The Office of Strategic Engagement customizes professional learning opportunities focused on creating equity in schools and communities through culturally responsive best practices explicitly focused on educator and community implicit biases. Our professional learning opportunities reflect VCU’s I-cubed efforts of urban transformation through collaborations and partnerships with local schools and communities focused on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion for Black and LatinX school children. Training opportunities are designed for pre-service and current PreK-12 teachers and leaders with intentional purpose on addressing the racial, socio-economic and cultural inequities within area schools.
Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Culturally responsive best practices
- Understanding implicit biases
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Leading in diverse communities
Racial Equity Training Topics
What's Race Got to Do With It?
This seminar will explore key concepts of equity with an emphasis on racial equity. A historical overview of race and education in the US and globally will be discussed and applied to the context of the school environment .Participants will begin to develop racial literacy and contemplate ways to address racial disparities.
Leading with an Antiracist Mindset
During this time, educational leaders are not only charged with promoting racial equity, but also dealing with the complexity of racism as a system of oppression while in the midst of a pandemic. Through critical reflection and courageous conversations, leaders will gain a better understanding of the role they play in disrupting racism in order to dismantle racial inequities and lead a more culturally responsive school community.
Power, Privilege, and Perspective
This seminar will expand race conversations to include facilitated discussions about power, privilege and white fragility. Participants will utilize self-reflection to analyze how values, experiences, assumptions, and environment influence student learning. Particular emphasis will beon understanding and valuing perspectives from a racial lens.
Culturally Responsive Teaching Training Topics
The View From Within
A prerequisite to becoming a culturally responsive practitioner, is the need to understand one's cultural frame of reference. This seminar will allow participants to engage in self-reflection to examine culture from a personal viewpoint. Cultural assumptions, stereotypes, and attitudes will be explored to facilitate a deeper understanding and appreciation for those from diverse backgrounds.
A key tenant of culturally responsive practice is to establish meaningful relationships with learners. Positive interactions, coupled with mutual trust and respect, breeds relationships that enable teachers and students to maximize educational opportunities. This seminar will emphasize the power of relationships and present educators with strategies to build and sustain partnerships that will support the social and emotional needs of diverse learners.
Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate
Culturally responsive practitioners employ a plethora of strategies to connect to the students, families, and communities they serve. This session will build on the concept that relationships matter and will equip educators with skills and resources to establish stronger partnerships between the school and home. Cross-cultural communication strategies including cultural discourse, cultural context, cultural nuances, and discourse will be explored.