Paul is Prizmah’s founding Chief Executive Officer

A Tu Bishvat Message From Our CEO

Tu Bishvat, amidst the kabbalistic traditions, delightful children’s songs, and dried fruit, has an important halachic role. To properly observe the biblically ordained laws of orlah (avoiding eating the fruit of a tree younger than three years old), we need to keep track of the age of trees. Enter the rabbinically decreed New Year for the trees, a date dedicated to tracking and marking time.

As we celebrate this day, we marvel at and rejoice in the growth and transformation of trees, which move from seeds and saplings to bearing fruit ever so quickly. Trees themselves mark the passage the time, each ring a sign of another year past. On Tu Bishvat itself, we track and celebrate growth.

A few weeks ago, my family in England had an unexpected brush with celebrity. My mother, a German refugee who survived the Holocaust as a hidden child in Nazi-occupied France, was photographed with my niece by the Duchess of Cambridge. Their photograph will be part of an upcoming exhibit of portraits commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Duchess published the moving portrait of my mother, together with photos of the two of them meeting at Kensington Palace, on her Instagram feed. After their initial meeting, my mother and Kate were again pictured together when the Duke and Duchess were guests of honor at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration event in London. Their voices and presence create headlines every day, and successfully shone a brighter light on the importance of this anniversary. Kate described my mother, together with a second survivor she photographed, as “two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet.” She described the purpose of the portraits as ensuring that “[their] memories will be kept alive as they pass the baton to the next generation.”

I keep thinking about the portrait she took and what it represents. The staging and lighting of the photograph were designed very specifically by the Duchess to capture this unique moment. A survivor of World War II with her 11-year old granddaughter, light streaming in from the hopeful east, wartime artifacts (my mother’s German identity card, marked with a “J” for Jude-Jew) shared across the generations. The photograph is very much a moment in time, a moment that marks time, bridging the past with the future. The image captures the gaze of a young girl learning through the shared experience of her grandmother, committed to re-telling that story in order to learn its lessons.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks articulated a crucial lesson he learned from Holocaust survivors, when he said: “To mend the past, first you have to secure the future.”  The photograph of my mother does this, aesthetically and generationally. Our shared work in Jewish day schools also does this every day, child by child, family by family, community by community. By securing our Jewish future through vibrant and sustainable schools, in some ways we heal the tragedies of our collective past.

So this Tu Bishvat, while I still chuckle at the thought of my mother rubbing shoulders with royalty, I appreciate how the day’s focus on trees and marking time can catalyze a deeper appreciation for the relationship between past and future. And I give thanks, both for the trees which beautify our world, and the hundreds of Jewish day schools in which tens of thousands of Jewish futures are growing to fruition.

 

 

 

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Paul is Prizmah’s founding Chief Executive Officer

The Power of Network

As early as my second week at Prizmah, I saw first-hand the power of our Network of Jewish day schools. While getting to know a school leader, I was asked a question that reached to the core of the character of their school, and honestly was beyond my scope of knowledge. “I’ll get back to you on that,” I replied, thinking that our Prizmah team of experienced day school professionals would pull out just the right answer. But, when I shared the question with my Prizmah colleagues, instead of a “textbook” solution, their response was a list of five other schools who had recently grappled with the identical question. These peers provided that leader with better answers (gained through experience) than a single “expert” might offer. That is an example of the Network at work, and the knowledge of the field in action. There is no textbook, but there are plenty of solutions.

Being part of a Network means contributing and accessing the everyday “real-world” expertise that builds stronger schools, and a supportive, vibrant field.

In the past year, day school professionals and lay leaders have connected, shared, learned, created, and driven impact through the Prizmah Network at an astounding rate.  1100 field leaders, from over 230 schools, joined us at the March, 2019 Prizmah Conference and collectively Dared to Dream; 163 schools participated in a Prizmah Reshet group (which had 200 new members this year); 1305 resources were launched in our new digital Knowledge Center and have been accessed by thousands of page views.

Online, at in-person gatherings, through emerging partnerships with federations and national leaders in education, Prizmah’s focus on Network points us in a strong direction to support individual schools and the day school field.

