Annual Symposium and Workshops on Race and Class in Education

Friday, October 20, 2017


Friday, October 20th
8:30 AM - 1:45 PM 

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Temple Israel
477 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Driving Directions

Symposium and Lunch ($25)

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM - Registration & Light Breakfast

9:15 - 9:30  AM - Opening Remarks

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM - Leadership Panel

Carolyn M. Peter (Former Head of School, The Winsor School) moderates a panel discussion with retiring Heads of School:

Rick Melvoin of Belmont Hill School

Rebecca T. Upham of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School.

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM - Student Panel and Community Sharing

A few prepared reflections of students and alumni on the uplifting and challenging experiences of independent school.

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM - Complimentary Lunch

Workshops ($75)

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM - Workshops

Afternoon workshops with solution-oriented approaches to the challenging subjects of race and class in education.


Mercy Bell
Beacon Academy, Director of Partnerships 

Symposium Workshop Overview
Co-Presented by Beacon and Independent High School & College Professionals

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM           $75 per participant 

Afternoon workshops are optional and take place after the main program.

Each 75-min small group discussion offers a presentation and discussion led by experts in the field and Beacon Academy staff and faculty.  This community building and professional development opportunity takes a solution-oriented approach to the challenging issues discussed during the morning program. 

The workshop fee goes directly to the efforts of Beacon Academy in promoting innovative approaches to inclusive educational environments. These sessions have a programmatic focus on issues of diversity and equity within independent schools and colleges. 


Getting Real: Challenges of Race and Class in High School and Beyond

A community examination and exploration of the challenging experiences of low-income students in independent high schools and private colleges. Impact on the socioemotional development and long-term success of students provided in the form of statistics, current events, anecdotes, reflections, and communal sharing.


Hitting the Mark: Effective Academic and Financial Policies for Low-Income Families

An informative and interactive presentation and discussion on the realities of low-income households and the strategies that support the success of low-income students and their families. Gain best practices to support low-income students financially and academically through open format sharing. Prepared student profiles allow for real-world understanding and solutions to ensure student success in and outside of the classroom.


Reading Between the Lines: Admissions & Diversity Recruitment Strategies 

Facilitators: Jose Garcia (Bryant University) and Mercy Bell (Beacon Academy)

What does it mean to go “above and beyond” for recruitment with a student and their family? Where do we allow race and class to be barriers, and how can we more adeptly engage and retain students, families, and communities of color? What does it mean to set a goal for diversity? These questions will be explored through the lens of high school and college admissions policies and best practices. 


Bold Advocacy in the College Process: Supporting Low-Income Students and Families for Extraordinary Admissions Results

Common challenges for low-income students and their families in the college process are often hidden. The purpose of this workshop is to expose the key needs for college success. Subjects discussed include test preparation, financial aid package analysis, college list creation, and the challenges of family inclusion. We encourage this workshop for admissions officers, as well as student advisors and mentors, who are engaged with low-income students throughout the 10th, 11th and/or 12th grade year.


Parents for Equity: How to Lead Your School Community on Topics of Inclusion

Facilitators: Gretchen Cook-Anderson (Director of Diversity, IES Abroad) and Marsha Feinberg (Founder, Beacon Academy)

Parent power is real! Hear how parents mobilize their school communities to become advocates on behalf of all students across racial and socioeconomic lines. Be inspired by real life examples of parents influencing policy and practices at the administrative level and their strategies for creating more honest and open dialogues around race and class in their homes.