From Silicon Valley to Charlottesville, race and diversity have been at the forefront of nation-wide conversations. It’s something kids can’t ignore when they walk through school doors. But it can be an uncomfortable topic for teachers—let alone those who don’t share the same upbringing or background as their students.
A nascent, Rhode Island-based organization called Diversity Talks wants to change that by giving K-12 school districts and higher education institutions student-led professional development on approaching culturally sensitive topics.
Founded in 2016, the company includes two students—cofounders Taliq Tillman and Taiwo Demola, both high school seniors in Rhode Island. Kiara Butler, the CEO and the third cofounder, feels that for these conversations to be “truly personalized” and “truly student-centered,” students have to be “at the table.”
She says students are already having conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion. “It’s the adults, it’s us as educators that are afraid to be vulnerable and have these conversations with them,” Butler, who is also the special assistant to the superintendent of Providence Public Schools, explains.
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