During this unusual year and unique time in our country’s history, seven local independent schools have come together to present the 2020–2021 Virtual Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series. Diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners from Lakeside School, The Bush School, Eastside Catholic School, The Evergreen School, Meridian School, University Prep, and Villa Academy hope to further our communities’ educational experiences by offering access to learning from national speakers during four online events. Chris Crass, the first speaker, will discuss “Dismantling White Supremacy and Becoming Anti-Racist” via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
In the wake of the recent slayings of George Floyd and other Black Americans, the DEI practitioners decided to include a racially diverse set of speakers who focus on different aspects of anti-racism work. “We want to help people find mirrors that reflect back on their experiences and windows to look in to different cultures and ways of thinking. As we open ourselves up to new ideas, these conversations can help us connect our mirrors and windows and help us become more connected to each other, too,” says E-chieh Lin, director of diversity and community and director of hiring at University Prep.
The first speaker, Chris Crass, is a longtime organizer, educator, and writer who is working to build working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation. He co-founded the anti-racist movement building center, the Catalyst Project, and his latest book, “Towards the ‘Other America’: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter,” is a call to action to end white silence and a manual on how to do it.
Two other speakers are already confirmed, while the spring speaker will be announced soon. Farzana Nayani, the author of “Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Racialized World,” will speak via Zoom at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9. Dr. Joy Degruy, a researcher who focuses on the intersection of racism, trauma, violence, and American chattel slavery, will speak via Zoom at 5 p.m. on Feb. 4. Attendees must RSVP to receive the Zoom link for each event.
For the Chris Crass talk “Dismantling White Supremacy and Becoming Anti-Racist” at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, RSVP here.
Learn more about Lakeside’s work in diversity, equity, and inclusion on our DEI webpage. Learn about the current initiative, Our Work Together, and review the initiative dashboard at lakesideschool.org/ourworktogether.