September 2021 Update from Pollyanna
September 2021
Dear Friend,
It is incredible to think that twenty years ago this month, many of us were unified in the hope of creating a more peaceful and just world in response to an unfathomable act of violence in our own country. A full generation later, it would be easy to feel like we have failed in creating this world. Some might even argue that we have taken steps backward as a society. In moments like these, I recall Martin Luther King Jr's reminder that “the arc of the moral universe is long and it bends towards justice.” 
As always, the greatest source of inspiration comes from our youngest diversity practitioners and activists. The members of Teen Pollyanna gathered virtually this summer to chart a course for the new year. Destynée Johnson, one of our Pollyanna interns and lead on the Teen Pollyanna project, describes their progress below:
“I’m excited to begin expanding the Teen Pollyanna group. I can’t wait to meet new students, hear about their experiences, and work together to address problems within our communities. I think Teen Pollyanna can be a great support system for students to lean on, so I’m also excited to have the opportunity to reach and impact a greater number of students. 
Over the summer, the interns and I developed the monthly activities schedule for the 2021-22 Teen Pollyanna year. A few themes I noticed from the meeting plans are leadership, action, listening, and learning. It is clear these four themes are what we’d like to instill in the Teen Pollyanna group through the activities we have planned. 
Last year we took more of a discussion-based approach in our facilitation of Teen Pollyanna meetings; however, this year, we are hoping to maintain a balance between conversation and action. A big change that we are excited to put in place is the concept of a ‘Teen Pollyanna Pledge.’ This pledge would be introduced to the students towards the middle of the year, and would essentially ask the students to dedicate time to make a change (whether big or small, whether personal or community-wide) in their school community. I believe a pledge has the ability to keep students engaged in the Teen Pollyanna group, but also to allow students to explore their role as involved community members.”
Destynée’s words give me great reassurance. How could the adults not support these efforts if this work is still so very important to our kids? I am enormously proud of this group of young people and the work they accomplished this summer. They will create an impact and will also remind their elders why we need to remain committed and focused. If you’d like to learn more about the Teen Pollyanna program, join us on September 29 for a discussion on Zoom.
I hope you find a similar source of inspiration for yourself and your community’s work as the new school year begins. As always, we stand ready to join you in the conversation and action. Please see our newly updated list of workshops that we can bring to your school or organization. Through the learning and conversation we can provide, we hope to inspire a more peaceful, just, and accepting world one individual and community at a time.
All best,
Casper Caldarola

In the News

How to Keep the 2020-21 Momentum Prioritized  
The September/October Net Assets issue includes an article by Casper Caldarola - DEI Transformation: How to build consensus, maintain energy and remain mission-aligned when your school faces questions regarding its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Click here to read the article.
This workshop will help parents and guardians learn accurate definitions of Racial Literacy and CRT (dispelling distortions and inaccuracies) as well as provide an overview of how Racial Literacy can be integrated into a curriculum to promote equity and belonging for all. Click here to register for this free event.
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 are 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.


Final Call for Schools Interested in Participating in the Pollyanna High School Curriculum Pilot
If you are interested in being a part of this pilot, we ask that individual educators and/or school representatives please fill out the following form by September 9. On the form, you will be asked to indicate which subjects you or your school would like to pilot. Subject areas include: Advisory, Art, Biology, English Language Arts, Health/Wellness, History, Math, and Technology. Educators/schools can pilot a single subject, all eight subjects, or anything in between.
Upcoming Professional Development & Workshops
Showing Up and Standing Up: A 5-Part Journey Towards Antiracism for White Adults with Jay Golon & Jessy Molina
1 September 2021 through 5 January 2022, from 7-8PM on Zoom. Please click here to register.
9-28-21 -- "Race Talk is Dividing Us" and Other Myths About Race in K-12 Schools with Jason Craige Harris
This workshop will help parents and guardians learn accurate definitions of Racial Literacy and CRT (dispelling distortions and inaccuracies) as well as provide an overview of how Racial Literacy can be integrated into a curriculum to promote equity and belonging for all. Come learn and bring your questions.
Tuesday, 28 September 2021, from 7-8PM ET on Zoom. Click here to learn more and register for this free event.
9-29-21 -- A Roundtable Discussion with Teen Pollyanna and Jason Craige Harris
Come hear how Teen Pollyanna plans to connect with students on a monthly basis this school year with the programming they created this summer. Reserve your spot and invite your teenagers who have an interest in DEI initiatives. Come learn how we’ll support students while they make efforts to improve their school communities.
Wednesday, 29 September 2021, from 7-8PM ET on Zoom. Click here to learn more and register for this free event.
And, if you'd like to invite your students or teens to join our monthly conversations starting in October, please share this form.
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.
10-16-21 -- 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 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.
August 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; Burke's School, CA; Corlears School, NY; Dalton School, NY; Dedham Country Day School, MA; Gaston Day School, NC; Lycée Français, NY; NYSAIS; Patterson Park Charter School, MD; Watkinson School, CT and Wellan Montessori School, MA.
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. 
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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