Blink Consulting
Current Workshops
Past Workshops

Recently completed workshops:

#talking-notjusttweeting-aboutpolitics: having real conversations with kids
Saturday, September 24, 2016; 9am-12pm at the San Francisco School in San Francisco, CA
  • "Is Trump a bad man?"
  • "Everyone is just so politically correct at this school!"
  • "Anyone who votes for [insert name] is an idiot."
  • "We need to 'Build the Wall!'"
This "what to say when" workshop is about owning and navigating our own political identities and values; engaging questions and comments from students and other adults-not just tweeting or speaking in bumper sticker slogans-and helping kids and ourselves to get smarter, more compassionate and more effective in connecting with others to advance political and social issues that matter, in a climate that can be extremely polarized and antagonistic. Participants will explore everyday opportunities and responsibilities to model and practice mutually growthful political engagement. As we talk about patriotism, liberal bias, political correctness, and the tension between "being neutral" and standing up for what you believe, we'll identify useful language, tools and frameworks for challenging conversations, and practice what we can say when politics comes up in our communities.

This workshop is for preK-adulthood staff, administrators, faculty, trustees and parents/guardians who want to and already are having challenging, vital conversations about politics and social justice issues in the world today.

Takeaways:
  • Helpful language to understand, name and talk about politics, social issues and social justice
  • Current research on children's developing awareness and normative attitudes about social identity and diversity
  • Tools, frameworks and strategies for mutually growthful, engaging and effective political conversations with kids and other adults
Diversity for Heads and Trustees: A Working Conversation about Governance
Saturday, March 19, 2016; 8:30am-12:30pm at Town School for Boys, 2750 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA

Diversity for Heads and Trustees: A Working Conversation about Governance is Blink's second collaboration with Bay Area Trustees Advancing Diversity (BATAD) to provide professional growth for the leaders who are responsible for setting institutional vision and goals for inclusion and equity in schools, offering heads and trustees the all too rare and valuable opportunity of a working conversation with peers, focused on the three core governance responsibilities for advancing inclusion and equity:
  • A clear and useful purpose/philosophy statement,
  • A dashboard for assessing progress toward articulated goals, and
  • Systems and structures to empower and hold community members accountable for their roles and responsibilities.
With a shared understanding of why schools need to invest in each of these governance tools, participants will consider examples, identify useful criteria and guiding questions for developing or reassessing your schools' tools and systems, and propose next steps to continue the work back at your schools. The morning will include large and small group discussion, working time with others who are focused on the same area of opportunity and growth in their schools, and the chance to share and workshop your schools' current or in-progress tools and plans. Trustees and heads will leave this workshop with criteria and guiding questions to assess and advance your schools' commitment to and progress toward greater inclusion and equity, action items for your leadership teams, practice having essential governance conversations about diversity, and a network of colleagues at other independent schools to help further your board's mission-vital diversity work.


To affinity... and beyond! Affinity programs for inclusive communities
Saturday, March 12, 2016; 9:00am-12:00pm at Marin Country Day School, Corte Madera, CA

A working conversation about best practices for affinity programs


#talking-notjusttweeting-aboutrace: having real conversations with kids
Saturday, March 5, 2016; 9:00am-12:00pm at San Francisco Day School, San Francisco, CA

Discuss strategies and tools for getting beyond PC, vindictive protectiveness and the culture of shaming to have authentic, growthful conversations about race, racism and racial justice with kids.


[Conference Session] Trustees and Heads Working for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
Thursday, February 25, 2016 from 8:00am-9:00am at the 2016 NAIS Annual Conference

Alison and BATAD's Barre Fong and Alex Wong will facilitate this workshop.


Gender inclusion: policy and practice for everyone
Saturday, January 30, 2016; 9am-12pm at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, CA


[Conference Session] Beyond Nice: A Systems Approach to Equity
Saturday, December 5, 2015, Workshop Session D (8:30am-10:00am) at the People of Color Conference

Alison will facilitate a discussion of institutional accountability for cultural competency and the necessity of creating a diversity and inclusion dashboard for your school.


