The Park School
  • Phillips Academy
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • The Phoenix School
  • The Pike School
  • Pine Cobble School
  • Pingree School
  • Proctor Academy
  • The Putney School
  • The Rivers School
  • Roxbury Latin School
  • Shady Hill School
  • Sharon Academy
  • St. John’s High School
  • St. Johnsbury Academy
  • St. Mark’s School
  • Stoneleigh-Burnham School
  • Tabor Academy
  • Thayer Academy
  • Ursuline Academy
  • Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • The Wheeler School
  • Williston Northampton School
  • Winsor School
  • The Woodstock Academy

This event is now sold out.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets, should any become available via cancellations, email info@aisne.org. Include your name, your school’s name, and the maximum number of tickets you would like (if wanting to register a group).

Planning Committee

AISNE would like to extend its gratitude to our 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference Planning Committee Members:

Safety, Accessibility, and Courtesy in Our Learning Environment

AISNE is working with our hotel partners to create a safe and comfortable learning environment for all attendees. To that end, do not attend if you feel sick. We encourage you to take precautions at your comfort level—masking and pre-event COVID testing are optional.

Our event space is ADA-compliant. If you are in need of special accommodations, please contact us at info@aisne.org with details.

While the work of DEI, belonging, and racial justice naturally invite critical and, at times, uncomfortable conversations, AISNE will not tolerate overt language or displays of racism, queer- or trans-phobia, religious or disability intolerance, or other ungracious interruptions to the event.

We ask that you respect the labor and intellectual property of our speakers, and refrain from the taking of photographs or video of presentations, unless invited to do so by the presenter. Slide decks and other shared resources will be available to you via our event app, WebEx.

Cancellation Policy

Virtual Events
Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to info@aisne.org. Cancellations will receive a 100% refund less a $25 administrative fee. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 24 hours before the start of the event, or first event of a series of events.

In-Person Events
Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to info@aisne.org. Cancellations received up to 14 days before the start of the event will receive a 100% refund less a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start of the event will receive a refund less a $100 fee. This fee covers the cost of our minimum commitments with our hotel partners; thank you for your understanding. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 24 hours before the start of the event.

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