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Diversity Talks Continues to Improve School Culture

This year something amazing happened. Davies faculty members took part in a series of workshops focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. An impressive aspect of this training is that it was led by Davies students--nine to be exact. Many of the staff participants stated that the professional development was the most valuable training they had ever attended. 
Click the link to hear participants share their experiences:
The professional development workshops (designed by the Providence-based nonprofit Diversity Talks) will be offered again during the next school year. 
If you are a student who would like to participate: Diversity Talks will be at Davies this Thursday, May 16th, and Tuesday, May 21st, to recruit a new cohort of student facilitators. The recruitment sessions will take place in the cafetorium during all lunches. Students who are chosen to facilitate the training will receive $500 upon completion of the workshops.
If you are a staff member who would like to participate: Contact Stacy Jones or Carla Wardyga for more information.
Thanks for your time (and make sure to watch the video).
Stacy Jones & Carla Wardyga
Photo Caption: Students who made a difference at Davies by successfully leading eight professional development workshops as part of the school's Diversity Talks program. Students (L-R): Front: Maiyah-Li Lozado; Middle: Luz Correa, Vanessa Semedo, Ibi Akomolafe; Back: Mayra Soares, Jaiden Nivar-Julius, Jasai Boykin, Jason Paternina, Adam Flynn-Tabloff; Not Pictured: Horacy Cabral
  • Diversity Talks specializes in providing student-led professional development grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Some of the workshop topics included Implicit Bias, Power & Privilege, Cultural Differences and LGBTQ.
  • Twenty-three faculty members participated in the Diversity Talks workshops. Both student and staff should be proud of what was accomplished as Davies is the first school in Rhode Island to complete the entire eight-session training.
  • Diversity Talks has proven results in the following areas: building trust, fostering a space for difficult conversations, raising awareness of racial & cultural differences, improving morale, strengthening student-educator relationships, and increasing parent engagement. 
  • All of these focus areas greatly impact student achievement and all of these areas directly align to several goals in our 2017-2020 School Improvement Plan.
  • Nine student facilitators (chosen from a pool of 80 applicants).
  • The students underwent 20 hours of training in the areas of leadership, facilitation, public speaking, coping techniques and conflict resolution before leading the series of eight workshops.
  • Several of the facilitators were give the opportunity to hone their skills beyond the world of Davies by speaking at Diversity Talks conferences and workshops in Boston and Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Specifically, 
    • On December 12, Ibiolatiwa Akomolafe and Horacy Cabral facilitated a workshop on Implicit Bias at Johnson County Library in Kansas City, Kansas. 
  • On December 11, Jason Paternina, Ibiolatiwa Akomolafe and Mayra Soares delivered a Keynote Speech, followed by a Q&A session for a group of 70 educators from Achievement Network in Boston, Massachusetts.