We just celebrated Shavuot, acknowledging the enormous gift—matan—of Torah. When we call the holiday “z’man matan Torateinu” or “time of the giving of our Torah,” we are actually celebrating a collective experience, as Torah is referred to in the plural possessive. Rashi teaches that both the Written Law and the Oral Law were transmitted to Moshe at Sinai. While the Written Law—Torah she’bichtav--speaks in one Divine voice, the Oral Law--Torah she’be-al peh, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, Midrashim--contains multiple voices across generations. There is an inherent intricate network of diverse voices and opinions offering insight, advice, and instruction.

The Oral Law provides a model for understanding our world and addressing the challenges we inevitably encounter. When we gain access to the experience of others, when we draw on past examples to inform present action, when we debate—even loudly—about our differences, we strengthen our ability to deliver on our mission. The Prizmah Network is predicated on just such a philosophy.

For our Network to fulfill its potential demands that we create space for the myriad voices to be raised, that we construct pathways for connection among practitioners, and that we encourage portals and access to other providers of expertise.

“Do what we do best and connect to the rest” was a kind of informal mantra we used in talking about Prizmah right from launch. Convening the Network means sometimes being in the center and sometimes stepping aside so that people can connect directly.  Oftentimes it means connecting to experts, providers or resources throughout the Network. Primarily, being the Network convener means making it easy to both access and provide knowledge for each other.

In the coming months, we will be concentrating our efforts on strengthening the Prizmah Network with the voices of even more day school leaders and practitioners. School leaders will be receiving information shortly about renewing or establishing their Network affiliation, while others in the field can engage by sharing resources, asking questions, and supporting the day school field. Together, we can ensure that the day school field has a living network that supports and creates tangible impact for individuals, schools, and communities, all working toward a vibrant Jewish future.

Chloé is the founder and CEO of Theory of Enchantment, an antiracism organization based in New York City.

 

Debra is Prizmah's Director of Network Weaving.

Theory of Enchantment

Prizmah's Debra Shaffer Seeman, Director of Network Weaving, caught up with Chloé Valdary, founder and CEO of Theory of Enchantment, to discuss her work to uplift and empower with love and compassion.

Debra Shaffer Seeman: You've worked for many years to help schools, companies and government agencies learn your Theory of Enchantment. Please tell us about ToE. 

Chloé Valdary: Theory of Enchantment is an anti-racism program that teaches people how to fight supremacy by teaching them how to love. We have three main principles: Treat people like human beings, not political abstractions; criticize to uplift and empower, never to tear down or destroy; and try to root everything you do in love and compassion.

Debra: Tell us a bit about your background and lived experience, especially what led you to want to create a conflict-resolution program.

Chloé: My major was international studies with a concentration in conflict and diplomacy. I focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and developed a very acute allergy to antisemitism. But hasbarah, which is Hebrew for “explaining” the Israeli position, was pretty insufficient. It did not understand the human condition and ended up reducing both Israelis and Palestinians to political abstractions. I wanted a better system, another orientation that could capture the lived experience of both communities critically, in love, and without dehumanizing any of them. This was a huge motivation—creating a love-centered paradigm that could overcome conflict—in the development of the Theory of Enchantment.

Debra: What's the most unexpected lesson you've learned or experienced in your work?

Chloé: If you want to learn how to love, and I mean unconditional love, you have to learn how to practice equanimity. Many wisdom traditions have insights on how to practice this, but it’s excruciatingly hard. Right now, we are dealing with a crisis-level amount of suffering and scarcity that demands such a practice.

Debra: A recent article about your work describes ToE in the following way: "Theory of Enchantment elicits unusual openness, trust and engagement from ideologically diverse observers, including many critics of more conventional DEI_training approaches." What's the process through which this occurs, and what do you recommend to school leaders in order to reach a similar destination?

Chloé: I don’t know that I can completely outline the full process, but our partners go through workshops and/or online courses that teach them how to embody the three principles I mentioned above. This basically helps people get in the right relationship with their own complexity and diversity—including their insecurities and their baggage—such that they no longer see diversity in the other as a threat but as a reflection of their own. They basically rediscover their own humanness, and through that process are able to see that in others as well.

Debra: Prizmah is a network of 300+ Jewish day schools around North America. Our school communities are microcosms of North American society, with people representing a wide range of backgrounds, lived experiences and political beliefs. How do you suggest school leaders navigate the range of opinions while creating schools where all stakeholders, including students, parents, faculty, board members and donors, truly belong?

