Crossroads faculty and staff members continued meaningful dialogues on diversity and inclusion over the last week through two separate professional development opportunities.
The School sent a delegation of 52 employees—by far the largest contingent of any school—to Anaheim for the annual People of Color Conference, a three-day event organized by the National Association of Independent Schools that wrapped up Dec. 2.
The attendees explored a variety of topics at the intersection of race and the education field, such as workplace identity, cultural competency and equity and justice programming. Speaker sessions, workshops, affinity group meetings and networking events allowed Crossroads’ representatives to gain new insights while sharing their own experiences with peers from across the country.
“People from other schools were quite literally in awe of our School’s unhesitant willingness to send anyone and everyone wanting to attend,” swimming coach Tara Shima says. “I was extremely proud of Crossroads and grateful that our community really sees and commits to the need for social justice.”
“Attending PoCC pulled me out of my day-to-day routine and plugged me into a vibrant larger community of fellow educators and administrators all working toward the same goals,” adds Constituent Relations Manager Mery Grace Castelo.
Meanwhile, other Crossroads employees used the Dec. 1 pupil-free day to participate in an on-campus training about white privilege and allyship. The workshops focused on systemic inequities as well as ways to improve awareness and create supportive environments.
“I think it was key—and it’s part of a long tradition of us addressing these issues,” Dean of Alumni Tom Nolan says. “There was a lot of good, self-reflective and provocative stuff during the three sessions, and at the Councils at the end of the day people could articulate their own stories.”
Head of School Bob Riddle says it’s Crossroads’ aim to advance the ideas that employees generated during these powerful professional development opportunities.
“The work we did, and will continue to do, will only strengthen the ways in which we compassionately and courageously support our incredibly diverse community,” he says.