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The equity-based seminars are designed to support educators, administrators, and other leaders across the education field to build the skills needed to promote educational equity in schools. They serve as professional learning opportunities with the goal of engaging educators in critical discourse about the role of identity, culture, and inclusion in education.

**Our equity-based seminars will be offered at no cost to our community of educators and leaders. We want to make sure you are fueled and ready to engage and learn, so we’re providing a light dinner and beverages.

Sept. 20: Developing Equitable and Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Focus: Science and Integrated Math and Humanities

Lead Facilitators: Emily Abedon & Angela Flynn

Date: Thursday, September 20th

Time: 4:30-7:00 pm

Location: Gordon School  | 45 Maxfield Avenue | East Providence, R.I. 02914

Seminar Description: During this seminar, educators and leaders have the opportunity to participate in engaging activities that will provide a framework for teachers who are beginning to think about what equitable and culturally responsive curriculum looks like in science and integrated math and humanities.

Angela Flynn will share the student-driven processes that she has used to develop an integrative and reflective middle school science unit that uses brain science, sociology, and biology to guide students in uncovering misconceptions about their understanding of racial identity and implicit bias. Part of this curriculum includes her innovative TEDEd lesson, “The Science of Skin Color,” which has been viewed over 1 million times and customized by other educators over 300 times.

Emily Abedon will guide participants through the process of embedding equitable and culturally responsive practices in an integrated math and humanities, lower school, curriculum. Educators will see how students consider multiple perspectives throughout a math graphing unit. Participants will practice using Emily’s equity lesson planning tool as they immerse themselves in the idea that “What you see depends on where you stand.”

Oct. 11: Checking Your Implicit Biases

Focus: Self-Identity Development

Lead Facilitators: Diversity Talks

Date: October 11, 2018

Time: 4:30-7:00 pm

Location: Center @ Moore Hall | Providence College Huxley Gate, 163 Huxley Avenue | Providence, Rhode Island 02918

Seminar Description: The Kirwin Institute defines implicit biases as attitudes or stereotypes that are activated unconsciously and involuntarily. Our goal during this seminar is to help educators and leaders become more aware of the implicit biases they have and acknowledge how they might show up in their classrooms and schools. Participants will have the opportunity to explore how their environment and value system influences implicit biases. With greater awareness, we can successfully interrupt our biases in an effort to better serve all students.


*Free parking in Anderson Stadium Garage or Sneider Arena Lot. Also here is a web address for the campus map: https://map.providence.edu.

Nov. 8: Engaging Students Using Culturally Relevant Content

Focus: Social Justice, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Visual Arts

Date: November 8th, 2018

Time: 4:30-7:00 pm

Location: RISD Museum at Rhode Island School of Design Museum | 20 N. Main Street | Providence, R.I. 02903

Seminar Description:

Session I

Lead Facilitators: O’Sha Williams | Yovanny Vargas

  • This session is intended to explore the intersectionality between Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, creating the safe space necessary to foster an optimal learning environment and supporting Multilingual Learners in our classrooms. Together, we will have an opportunity to deepen our communal understanding, share best practices, and engage in authentic dialogue, to best meet the needs of all students.

O’sha Williams is originally from Jamaica Queens, New York and has lived in Providence, RI for almost 6 years. She is an 11th and 12th grade English teacher for students learning English as a new language at Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School where she gets the opportunity to work alongside her students as a community partner. O’sha is a graduate student from Brown University’s Urban Education Policy program. She is passionate about establishing pathways for communities to be self-sustaining in every regard of education, particularly pipelines for the families served by PPSD to be more prominently represented among the educators, administrators, and legislators for this school district.

Yovanny Vargas is a Dean working at Blackstone Valley Prep middle school in Central Falls. He was recently accepted into The Principal Residency Network (PRN) with the hopes of attaining his administrative certificate by the end of the 2018-19 school year. He is also on the Eduleaders of Color R.I. advisory committee and currently working to build out a SEL curriculum tailored to young men of color with other educators in RI.

Session II

Lead Facilitators: Kajette Solomon | MJ Robinson | Marianni Lefas-Tetenes

  • Using artworks and artifacts to connect to students’ unique identities, backgrounds and interests is a powerful approach to value and center students’ experiences in relation to specific curricula. This session will use examples of culturally relevant objects at the RISD Museum and will provide strategies for responsive teaching with art. Led by museum educators, who work with classroom teachers teaching different subjects and ages, we will explore a range of media and share strategies and practices for selecting and working with art to ensure and support students’ culturally diverse experiences and interests. We will also address challenges and pitfalls and provide guidelines for inclusive practices.

Kajette Solomon is the Education Program Coordinator at the RISD Museum where she manages the Docent Program as well as the coordination and realization of the Museum’s many programs that create connections between audiences, collections, and exhibitions. Before moving to Rhode Island, Kajette was an Account Manager at Bridgeman Images in New York working with museums, educational publishers, advertising agencies and design firms. She has also held positions at Gallery Z in Providence, The Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, the Studio Museum in Harlem and at David Zwirner Gallery in New York City. She has a BA in Art History from Arcadia University and MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism from State University of New York at Purchase College.

