Join us as we continue the conversation about equity in Independent Schools

We welcome first time attendees and those who joined us in January for the initial Anti-Bias Symposium. This event promises to continue the conversation, take a deeper dive and offer diverse topics and speakers with a focus on the whole school enrollment approach to our important DEI work.

Featured Speakers

Dr. Derrick Gay, Educational Consultant 

Mark Mitchell, Vice President, NAIS


Symposium Overview

11:00 AM
Welcome & Keynote and Panel 11:00 AM - 12:50 PM

How to Bring Your Whole community Along with Your DEI Efforts

Recorded Podcast with a live discussion afterward
Special Guest: Dr. Derrick Gay


Panel Discussion on the Structured Interview Process 


Nathan Kuncel, Marvin D. Dunnette Distinguished Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology/McKnight Presidential Fellow, University of Minnesota (MN)

Booth Kyle, Head of School, Indian Creek School (MD)

Laurel Baker Tew, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment, Viewpoint School (CA)


1:00 PM
Concurrent Session 11:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Reducing Bias in Applications & Interviews

Applications are made up of many pieces that come from different voices - rec letters from teachers, observation notes from visit days, feedback from interviewers, application summaries from readers, and more! Each of these writings summarizes the author's perspective on an applicant. While each author offers a unique perspective on the applicant, they also have their own biases and share those with readers in the ways they write about students. We will discuss completing forms, assessments, and write ups in a way that minimizes the author's bias and sets readers up for an impartial review of an applicant. Rooted in the Kira Talent “Nine Forms of Bias in Admissions'' this session is a part of anti-bias training by taking a deeper dive into the nooks and crannies of the written application pieces. 

Speakers: Alexandra Halladay, Director of Admissions, Seattle Academy (WA) & Sarah Meteyer, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Friends School of Baltimore (MD)

Concurrent Session 21:00 PM - 1:45 PM

(re)Defining the Partnership Between the DEI Director and the Enrollment Leader

Moving past admission to enrollment management, how does DEI play a role in the school’s value proposition and sustainability? What conversations should enrollment managers and DEI practitioners have in order to standardize processes and mitigate bias? How do we create equitable systems for our prospective families? How does “this work” begin even before the start of admission season? In this session, participants will have the opportunity to see the crossover between two aspects of school life that are interdependent. Participants will hear ideas and tips from practitioners in the field, who will also call on the collective wisdom in the virtual room.

Speakers: Rohan Arjun, Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid & Toni Graves Williamson, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Friends Select School (PA)

Concurrent Session 31:00 PM - 1:45 PM

The Parent Perspective
The parent perspective is a crucial component to consider when creating more equity and representation in the admissions process. When it comes to retaining racially diverse families and increasing racial diversity in general – something that helps all students perform better academically – it’s essential to know the brief history of our schools and common cultural perceptions. How do the history and long-standing perceptions impact how parents, particularly Black parents, engage with independent schools? How can Admissions departments employ strategies to better connect with Black parents throughout the school year? How are you communicating your commitment to building equity and representation, and is it impactful? We’ll consider some of these questions during this session and identify tangible, actionable strategies to strengthen your understanding of the (Black) parent perspective.

Speaker: Lisa Johnson, Founder & Executive Director, Private School Village & Co-host, eRaced Podcast (CA)


2:00 PM
Concurrent Session 52:00 PM - 2:45 PM

Preparing the Admission Team for Tough Questions

Is every member of your admission team (including you!) ready for whatever questions may come your way from prospective families this year including "Does your school teach critical race theory?" or "Does your school use an anti-racist curriculum?" Hear from Lorraine and Lisa about how their school has leveraged a strong partnership between the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging and the Admission Office to make sure the admission team and school community are prepared to powerfully, accurately, and positively represent the school's curriculum and program.

Speakers: Lorraine Martinez Hanley, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging, St. Andrew's Episcopal School (MD) & Lisa Shambaugh, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment and Strategic Projects, St. Andrew's Episcopal School (MD)

Concurrent Session 62:00 PM - 2:45 PM

New DEI Director? How to Get Started

In the wake of recent incidents calling for racial and social justice, independent schools have increasingly created and launched new DEI director positions.  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion informs every aspect of the school community, and DEI directors must similarly engage and collaborate effectively across all divisions and constituencies of the community.  This session will explore the crucial role of the DEI Director in school life and offer some ideas and considerations on how to thoughtfully and intentionally launch your time as the new DEI Director in your institution. We will also offer thoughts on how EVERYONE can better support DEI work and the success of your institution’s DEI Director.

Speakers: Christine Gilmore, Head of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Emma Willard School (NY) & James Greenwood, Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Western Reserve Academy (OH)

Concurrent Session 72:00 PM - 2:45 PM

Collecting and Assessing Data from a DEI Lens

Data shines a spotlight on the representation and relative inequality in any given community. When it comes to race/ethnicity data in independent schools, what are some best practices and common challenges? How can Admissions professionals employ qualitative and quantitative practices to analyze data collected by the school? How should that data be collected? And how should it be shared with the community at large? During this session, we'll consider some of these questions and be in conversation about the role data plays in making schools more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. 

Speaker: Carolyn Chica, Associate Director of Admission, Director of Inclusion Outreach, Groton School (MA)

3:00 PM
Closing Keynote3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Building Socioeconomic Diversity, Ensuring Inclusion

Tackling issues of class and money in independent schools is an increasingly critical element of strong school leadership in building diverse and inclusive communities.  When creating a class-diverse student body, school leaders must define what “socio-economic” or “class” diversity means and envision what it looks like in reality.  But achieving that diversity is just step one; the work is not done.  The most effective and strategic leaders move their schools from being simply an economically diverse community to being an inclusive one.  When you enroll students from all along the economic spectrum, you need resources, programs, and support systems that create and strengthen each student’s critical sense of belonging. Let’s talk about ways to advance beyond economic diversity to broad inclusion for all admitted students and families.

Speaker: Mark Mitchell, Vice President, NAIS

All sessions will be recorded and shared with attendees afterward.


Check out our full line-up of EMA events and online courses