Chloé: Again, this isn’t really a question I can answer exhaustively in this format but I would suggest school leaders adopt a love/equanimity practice and model that in their own lives such that they can bring it into their classrooms and empower others to emulate them.

Debra: For school leaders starting to think intentionally about creating cultures of belonging in their schools, what advice would you give?

Chloé: The motto of the American Republic is “Out of Many, One.” In practice, that’s an incredibly difficult motto to actualize. On an individual level, it requires constant, daily integration of various aspects of one’s self. The psychologist Carl Jung called this process individuation. To the extent that a person can cultivate this attitude in their own life, they will be better equipped to do so on a societal level. I would encourage school leaders to think about this.

Debra: In your work with schools, what are some of the challenges that you've come across and how have you and the school leaders navigated these challenges?

Chloé: Let’s say a teacher is struggling with how to navigate politically diverse views in their school. Instead of encouraging students what to think and what political opinions to form, teachers can cultivate a spirit of curiosity (the root word of which is “cure” or “care”) within their students such that they will be moved to approach these issues with an ability to be comfortable in not having all the answers. This reflects a general comfort with being vulnerable, and with the unknown. Theory of Enchantment practices and principles can help schools cultivate this curiosity.

Debra: When done well, what do you hope that this work will achieve for schools, and for the field of education as a whole?

Chloé: I hope that schools will be able to remember the true meaning of the word “educate,” which comes from the Latin “educe” meaning “to draw forth.” Educators are tasked with drawing forth the true essence of their students into being. This is a sacred task which should not be taken for granted. This process would actually produce a culture of inclusion and belonging and make real our nation’s motto: Out of many, one. It is incumbent upon educators, especially now, to remember this.

 

Riki is the Program Director of the New York Hub of the Jews of Color Initiative.

Seeing Jews of Color

Picture the Jewish community. What do you see? Whom do you see? Did you visualize Jews of Color (JoC)? Do you see me, an East Asian American Jewish woman?

As program director of the Jews of Color Initiative (JoCI) New York Hub, I love that my job is to cultivate spaces of belonging where Jews of Color are seen, heard and centered. Yet when I step into professional or social spaces, the questions I usually encounter leave me feeling anxious. “What do you do?” is usually followed by “I didn’t realize you were Jewish!” or “Are there really enough Jews of Color for your work to matter?” At best these statements reflect well-intentioned curiosity; at worst they contain the assumption that the default of Jewishness is Ashkenazi and white. Regardless of the intent, I feel an uneasiness in my bones for implicitly being told “I don’t see you as Jewish.”

JoCI’s groundbreaking research Counting Inconsistencies (2019) shows Jews of Color comprise at minimum 12-15% of the American Jewish community. While this percentage reflects our present reality, multiple studies have shown that the general U.S. population will shift to a People of Color majority around 2042. These national demographic trends mean that the U.S Jewish community, too, will grow to become more racially diverse.  
 
Unfortunately for our communal field, Jews of Color represent nowhere near these percentages in Jewish communal leadership, whether in professional or lay leadership capacities, nor in community member engagement. The Talmud promotes the holiness of each of us: “One who saves a single human life is as though he has saved an entire world.” For the continuity and thriving of Jewish peoplehood, we must see the beautiful worlds inside each human being. To do so means embracing our multiracial reality and intentionally uplifting those who have been historically pushed aside - particularly Jews of Color.

Aligned with educational research showing that students are more engaged and perform better when their unique cultural and racial identities are reflected in the coursework, JoCI provides culturally relevant and race-conscious curricula through our Leadership Fellowship and Incubator, two signature programs that pipeline and support the professional development of Jew of Color leaders in the Jewish communal field. Though the Fellowship and Incubator are not typical school environments, we design and facilitate ongoing curricula, replicating some aspects of schooling such as weekly educational sessions and learner-center pedagogy. As a result of directing the JoCI NY Hub, and underpinned by my educational background in Asian American studies and sociology, I have gained deeper understanding of what it means to create belonging through Jewish educational programming, much of which I believe can be applied to school environments.

Here are some principles to guide this work.

We all must have a stake in this work. 

My reason for doing work that centers Jews of Color is to create a kehillah kedoshah (holy community) in which I wish to participate. Your reason can be entirely different, but you must have your own North Star that guides you. Creating a culture of belonging is difficult work, and you will need something that enables you to power on through moments of disillusionment, despair and disappointment. Your reason should go beyond doing this for someone else and should incorporate how it impacts you as both participant and activator. 

