The White Privilege Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa provides an opportunity for individuals to feel empowered and prepared to advocate for equity and justice through working towards self and social transformations. As a school, we have been attending this conference since 2016, and we are proud that three faculty and staff members attended this year: Julia Carleton, Brian Johnson, and Brian Jordan.
Julia Carleton, Junior Unit D teacher, reflected on her experience at the conference:
I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this year’s White Privilege Conference in Iowa. The conference brought together a group of over 1,000 educators, non-profit workers, organizers, and students, all devoted to learning more about white supremacy and committing to actions that dismantle it. Some experiences that were particularly memorable for me were a keynote from Dr. Heather Hackman about the bodily effects of racial oppression, a keynote from Dr. Ivory A Toldson on how statistics about Black people reflect racial bias, a workshop about equitable ways to assess students’ learning, and a workshop about how affinity spaces engage white people in anti-racist work. For me, the conference was extremely informative and invigorating, and I gained more clarity on some of the ways that I, as a white person, can and must engage in anti-racist work. The conference also led me to recognize how much learning I still have ahead of me. I was humbled and motivated by the generosity of the presenters and participants there who shared their experiences and wisdom, and I look forward to sharing what I learned with my colleagues at TPS.
Kindergarten teacher and half of the musical duo City Love, Brian Jordan, performed songs from their album of children's music about diversity, equity, and inclusion called, The Future Is Bright.
Brian Johnson, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), gained valuable knowledge and fresh ideas to continue the meaningful DEI work he has been directing at TPS.