February 2021 Update from Pollyanna
April 2021

One question often raised during the last year was, When will we return to normal? We've talked about the possibility of a new normal. But what did some aspects of our old normal really look like, and is it worth returning to it? Is this an opportunity for us to reset?

As more people are vaccinated and there seems to be a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel, at least in the US, some sense of normal is beginning to return. Unfortunately, one of those normal aspects is the media coverage of mass shootings. Such coverage had become a terrifying part of our old normal, but had virtually ceased to exist during the height of the pandemic. However, in the last two weeks, this country has experienced two horrific mass shootings with extensive media attention. One of these shootings targeted the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community specifically, adding to the attacks that have been increasing over the past year.

Our hearts are broken for the families and friends tortured by all of these events. (As of this writing, the Gun Violence Archive tells us that there have been almost 40 mass shootings with four or more victims in the United States in March of 2021 alone.) Our anger is stirred knowing that if our country fully believed in teaching children about acceptance of all people, offered better mental health care options and adopted stricter gun laws, these shootings may not have happened. Moreover, we pledge to do our part to lift up the teaching of the history of the AAPI community in the United States to help combat the senseless targeting of people in this community.

Amidst a rising tide of violence in our society, and as we do our best to wrestle with the COVID pandemic, we know what some of the basics are that we’d like back in our lives -- to be able to spend time with our family and friends, to get back to a community workspace possibly, and to have all children in school…in person…every day. We look to these basics to center us.

I’d be so interested to learn what else about your pre-pandemic life you hope to bring back into your new normal. And, what specifically would you leave behind? We’re at an inflection point. Spring is in the air, and we have an opportunity to reflect, reset and reprioritize.

All best,
Casper Caldarola

In the News

TIE NY Welcomed Casper Caldarola
TIE New York members Sunaina Ocalan and Ronak Jani, and Pollyanna Founder Casper Caldarola engaged in a discussion about the importance of diversity of people and perspectives at work and in schools, how to engage in difficult conversations, and how to begin making a difference. 
Pollyanna Intern
Welcome to Sofia! She is our newest intern and is helping with marketing and social media. Sofia's video on our Instagram shares a little bit about herself and why she joined Pollyanna.
Schools, Organizations & Corporate Partners
We enjoyed working with you in March! Projects last month included: conferences, DEI assessments, faculty professional development, parent and leadership workshops, student classes, and speaking engagements.   
Shanti Alliance 2021 Conference 
Many thanks to Shanti Alliance and Chai Reddy for inviting Monique Vogelsang to participate as a presenter in this important day of student and educator presentations and discussions. 


New Pollyanna Schools
We welcome the following schools to the family: Katherine Delmar Burke School, CA; City and Country School, NY; Horizons at the Episcopal Academy, PA; Isidore Newman School, LA; KapKa Cooperative School, WA; Norwood School, MD; Seattle Public Schools, WA; and Tatnall School, DE.
Last Chance to Add Your Voice...Heads of Schools, the Next Position Paper is to Support You and Your Colleagues
As the 2020-2021 school year passes its halfway mark, many schools have had to reckon with resistance and pushback against their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The goal for our 5th Pollyanna Position Paper is to allow School Heads to name strategies for navigating challenges while trying to lead their school communities towards greater racial justice and equity. Thank you for participating in this survey
6 April 2021 - Decentering Beauty & Success from Whiteness: A Workshop with Justine Ang Fonte
Beauty and success have often been defined through white supremacist terms, lands, and systems. This fact has made it disproportionately challenging or fully impossible for people of color to keep up under those constraints. The Halo Effect has never worked in favor of many BIPOC. Cognitive bias suggests that what is beautiful is good and is also referred to as the physical attractiveness stereotype. Beauty isn’t about taste but geopolitics, and there is a history of defining beauty and, therefore, attractiveness, familiarity, and trustworthiness that's centered on whiteness. And white supremacy solidified this by recruiting others to join them by calling Asians like Justine, the model minority. In this workshop, we will examine this type of oppression through a social-emotional lens. Attendees will be able to reflect on their own body image and the society that influences it.
Click here for more information and to register. Please share!
Showing Up and Standing Up: A 5-Part Journey Towards Antiracism for White Families
with Pollyanna Facilitators Jay Golon and Jessy Molina
20 January 2021, 7PM ET, “I don’t really see race...” - Examining White Identity - completed
17 February 2021, 7PM ET, “I’m the least racist person…” - Unpacking White Privilege and Powe completed
10 March 2021, 7PM ET, “I don’t want to say the wrong thing…” -  Navigating Conversations about Race
14 April 2021, 7PM ET, “I feel like I don’t know how to help...” - What Does it Mean to be an Ally, Accomplice and Co-Conspirator?
12 May 2021, 7PM ET, “I just want to do the right thing...“ - Committing to an Antiracist Life
Please email info@pollyannainc.org for more information. 
Upcoming Virtual School Conferences
April 10, 2021: Westover School in Connecticut will host its first Pollyanna Conference.
April 24, 2021: Francis Parker School in California will host its second Pollyanna Conference.
May 1, 2021: The Wheeler School in Rhode Island will host its second Pollyanna Conference.
May 8, 2021: The Dalton School in New York will host its eleventh Pollyanna Conference.
May 15, 2021: Ravenscroft School in North Carolina will host its first Pollyanna Conference
Pollyanna advances systemic change by developing stronger communities.
Pollyanna works with academic and other institutions to achieve their diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Through its unique conference models, discussion platforms, and racial literacy curricula, Pollyanna increases cultural competence.
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