School News

Fenn to Host Multicultural Educators' Forum on Tuesday, February 18
Posted 01/31/2020 12:42PM

The Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Fenn is pleased to announce that our annual Multicultural Educators' Forum (MEF) is open for registration. This year's Forum will take place on Tuesday, February 18 and explore how schools can create and maintain culturally responsive communities. Registration is requested by Tuesday, February 11 using this link. 

Since February 2010, Fenn has annually hosted such forums to provide independent school colleagues across New England with a daylong opportunity to engage in conversation and reflection about our work fostering school communities that are diverse, inclusive, and just. By design, these forums are interactive and offer a variety of avenues for faculty, staff, and administrators to share progress they have made and challenges they face. They also offer valuable networking opportunities for diversity practitioners. 

This year, the Fenn Forum features keynote speaker Joseph Derrick NelsonAssistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College and affiliated faculty with the Black Studies Program. Dr. Nelson is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for the Study of Boys' and Girls' Lives at the University of Pennsylvania. As a sociologist of education, his research examines race, boyhood, and schooling within learning environments that largely serve Black students from neighborhoods with concentrated poverty. His multi-year projects to date have led to publications with Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, and co-editing of a special issue on boys' education with the Journal of Boyhood Studies. He recently co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Boyhood in the United States, and his forthcoming book with Harvard Education Press is entitled, Unjust Resilience: Black Boyhood, Academic Success, and the Middle School Crisis. His research has been featured in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and National Public Radio. This year, he was named an Editor-In-Chief of the historic journal, Men and Masculinities. In his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Nelson taught first grade in a single-sex classroom of boys of color in the high-poverty neighborhood where he grew up.

Dr. Nelson's talk at Fenn's Forum will focus on the subject of relational teaching, specifically as it relates to Black boys.

A panel discussion will follow, exploring topics that include: being aware of our cultural lens and understanding how our students process information (and learn), how we can make space for student voice and agency, and how we can develop learning partnerships between students and teachers. The panel will feature Linda Hughes, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Walnut Hill School; Rosanna Salcedo, Dean for Equity and Inclusion at Cambridge School of Weston; Yana Weinstein-Jones, researcher and former professor at UMass Lowell; and Allison West, Middle School Curriculum Director at Carroll School. Dr. Nelson will also participate.

To conclude the day, Yana Weinstein-Jones will lead a hands-on workshop focused on learning strategies, specifically how we can use a diverse range of concrete examples from different cultures in teaching and learning to illustrate abstract concepts and how this diversity of content can actually help all students learn more effectively. Dr. Weinstein-Jones received her Ph.D. in Psychology from University College London in 2009, worked as a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis until 2013, and then at UMass Lowell as a professor until 2019. She co-founded the Learning Scientists, a popular informational resource for teachers, students, and parents all over the world, and co-authored the book Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide (2019). Dr. Weinstein-Jones recently chose to leave her academic position to focus on the application of her research to real-life educational settings. She is currently an editor at the Journal of Cognition and is writing a book about mental health in academia.

Fenn's DEI team of Director Jimmy Manyuru, Assistant Director Liz Wei, and Associate Megan Wu Macomber are excited about the content of the 2020 program and the speakers who will contribute to it, and look forward to collaborating with independent school colleagues during the program. Educators with questions are welcome to contact Jimmy Manyuru

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