MJ Robinson has been a Museum Educator connecting museum collections with K-12 curriculum since 2015. They are also a working writer, illustrator, and cartoonist. MJ organizes with the Providence chapter of Black and Pink, an open family of LGBTQ and/or HIV+ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other, and with Showing Up For Racial Justice RI’s childcare collective, providing free childcare for social justice organizing led by People of Color. They also boost the work of RED ART, a group of artists currently incarcerated in Rhode Island that started with a vision to see “a world without prisons, oppression, war, or hate.” MJ is working toward a certificate in Children’s Book Illustration at RISD and holds a BA in Studio Art and Creative Writing from Oberlin College. mj-robinson.com

Mariani Lefas-Tetenes is Assistant Director for School & Teacher Programs and manages K-12 school visits, teacher professional development workshopsand coordinates the development of resources for students and teachers. She helped develop the RISD Museum’s multi-part program for Providence Public Schools launched in 2007. Prior she taught art history at the City University of New York (Kingsborough Community College) and worked in curatorial, conservation, education and editorial capacities for arts organizations including The Jewish Museum, the Grey Art Gallery at New York University, and The New-York Historical Society. Mariani has also worked as a labor organizer in New York City with the United Auto Workers (UAW). Mariani has a BA from Indiana University in Art History and Philosophy, an MA in Art History and Criticism from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has worked towards a PhD in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

*Registration link will be available on Monday, October 15th


Dec. 11: EduColor- A Movement Not a Moment

Focus: Advocacy, teacher activism, and intersectional work

Lead Facilitators: Yamil Báez, Keith Catone, EduColor

Date: December 11th, 2018

Time: 4:30-7:00 pm

Location: The Met School’s Black Box Theatre | 325 Public Street | Providence, RI 02905

Seminar Description:

EduColor is a national community of advocates dedicated to the constant, beautiful struggle for liberation, including an equitable, just education for everyone. Providing a web of support, co-conspirators, and resources, EduColor’s work strives to reflect, uphold, and promote a rich set of principles found on EduColor’s website and copied for you below. We are educators, parents, students, writers and activists. Two EduColor leaders from Rhode Island, Yamil Báez and Keith Catone, will facilitate a seminar that seeks to deepen our understanding of how EduColor’s principles are and/or can be reflected in the work being done in RI to advance an equitable, just education for everyone.

Yamil has been a member of EduColor since December of 2015.  A resident of Providence, Rhode Island for over thirty years, Yamil is of Dominican descent and grew up in that country and in the U.S. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Italian; Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Master of Arts in Spanish, all from the University of Rhode Island, Kingston.  She is a 2017 graduate of Providence College’s Teacher Certification Program. Previously a teacher of Spanish and Italian, in addition to World Language Chair for 6th – 12th grades at the Moses Brown School, Providence, Yamil now teaches at Durfee High School in Fall River, MA.  Yamil served on the Providence School Board from January 2014 to January 2017.  She has served on the Boards of the Providence After School Alliance; the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, the Providence Community Library as the Mayor’s Community Appointee, the Providence Journal’s Race in RI Sounding Board and the Latino College Access Coalition Advisory Board, the RI Latino Arts Board and the Providence Community Library Advisory Council.  A member of EduColor’s Steering Committee, Yamil is also EduColor’s chat coordinator.

Keith has been a member of EduColor since 2014.  Before becoming Executive Director of CYCLE – the Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education, Keith Catone served as Associate Director for Community Organizing and Engagement at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education at Brown University. He was the project director for the Youth 4 Change Alliance in Providence, RI and co-founded the New York Collective of Radical Educators, a citywide grassroots teacher activist group, while teaching high school social studies in the Bronx. Keith serves on the board of directors for the Education for Liberation Network and has authored numerous research and opinion pieces. His first book, The Pedagogy of Teacher Activism: Portraits of Four Teachers for Justice, explores connections between pedagogical purpose, power, and possibility in the context of working with teachers, youth, families, and communities to change the world. Keith has an AB in public policy from Brown University and an EdM in school leadership and EdD in culture, communities, and education from Harvard University. Aside from educational justice, the things he loves most in life are his son, partner, kitchens, and karaoke.


From EduColor:

These are the principles that were developed with profound love and respect by the EduColor collective. We dedicate ourselves to these principles in all of our works.

  • We are dedicated to the constant, beautiful struggle for liberation, including an equitable, just education for everyone.
  • We believe it is everyone’s responsibility to critically examine their role in working toward justice.
  • We strive to build a new, better, more effective way of reaching equity and justice in public education.

This can only be achieved through:

  • Addressing systemic inequities of race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, class, occupation, age, religious belief, language, and power—and fighting for and building alternative equitable structures for public education.
  • Recognizing that all of us have been socialized in oppressive ways, and thus need to embark upon an ongoing process of unlearning and relearning to address our own privilege and/or internalized oppression as a necessary first step towards dismantling the systemic oppression our individual biases reinforce and reproduce.
  • Amplifying the voices of communities of color to advocate for their own vision for public education.
  • Providing a seat at decision-making tables or in forums where the people we work to serve can express their own lived experiences specifically for educators, activists, community leaders, parents, and students in underserved communities.
  • Creating long-term leadership opportunities for people of color at all levels of the educational system and across overlapping identities.
  • Restructuring pedagogies through critical cultural lenses, including but not limited to curating and assisting in the creation of resources and support for administrators and educators to use with students.
  • Protecting public education for all people, especially from current movements to destroy it.
  • Actively working to direct public education towards removing its legacy of oppression, exclusion and disenfranchisement that is a fundamental feature of the system.