2021 Conference Presentation Descriptions


January 24, 2021
Strengthening Programs in Challenging Times

Time Title
1:00-1:45pm United to Learn: How the city of Dallas doubled down on existing partnerships to thrive during the COVID 19 pandemic
2:00-2:45pm Breakout sessions (choose one)
Session A
Expanding Supports In A Pandemic
Laura Medina Quintanar &Ariel Mendez Panate
Horizons at San Francisco Friends School
  Horizons at SFFS traditionally provides a robust, high touch, in person summer program. In response to COVID, we had to rethink and replace all of this. We still produced an incredibly high touch summer program and used a remote model as an opportunity to build staff and organizational capacity. This session will cover an overview of our approach and our outcomes. Participants will walk away with a case study and a concrete framework to apply this approach in their own programs.
Session B
Videos for Change: Amplifying Youth Voice in the Community
Roxy Pirnia, Josh Densen, and Danitra Wansley
High Resolves
  Videos for Change utilizes and strengthens the educational methods and tools that students already use in the classroom, such as researching, summarizing, collaborating with peers, and critical thinking, as well as builds new skills related to media, such as storyboarding, video production, and editing. Educators can engage a wide range of student profiles, across subject and year levels, with the potential to engage the larger school community in bringing to light a multitude of social justice issues that will be featured in student videos. It can be curriculum-aligned and run as a unit of work or delivered as a stand-alone activity.
3:00-3:45pm Breakout sessions (choose one)
Session A
The Bronx Hill Top Collective: Leveraging Shared Resources, Opportunities, Concerted Efforts and Ethics in Action through a Social Justice lens for Meaningful Social Impact in response to a Global Pandemic
Rachel Klein, Riverdale Country School
Kimberly Joyce-Bernard, Horace Mann School
Shelley Topping-Omodubi, Ethical Culture Fieldston School
  We hope our presentation will present innovative ways in which separate schools can come together to share perspectives and resources during a major crisis and find ways to make this collaborative work sustainable.
Session B
Lifting as We Climb:
Reimagining Theatre as a Tool for Engagement during a Pandemic
Tracey Zerwig-Ford, Hutchison School
  Partnering with a key feeder school, we are deepening our relationship while spotlighting a programmatic differentiator. The skills created in the theatre department will be tapped in a student driven imitative that will be seen by over 2000 participants weekly in a target audience group.
4:00-4:45pm Breakout sessions (choose one)
Session A
Building Community Connections at a Distance
Jane Shore, Revolution School
Tiffany Yau, Ful- Phil
  As we connect during this disconnected time, how might we continue to build empowering ties between schools and communities? This interactive session is designed to provide examples from Revolution School in Philadelphia and our co-creators, partners from the field, including social impact entrepreneurship, youth powered media and maker spaces, and how we continue to build program together, apart.
Session B
Learn first, then serve: Creating a curriculum informed by place-based history
Mindy Aguirre, Nisha Kunte, & Stephen Schumacher
Sage Hill School
  To serve in a meaningful way, it is critical to first know the people in the community: the groups they belong to, their wide-ranging and evolving needs, and their intertwined and often-complicated history. This session will share how one school, Sage Hill School, redesigned its 9th grade service learning program to focus on learning about the people and history of the region, further connecting it to the 9th grade history course, Patterns of Civilization. In the first year of a four year Service Learning program, 9th graders now read excerpts from The People’s Guide series (A People’s Guide to Orange County) to learn about geographies of power within their own communities. Written against the grain of the traditional tourist guide book and highlighting place-based histories of race, class, gender, and sexuality, The People’s Guide offers a way to introduce students to the history of everyday lives. This text acts as a springboard for students to examine the issues that continue to confront the community, and the various ways to serve to address some of these existing inequities. By challenging students to think critically about systems that create inequality in society while considering the ways this has played out in their own region, students will have a foundation to understand the community that they belong to, and will continue to serve, throughout their high school years.

During the 2019-2020 school year, students went into the community to learn more about the vibrant cultures and environments of Orange County. As we are unable to do that this year due to restrictions posed by COVID-19, we are currently exploring virtual service opportunities and digging deeper into the curriculum, establishing a stronger foundation for students to build upon in future years.

