Acknowledging the intrinsic link between SEL and antiracism, this interactive virtual workshop will engage educators in dialogue about how they can maintain, grow and strategize around deconstructing whiteness, being mindful that colonizing efforts to dismantle diversity and equity are always “at play.” Presenters and participants will interrogate both the prospect of developing a decolonized mindset as part of their SEL antiracist toolkit as well as the resistance that can arise as a result of these efforts.
Kamilah Drummond-Forrester is a speaker, consultant and workshop presenter on topics of educational equity, anti-racism, self-care and social and emotional learning. She has written about these topics in the Women Change Worlds blog and has articles in esteemed educational publications such as EdSurge, The 74million, and the Hechinger Report. Most recently, Kamilah was the Director of the Open Circle social and emotional learning program for children in elementary schools. She is a board member of the state social and emotional learning advocacy organization, SEL4MA and a steering committee member of the national SEL Providers Council. In all of her roles, Kamilah’s passion for social justice and the social and emotional wellbeing of children fuels her commitment to advocating for and educating others about the inextricable connections between social and emotional learning (SEL), social justice and anti-racism. Kamilah is also a trained leader with the National SEED Project where she has led cohorts of colleagues, educators and parents through year-long community building experiences that leverage the power of story-telling, self-reflection and truth-telling to bridge build and empower.
Catherine Wong is a highly recognized diversity, equity and inclusion practitioner scholar, whose career spans K-12 through higher education. She consults with organizations to develop and implement strategic action plans that are co-constructed with all stakeholders. At the core of Catherine’s approach is strengthening the intrinsic link between SEL and antiracism, working toward a decolonized mindset and engaging in collective leadership practices. Currently, Catherine is working part time as the Director of Equity Implementation for Leadership Brainery, a Massachusetts non profit organization committed to preparing diverse and first generation college students for postgraduate education and high wage careers. Most recently, she was the Director of Urban Outreach Initiatives, Boston College. Catherine also serves on the Massachusetts Consortium for Social-Emotional Learning in Teacher Education (SEL-TEd) Steering Committee; Boston Public Schools Equity Roundtable; Board of Advisors for E3, Education, Excellence and Equity; and, as an Expert Panelist for the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks (GDEIB).
Public policy impacts what we’re able to do in schools and our communities—and all of us can influence those policies. Learn how to advocate for policies that weave SEL and antiracism into the fabric of education. Even if you’ve never advocated for legislation before, join us to learn the ins and outs of state advocacy in Massachusetts and how to be an effective advocate.
Rachel Poliner, SEL4MA Board Member
Ellen Gibson, J.D., SEL4MA Director of Policy & Advocacy
Join us in celebrating International SEL Day by learning about exciting approaches around the Commonwealth to foster the social and emotional growth and well-being of young people, families, and staff as communities navigate these uncertain times. In this interactive webinar, discover resources that can support your efforts, as well as opportunities to get involved on the local and statewide level. And share with peers about activities in your community.
In the midst of COVID-19 and systemic racism, schools and out-of-school time organizations across Massachusetts are moving forward with plans for the future. Social and emotional needs are more pressing than ever and communities are considering a range of SEL programs and assessment as part of their overall approach.
With so many options to consider, it is challenging to decide what is right for your community.
At this SEL Providers Virtual Showcase, panels of experts will provide guidance on factors to consider in selecting SEL programs and assessments and identifying potential funding sources. And you will have the opportunity to learn about offerings from multiple SEL providers—in one place, in one day.
To move closer to full educational equity, we must examine and discuss the nexus between social and emotional learning (SEL) and antiracism. In this interactive virtual workshop, we will explore together (1) how SEL has been used to support racism in schools, (2) how students and educators can use it to promote antiracist change, and (3) how to identify and challenge some of the obstacles to antiracist change.
Kamilah Drummond-Forrester is Director of Open Circle, an evidence-based social and emotional learning program for Kindergarten through Grade 5 that aims to proactively develop children’s skills for recognizing and managing emotions, empathy, positive relationships and problem solving and to help schools develop a community where students feel safe, cared for and engaged in learning. Kamilah’s professional career has fueled her passion for SEL, equity and youth development. Her most recent experiences as Co-Founder and Director of Wellness at a Boston charter school and her work as Director of an award-winning, educationally-based re-entry program at Suffolk County House of Correction have afforded her unique insight into the importance of social and emotional learning in the lives of children and the adults who care for them. Kamilah serves on SEL4MA’s Steering Committee and Board.
Randy Ross provides technical assistance, training, coaching, and consulting on a range of school climate concerns for schools, districts, communities, and nonprofits. These concerns include equity-informed social–emotional learning, community engagement, bullying/harassment, policy development, and civil rights issues. From 2005-2014, Randy was Senior Equity Specialist at the New England Equity Assistance Center at Brown University. She currently leads Equity Lens Consulting and serves as Senior Consultant for the National School Climate Center at Ramapo for Children. Randy is a National Advisor to SEL4US, co-leading the Equity and Inclusion Committee. She is also a member of the Steering Committee and Board of SEL4MA. Randy has published numerous articles on equity, school climate, discipline, and related issues. Most recently, she led the writing team for the article “Equitable School Climate,” in the May 2020 issue of the NASBE Standard.
