On November 18, several members of the Beaver faculty attended the AISNE Diversity Conference in Natick, MA. The Hiatt Center’s Director of Educational Leadership Robert Principe and modern language department chair Gabriela Morillo also presented on Beaver’s Spanish for Native Speakers Class.
Several faculty members share their thoughts on the conference below.
Preparing and presenting on our Spanish for Native Speakers course at the conference gave us a valuable opportunity to take stock of our broader on-going effort to maintain Beaver as an inclusive community. And this conference always pushes me to think critically about diversity work in schools. It is one thing to build greater awareness and stronger relationships across line of human differences. The deeper and harder work is challenging all members of our school communities to then position themselves to actual address and change social injustice and inequities.
Ralph Van Inwagen, Interim US Director (0n the session led by Mr. Principe and Ms. Morillo)
Gabriela and Robert showed a video of our students discussing the importance of the course in their lives. Hearing our student talk about how the course empowers and motivates them to learn more about their language and culture was very powerful and persuasive. Those who attended the session were eager to introduce this type of course in their schools.
Yelena Gulnik, MS Counselor
I found the conference to be both informative and inspirational. I left with a new sense of urgency to continue increasing my awareness of the ways my own identity impacts my work with students and families from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. I was inspired by the workshop on affinity groups for students and faculty of color, and discovered many tools that I can implement in my work at Beaver. I was also reminded of how complex and multifaceted the issues are both on the level of individual stories, as well as institutional policies and limitations. Overall, I was inspired by the commitment and the work of other educators, and am really proud to be a part of a school that puts itself at the forefront of this discourse.
Sandra Horwitz, Director of Education Outreach for Library (on the conference’s keynote speaker Dr. Thelma Bryant-Davis)
Her chants and poems underline an identify that is multifaceted. Her message? Celebrate all of your identities (your race, gender, ethnicity) because only then can you celebrate and honor the stories of others. She spoke and sang from her heart right into mine.