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The Wheeler School Diversity Conference 2019

Welcome Our Participating Schools

From neighboring Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, we are happy to welcome students, faculty, trustees, administrators, and parents from each of these schools as the inaugural conference participants! (Space is limited, so register now!)

The Brooks School
Choate Rosemary Hall
Community Preparatory School
Friends Academy
The Gordon School
The Lincoln School
Meadowbrook School
Moses Brown School
Pine Point School
Pomfret School
Providence Country Day School
Shady Hill School
St. George's School
Tabor Academy
The Wheeler School
The Winsor School
Welcome to the first Wheeler School Diversity Conference!
Partnered with the national organization, Pollyanna, Inc.

In 2016, I had the opportunity to participate in an inspiring conference for New York City schools focused on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools. When this conference, initially hosted by The Dalton School, decided to become a national organization (now known as Pollyanna) supporting regional conversations around these issues, I was eager to bring the experience closer to home and honored when Pollyanna asked us to host this growing national movement for our area. I am delighted today to invite you to join us at Wheeler on April 27, 2019, as we host the first annual Diversity Conference for Rhode Island, neighboring Connecticut and Southeast Massachusetts area schools. I hope you’ll register your school to join together with us to share and learn from our successes, challenges, and ongoing dilemmas.

Already regionally hosted at The Children’s School (Atlanta, GA), Far Brook (Short Hills, NJ), Francis W. Parker (Chicago, IL), Harvard-Westlake (Los Angeles, CA), and Vermont Academy (Saxtons River, VT), the mission of the conference is to create a platform that Pollyanna describes as a place "where groups of people can explore together diversity, inclusion, and equity; and share ideas, experiences, and knowledge in order to become change agents in their immediate communities. This conference model is a dynamic, focused and interactive program that provides guidance and training for community leaders. The goal is to improve inclusion within communities and the understanding that racial, socioeconomic, religious, and sexual diversity enhances all elements of the community."

Unlike other conferences, Pollyanna has a unique structure. Each of your schools will be represented as a School “pod” – with approximately 14 individuals who play a role in advancing the diversity discussion at your school.  You will send two members from each of the following groups, if possible: administrators, alums, diversity practitioners, faculty, parents, 6th through 12th-grade students, and trustees. This conference is an amazing professional development opportunity for faculty.

The day promises to be exciting and informative. The conference will be held on The Wheeler School campus at 216 Hope Street, Providence, RI. Running from 9 am - 3 pm, the conference includes breakfast and lunch as well as a post-conference wine and cheese reception. The morning begins with a keynote speaker, then workshops broken into each constituent group and individually facilitated. After lunch, there is a student presentation then afternoon workshops for each of the individual pods (school groups.)  The day ends with a closing sharing session.

Please mark your calendar for Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 9 am - 3pm and plan to join us in Providence, Rhode Island. Spots are limited and registration is first come, first served.  Early Bird rates have closed. The conference fee is $1400 per school group. 

We look forward to your participation,

Allison Gaines Pell
Head of School
The Wheeler School

Princess Bomba
Director of Unity & Diversity
The Wheeler School

Our Keynote Speaker

Dr. Tricia Rose

Tricia Rose (born 1962) is an American academic. She is Chancellor's Professor of Africana Studies and Director of the Center for Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. Through a sociological framework Rose has examined, taught, and written about U.S. black culture, especially the intersectionality of pop music, social issues, gender and sexuality.

Born in New York City, Rose lived in a Harlem tenement until she was seven. In 1970 her family moved north to Co-op City, a new housing development located in the Bronx. Rose received her B.A in Sociology from Yale University and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University, where she became the first person in the United States to write a doctoral dissertation on hip-hop.

Rose taught for nine years in the Africana Studies program at New York University, then moved in 2002 to University of California at Santa Cruz; in July 2003 she became chair of its American Studies department there. Rose is currently the Chancellor's Professor of Africana Studies and Director of the Center for Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University; she became Director of the Center on July 1, 2013.

Rose has written three books, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Wesleyan University Press, May 15, 1994), Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality And Intimacy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, June 11, 2003), The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop - And Why It Matters (December 2, 2008), and co-wrote a fourth entitled Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture (June 23, 1994).

Black Noise, developed from her doctoral dissertation, is regarded as the first piece of published work to frame hip hop's legacy in such a way that granted it legitimacy among scholars; ultimately shaping the field of hip hop academic study. Black Noise, which made The Village Voice's top 25 books of 1994, was awarded an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1995.

Longing to Tell: Black Women’s Stories of Sexuality and Intimacy is Rose's second book and focuses on black women's sexuality in America. Through testimonies which seek to dispel prevailing myths and provide insights, this oral narrative project illustrates the complexities of exploring black female sexuality within contemporary culture.
216 Hope Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02906-2246
Phone: (401) 421-8100
FAX: (401) 751-7674

Founded 1889

The Wheeler School is an independent coeducational college preparatory day school for Nursery, Pre-K, K-Grade 12 serving Providence, RI, Greater Providence and Greater Boston. The Hamilton School welcomes Grades 1-8 with language-based learning differences.