Faculty and Staff Attend, Head English Teacher Gives Presentation at NAIS POCC Conference

December 02, 2022

Seven members of our faculty and staff traveled to San Antonio for the NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC), the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools’ commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and sustainability for independent schools. This year’s theme—Reunited in Purpose: Elevating Our Worth, Our Agency, and Our Excellence—spoke to the action needed to reverse the loss of civil and human rights that threatens democracy and harms those who experience identity-based discrimination. There were workshops, classes, affinity groups, opportunities for bonding and networking, and speakers including world-renowned poet Nikki Giovanni.

Our delegation included Twan Claiborne (US Teacher and 11th Grade Dean), Tatesha Clark (Director of Diversity and Equity), Heather DeLeon (LS Head Teacher), Horace Knight (CFO), Mike O’Neill (US Ed Tech Integrator), Cara Shaw (US Head Teacher),  and Briana Thomas (LS Teacher).

Head English Teacher Cara Shaw gave a presentation at the conference on “Outliers, Outlaws, Outcasts: Storytelling Beyond the Hero’s Journey.” The presentation invited attendees to “discover the outliers, outlaws, and outcasts in storytelling as a disruption to the single-story narrative of our conquest culture:”

Sequences of events with heroes and villains reinforce white supremacy. Instead, this innovative framework creates a culturally responsive, equitable lens for evaluating narratives that shape our beliefs and biases . . . Growth trajectories do not track uphill or in straight lines. Learn how you can integrate this perspective of transformative intersectionality into cross-curricular instruction for change throughout your school and surrounding community.

Cara’s ideas were met with enthusiasm by workshop attendees, facilitating fruitful discussions both during and after her presentation.

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