Every Voice Matters.

Build inclusivity.

Capture the collective wisdom.

Take a leadership role.

Build community.

Host a conference.

MISSION

Pollyanna advances systemic change by developing stronger communities.

STRATEGY

Pollyanna works with academic and other institutions to achieve their diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Through its unique conference models, discussion platforms, and racial literacy curricula, Pollyanna increases cultural competence.

Jim Best, Dalton School

“Pollyanna is transformative. You’ll talk the talk, you’ll walk the walk, and you’ll see the world–and your work–in a new light.”

Erica Corbin, Chapin School

“It is an incredibly moving and inspiring experience to see students strategize with senior administrators, trustees, and their current or former teachers about ways to make a better school.”

Amy Ziebarth, Far Brook School

“This conference is my beacon of hope while we are going through a difficult time in our country.”

REFLECTIONS FROM CONFERENCES

PROGRAMS

The Independent School Conference, launched in 2011 at The Dalton School in New York City, is a daylong interactive program to train school leaders to broaden inclusion in and outside of the classroom. Schools in close geographic proximity come together for the day, wrestle with common problems and share the collective wisdom. Pollyanna has created a template for independent schools that will enable a school to replicate and customize the Conference in cities around the United States and around the world. The full-day Conference is hosted by one school in a geographic region, and aims to promote action and strengthen leadership by deepening the conversation, addressing challenges, sharing effective practices and generating positive steps. The goal is to improve inclusion within schools and the understanding that racial, socioeconomic, religious and sexual diversity enhances all elements of our schools. Each school attending the Conference sends a group of community members called a POD, which includes two members from each constituency: administrators, alumni, diversity coordinators, faculty, parents, students and trustees.

Pollyanna designed the Intra-Conference as an institutional capacity-building and excavating tool for schools wanting to deepen their knowledge, enhance practices and improve skills in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The very nature of the Intra-Conference, its emphasis on Pollyanna’s motto Every Voice Matters brings a school together and establishes and strengthens community connections. The conference informs the community and provides a platform for sharing personal experiences, expressing opinions and perspectives, and generating ideas and solutions for growth. This results in an enthusiasm and a strong desire for informed Aspirational Action by the school community.

As schools evolve beyond the Intra-Conference model, or if a school wants to investigate cultural and environmental perspectives on DEI topics, a Cross-Constituent Assessment is designed and implemented and consists of online surveys, focus groups and a comprehensive summary of both qualitative and quantitative data to provide infrastructure for on-going initiatives.

Aspirational Action is successful when it is owned and led by school community members. Pollyanna’s goal is to ensure that positive and sustainable capacity-building approaches to the work of inclusive practice becomes institutionalized within a school so that year-to-year as demographics evolve and the community widens, approaches continue to be relevant, inviting and engaging. Aspirational Action ideally picks up shortly after the Intra-Conference. Pollyanna helps structure retreats for small and large groups, co-designs DEI projects with metrics and starts down the path of creating goals for the school year where they can be held accountable, and in-process data and results will be collected and shared with the community to highlight how the needle is moving on respective initiatives. Regardless of how a school decides to approach Aspirational Action, Pollyanna serves as facilitators the entire way.

WHY HOST?

Act on your school’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and make visible the priority by hosting a community-building conference for schools in your region.

Deepening the conversation with your neighboring schools, share knowledge and strengthen the community in order to create a more equitable school.

TOPICS

Creating a Generation of Inclusive Leaders
School Transitions: The K-8 Experience
Shaping & Sustaining Safe Schools for LGBTQ Community
Socioeconomics
Race • Privilege • Community Building
Intersectionality
Cultivating Racial Awareness and White Engagement
Raising Empathy & Taking Action
Implicit Bias

NEWS

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Mark Your Calendars for a New Series for Parents, Grandparents, Friends, Relatives

Showing Up and Standing Up: A 5-Part Journey Towards Antiracism for White Families

20 January 2021, 7PM ET, “I don’t really see race…” – Examining White Identity

17 February 2021, 7PM ET, “I’m the least racist person…” – Unpacking White Privilege and Power

10 March 2021, 7PM ET, “I don’t want to say the wrong thing…” –  Navigating Conversations about Race

14 April 2021, 7PM ET, “I feel like I don’t know how to help…” – What Does it Mean to be an Ally, Accomplice and Co-Conspirator?

12 May 2021, 7PM ET, “I just want to do the right thing…“ – Committing to an Antiracist Life

Click here for more information and to register for the series. 

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Sign up now for our new 2021 Professional Development Offerings and Pollyanna’s Curriculum Overview for Faculty and Administrators 

9 January 2021: The Power of Inclusion and Exclusion: Teaching about MLK, Civil Rights and How the Past Informs the Present

30 January 2021: Pollyanna’s Racial Literacy Curriculum Overview for Grades K-8

20 February 2021: A Historical Perspective: How Has Systemic Racism Shaped the History (and Current Society) of the U.S.?

Click on each title for more information and to register. 

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We’re working closely with several schools on a series of antiracist parent education sessions. For more information about what we can create for your school in 2021, please contact info@pollyannainc.org

Bodie Brizendine, Spence School

“Thank you for providing such an opportunity for all of our schools, not only to work among the many fine schools represented but also within our own walls.”

Stephen Warner, Allen-Stevenson

“The seeds for many of our diversity initiatives have been planted at this conference.”

Sandra Chapman, LREI

“We enjoyed sharing resources, strategies, ideas and challenging moments we have overcome.”