There is enough for everyone. 

The pie is big enough for everyone to get a hefty slice and be well nourished! Oftentimes we believe there is a scarcity of resources (of funding, jobs, time, physical spaces), leading us to worry that letting new people have a seat at the table mans that there will be less for those who were invited to the table months or years ago. But the good news is that we do have enough. Just like slicing different portions of a pie to match individual appetites, let's try allocating resources based on need and context; our resources should "feed" those who show up hungry and those who haven't had a taste yet. 

Educators are transformers.

The most effective teachers listen to their students and respond to their needs. Perhaps you spent hours designing a homework assignment for students to write a story about their family’s Jewish holiday practice. But what if this prompt creates too narrow a framework for the diversity of student’s experiences? What if your students don’t yet have all the tools and information necessary to do a stellar job? Maybe your students want to learn more about Jewish holidays or aren’t sure whether they can include elements from other holidays they observe with their interfaith family. Maybe the format of the assignment isn’t creative enough, and they could feel a greater sense of connection to the content of the assignment by creating a visual project instead of writing a story. Rather than prioritize the structure of the original assignment, you can reframe the homework assignment to create a written, visual, or oral story about a family ritual. Educators should be flexible and adaptable to respond to emerging needs and interests of their students.

Acceptance of change.

To be an effective program director, I’ve had to release my hurt and anger from past incidents of racial trauma in the Jewish community. I work in a field and community that has harmed me as a young girl, as a teenager, and continues to harm me as a young woman. It can be difficult to see those who commented on the shape of my eyes now harping on the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion because it’s incongruent to my experience of being hurt by them. I allow myself to process and feel my feelings, and I have learned how to release anger towards specific individuals and institutions so that I may engage with them anew. If I truly believe in social change, that means I must accept that those who have harmed me are willing and able to change, and I must be open to their transformation.

Representation matters.

Educational research demonstrates that students thrive when they see themselves reflected in educators. It’s vital that we recruit, hire and retain a diverse faculty in Jewish educational settings. The JoCI Fellowship has invited many guest teachers over the last 8 months, and all have been JoC professionals who work in the Jewish communal field. This demonstrates to fellows that there is a whole community of JoC professionals like them and invites them to celebrate and engage with the accomplishments of our esteemed colleagues.
 
As Jews, we know how to keep and adapt traditions over hundreds of years. How might we channel our collective skills in longevity to the ongoing commitments that belonging and inclusion demand? Senses of belonging will shift over time as well. How can we use our skills in adaptability to adjust to the needs of future generations? 
 
Now picture the Jewish community and our future. I hope you see us, Jews of Color.

Odelia is Prizmah's Director of the Knowledge Center.

How School Leaders Use Fieldwide Data About Financial & Operational Metrics to Aid In Decision Making

Are you ever in a situation where it might be helpful to know how other schools operate? For instance, knowing what percent of budget other schools receive in net tuition? How much to pay a new hire based on what they might earn elsewhere? Having comparative data can help elevate your strategic decision making, make meaning of your own context, and help you lead with an informed vision.

Strategic thinkers often use phrases like data-informed decision making, data-driven decision making, and evident-based practice. To get definitional for a moment, data-informed decision making his about using data as one of multiple inputs for making decisions. Data-drive decision making is letting the data itself drive the decision. Evidence-based practice is about applying research findings to practice. Which of these resonates most for your practice?

As part of my work at Prizmah, I have the privilege of helping school leaders make decisions using comparative data from other Jewish day schools and independent schools. Using comparative data from similar organizations is called benchmarking. Here are a ew examples of how benchmarking data can help your school. 

Compensation Benchmarking 

I spoke to a school leader who was interested in recruiting new teachers and raising teachers’ salaries. The head of school wanted to know the average teacher salary at other Jewish day schools and average salaries based on years of experience. She found the data she was looking for, shared it with her school’s executive director and board, and was able to raise teacher salaries.

Another school leader was hiring a new development professional and wasn’t sure what a reasonable salary band would be for someone with the experience level the school was looking for. Prizmah worked with this school leader to provide relevant comparative data that helped the school attract a desirable candidate.

