Ellis Launches Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Series for Parents

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are woven within the fabric of an Ellis student’s daily learning experience. But what role do parents play in supporting their kids as they do this work in their own lives? To help parents support their daughters and grow in their own journeys, The Ellis School has launched a four-part mini-series this year, The Groundwork: The Parent Role in Building an Inclusive Community.
These virtual webinars will feature experts within a range of DEI topics and fields and highlight helpful resources. The goal is to provide an avenue for parents to explore their own identities while facilitating a safe space for thoughtful reflection and dialogue with other parents.

“It is important for us to engage in this work with parents to ensure that we are creating a school environment that has a strong understanding of what it means to be culturally competent,” shares Denise LaRosa, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “We value having reciprocal relationships with our families. We are here to support each other in this journey and grow collectively.”

At the first session on November 12, Ms. LaRosa and a panel of members from the Ellis parent community will figuratively lay the groundwork for future sessions and discuss how parents can reinforce what Ellis students are learning in the classroom at home. Parents are encouraged to prepare for the discussion by listening to the June 3, 2020 episode of the podcast “Unlocking Us with Brené Brown,” featuring Ibram X. Kendi, activist and author of How to Be an Antiracist.

The second session on January 14, 2021, will be targeted toward families of students in pre-kindergarten through grade 4 and include a discussion between Ms. LaRosa and Dr. Aisha White, Program Director of Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education (P.R.I.D.E.) at the University of Pittsburgh. 

The third session will take place on January 28, 2021, and be focused on Middle School families, and the fourth session will take place on February 11, 2021, and be geared toward Upper School families. Speakers for those sessions will be announced as soon as they are confirmed. Zoom links for the sessions can be found on the school calendar. The Groundwork series is co-sponsored by the Ellis Parent Association and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
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