Diversity for Trustees: Foundation and Best Practices for Governance
Saturday, November 7, 2015; 8:30am-12:30pm at Burke's School, 7070 California St., San Francisco, CA

In Fall 2015, Blink is collaborating with Bay Area Trustees Advancing Diversity (BATAD) to offer Diversity for Trustees: Foundation and Best Practices for Governance, a workshop designed to critically rethink diversity through the lens of independent school governance. This morning workshop offers a framework for diversity for new and experienced independent school trustees, whether you're leading your school's diversity initiatives or wondering why your board still needs to talk about diversity (because you've got more important matters to attend to).

During this working conversation, participants will identify the business case for diversity, develop a working vocabulary for talking about diversity, learn about effective practices for boards and explore the responsibilities and opportunities an independent school board has in cultivating diversity and creating accountability for equity in education. The morning will include large and small group discussion, experiential learning activities and Q&A with (1) a panel of trustees who are experienced diversity leaders and (2) a panel of diversity directors and consultants.

Trustees will leave this workshop with language, effective practices and a network of colleagues at other independent schools to help further their board's mission-vital diversity work.

This workshop is for trustees who are striving to engage the diversities of their schools to create more inclusive communities where each and every student, educator and community member can thrive.

Registration Form [PDF] for Diversity for Trustees: Foundation and Best Practices for Governance


[Conference Session] Facilitating Inclusive Conversations About Diversity and Social Justice
Friday, October 9, 2015, Workshop Session A (10:00am-11:00am) at the Northwest Association of Independent Schools Fall Educators Conference


[Conference Session] Talking About Socioeconomic Status and Class
Friday, October 9, 2015, Workshop Session A (1:15pm-2:15pm) at the Northwest Association of Independent Schools Fall Educators Conference


Facilitating Inclusive Conversations About Diversity and Social Justice

According to facilitation guru Sam Kaner, "The facilitator's job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice." As a facilitator, how do you elicit your group's best thinking and action around social identities and issues that are sometimes personal, as well? In this facilitate-the-facilitators workshop, participants will explore the challenges of facilitating conversations about social justice for the mutual safety and inclusion of diverse individuals and beliefs, when different points of view are not represented -- or valued -- equally. This workshop will help participants build a foundation for authentic engagement in conversations about identity, diversity and social justice. Participants will consider the role and responsibilities of the facilitator; identify effective tools and strategies for creating safe learning spaces for important -- and sometimes challenging -- conversations; and explore the practice of facilitating for inclusion and equity not just as content or concept, but as an experience and process for groups.

This workshop is for preK-adulthood staff, administrators, faculty, trustees and parents/guardians who are interested in, or are already, facilitating conversations about diversity and social justice in their communities.

Takeaways:
  • Shared understanding of "diversity," "inclusion" and "social justice" as facilitation dynamics
  • Practical "try tomorrow" (Pollock, 2008) tools and strategies for facilitating inclusive planned and unplanned conversations
  • Frameworks for working with diverse groups


Talking About Socioeconomic Status and Class

This workshop is an occasion to lean into the challenges, opportunities and responsibility to educate students and adults about socioeconomic status (SES) and class identities, cultures, diversity and inclusion. We'll consider how our own identities position us in conversations about socioeconomics and class, as we explore everyday SES and class dynamics and challenges in our communities. Participants will identify helpful strategies, tools and language to have intentional and growthful conversations with diverse students, colleagues and families.

This workshop is for preK-adulthood staff, administrators, faculty, trustees and parents/guardians who recognize their opportunity and responsibility to help students, families and colleagues across the socioeconomic spectrum to thrive in their communities.

