In the Dedham Public Schools, 31% of our student population are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), while our staff is 96% white. A guiding principle of the work of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in our district is to increase diversity by integrating the authentic voices and experiences of members of the BIPOC community.
On February 14, 2022, Dedham Public Schools launched a new DEI& Conversation Series program at DHS, with the goal of offering students authentic representational voices and experiences. The first event featured Anthony Valentine of Valentine Inspires KLTR, a motivational speaker for youth on self-esteem, diversity, anti-bullying, self-love, and overcoming obstacles. Anthony's work featured in Forbes, The Hartford Courant, and edCircuit. Anthony has presented in over 40 secondary schools and had conversations with over 13 thousand students. For additional information about Anthony Valentine, select this link; here.
The DEI&J Conversation Series event hosted all grades of DHS in larger group assemblies, where Valentine structured a conversation to uplift and inspire students to understand the power of their stories and plant the seeds of courage, confidence, and unity in all students. Throughout the day, Valentine shared with the students the obstacles he has faced, from growing up without a father present to his challenge with anxiety.
Two additional DEI&J Conversation Series events are planned for the Spring.