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Teachers Attend People of Color Conference

Elaine Loft
Derryfield English department faculty members Laurie Byron and David Baroody recently attended the NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) in San Antonio, TX. More than 7,800 adults and students from around the country participated in the annual event. Ms. Byron said, “It was an amazing experience to see over 7,000 educators gathered in one space to talk about issues around equity and belonging and personally it reaffirmed for me a re-commitment to this work.”

The featured speaker of the four-day conference was José Luis Vilson. Vilson is a veteran educator, writer, speaker, and activist in New York City and the author of This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education. He has spoken about education, math, and race for a number of organizations and publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, TED, El Diario / La Prensa, and The Atlantic.

Ms. Byron attended sessions on “Hiring Faculty of Color,” “Doing DEI Without Ending Up in the News,” and “Affinity Groups, Alliance Groups, and Student Interest Groups.” David Baroody was enrolled in two half-day seminars, "Stepping Up and Stepping In: The Complicated Dance of Interrupting Racism on Campus," and "Elevating Student Voice in DEI Leadership and Work." He also listened to presentations on structuring faculty and staff DEI training and initiatives on campus (by the team from Phillips Exeter Academy), and an anti-bias approach to ninth-grade English, which he felt was “very applicable to our own eighth-grade curriculum”.

The mission of the PoCC conference is to “provide a safe space for leadership, professional development, and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.”

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