Takeaways:
  • Working definitions of "socioeconomics," "class," "privilege" and other key concepts
  • Current research on children's developing awareness and normative attitudes about socioeconomic and class identities and diversity
  • Tools, strategies and guiding questions for socioeconomic and class inclusion and equity


Leaders of Color Professional Learning Community

This program is an opportunity for educators of color to explore their leadership visions, opportunities, and aspirations within and beyond independent schools. For experienced, emerging and questioning leaders of color at all stages of their careers, this yearlong series will offer participants time and support to:
  • Clarify their visions and goals as educators,
  • Identify core leadership competencies and challenges,
  • Design their own professional growth plans, and
  • Network and build vital personal and professional relationships.
With the intention of knowing and sustaining ourselves in our careers, we will lean into case studies; reflect on our own experiences; talk frankly about the challenges, opportunities and expectations for leaders of color; recognize our personal growth edges; and drill down on the skills and knowledge we have and need to thrive on our diverse professional paths.

For educators of color who want to be effective, transformative, and ever-growing in their profession, these working conversations will include all aspects of who we are as leaders and the complexity of the communities in which we work.

Co-facilitated with Steve Morris, Head of the San Francisco School

Leadership: A Personal and Professional Exploration for Educators of Color

A professional growth opportunity through the Bay Area Teacher Development Collaborative with colleague Steve Morris, head of The San Francisco School.

"I" is for injustice: Talking to kids about -isms and inequality

In order to teach about social justice, you have to talk about injustice. How do you help children have safe, inclusive and growthful conversations about -isms and inequality?
  • How do you explain injustice in a way that's honest, helpful and developmentally supportive?
  • What's too much too soon, and what's necessary to name now?
  • What do you do when the conversation becomes unsafe for a student?
  • How do you respond when a student shares an opinion that you personally find offensive?
In this workshop, participants will explore the challenges of facilitating conversations about social justice for the mutual safety and inclusion of diverse students and themselves. Participants will use scenarios and their own experiences to identify effective tools and strategies to facilitate for inclusion and equity, not just as content or concept, but as an experience and process for groups.

This workshop is for preK-8 staff, administrators, faculty, trustees and parents/guardians who are interested in, or are already, facilitating conversations about social justice with children.

Takeaways:
  • Practical "try tomorrow" (Pollock, 2008) tools and strategies for facilitating safe, inclusive and growthful conversations
  • Frameworks for understanding social identity development and group dynamics
  • Guiding principles for having planned or unplanned challenging conversations
Equity = Action

Equity: How a community discerns and enacts fair treatment, opportunity and access to resources for diverse community members.

Action: What we do, even when we don't think we're doing anything.

Because nice is not enough (Nieto, 2009), we can't just intend equity, we have to do it. And how we strive for equity matters as much as what we do. Designed to empower educators with the understandings, skills and tools to align the intention and impact of their commitments to equity, this workshop is a focused inquiry opportunity for you to connect, reflect and work with others to help diverse children and youth to thrive as learners and leaders in and beyond schools.

This workshop is for: teachers, school staff and administrators, mentors, advisors, parents/guardians, coaches, community organizers, and board members of schools and community organizations who work with or for preK-college students.

In Service of Social Justice

Designed to empower schools with the knowledge, skills and tools to align the intention and impact of their service and community engagement projects, this workshop explores how these initiatives and experiences do-and don't-serve social justice. Using case studies like KONY2012, Haitian relief efforts and participants' own service and community engagement projects, participants will:
  • Recognize how their own identities and cultures impact their perspectives on and participation in service;
  • Think critically about how unintended prejudice and discrimination shape experience and outcomes in even the most well-intended service projects;
  • Explore charity, service and reciprocal partnership models for social action
  • Use a media literacy lens to reflect on implicit attitudes, assumptions and messages in service initiatives; and
  • Discern their options for action, beyond doing nothing or doing something that perpetuates systemic injustice (even while serving an immediate need)
This workshop is for preK-12 adult activists and upper school (9-12) students (*who attend with an adult from their school) who participate in and lead service learning, community engagement and social justice efforts.