Key Operating Metrics 

School leaders and boards are often dealing with decisions that have very real implications for their families and communities. Tuition setting, financial aid budgets, fundraising goals and enrollment decisions all impact individual families. A school leader was asked by the board to figure out if they should raise tuition starting in middle school. A look at comparative tuition data helped them develop a model for their tuition that brought it in line with their local schools. 

At a different school, a board member thought that the school should be raising more funds through their annual campaign. Benchmarking data showed that the school was indeed raising 20% less funds than their peers. The school decided to raise their fundraising goals and use the money to improve educational quality and fund salary increases for staff.

An admission professional was tracking her school’s student attrition rate and wondered whether her school’s rate of 7% was normal, high or low. Using comparative data, she discovered that her attrition rate was below average.

How did all of these professionals find the data they needed?

Prizmah facilitates a Jewish day school and yeshiva cohort within the National Association for Independent School’s benchmarking tool called DASL (which stands for Data and Analysis for School Leadership). Your school’s participation in this data collection helps both your school and all Jewish day schools and yeshivas nationally to access critical comparative benchmarking data. 

If you are already a part of this endeavor, thank you! If you aren’t, please join the over 100 Jewish day schools and yeshivas that are currently participating by entering your school’s data this summer, to enable your school leadership and schools nationally to make critical, data-based decisions.

Data collection opens on 6/14 - Learn more about DASL

Debra is Prizmah's Director of Network Weaving.

Multiple Pathways on a Shared Journey

Over the past few years, Jewish day school and yeshiva leaders across the religious, political and geographic spectrum have committed time and resources to deepening their school’s investment in the area of race and school culture.

Starting Points 

Different school leaders describe different reasons for investing in this work. Some began their work in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, describing that moment as a historic turning point. Others explain that if 12-15% of the North American Jewish community self-identify as Jews of Color and 20% identify as non-White, then our schools can strive to have similar representation in the student body, parent body, board and faculty. Additional school leaders point to the fabric of their communities, and share how this work grows out of the mission, vision and values of their particular school. 

Some also talk about grappling with the Jews of Color Initiative study, Beyond the Count, as an important moment in their desire to lead differently. This study of over 1100 respondents shared stories of racist encounters based solely on skin color: “Respondents described the variety of assumptions made about them. They have been repeatedly mistaken for security guards or nannies and presumed to be the non-Jewish partner or guest of a white Jewish person.” A Black school leader shared her primary reason for investing in this work as follows: “My child will be joining this school in the fall. The conversation about race is not theoretical for my family. It’s my job to safeguard my own children, just as we safeguard every other child in this school.”

Prizmah's Offerings 

Whatever their reason for starting the work, one common theme of all schools in the Prizmah Network has been the commitment to making sure that all voices, including the full range of political and religious opinions in their communities, are heard and included in this work. Diversity, equity and inclusion has been a subject in North America, including the Jewish community. Some stakeholders are comfortable with this language and others are not. Our goal at Prizmah is not to be prescriptive, but to serve school leaders and communities in their particular context.

Given the reality of that communal diversity, there are a variety of needs that school communities have in growing, deepening or focusing their work on race and school culture. In an effort to provide differentiated support to the field of Jewish day schools and yeshivas, Prizmah designed an opt-in model of customizable offerings for school leaders this year. We were able to do this thanks to our funding partners, Crown Family Philanthropies, the Jim Joseph Foundation and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. 

Building on last year’s work, we offered schools fully-subsidized access to a race and school culture consultant of the faculty’s choosing. Schools primarily used the consultants for five main areas of work.

  1. Analysis of the school's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), together with decisions and execution of achievable next steps.
  2. Creation of a shared language to use with the school community as they engage in race and school culture work.
  3. Articulation of multiple answers to the question, "Why is our school engaging in race and school culture work?" Then using those answers to align the school's lay and professional leadership teams, ensuring that everyone is guided by the same goals.
  4. Establishment of a reading and discussion group composed of school faculty members, or an internal working group, composed of faculty, parents and board members.
  5. Creation of a plan to bring school practice into better alignment with a variety of existing school values, such as equity of opportunity for all children, careful thinking about the nature of community and the human dignity of every stakeholder in the school. For some schools, this was the adoption of a diversity, equity and inclusion plan by the board of directors. For others, this plan focused on the school's values and context, while elevating the culture of belonging they hope to ensure. 

