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February 2021 Virtual Educating Girls Symposium

The 2021 Educating Girls Symposium, Building Inclusive, Anti-Racist School Communities, will take place virtually on Tuesday, February 2, and Wednesday, February 3. NCGS is proud to partner with the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) on this event.

Girls and women move through a world that often does not consider them equal to boys and men. Every day they encounter both implicit and explicit bias. There is a reason #5 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals is, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

As we know from our work in schools, our students bring with them a multitude of identities: racial, gender, cultural, and more. Each of these can elicit additional prejudice or injustice, thus adding to a girl’s feelings of inequity or of being an “outsider.”

While creating inclusive communities where diverse voices and experiences are heard and valued is a cornerstone of our schools, there’s no denying we’re at a turning point in our history—not just as educational institutions, but as nations and as a world.

Compassion is no longer enough. In the face of centuries-old racism, we must first listen and learn, then we must act—with courage, solidarity, and a deep commitment to anti-racist values and ideals. We must build communities in which every member feels an equal sense of belonging. Educators will play an especially critical role in this hard work.

In October 2020, NCGS held its first Building Inclusive, Anti-Racist School Communities Symposium, which included facilitated workshop tracks with consultants to dive into topics such as having difficult conversations, exploring schools’ varied responses to the current racial reckoning, and understanding the unique experience of girls of color in our schools. We will continue this conversation during the February 2021 Symposium by taking a deep look at the diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice work happening daily in our schools. A wide variety of peer-led breakout sessions will be offered. Be sure to submit your proposal to present on how your school is advancing this critical work. The February Symposium will also include the opportunity to hear directly from students who are helping lead some of this work in our schools.

Convene with heads of school, administrators, faculty, counselors, educational professionals, and invite your governing board and alumnae council members to join us as we delve deeply into how schools are:

  • addressing historic and present-day injustice in our communities at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels;
  • working to better understand the intersection of gender and race and how this uniquely impacts Black and Brown girls;
  • recognizing our own implicit biases and how to use restorative practices to unpack the distinction between intent and impact;
  • developing both immediate action steps and long-term strategic anti-racist plans, policies, and protocols; and
  • creating procedures to hold our communities accountable.