Takeaways:
  • Language and strategies for designing and leading service and community projects that serve social justice
  • Frameworks for exploring service and community engagement dynamics, opportunities and responsibilities
  • Practical "try tomorrow" (Pollock, 2008) tools and strategies for collaborating with diverse students, colleagues and community partners in reciprocal learning and growth experiences
  • Guiding questions and lenses for assessing the inclusion and equity of service and community engagement work
You belong here: Helping students of color and students receiving financial assistance to thrive in independent schools

As a group, how are students of color doing at your school? And how is your school doing in its efforts to include students receiving financial assistance and their families in community life and school leadership? In this workshop, participants will explore common issues and experiences of lower income and racial minority students and families in independent schools. We will identify opportunities, responsibilities and effective practices to create environments where all youth and their families can thrive.

This workshop is for middle and upper school (6-12) faculty, administrators, staff, trustees and parents/guardians who are committed to making their schools places where students and families of color and students and families receiving financial assistance thrive.

Co-facilitated with Nonoko Sato, Executive Director of SMART.

Takeaways:
  • Language for talking about inclusion and equity with students, families and colleagues
  • Frameworks for understanding institutional and community opportunities and responsibilities for inclusion and equity
  • Practical "try tomorrow" (Pollock, 2008) tools and strategies to engage students and families
  • Guiding questions and lenses for assessing inclusion


When to Say What: Talking to Children about Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion with BATDC


Talking Back to White Entitlement at the White Privilege Conference


Teaching Immigration
Teaching about immigration is necessarily teaching about identity, diversity and social justice. Learning about immigration can be a personally transformative, socially engaging experience that empowers students of diverse identities to learn about themselves and the world. How do we help students to engage this complex subject and each other with intellect and compassion? In this workshop, educators will explore issues, opportunities and responsibilities in teaching children about immigration. We will consider content and pedagogy as we identify developmentally supportive language, frameworks and strategies for teaching and learning about immigration in diverse groups. This workshop is for preK-12 staff, administrators, faculty and parents who teach or have conversations about immigration with children.

Intended outcomes:
  • Identification of normative issues and opportunities in teaching about immigration
  • Language, tools and skills for teaching students about immigration
  • Guiding questions and strategies for helping students to think critically and compassionately about immigration
Say What? Standing up to Injustice
This workshop begins with the premise that while we may be surprised by an unjust action or attitude, we can also be prepared. Whether we're confronted by a complaint about students "getting special accommodations" or the persistently casual use of homophobic slurs, we can stand up. Participants are invited to bring their own "say what?" scenarios for discussion. Since social justice is a process that requires sustained and mutual individual, community and institutional commitment, we will:
  • focus on what individuals can do to stand up to every day injustice, applying the principles of right speech and right action to discern how to respond, whether you have 10 seconds in the hall with someone or a whole afternoon with your class;
  • explore when and how community education can responsively and proactively support both individual and institutional growth; and
  • identify needs, opportunities and tools to clarify institutional expectations and systematize the practices of inclusion and equity across all areas of school life.
This workshop is for preK-12 staff, administrators, faculty and parents who are interested in taking action against everyday injustice.

Intended outcomes:
  • Practical understanding of everyday social justice
  • Language, tools and skills to act for social justice
  • Rubric for identifying actionable individual, community and institutional response and proaction
Facilitating Conversations about Diversity
According to facilitation guru Sam Kaner, "The facilitator's job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice." This workshop will help participants build a foundation for authentic engagement in conversations about identity, diversity and social justice. Participants will consider the role of the facilitator, and identify best practices for creating safe, professional spaces for important, and sometimes challenging, conversations. We will use somatic techniques for getting centered and staying grounded when the unexpected happens (as it always does), and share proactive and responsive strategies, activities and tips for cultivating collaborative thinking and practice. This workshop is for staff, administrators, faculty and parents who are interested in, or are already, facilitating diversity work in their communities (from preK-adulthood).

Navigating Your Role in Transforming Your School
Workshop participants will explore and share strategies to engage school leaders and potential allies in examining and re-imagining equity within schools. We will share vital information that will strengthen and expand our communication and support for one another.

