CPS Day is an annual celebration of community learning, unity, and progress towards equity and social justice. This highly anticipated day offers an opportunity for participants to delve deeply into a specific topic; this year’s theme is Income Inequality and Economic Justice.
The primary objective of CPS Day is to broaden our students' comprehension of the historical and contemporary systemic obstacles that perpetuate economic disparities. Moreover, we seek to inspire our participants by sharing examples of successful community-based initiatives, advocacy, and policies that have pushed back against economic oppression.
Ten members of our faculty attended the 2022 National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference in San Antonio, TX in December. Our faculty joined more than 7,800 adults and students from independent schools across the country gathered to learn, collaborate, and support one another. The conference is an opportunity for connection and professional development with independent schools across the country who share our commitment to building equity and belonging through teaching and learning. This year's theme is Reunited in Purpose: Elevating our Worth, our Agency, and our Excellence.
Math Teacher, Cliff Kao, reflected "While there is value in creating affinity groups and understanding shared cultural environments, it is essential that we keep in mind that people, even those within the most apparently homogenous communities, can have vastly different experiences, conditioning, and outlooks on life. Only through empathy, patience, listening, and our most diligent efforts at understanding one another can we hope to co-exist and flourish on this planet we all call home."
Lisa Bonta Sumii, a College Prep current parent and psychotherapist, gave a TEDXWilmington talk titled My Heart Is Browner Than My Skin: The Intersection of Race, Mental Health & Sport about her search for belonging as a Fillipino and white woman and how she was able to cope with her mental health struggles through sport. In this TEDX talk she also discusses her journey as a mixed race woman to discovering that skin color doesn't reflect all of her identities and how that discovery has led to her work with elite athletes in the Bay Area on mental health and sport performance. https://youtu.be/p9SiaJTPES0
As part of College Prep's ongoing commitment to centering the work of racial justice and equity across all aspects of school life, Dr. Valaida Wise was selected to conduct an Equity Audit. We had a conversation with Dr. Wise about her experience in education, what an Equity Audit entails, and her excitement about working with College Prep.
Dr. Wise received her Doctorate of Education in Education Leadership from George Washington University. She also holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Trinity College. She has served as the Head of School at the National Child Research Center in Washington DC, The Harbor School in Bethesda, MD, and Henson Valley Montessori School in Prince Georges County MD. She is currently on the faculty at John Hopkins University, Baltimore in the School of Education. She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Creative Minds International Public Charter School in Washington DC, and sits on the board of other schools and institutions in Maryland. You can find out more about Dr. Wise through her website.
On December 14, 2021, the Parents’ Association Equity and Inclusion Committee welcomed Dr. Frank Worrell for an evening presentation and discussion with parents. We were honored to host Dr. Worrell, whose work is internationally recognized. Currently, he is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, where he serves as Faculty Director of the School Psychology program, the Academic Talent Development Program, and the California College Preparatory Academy. He also holds an affiliate appointment in the Social and Personality Area in the Department of Psychology and is the President-Elect of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Worrell shared some of his research, focusing on topics of particular interest to the College Prep community: the psychology of high performance, the role of cultural identity in educational outcomes, and talent development as a framework for gifted education. In a wide-ranging presentation, Dr. Worrell addressed both general issues and some of the special burdens minorities face in predominantly white school settings. Dr. Worrell’s findings offered insight into the protective factors that cultivates resilience in the face of stereotype threat and other impediments. To learn more about Dr. Worrell and his work, please click here.
Thanks to the PAEIC for continuing to support important conversations with our parent/guardian community.
Sarah joined College Prep this summer. We sat down with her to talk about her approach to librarianship as well as the barriers to academic publishing for BIPOC authors and how she’s working to dismantle those barriers through the curation of the Library’s collection of books and her newly launched Library Site.
After receiving a BA in History from Trinity University and a Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sarah has worked in a variety of library spaces, including public and academic libraries. Sarah has instructed learners in all stages of their academic careers through the research process and encourages students to examine the barriers in producing knowledge and history-making. She is excited to bring this passion to College Prep and looks forward to working with students and faculty to build up the collection and support their learning and teaching.
We look forward to welcoming Alexandria Osei-Amoako to College Prep this summer!
