Diversity Talks Addresses Suspensions, Chronic Absenteeism, & Teacher Turnover
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. If educators do not have at least a sense of cultural competency, they will continue to suspend students of color at higher rates for minor infractions, file discipline related grievances, and chronically miss work due to a toxic work environment. According to the Washington Post, “1 in 4 teachers in the United States are chronically absent, missing more than 10 days of work.” The US Today states, “black students are 4 times more likely to be suspended compared to their white classmates.” Academic success cannot exist on a larger scale if both the teachers and students are absent.
Diversity Talks solves this problem by using a bottom up approach bringing the voices of students experiencing the ramifications of the inequitable systems to the forefront. Diversity Talks provides K-12 school districts, higher education institutions, community based organizations, and corporations with student-led professional development grounded in the cultural competencies of diversity, equity and inclusion to increase academic performance and achievement.
Diversity Talks focuses on first addressing unconscious biases that affect student achievement. Students and educators are both experiencing the ramifications of the student-teacher diversity gap and the lack of culturally relevant pedagogy as racial disconnect is reflected in the courses offered in schools across the United States.
Studies have shown that if educators reflect the identities of their students, they can establish a stronger community culture, leading to higher academic performance. Diversity Talks offers in-person professional development led by students in order to ultimately strengthen student-educator relationships. Diversity Talks foster a healing space for students and educators to have culturally relevant and responsive conversations in the classroom with proven results in the following areas: building trust, fostering a space for difficult conversations, raising awareness of racial & cultural differences, improving morale, strengthening student-educator relationships, and increasing parent engagement.
Apply for in-person student-led professional development during the months of December-February or April-June. Applications for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year open on December 1, 2017 and close on February 28, 2018. Get more information here.