Multiculturalism as Core Practice: Creating Rubrics for Educators
Multiculturalism is a core value for 21st century schools. What does that value look like as systemic practice? Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton is in its third year of creating and piloting a rubric that guides all of its staff, faculty and administrators in understanding and enhancing how to enact multiculturalism as a SHS educator. This discussion will overview that process, and pose essential questions and considerations for schools interested in developing and integrating professional rubrics to clarify values, intentions and expectations for the practice of inclusion and equity in their schools.

Teaching Whiteness
This workshop will focus on normative experiences of whiteness (the encounter with the Other, the experience of being called a racist, the denial of whiteness, the attempt to be an ally in the struggle for racial justice, the insistence on colorblindness) as pivotal opportunities to help individuals develop self-awareness and empowered racial identities. Participants will leave with an understanding of occasions and issues in white identity development, and frames and tools to help them to decide what to say and how to act to foster their own and/or their white allies' identities.

Practicing Antidiscrimination
As Sonia Nieto writes, even in the most well-intentioned school, "nice is not enough" to ensure inclusion and equity for all students and adults. This workshop will tap the knowledge and skills participants already bring to their work, in addition to current research on bias and discrimination, to identify proactive and responsive opportunities to address unconscious biases and subtle, yet stunning forms of discrimination within their communities. Participants will explore the process and effects of: covering, aversive discrimination, microaggressions and stereotype threat on minority and majority-identified students and adults. With the goal of creating actively antidiscriminatory campuses, this workshop will challenge a "difference-blind" approach, and offer a perspective that affirms the whole individual and empowers each person to be a stakeholder in school culture and life. This workshop is for staff, administrators, faculty and parents who want to deepen their anti-discriminatory practice (preK-adulthood).

Teaching Privilege
This workshop starts with the premise that we can empower children and adults to leverage their privilege for social good by helping them to reflect on their own identities and attitudes about privilege, and redefining privilege as an opportunity to enact equity and justice. We will explore race, class, sexuality and learning-ability privilege, and challenge the deficit ideology that disempowers people by dividing us into "haves" or "have-nots." Drawing on participants' experiences, as well as research on children's developing awareness and normative attitudes about privilege, we will explore strategies for transformatively teaching and learning about the p-word. This workshop is for staff, administrators, faculty and parents who are interested in exploring and working with privilege (from preK-adulthood).

Past Blink workshops include:
•   Affinity: An Introduction
•   Affinity, Identity & Youth: Effective Practices for Student Cultural Groups
•   Antiracism: What Do We Stand For?
•   An Introduction to Cultural Competency Standards
•   Bias Awareness & Action
•   Critically Rethinking Diversity in Independent Schools
•   Critically Rethinking Race
•   Defining Multicultural Education
•   Diversity: Beginning with Language
•   Diversity 911s: Transforming Urgency into Action
•   The Elephant Is the Room: Normative Culture, Awareness & Education
•   Exploring Gender with Students
•   Equity Pedagogy: Building Blocks
•   From Statement to Action: Living Equity & Inclusion
•   Multicultural Education & Struggling Students
•   Multicultural Education: What, Why… & How
•   Multicultural Education Vocabulary: Creating Transformative Definitions for the Classroom
•   Multicultural Leadership: How Student Groups Can Impact School Culture
•   Not Just An Elective Anymore: Redefining [Ethnic] Lit
•   Race Matters: Identity, Culture and Diversity
•   Seeing the Canvas: Exploring the Culture of Whiteness
•   Spellbound: One Nation, Many Americas
•   Student Organization/Student Union/Club: What’s in a Name, Anyway?
•   Students on the Margins
•   Supporting Students' Sexual Identity Development
•   Talking with Children About Race
•   Teaching Humanities, Teaching Culture: Redefining the Multicultural
•   What Are We Talking About? Having Intentional Conversations About Diversity
•   When To Say What: Talking to Primary and Middle Grade Students About Identity, Culture & Bias

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