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DEI Takes Center Stage at Bartram Professional Development Day
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Faculty and staff on the Bolles Middle School Bartram Campus will be engaged in a daylong professional development day October 15 focused on diversity, equity and inclusion workshops.

Faculty and staff on the Bolles Upper School San Jose Campus received similar training last year.

Morning sessions are set to include presentations from diversity and inclusion practitioner Deidre Lane from Metrotown Institute, a OneJax youth outreach program. Lane has extensive experience in leadership coaching, facilitation and group processing and has previously served as hotline coordinator with the City of Jacksonville’s Sexual Assault Response Center and served on former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton’s Commission on the Status of Women as first chair. She will facilitate a workshop on unconscious bias and the Bartram Multicultural Leadership Team will lead small group discussions.

Following lunch and community fellowship, Bartram faculty and staff will meet in departments to learn about the “Pollyanna Curriculum.” This is a program designed to help students in grades K-8 acquire an awareness of their own racial socialization and skills for engaging in productive conversations about race and racism. The Pollyanna program aims to help students:

  • Encourage kindness, bravery and empathy when exploring and better understanding the cultural and racial diversity of local and global communities.
  • Develop a more inclusive and positive perspective of self, others and the larger world in regard to race, ethnicity and culture.
  • Analyze history and other social assertions that fabricate myths of innate racial superiority, in order to dispel myopic, discriminatory perspectives of race.
  • Analyze race as a primary institution of the United States.
  • Critique the biological fallacy of race, while simultaneously unpacking its social truths.

“The underlying goal of the curriculum is to build bridges and connections – for all students to recognize similarities among their peers along lines of race, while also celebrating perceived differences,” program developers explain on their website.

The daylong professional development experience will conclude with a closing session by Drs. Chris Janson and Rudy Jamison. They will facilitate a workshop called “Building from Our Individual and Collective Cultural Roots.” Dr. Janson is Associate Professor and Director of the University of North Florida’s Center of Urban Education and Policy and has authored more than 20 journal articles and book chapters on community-engaged practices and other topics. Dr. Jamison is Assistant Director of the University of North Florida’s Urban Education and Community Initiatives for the Center for Urban Education and Policy. He also is a visiting instructor in the Department of Leadership, School Counseling and Sports Management.