In addition to the offering of consultants, Prizmah hosted four multi school collaboratives. 

  1. Engaging stakeholders (board, parents, community) in race and equity work, facilitated by Nishant Mehta and Ilisa Cappell. 
  2. Addressing aspects of race and school culture work unique to Orthodox schools, facilitated by Nishant Mehta and Debra Shaffer Seeman.
  3. Teaching about identity, bias and race in an elementary school, facilitated by BetterLesson and Amy Wasser.
  4. Developing a faculty professional development agenda on race and school culture, facilitated by BetterLesson and Rachel Dratch.

Each of these collaboratives worked to design tools and resources to address the topics at hand, utilizing regular group meetings to build models for approaching this work, holding each other accountable and workshopping results. The Prizmah team spent dozens of hours in direct consultation with school leaders as a part of these collaboratives and responded to their specific needs, including the creation of templates for leaders to use in talking about their work, with sophisticated language that recognizes the complexity of this topic.

Prizmah intentionally views this work through a networking mindset. As one of the first North American Jewish organizations taking on this scope of work, we openly share our learning with leaders in other organizations and compare notes to strengthen the work of everyone involved. We share hundreds of resources with Jewish day school and yeshiva leaders through our thought leadership and multischool learning modalities. We host podcasts and research fellows, and, perhaps most importantly, we connect school leaders one to another so that they can learn from each other and elevate this sacred work.

Lessons Learned 

Expansiveness is necessary.

School culture shifts require many years. Individuals need space to do this work—not just financial resources, but mental resources and space for strategic thinking. Around a topic like race, which has the potential to trigger fear or caution, individuals benefit from approaching this as a long-term process of learning and growth.

Including all voices is essential. 

Leaders who are starting this work by focusing on discussion and prioritizing relationships are reporting that their communities have been strengthened by these difficult conversations. The key here is that individuals in school communities trust that they will be heard, and prioritize their relationships with one another over differences in their political beliefs and religious practices. School leaders are actively working on how their learning on race and school culture can embrace all the students and families in their community, without regard to political perspectives. This component of school culture is best put into place in a proactive manner to ensure that all voices are truly welcome.

Alignment is critical. 

School professionals need to ensure alignment with their lay leadership in order for this work to take root. As master educator and consultant Nishant Mehta explains, “We want this work to be systemic and not just programmatic. If the premise you start with is that this is part of your system and not just an add-on, then the critical part is to ensure the people in leadership are really committed to this work. That includes the board, who holds fiduciary responsibility of the school, your head of school, and the individuals who are charged with the implementation of the school’s mission, vision and values.”

Deepening the bench. 

We need a solid bench of coaches to partner with school leaders in order to do this work in meaningful ways. There are not yet enough professionals in this space who have a strong understanding and facility in both how schools work and Judaism writ large.

Staying in the discomfort.

Many children, and many adults, have not yet learned how to have difficult conversations. Being willing to get messy and commit oneself to stay in the discomfort of a difficult conversation is a critical life skill, especially in this context.

Forward thinking.

As Caroline Blackwell, VP Equity & Justice, National Association of Independent Schools, explains, an essential aspect of this work is “not assuming that paradigms of the past will be sufficient for our children of the future.”

Prepare for pushback.

The more educated a leadership team is around the topic of race, and exactly what their school’s values are in this area, the better equipped they are to respond to any pushback they may receive. Pushback is a normal reaction to any change. Any perception that a family’s (or society’s) values might be called into question can create a heightened awareness and sense of reactivity.

Belonging does not mean agreement.

To create a culture of belonging does not mean that everyone agrees or sees eye to eye. It does mean that we make space to listen, and to speak, with a generosity of spirit. 

Change is happening.

Jewish day school and yeshiva leaders are doing the hard work. Classroom materials are being considered, scholarships are being created, boards are receiving training, faculty are teaching in new and thoughtful ways, and school leaders are grappling with their answer to the question which underpins all race and school culture work: “How can we ensure that our school is truly a culture of belonging for every person in our community?”

Traveling Together

While politics add complexity to this conversation, and context is essential in doing this work, school leaders want to ensure that their school is a culture of belonging, where every stakeholder feels seen and heard. How we each reach that destination varies, and Prizmah is here to support the multiple routes each school leader takes in this work with the understanding that our journey is a shared one.