Diversity educator Rosetta Lee visited The Ellis School on January 17 and 18, 2019 to speak with families, students, board members, and faculty and staff. An Outreach Specialist at Seattle Girls’ School, Rosetta is an expert on a variety of issues, including cross-cultural communication, identity development, prejudice reduction, and coalition building, gender and sexuality diversity, facilitation skills, bullying in schools, and gender bias in the classroom.
Over the course of five distinct, thought-provoking sessions at Ellis, Rosetta spoke about the importance of schools creating safe and inclusive learning environments where all students feel welcome and respected. At an evening event for families, Rosetta emphasized how diversity enhances and impacts students’ lives at each developmental stage. Covering trends in independent schools, higher education, and workplaces, Rosetta discussed how parents can partner with the School and work with their children to prepare for the future by exercising cultural competency.
In student assemblies on January 18, Rosetta spoke to Middle School girls about unhealthy conflict and offered resources to girls on how they can cultivate healthy relationships, confront bullies, and be an ally to their peers. The Upper School session focused on microaggressions with Rosetta zoning in on ways students can handle words and actions that offend or hurt them even if they are unintentional. Rosetta then took questions from students and shared personal experiences, tools, and practical strategies on how they can best navigate uncomfortable conversations and situations.
To conclude her time at Ellis, Rosetta hosted a workshop for faculty and staff on how to create inclusive classrooms. Within the ever-changing landscape of student demographics and diversity initiatives, Rosetta discussed how educators can embrace multiculturalism and create learning environments that honor and respect all students and their unique identities.
Rosetta’s visit reaffirmed the importance of Ellis’ ongoing commitment to equity and inclusion. By encouraging students, faculty, families, trustees, and staff to exercise empathy, compassion, and awareness, the School will continue to evolve, live our professed values, and recognize the collective strengths derived from individual differences.