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News and Events

Strengthening Adult Mindsets and Social Emotional Skills

POSTED ON July 2, 2019

SEL Starts With Us: What does that mean to you? This was one of our Symposium themes in 2017, but in reflection after the event, we decided we wanted to be more explicit in our definition of what this means and how important it is to the work we do with young people. There is a range of changes (individual and collective) we must make in order to see equitable educational outcomes in our region.

With the guidance of our Whole Child Whole Day Advisory Committee, we’re back in 2019 with a new perspective on what this theme looks like and its role in developing equitable environments for youth.

Strengthening Adult Mindsets and Social and Emotional Skills: How can we develop social and emotional skills in youth, when we (the adults) struggle with it? From promoting a sense of belonging and self-care for all staff in the workplace to addressing our biases around race and gender, we must reflect on and strengthen our own skills in order to model them for youth.

This is about the work we are doing as individuals, to improve our own social and emotional skill set, and the work we do collectively, as members of teams, as aspiring program or school leaders, as non-profit or school administrators or executives, to build equitable environments (otherwise known as positive workplace culture) for each other. With more than 20 workshops to choose from at the Social & Emotional Learning Symposium on August 9 at Highline College, we encourage you to choose at least one session that you think might challenge you to think differently about what “SEL Starts with Us” really means and your role in it.

Here is a preview of just a couple of the sessions that align with our “Strengthening Adult Mindsets and Social and Emotional Skills” theme this year.

Cultivating a Culture that Leads with Racial Equity
Angela Griffin, Chief Program Officer, Treehouse
Explore Treehouse’s journey to embed racial equity, trauma-informed practices and emotional intelligence into its culture to meet the academic needs of youth in foster care; a population that is disproportionately youth of color, LGBTQ+ and often coming from poverty. To address the traumas and inequities they experience, Treehouse leads with a racial equity lens across the organization to deconstruct white normative bias and alleviate its impact on youth. Throughout this workshop, we’ll share strategies, tools and practices attendees can bring to their roles. From focusing on every level of stakeholder with goals and messaging, to board engagement, leadership development and capacity building – walk away with a pathway to an anti-racist, SEL- and trauma-informed organization.

Dear White Teacher, Do You See Me?
Theresa Hardy, Founder and Executive Director, Inspirational Workshops
In this workshop, educators and youth development professionals will have the opportunity to confront and recognize implicit biases. Participants will gain tools to develop a culturally responsive curriculum and instruction. We will creatively explore microaggressions and best communication practices when communicating with youth of color. This workshop will be co-facilitated by teenagers from the Trailblazers Program who serve as consultants to educators, sharing their experiences and what could improve in their learning environments through self-advocacy and communication skills.