Having received her BA and MA from Sarah Lawrence College, Alexandria Osei-Amoako has worked with students of all ages in diverse educational settings, including Teach for America, KIPP DC: Promise Academy, and, most recently, High Tech High Elementary Mesa in San Diego. A self-described lifelong activist and learner, Alexandra has worked for more than a decade to help schools institutionalize equitable practices. She shares that her driving question is, “How can we utilize collective thought, power, strength, and diversity in order to re-envision institutions of power and privilege?”
Student leaders at College Prep have created a wide range of programs for the community that engage in awareness-raising, effective advocacy, and meaningful action for social justice and service leadership. We sat down with Hannah K. ‘21 and Guadalupe V. ‘21, two student leaders of NPHC (No Place for Hate Coalition), to talk about the program and their experiences.
On February 1, our Black Student Union (BSU) shared a set of demands with the administration and the community. These demands represent the voices of students who are earnestly invested in seeing College Prep live up to its mission; as such, we thank these student leaders for providing critical perspective and urgency to this winter’s equity and belonging work. Additionally, College Prep continues to build on the progress of last semester and created a summary of major actions, based on both what students are asking be prioritized, as well as standing goals. Please click here to see College Prep’s response to the BSU Demands and our commitment to ensuring that we are a safe and just school.
Every day this month, in addition to other activities, faculty and staff in the College Prep community are sharing stories and biographies of Black Excellence and Black Joy. Here are the community bulletin board highlights from week four of Campus News.
Every day this month, in addition to other activities, faculty and staff in the College Prep community are sharing stories and biographies of Black Excellence and Black Joy. Here are the community bulletin board highlights from week three of Campus News.
Every day this month, in addition to other activities, faculty and staff in the College Prep community are sharing stories and biographies of Black Excellence and Black Joy. Here are the community bulletin board highlights from week two of Campus News.
To our BSU and community—good morning. A week ago at Assembly, I shared that, along with a number of other administrators, I’d received a letter with a list of demands from the Black Student Union. I’m returning to our Assembly space to respond to that letter because I believe that how we speak to and with each other matters. We are bound together in a hard moment, trying to do critical work. We need to root ourselves in a collaborative spirit, so I want to both model and invite that. I know that there are stakeholders who may not be here with us here today, so I’ll also be sending the full text of this response to Trinity Thompson, BSU’s advisor, as well as making sure that it is sent to each of you and posted on the school’s social media.
Every day this month, in addition to other activities, faculty and staff in the College Prep community are sharing stories and biographies of Black Excellence and Black Joy. Read on for excerpts from our community bulletin board, Campus News.
College Prep student mentors are an integral part of Partners and its mission to serve Oakland public middle school students in academic summer and afterschool programs. Samuel Beltran, Director of The Partners Program, describes how veteran student leaders are applying their anti-hate training in the creation of a peer-to-peer student training program for new mentors.
This year, the History Department faculty met with student affinity groups on campus to discuss and understand the social-emotional impact of the curriculum. We sat down with Johanna Lanner-Cusin, History Department Chair.
As College Prep renews its commitment to centering the work of racial justice across all aspects of school life, student leaders on campus are energized and focused, engaging their peers and teachers in meaningful ways. We sat down with the student leadership of the Black Student Union, Gisele S. ’22, Isaac C. ’21, Sydney G. ’22 and Joy J. ’22 to hear how the events of this past summer and their personal experiences at College Prep have shaped their perspectives as leaders.
From expanded community outreach efforts to creating new admissions events designed to reach more BIPOC families, the Admission Office is actively embracing the strategic equity and inclusion work that is happening at College Prep. Read on to hear how Evie Koh, Director of Admission, describes the exciting changes and plans underway.
The LifePrep program has undergone some major changes this year. By partnering with a local experiential education and equity and inclusion program, The Mosaic Project, the newly redesigned course works to create a space for students to develop essential skills in cultural competency and anti-oppression work. Trinity Thompson, Director of Experiential and Community-Based Learning, describes the program changes and what the School has planned for the future of LifePrep.
The Board Committee on Equity and Inclusion, chaired by Dr. Sue Lin and Liane Randolph, continued to meet this summer to discuss the trustees’ ongoing commitment to centering racial equity across College Prep. We caught up with the co-chairs to ask about how they view the role of governance at the School at this critical moment.