Faculty, staff attend diversity workshop

Liz Yount

Educational consultant Derrick Gay led workshops on diversity at Faculty Professional Growth Day on Nov. 12. The day was interactive with lecture-based discussions, small group work and individual reflection.

The three main goals of the workshop were to demonstrate that not all identities are equally valued in society, share strategies for creating inclusive communities and increase awareness of ways that individuals can promote diversity.

“These new insights and heightened awareness will inform the ways in which individuals use words and interact with one another to cultivate an inclusive community,” Gay said in an email.

After a day of presentation and discussion, faculty broke up into their separate departments to discuss ways they could support diversity on a smaller scale.

“My favorite part of the day was eavesdropping on small group departmental discussions where faculty were deeply engaged in reflecting on ways in which they could enrich community,” Gay said.

Survey responses from faculty helped Gay to create points of discussion for workshops and to make the topic of diversity more accessible, he said.

“The first step is to reframe diversity from an identity that represents historically marginalized groups to a set of intentional community goals,” Gay said in an email. “[Students] will inherit a 21st century world where global perspective, the ability to effectively communicate across difference, is a non-negotiable.”

Head Upper School Librarian Shannon Acedo thought that Gay’s lectures and workshops were well-received by faculty and staff.

“It was a really interesting experience,” Acedo said. “I valued it …I thought that Derrick Gay was amazing. I found out a lot about myself and my colleagues, and I think that everyone had something to think about.”