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Upper, Middle School Faculty, Staff Engage in DEI Workshop

Faculty and staff from the Bolles Middle School Bartram and Upper School San Jose campuses participated in a morning Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workshop with Derrick Gay, a renowned diversity and inclusion strategist who consults with organizations to enhance inclusion and engagement efforts. 

The Bolles School worked with Gay two years ago during several in-person, on-campus workshops with students, faculty/staff and parents. He most recently has been working with the creators of "Sesame Street."

The virtual meeting helped attendees reflect on the context, social pressures and issues facing all people today and how that influences conversations around systemic racism, cultural biases and responses. Gay asked faculty to think about laws or scenarios that threatened their own sense of security and how they tend to react personally to issues of concern. Is it an emotional, intellectual, moral or social response? Finding more ways to approach conversations with empathy, understanding and a desire to hear was a goal.

Faculty and staff also broke into small groups to discuss their own backgrounds and how that might influence the way they respond to different challenges. The goal was to show how everyone speaks their own truths based on their own experiences, culture, the way they were raised and beliefs.

Dr. Gay has been featured in the The New  York Times, the Washington Post, the Business of Fashion, El Tiempo Latino as well as NPR, "The Brian Leher Show" and "60 Minutes." He is also a Forbes contributor.

Dr. Gay has also produced two TEDx Talks: "The Double-Edged Sword," which explores the irony that the word diversity often undermines diversity goals and "Why Elephants Hold the Key to Success in the 21st Century" which explores the nature of racial discourse in the United States.