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Diversity Talks Continues to Improve School Culture

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.