Ransom Everglades faculty, staff and administration started the second semester by participating in a day of professional development designed to further the school’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion. The January 4 program under the direction of Bridge Builders 305, a training and development leadership group, focused on heightening cultural competencies to foster a more inclusive environment at RE.
Bridge Builders 305 C0-founders Emani Jerome and Anthony Teague led the RE community through training and small-group discussions that examined a range of cultural experiences and helped participants acknowledge their own biases. It was the second DEI professional development day for RE's faculty and staff in 2020-21; the first took place in August before the start of classes.
“As educators we need an understanding of how bias, our prejudice, our narratives … how that plays out in our own lives and obviously in the lives of our students,” Jerome said. “It’s important, especially as Ransom Everglades prepares their students to be competitive on a world stage, that we all think more about how we can be empathetic to the experiences our students are bringing to us."
Jerome also presented a survey of Miami’s culturally rich and complex history, using that survey to explain how the region is diverse but greatly fragmented. Bridge Builders 305 partners from Breakthrough Miami – Webber Charles, Gia Maxwell and Lauren Kellner Rudolph – helped lead the day’s interactive sessions, which enabled the RE participants to more personally explore identity, privilege and empathy. Jerome and Teague concluded the experience with a presentation on Design Thinking. Faculty and staff were encouraged to generate creative ideas for inclusive experiences through consistent observation of students' expressed needs.
Jerome serves as the Director of Changemaking at Florida International University, where he oversees the university's social innovation strategy with a focus on equipping young people with the tools needed to make sustainable change. Teague serves as the Outreach & Strategy Manager in FIU’s Office of Community Engagement, where he leads the department's community engagement strategy efforts and serves as operational lead for the university's collaborative partnership with the South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance.
RE’s Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Carla Hill – also a co-chair of the school's Anti-Racism Task Force – organized the event.
Ransom Everglades faculty, staff and administration opened the 2020-21 school year in August with a day of diversity, equity and inclusion presentations by some of the country’s preeminent voices in DEI: Dr. Dena Simmons, Director of Education at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Dr. John Daves, the Director of Community and Equity Affairs at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass.
The school's faculty and staff jointly read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and White Fragility, Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Dr. Robin DiAngelo last summer.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.