Wheeler Diversity Conference

Postponed to 2021.  Save (this) date!

2021 Wheeler Diversity Conference: “Identity & Belonging”
Saturday, May 1, 2021 | 9 am – 4 pm | $1400 per school


W logo for the Wheeler School

April 1, 2020

Dear friends,

I hope this email finds you, your colleagues, students, and families healthy and in good spirits. As is typical, during atypical and uncertain times, we have all responded in ways that reflect our individual personalities, cultures, and faith. From a professional perspective, we have collectively made insurmountable decisions that have challenged our traditions, protocols and our ability to effectively reevaluate and make bold changes. While the work of diversity, equity and inclusion continues, postponing our Wheeler Diversity Conference is one of those changes we have had to make.

It is with much hope and anticipation that I inform you our Conference will be held on May 1, 2021. Happily, our keynote speaker, Dr. Ali Michael, has already committed to that date.

Schools that had registered have received an email from us. Please reply to me by April 10, 2020, indicating your school’s choice of refund options.

At this critical,  history-making time in our lives, I am even more grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with you as my allies and fellow problem solvers. I know that you join us in our commitment to ensure that future generations will judge us favorably or unfavorably for our actions but never for our inaction.

In early fall, we will be in touch with more details but during the interim, please call or email with any questions.

We thank you for your continued collaboration and we send wishes for health, love, and peace to you and your school community.

In friendship,

Princess Sirleaf Bomba
Director of Unity & Diversity

Allison Gaines Pell
Head of School

Missing this group of great schools already.  See you in 2021!

St. Mary Academy – Bay View
Bishop Hendricken High School
Community Preparatory School*
Friends Academy*
Gordon School*
La Salle Academy
Lincoln School*
Moses Brown School*
Pine Point School
Pingree School
Providence Country Day School*
Rocky Hill Country Day School
St. Andrew’s School*
San Miguel School*
Sophia Academy
St. George’s School*
St. Michael’s Country Day School
The Wheeler School*
*inaugural conference participating schools



What is the Wheeler Diversity Conference?

Partnering with Pollyanna, Inc., The Wheeler School joins a national group of independent schools hosting a one-day conference 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.”

How the conference is structured

Unlike other conferences, Pollyanna has a unique structure. Each school 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.

Schedule for the day

The conference is held on The Wheeler School campus at 216 Hope Street, Providence, RI. Running from 9 am – 4 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.


Conference Keynote Speaker Announced


2020 Diversity Conference speaker

Nationally-known author and educator, Dr. Ali Michael, will be the keynote speaker at the 2021 Wheeler Diversity Conference for area independent schools.

Ali Michael, Ph.D., is the co-founder and director of the Race Institute for K-12 Educators, and the author of Raising Race Questions: Whiteness, Inquiry and Education (Teachers College Press, 2015), winner of the 2017 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award.  She is co-editor of the bestselling Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories (2015, Stylus Press) and bestselling Guide for White Women who Teach Black Boys (2018, Corwin Press).

Read her bio and more here.

The Inaugural Schools - 2019

From throughout southern New England, alumni, students, faculty, trustees, administrators, and parents from each of these schools joined Wheeler as the inaugural conference participants!

The Carroll School
Community Preparatory School
Fayerweather Street School
Friends Academy
The Gordon School
The Lincoln School
Moses Brown School
Pine Point School
Providence Country Day School
San Miguel School
Shady Hill School
St. Andrew’s School
St. George’s School
The Wheeler School