June 2021 Update from Pollyanna
July 2021

In most years, we might think of summer as a time to recharge, refresh, and relax a time to get off the grid and spend some quality time with ourselves and those closest to us. While these impulses are likely still to be present for many of us, they are balanced this year by other motivations perhaps less associated with summer: reconnecting, rejoining, and rediscovering the joys of an in-person world.

We’ve been through much in the last sixteen months. And while the pandemic is not fully over, this summer feels like a turning point when we might spend less time on Zoom and more time participating in the joys of taking walks, having a coffee, or simply running into friends randomly in the store or on the street. 

During this time, we have marveled at how communities have used largely online platforms to have incredibly challenging conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and creating a sense of belonging among all constituents. We have seen communities engage in deep learning about who they are in this moment of racial reckoning. We have watched communities challenge themselves to live up to the fullest promise of their missions, even if it meant encountering pain and challenges along the way.

Amidst all of this learning and searching for the way forward, another impulse has emerged in many of the communities with whom we work: a desire to have deep and meaningful dialogue about how to apply all that we have learned about ourselves and our communities in these tumultuous times. We are seeing a deeply human impulse to connect personally, share ideas, and learn from each other. In short, people just want to be together and talk. And, after all we’ve been through, who can blame them?

This desire is why we are so excited about the Pollyanna Conferences we have coming up in the next year. Whether only for your school’s constituents or several schools in your area, in-person or online, these forums have always been a place for authentic, uplifting connections that forward our most important DEI efforts as communities. They remind us that, while many of the changes we seek are structural and systemic, we cannot make change without rooting ourselves in relationships. We are proud to provide a structured and safe place for communities to discuss how to be the best, most equitable, and just versions of themselves.

Pollyanna designed the Multi-School and Intra-Conference as opportunities for schools that want to deepen their knowledge, hear all voices and build community in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. They provide a platform across school constituencies for sharing personal experiences, expressing opinions and perspectives, and generating ideas and solutions for growth. 

Is your community eager to talk? For more information, please email info@pollyannainc.orgLet’s work together to provide a space for your school to gather and grow stronger as a community!
All best,
Casper Caldarola

In the News

High School Racial Literacy Curriculum
In the past year alone, our free K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum has been downloaded by over 4000 people. Grades 9-12 will also be available free at the beginning of 2022. If you'd like to be one of the test schools or would like to be notified when it's available, please fill out this short form.
Pollyanna Position Paper V 
Many school leaders had to reckon with resistance against their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts this year. The 5th Pollyanna Position Paper invited School Heads and DEI Directors to name strategies for navigating challenges while trying to lead their school communities towards greater racial justice and equity. Please read their insights in our latest Position Paper. Read about our next Position Paper under Announcements.
Thank You for the Partnership
We thank these schools and corporations for their partnership in June. We are committed to helping organizations achieve their DEI goals and build more inclusive communities.
Student Hackathon Addresses Real Issues
Pollyanna Founder Casper Caldarola was one of the judges at the DoSomething.org and Allstate Foundation Racial Justice Innovators Hackathon on June 24. There were five groups of students working on the following topics: Inclusive Curriculums, Diversity and Cultural Competency of Teachers, Race-based Bullying in Schools and Colorism, School to Prison Pipeline, and Mental Health in Schools. All the teams were stellar!


Pollyanna Position Paper VI
During the last year, we’ve shared our Position Papers that included the voices of Students, Heads of Schools, DEI Directors and Communications Directors. We’d love to hear from parents and guardians. If you’re a parent or guardian, please fill out this short, anonymous form. If you work at a school, please share with your Parents Association. Many thanks!
2021-22 Professional Development & Workshops
Beyond Black@ - Developing an Effective Communications/DEIB Partnership
We're excited to announce the addition of a special workshop for Communications Directors.
Join us on Tuesday, August 10, from 2:00-3:00PM ET on Zoom.
3-Hour K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum Overview PD
Join us for a 3-hour overview and in-depth discussion of Pollyanna's free K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum.
Saturday, August 14 and Saturday, October 23, from 1:00-4:00PM ET on Zoom.
Click here to learn more and register.
Showing Up and Standing Up: A 5-Part Journey Towards Antiracism for White Adults
1 September 2021, 7PM ET, “I don’t really see race...” - Examining White Identity
6 October 2021, 7PM ET, “I’m the least racist person…” - Unpacking White Privilege and Powe
3 November 2021, 7PM ET, “I don’t want to say the wrong thing…” - Navigating Conversations about Race
1 December 2021, 7PM ET, “I feel like I don’t know how to help...” - What Does it Mean to be an Ally and Accomplice?
5 January 2022, 7PM ET, “I just want to do the right thing...“ - Committing to an Antiracist Life
Please click here to register for the second cohort of this 5-Part Series.
School Conferences 2021-22
Join Far Brook School, Dalton School, Francis Parker School, Harvard-Westlake School, Ravenscroft School, Tuxedo Park School, Vermont Academy, Watkinson School, and others as a host school of our Intra- or Multi-School Conference models next year! For more information, please email info@pollyannainc.org
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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