October 2021 Update from Pollyanna
October 2021
Dear Friend,
For communities undergoing the process of transforming their cultures, there is nothing more urgent than DEIB work.  
However, this work can feel fruitless and challenging. Progress gives rise to opposition and setbacks. Communities – even allies – begin to feel a certain sense of exhaustion. Or, perhaps, feel stalled. 
It can also feel isolating, as if we are alone in championing something that our community doesn’t understand and possibly opposes. Early supporters may also feel as if their commitment is waning. But remember, we are not alone. The changemakers among us are indeed a supportive community.
As we head deeper into 2021, with the risk of COVID monopolizing another year, let’s take a moment to look at where we are, where we can draw strength and where we’re going.
Look in the mirror.  When we are on a journey, sometimes it is difficult to see just how far we have come. Take time to do this. Be purposeful. Transformation is incremental, and culture change is a game of inches. Think back to a time before you created that DEIB office…to a time before you prioritized hiring people with broader perspectives and life experiences…to a time when colleagues thought DEIB was only one person’s responsibility. You’re not at the beginning of this process, you’ve made important steps. Allow the progress to inspire you.
Look around you. So many communities are on this journey together – communities that are similar to yours. Many organizations are tight-knit, collaborative and compassionate communities. Our progress does not come at the expense of one another; rather, we work together.  Share your experiences, your frustrations and lean on each other for support. In doing so, we find our allies and accomplices. 
Look at who is affected. The most urgent work is ensuring that every member of our communities feels seen and heard, and has a sense of belonging. When every person feels a sense of belonging, we know we are reflecting the best of our values. How do we maintain the urgency of DEIB work amidst all of the demands competing for our attention? 
All best,
Casper Caldarola

In the News

Racially Responsible Podcast 
Tune into this special episode of Racially Responsible with Rorri Geller-Mohamed featuring Pollyanna founder Casper Caldarola. She shares how Pollyanna’s Racial Literacy Curriculum came to be, the racial equity work she has done in schools, how to start with low hanging fruit, and how she has navigated challenges that have arisen since founding the organization.
K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum Workshop 
Join us for a 3-hour overview and in-depth discussion of Pollyanna's K-8 Curriculum. Jason Craige Harris will guide you through a discussion about Pollyanna's Racial Literacy Curriculum, which is designed to help students gain knowledge about race as it has been constructed in the United States. This workshop will be interactive and engaging and, secondarily, will invite educators to consider their own racial literacy trajectory.
8th-12th Graders: Join Monthly Teen Pollyanna Meetings
Join teens from across the US committed to helping their schools achieve their DEIB goals. We have interesting and informative monthly programming and each session will begin with a surprise keynote speaker. If you'd like to join us or invite your students or teens, our monthly conversations begin October 9. Please fill out or share this form to register.
Show Your Pollyanna Pride on Your School's Website 
Websites are often the best places for community members and prospective families to see a reflection of the mission and values that matter most to a school. With this in mind, we are happy to offer a Pollyanna Partner School Badge to school communities with whom we have worked. If your school has hosted a conference, conducted an assessment, participated in professional development workshops, or implemented the K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum, we would be proud to appear on your website. Please email info@pollyannainc.org and let us know you’d like the artwork. 
Reading & Writing Reimagined
Join us at two new workshops with Brandon Guidry in October and November, Finding Your Voice as a Writer and Being Intentional about Building Lifelong Readers, for teachers across all grade levels. Descriptions are found below in Announcements.
Back By Popular Demand
Join Jan Abernathy, independent school communications leader, as she discusses what it takes to build meaningful and effective partnerships with school diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging teams. Monday, 18 October 2021 from 12:00-1:00PM ET on Zoom. Please see Announcements below to register.


K-8 Curriculum Feedback
Pollyanna believes deeply that all students, including the youngest learners, are leaders with the capacity to affect positive change in our society and world. This belief is most profoundly reflected in our K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum. As more schools implement this curriculum, it is also important to gather feedback in order to consider how it might evolve moving forward. If you are using all or parts of the K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum in your school, we'd love to hear from you. Please take a few moments to fill out this feedback form.
Upcoming Pollyanna Conferences
23 October - Harvard-Westlake School, CA will host its 5th annual multi-school conference: Reimagining Resiliency with Resolve
23 October - Watkinson School, CT will host its first intra-conference: Watkinson's Day of Community & Belonging
13 November - Far Brook School, NJ will host its 6th annual multi-school conference: Where Do We Go From Here?: Affirming Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Independent Schools
Fall Professional Development Workshops & Discussions
10-9-21 -- Being Intentional about Building Lifelong Readers with Brandon Guidry
In this workshop, we will provide a series of questions, conversations, and collaborative work space to explore the idea of building lifelong readers. This workshop is open to faculty and administrators across all divisions and parents.
Saturday, 9 October 2021, from 1:00-2:30PM ET on Zoom. Click here to learn more and register.
10-9-21 -- Teen Pollyanna's First Meeting of the School Year
All 8th-12th graders are invited to join teens from across the US committed to helping their schools achieve their DEIB goals. We have interesting and informative monthly programming and each session will begin with a surprise keynote speaker. If you'd like to join us or invite your students or teens, our monthly conversations begin October 9. Please fill out or share this form to register.
10-16-21 -- 3-Hour K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum Overview PD with Jason Craige Harris
Join us for an interactive 3-hour overview and in-depth discussion of Pollyanna's free K-8 Racial Literacy Curriculum. This session is a great introduction for faculty/admin or for new faculty/admin, if your school has already implemented the curriculum.
Saturday, 16 October 2021, from 1:00-4:00PM ET on Zoom. Click here to learn more and register.
10-18-21 -- Beyond Black@ - Developing an Effective Communications/DEIB Partnership with Jan Abernathy
The August session was so successful, we're bringing the workshop back for Communications & DEI Directors
Monday, 18 October 2021, from 12:00-1:00PM ET on Zoom. Click here for more information and to register.
11-6-21 -- Finding Your Voice as a Writer with Brandon Guidry
This workshop is for faculty in all grades and speaks to the opportunity to foster authentic voices as writers for students.
Saturday, 6 November 2021, from 1:00-2:30PM ET on Zoom. Click here to learn more and register.
Showing Up and Standing Up: A 5-Part Journey Towards Antiracism for White Adults with Jay Golon & Jessy Molina
Next session is on October 6. 1 September 2021 through 5 January 2022, from 7-8PM ET on Zoom. Please click here to register
September Partners
Thank you to the following schools and organizations for allowing us to partner with you to achieve your DEI goals: Brockton Public Schools, MA; City and Country School, NY; Far Brook School, NJ; Hoboken Charter School, NJ; Sheppard Mullin, NY; Stephen Gaynor School, NY; Los Angeles County Library, CA; Watkinson School, CT and Wellan Montessori School, MA.
Past Pollyanna Newsletters
If you'd like to read (or re-read) September's newsletter, just click on the link. Click here for older issues.
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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