All educators are welcome to attend, but discussion will be specifically targeted to empower current middle and high school educators, academics, and those schools with community service programs.
Happy Hour with Laura Day
Join Laura for networking and learn new ways to create connections and have fun on zoom. 
Sunday, January 31, 2020
Race, Equity and Community Engagement
Keynote:  Hungry Listening
Nicole Furlonge, Director of the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College of Columbia University
2:00-2:45pm Breakout sessions (choose one)
Session A
Facing Our Institutional History: How can service-learning and community engagement help your school confront its problematic past?
Sarah Fischer, Newark Academy
  All of our institutions have histories that require a critical examination if we wish to move forward and build anti-racist and fully inclusive communities. In this session, we will examine a variety of strategies to help school communities explore, confront, and accept their institutional past and the structural inequalities inherent in that past. After examining a case study of the work being done at Newark Academy, which moved out of its namesake city to the suburbs in the 1960s, we will explore different frameworks to assess your institution’s past, your sphere of influence, and your ability to act as a change maker. In addition, there will be time to engage in small group discussions and create concrete actions steps to begin this process at your institution. We will also explore the benefits and drawback for this conversation to originate or be driven by the service program.
Session B
Listening, Reflecting, Rethinking, and Reimagining
Kyra Atterbury & Janet Chance
Need in Deed
  What does it mean for schools to create equitable, antiracist partnerships? Whose perspectives have remained hidden from view? And are there unspoken assumptions within our schools that need to be explored? In this workshop, we will delve into several short texts, drawn from the works of anti-racist educational researchers Lisa Delpit and Gloria Ladson-Billings, that serve as meaningful touchstones for considering these questions. Through guided discussion in small groups, participants will be invited to listen, reflect, rethink, and reimagine together. Then we will decide on action steps for applying what we’ve learned to partnerships in our own communities.
3:00-3:45pm Breakout sessions (choose one)
Session A
Being On The Right Side of History: Social Justice and Service-Learning
Christen Clougherty, Nobis Project
  How do we teach democracy when participation was historically limited to certain groups, and when people today are disenfranchised by the very system designed to give them voice? A challenge of service-learning, at all ages, is exposing students to the imperfections of the world while guiding them to be change agents.

During this interactive workshop, participants hear lesson examples on how to unpack dominant narratives. A dominant narrative is a story that is told in service of the dominant social group’s interests and ideologies. It usually achieves dominance through repetition, normalization, and the silencing of alternative accounts. In almost any topic you explore with your students, there will be dominant narratives that they have encountered and may believe uncritically. This workshop offers tools for helping students identify and work to dismantle dominate narratives while engaging them in critical conversations around human rights, race, class, and social justice.
Session B
Reimagining Electronic-Service-Learning with a Critical Social Justice Framework & Asset Based Partnerships: Horace Mann School’s Center for Community Values and Action
Kimberly Joyce-Bernard, Horace Mann School
  The Center Community Values and Action (CCVA) seeks to connect education to public purpose and community action through curricular and co-curricular programs and initiatives. The CCVA has reimagined and reframed the electronic-service-learning program with a critical social justice lens to broaden an understanding of the current context, intentionally address the persistent and deeply rooted historical and institutional inequities that have been laid bare by the global health crisis, and expand an understanding of the ways in which collaboration and contribution can meaningfully build community. The upper division student-led commitments and activities develop a sense of purpose, a sense of identity, and a sense of belonging.
3:55-4:15pm Networking breakout session
Keynote: Engagement, Empathy, and Equity: a social entrepreneurship framework. 
Nishant Mehta, Partner and Managing Director at Storebeck Search and Associates
  Using a fresh start when adding a middle grades program in 2016-17 to The Children’s School, then-head of school, Nishant Mehta, and his team used an entrepreneurial process and pedagogy to reimagine time, space, and personnel constraints that typically stifle real innovation and impact in school communities. The design team of teachers and administrators decided to focus on social impact, and articulated the framework of Engagement, Empathy and Equity, within an approach of Social Entrepreneurship. By Engaging with communities and issues outside of the campus walls, students learn to develop Empathy for those who have lived different stories. This Empathy fuels a drive toward Equity, and an Entrepreneurial approach gives a real-world structure and sustainability to their solutions. This structure flips the script from classes in which projects might be done, to community-engaged projects in which subjects are useful, relevant and timely in helping students understand their world. This session will introduce participants to this framework and the benefits of starting with a clear vision and purpose rather than the traditional constraints that usually bind us.




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