Effective and supportive classrooms have always included routines and rituals. The same is true for non-classroom youth settings. Mid-pandemic, routines and rituals are even more important, as they offer predictability amid uncertainty, and can help young people connect with each other, with you, and even with academics. This interactive workshop will offer brain research underpinning those practices, reinforce and expand on best practices you already use, and introduce ways to use routines and rituals to foster students’ sense of agency and voice.
Rachel Poliner consults widely on whole student approaches and constructive school communities for young people and adults. Her work focuses on school climate, instructional, and structural reforms: K-12 social and emotional learning, middle and high school advisory programs, teams and teacher leadership, and improving faculty climate. Since 2012, Ms. Poliner has helped build the Social and Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts. Her most recent book is Teaching the Whole Teen: Everyday Practices That Promote Success and Resilience in School and Life.
The COVID-19 crisis provided us an opportunity to think innovatively about ways to address social inequities and rethink how we create spaces which are safe, welcoming, and equitable. This social crisis presented challenges in maintaining community in the various virtual settings. However, it is critical now more than ever to create opportunities for individuals to speak and to listen empathically with others in a brave space. This interactive workshop will address how to re-establish relationships between individuals and groups and how to process the impact of social distancing on young people, staff, and community members. Participants will leave with trauma-responsive strategies and an increased knowledge of restorative practices to build community.
Dr. Stefani Harvey is a community activist and educator who specializes in social justice and equity in education, particularly in addressing disparities for youth of color. As Roxbury native, Stefani has been a leader and a firm believer in the advocacy of positive growth and development in youth for over 15 years. As a former Dean of Students, Stefani has found that proactive measures are more productive to support student’s social emotional development than punitive measures. She has promoted Restorative Practices as a means to dismantle the school to prison pipeline in several schools. Through professional development for teachers, school leaders, and community members she has worked tirelessly to implement plans for school communities to bring a unified and collective approach to educating children.
This interactive virtual workshop will explore the social emotional impact of unconscious biases on families and their feelings of belonging and engagement in their child’s education. The workshop will encourage participants to examine individual and group biases, discuss anti-racist values and practices to promote connection and engagement during unprecedented times, and develop applicable strategies to create a more welcoming and inclusive community for all families.
Kathy Lopes is a licensed clinical social worker and educator with decades of experience working in education, mental health, non-profit, and government sectors. Kathy began her career as a school social worker in Boston, MA then Washington, DC and has settled back in her home city of Boston where she has held numerous managerial and administrative roles in the field of social work and education. Throughout her career, equity and inclusion have remained an integral part of her leadership and strategic planning priority. Currently, she is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Newton Public Schools system, and in addition, holds a longstanding adjunct faculty role at Simmons University School of Social Work, teaching the Dynamics of Racism and Oppression Course. She is a sought-after guest lecturer and public speaker on topics of cultural humility, equity, and social justice.
A deeper look into the rise of student voice within a pandemic, where students have called for more culturally relevant curriculum, demanded that educators return with anti racist teaching practices, and coined the term “educational reparations.” This session is designed to help professionals who work with our youth come out of the COVID pandemic with a growth mindset around youth development by using trauma-informed practices such as safety and connectedness to create outcomes for youth with socio-economic deficits.
Cory McCarthy has a long history of working with urban youth. In his quest to change the societal narrative around Black and Brown males, Cory spent over a decade coaching and instructing young men to not simply utilize their athletic abilities but to ensure 4-year college placement and graduation. As a critical member of New Mission’s administrative team and Director of School Culture and Climate, Cory’s passion, strategy, and tenacity helped lead the school to its designation as a winner of the 2012 EdVestors’ $100K School on the Move Prize, 2013 National Blue Ribbon School for Improvement, and the 2017 Title One Distinguished School Award.
In the midst of the COVID-19 and systemic racism, schools and out-of-school time organizations across Massachusetts are moving forward with plans for the fall. The need to create environments that support the social and emotional well being of all students, staff, and families—particularly those of color—has never been greater.
In this kickoff webinar of our virtual event series, join us to learn from and with experienced practitioners about strategies to amplify student voice and foster students’ sense of agency for social justice, explore unconscious biases to create a more welcoming and inclusive community for all families, use restorative approaches to address social inequities and create spaces that are safe, welcoming, and equitable, explore how SEL has been used to support racism, and use SEL to promote antiracist change. And share with peers about how approaches like these inform how plans for the fall are unfolding in your community.
Across Massachusetts, schools and out-of-school time organizations face uncertainty as they plan for their next phase of operations in the summer and fall, in the context of COVID-19.
Join us to learn what approaches are being taken around the Commonwealth and across the nation to address the social and emotional needs of young people, families, and staff as organizations navigate options for moving from online and other remote activities to an eventual return to in-person operations. Discover lessons learned from the period of emergency closures and explore how issues and opportunities exposed may uncover possibilities for recovery and renewal. And share with peers about how planning is unfolding in your community.
This webinar is co-hosted by United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts (SEL4MA).