After only a year since incorporating, Diversity Talks adds Program Coordinator, Jenneya Bennett to the team.
According to the teacher policy organization TNTP, on average, in the United States, districts spend $18,000 on professional development, per educator, with only a 30% improvement rate for educators. There is a strong disconnect between the professional development services provided from outside providers and the implementation, which takes place within the classroom.
The teaching workforce in urban public education does not reflect a heterogeneous student population or include culturally relevant pedagogy, negatively impacting cultural consciousness and academic success for students of color.
Diversity Talks offers 12 hours of student-led professional development with cohorts of up to 40 educators per year. These sessions are strongly encouraged to be broken down into 8-1.5 hour sessions over the course of an academic school year however, entities are able to personalize the professional development sessions to fit their population and have the flexibility to choose tiered packages over the course of 3 years.
As of August 2017, Diversity Talks has expanded it's student-led professional development to Kansas City Missouri with hopes to be able to compare the progress made in Kansas City, Missouri to Providence, Rhode Island.
On September 11, 2017, Edsurge published an article about the work that Diversity Talks has been doing since inception called "Not Comfortable Talking About Race in the Classroom? Let Your Students Lead the Conversation"
Diversity Talks will be participating in The Lean Lab Incubator Fellowship with a chance to receive up to $35k in seed funding.
April 1, 2017, Diversity Talks took home the winning prize of the Highlander Blending and Personalized Learning Pitch Fest. They defeated competition during 2 rounds of pitches; crowd vote and judging.
March 25, 2017, Diversity Talks piloted their first professional development to 35 educators from across Rhode Island at the Empowering Educators of Color Conference. The team submitted a one page proposal to conduct a Power & Privilege workshop, which focused on the many existing systems in our country and how power plays a huge role in dictating decisions.
September 25, 2016, Diversity Talks was named Crowd Favorite after spending an entire weekend developing a business model that would increase equity in education.
November 11, 2016, Diversity Talks received an opportunity to publish an article about their new social venture on Edsurge.com.