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OES Employees Learn From Their Peers to Deepen Cultural Competence Experience
OES Employees Learn From Their Peers to Deepen Cultural Competence Experience

The Office of Inclusion and Community Engagement staff at OES gathered faculty and staff together last week for an "Unconference" on cultural competence with several professional development workshop options before the workday began last Thursday. For those not familiar, an "Unconference" is an opportunity for people to gather in a less formal capacity and have participant-driven discussions around topics chosen by the facilitator. The purpose was for recent attendees of diversity workshops and conferences around the region and the country, including the National Association of Independent School (NAIS) People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference and Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) Gender and Sexuality Diversity Workshop, to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development for employees.

Attendees had a choice of sessions to participate in—topics included gender identity development, anti-bias education, and inclusion in the classroom, exploring the concept of dignity, and more. There was also a discussion with employees led by student leaders Simran J. '19 and Darren L. '19, based on their experience facilitating conversations at the Student Diversity Leadership Conference.

Here are a sample list of some of the workshops more than 200 OES employees got to attend, all run by their peers:

  • Children of Resistance: Navigating the Journeys of Identity, Equity, and Justice in Students and Ourselves
  • Do You Identify As...?
  • Entering Discussions About Gender and Gender Identity Through Books
  • Exploring the Concept of Dignity
  • Gender and Sexuality Diversity: Language You Need to Know
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go? Factors That Impact Retention of Faculty of Color
  • Using the Question Focus Technique to Generate Questions for Our School Leaders