Ellis to Host Year of Celebrated Speakers

The Ellis School has a diverse, accomplished, and intellectually stimulating group of women lined up to speak on campus throughout the 2018–2019 school year. These dynamic changemakers will serve as powerful role models to students, expose them to real-world experiences, and broaden their perspective on future career paths and choices.
Learn more about each of these speakers below. We hope you will consider joining us for one of the events open to our community.

Professional Writers Panel
Audience: Ellis students
The Ellis English department will host a writers panel for students on October 17 featuring Yona Harvey, an award-winning author, contributor to Marvel’s World of Wakanda anthology, and co-writer of Marvel’s Black Panther & The Crew; Mila Sanina, Executive Director of PublicSource; and Sioban Vivian, best-selling American novelist, editor, and screenwriter. Designed to show students the many different applications and careers involving writing, the panel will highlight the women’s backgrounds, expertise, and experience in the industry.

Associate Curator of the Carnegie International Liz Park
Audience: Middle and Upper School Students
On November 28 the Ellis Visual Arts department will host Liz Park, Associate Curator of the Carnegie International who will speak to students in grades 5–12 about the upcoming exhibition which explores what it means to be “international” in 2018. Following the assembly, Middle School students will visit Carnegie Museum of Art to view the exhibition. Lower and Upper School students will also visit on select dates. Check division newsletters for updates and details. The Visual Arts faculty are also working with Ellis alumna, Liz KELLER ’99, Assistant Head of Administration at the Carnegie Mellon School Art, and Liz Park to identify possible Carnegie International artists to visit Ellis throughout the year as the exhibition gets underway.

The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom
January 8, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Audience: Open to the public
At the request of students in the Upper School’s Jewish Student Union, Sheryl Olitzky, Director of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, will visit Pittsburgh on January 8 and 9, 2019. The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom builds strong relationships between Muslim and Jewish women based on developing trust and respect and ending anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiment. In partnership with Rodef Shalom Congregation, Ellis will host an evening panel that will be free and open to the public on January 8 at 7:00 p.m. Panel members will include Sheryl Olitzky and Dr. Tara Hyder, Muslim local Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom chapter president. The following day, Sheryl and Tara will speak at an assembly for Middle and Upper School students about how the organization was formed as well as meet with members of the Jewish Student Union.

Diversity Expert Rosetta Lee
January 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Audience: Ellis Families Only
Diversity expert Rosetta Lee will visit Ellis on January 17 and 18, 2019. Rosetta will host an evening event open to Ellis families at 7:00 p.m. on January 17, followed by a professional development workshop for Ellis faculty on campus the following day. Rosetta currently serves Seattle Girls’ School as an Outreach Specialist. Since 2004, she has been a diversity speaker and trainer 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. Rosetta has presented at numerous conferences and nonprofit organizations across the country. She has also worked with over 90 public and independent schools, as well as a number of colleges and universities. She has served several years on the faculty of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Diversity Leadership Institute, as well as the NAIS diversity think-tank cadre, Call to Action.

New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Simmons
April 3, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
Audience: Open to the public
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Simmons will be at The Ellis School on April 3 and 4, 2019. Rachel is the author of Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives, and the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl. In addition to providing professional development to Ellis faculty and staff, on April 3 at 6:00 p.m., Rachel will hold a forum for parents about teen girls’ development. This event is free and open to the public. The following day, she will speak at an assembly for Middle and Upper School students at Ellis. As an educator, Rachel teaches girls and women skills to build their resilience, amplify their voices, and own their courage so that they—and their relationships—live with integrity and health.

New York Times Bestselling Author Tracey Baptiste
Audience: Lower and Middle School Students
The Library department in partnership with the Ellis Parent Association is pleased to bring New York Times bestselling author Tracey Baptiste to campus for Author Day on May 16. Tracey is the author of Minecraft: The Crash and the series The Jumbies, which includes The JumbiesRise of the Jumbies, and The Jumbie God’s Revenge, which is slated for release in 2019. She has also written the Young Adult novel Angel’s Grace and nine non-fiction books for students in elementary through high school. A former elementary school teacher, Tracey is on the faculty at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program. During her visit, Tracey will speak with Lower and Middle School students about her work, sign books, and participate in classroom workshops.