Music can calm or invigorate, and it can also empower. At Pollyanna’s 8th Anniversary Breakfast, we asked our guests to share the song that empowers them. We had such a wide range of answers! At NAIS’s People of Color Conference, each speaker who walked across the main stage to the podium had their own “walk-on” song and each one was more uplifting than the one before. As we kick off the new year, what is your 2024 Walk-on Song that will give you strength this year? Please reply to this email and let us know!



Teen Council: Is AI Inherently Biased?

We were honored to interview Manuela Veloso who is currently the head of AI research at JPMorgan Chase. Dr. Veloso explained that bias is different based on the perspective of different cultures and also related to experience. AI systems need feedback to improve to account for the presence of human bias. Dr. Veloso compared AI to calculators: There was strong resistance to them from teachers until they learned how to integrate them. AI is no different. It’s something new to be learned and incorporated as it becomes refined as a tool.

Aligning Advancement & DEIB Goals

David Smith’s workshop began by defining why alignment is important for independent schools and then explored ways to bring the mission and values into four distinct areas - fundraising, alumni engagement, special events, and volunteer management. Key takeaways were: Focus appeals on a mission-centric case for support; reimagine alumni engagement strategies to reach the broadest audience; develop a year-long strategy for events; and commit to celebrating and training your volunteers so they are well versed in the schools DEIB goals. 



January 9: Solving Conflict Like a Mediator

Conflicts are part of everyday life––and how we handle them matters. Conflicts can lead to greater clarity and connection, or they can lead to profound disconnection and harm. In this one-hour session on Zoom, Jason Craige Harris will teach tools to help resolve conflict and strengthen a sense of connection––among and between students, faculty/staff, and parents/guardians. 

It's not too late to sign up! One price per school, for all workshops, for all employees. All workshops are recorded.

January 21: The Importance of Affinity Groups

“Each year, I attend and look forward to NAIS’s People of Color Conference. It is the only time I sit in a room with other African American educators who also look to recharge. One year, an attendee shared with me that her experience at PoCC convinces her she is not crazy and keeps her from going insane. I feel like a member of a family, and PoCC is the family reunion.”  Trina Moore-Southall

If you're 13- to 18-years-old, click here to sign up!



FLAIR Helps Schools Progress Racial Equity and Cultural Competency
FLAIR is an edtech company that is working with schools to help them progress equity, with a focus on racial equity and cultural competency. They launched in the UK in 2020 and partner with over 170 schools in that market. They've expanded to the US, with a growing number of independent schools.
FLAIR has two offerings: 1. An analytics product which measures racial sentiment in a school via annual questionnaires sent to students and staff. Results are visualized in a dashboard and data-driven action plans provided. 2. A resources product which is a twice-weekly email sent to educators which includes short resources and activities related to embedding cultural competency in educators' weekly lives and classrooms. If you would like to hear more, please reach out to their CEO Nii 


“As an organization committed to excellent community healthcare in East Harlem, Center for Comprehensive Health Practices (CCHP) partnered with Pollyanna in 2022 and 2023 to conduct a Community Assessment. Working with the team, we explored constituent perspectives on topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our community. We felt supported during the entire process and the outcome has given us a thorough road map for the next three to five years.”  

Ann Mendelsohn, CEO



Pollyanna, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation 501(c)(3).
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