The protests that followed the killings of members of our Black communities in spring 2020 served to wake many people up to the realities of racism in America—realities to which the Waldorf movement has not been immune. Accepting the fact that racism exists within Waldorf Education and taking on the work of recognizing and eradicating it from our classrooms is a goal to which we must commit ourselves if we are to truly educate our children (and ourselves) toward freedom.
Calling It Like It Is: Uncovering and Dismantling Racism in the Waldorf Movement was first presented by Sunbridge in September 2020. The need for this conference proved to be so widespread, and the event itself so well-received, it was repeated to new audiences that following January and March. Because interest in the topic remains high among many individuals who were unable to attend the conference last year, and because many teachers and administrators who did participate asked us for the opportunity to return to take up this work in greater depth, in 2021-22 we are serving the needs of both groups: We are repeating the original conference (aka “Part I”) on this September 24-25 date (as well as on a second, TBA date later in the year), and we are also presenting Part II for those who have attended Part I.
Conference Description (this event)
Over the course of three one-and-a-half-hour sessions taking place virtually in real-time on Friday evening and Saturday morning and afternoon, this conference will:
Define and articulate the ways many Waldorf school curricula center whiteness and set it up as an ideal, to the detriment of all;
Use the frameworks of racial identity formation and biography work to better understand how we become who we are in a racialized society and how that impacts our engagement with the children in our care;
Share practical tools, resources, and success stories with the goal of dismantling racism in Waldorf schools and communities.
Keelah Helwig is currently an early childhood educator and chair of the Early Childhood program at The Waldorf School of Garden City (her alma mater). Keelah has served as chair of WSGS’s College of Teachers and is a founding member and chair of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is proud to be a founding member of the Sunbridge Diversity Fund Scholarship Committee and is also a Board trustee of both Sunbridge and WECAN. A skilled facilitator, mentor, evaluator, and shepherd, Keelah is passionate about motivating school communities and inspiring lasting and meaningful change. Following her WSGS graduation, Keelah earned a BA in theatre from Spelman College and her masters in early childhood education from Sunbridge College.
Vicki Larson served as director of communications and marketing at Green Meadow Waldorf School from 2011-2021 and is a founding member of Sunbridge’s Diversity Fund Scholarship Committee. Vicki, who has been involved in anti-racism initiatives and community organizing for social justice for more than 20 years, has been a consultant to Waldorf schools across the US since 2014; she has also held positions in publishing, resource development, translation and interpretation (English/Spanish), international women’s human rights, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She graduated with honors from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a major in English and minors in religion and women’s studies.
Meggan Gill became Sunbridge’s director of education and organizational culture in 2021. A specialist in diversity, equity, and inclusion, she is also a trained Waldorf early childhood educator and currently sits on the WECAN IDEA committee. Meggan’s teaching experience includes most recently serving as lead toddler teacher at City of Lakes Waldorf School and, from 2009 to 2020, serving on the faculty of the Brooklyn Waldorf School where she led parent-and-child and kindergarten classes and was active on the Faculty Council. Prior to joining BWS, Meggan taught kindergarten at the Olympia Waldorf School and parent-and-child and nursery classes at the New Amsterdam School. Meggan earned her undergraduate degree in health sciences from The Evergreen State College and her certificate in Waldorf early childhood education from Sunbridge.
Heather Scott is currently a high school humanities teacher at The Waldorf School of San Diego. Heather has taught at WSSD for 17 years, including graduating two eighth grade classes. Her teaching experience also includes a year spent at The Community School for Creative Education, a public, Waldorf-inspired charter in Oakland, CA. Heather’s interests are in diversifying Waldorf middle- and high-school curricula. She is passionate about supporting anti-racism through a grounding in history and biography and has a decades’ long interest in African-American culture and literature, especially attuned to Black women writers. Heather earned her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA from The University of New Hampshire, Durham.
All four presenters are members of Alma Partners.
This conference will take place in live Zoom sessions. Sessions will not be recorded.
Friday evening, September 24: 7:00pm-8:30pm ET
Saturday, September 25: 10:00-11:30am and 12:30-2:00pm ET
All times are US EASTERN
NOTE ON ATTENDANCE: Due to the sensitive nature of these discussions and because each builds on the next, we strongly encourage registrants be able to attend all three Zoom sessions. In order to receive a Certificate of Attendance, you must attend all three sessions.
$160 includes $25 non-refundable registration fee
Volume Discount: 15% off for schools sending more than one participant
Sunbridge Alumni: 15% off for Sunbridge program graduates
Sunbridge Students: Free to students currently enrolled in a Sunbridge teacher education program
Discount codes will appear on your registration form. Discounts may not be combined.
Please contact Barbara Vitale, admissions and summer coordinator, at [email protected] or 845-425-0055 x20
Sunbridge reserves the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary.