Our newsletter was written before the murder of Tyre Nichols. We wanted to acknowledge the pain being experienced.
It’s impossible to feel anything but horrified and angry by the brutality of the death of Tyre Nichols. As the mom of a son two years younger than Tyre, it was heart-wrenching to hear Mrs. Wells talk about her son with such love and then sadness at the realization Tyre is never coming home. How many Black men do we need to hear cry for their moms while being murdered by police until we make changes? The pain I feel is overwhelming, but nothing close to what Mrs. Wells is feeling. Many years ago, a friend with a young Black son turned to me and said, “when does my beautiful and funny boy become seen as a threat?” We need to be better and do better.
February 2023 Update from Pollyanna
February 2023
Dear Friend,
What do Shonda Rhimes, Simon Sinek and Alex Smith have in common?
I didn’t think it was a coincidence that I watched these three TED Talks...I knew there must be a reason. We’ve all faced personal and professional challenges and working in the DEIB space is filled with many. If we can support each other by saying YES more, identifying our WHY, and finding our STRENGTH, we can bring about meaningful change.
Shonda Rhimes is a prolific and successful television screenwriter, producer and author. She’s also the mom of three girls. Shonda is a self-proclaimed workaholic and lover of her work. Her TED Talk entitled, My Year of Saying Yes to Everything, is about her year of saying yes to everything. Anything that caused fear, challenged and brought joy she said yes to. Shonda learned that she grew because it was so fulfilling to say, “yes.”
The author and inspirational speaker, Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, was my next TED Talk. As I thought about Pollyanna and our client’s challenges, Simon’s example of why Apple is so much more successful than its competitors resonated. Simple in concept and more challenging in implementing. Simon starts with the WHY (what’s your purpose, cause, belief), followed by the HOW (what are you differentiating properties), and finally the WHAT (what you actually do). People buy why you do it, not what you do. This concept distinguishes great leaders from ordinary ones.
My final TED Talk was Alex Smith’s An NFL Quarterback on Overcoming Setbacks and Self-Doubt. Alex started his career with the 49ers, and after being traded to the Washington Football Team in 2018, suffered a life-threatening injury. Possibly never playing football again was the tip of the iceberg, it was possible he would lose his leg. Even though I’m not much of a football lover, Alex’s TED Talk message of perseverance when challenged is motivating.
Each one has a very inspiring and thought-provoking message I watched on my flight to San Francisco last week. Two trips to San Francisco in January on Delta have made me quite familiar with their inflight entertainment. I usually spend three-quarters of the trip working and the last quarter, I’ll watch a short documentary. This trip, I found myself watching these TED Talks.
Please take a few minutes to watch them, and it’s not necessary to be 30,000 feet up! 
Casper Caldarola

In the News

February 11 Pollyanna Teen Council Meet-up
All 13 to 18 year-olds are invited to join us for a special discussion on free speech with Olatunde Johnson. We come together for monthly discussions to learn how the student voice matters. Students may sign up on our page to receive the Zoom link. And, 3/11/23's meet-up is on Banned Books in School.
We'll Be in DC with AAIE on Sunday
Join AAIE at their Equity Pre-conference on Sunday, February 5 as Jay Golon and Jacqueline Nelson from Pollyanna will facilitate THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES Using the Assessment Process to Examine Equity, Values, and Narratives.  Click here for more information.
3 Sessions About Pollyanna's Curriculum
If you're thinking about downloading our curriculum, have already and are not sure how to implement it, or if you've already introduced it to your class and have some questions, join us. Reserve your spot. 
Building Campfires Across the US
Thank you to Drew School and Tatnall School for being the first to host our community event, Building Campfires, with Charles Vogl. The day focuses on his three leadership distinctions: Invitations, the Campfire Principle, and 3AM Friends. This action-oriented workshop inspired attendees to build deeper connections and community. One guest commented, “Who knew building community could stir-up so many emotions?" More to come!
Reach Out if We Can Be of Help with Your Planning for 2023
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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