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Talking about Race with Our Students...and Each Other
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When: 11/15/2019
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: The Key School
534 Hillsmere Drive
Annapolis, Maryland  21403
United States

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Type: Hands On and Direct Instruction

Talking about race is often difficult, and people sometimes choose to avoid it. But it doesn't have to be hard, and the conversations are important. We invite educators to join us so that we can start together.

Under the guidance of Samantha Fletcher and Jonathan Fichter, two trained racial dialog facilitators who are also teachers and parents of young children, we will help each other consider the best ways to engage these important conversations at home, at school, and in parent communities. As one participant from a past session said, "The presentation was informative, amusing, and incredibly helpful. I really hope you do one again. I think a lot of [participants] would really enjoy it and benefit from it.”


Once we have practiced engaging in these conversations as adults, participants can more easily see how to engage young children, too. It is both possible and necessary to begin in early elementary settings. Despite the myth of the colorblind preschooler or kindergartner, young children do see race, and research shows that waiting to have these discussions does more harm than good.


The session will share how teachers can incorporate race and identity as essential, everyday parts of the curriculum. At the conclusion of the session, presenters will facilitate group discussion about best practices participants are already doing, will share some of our own, and will share some of the best classroom resources from their early elementary toolkit for exploring race and identity.


We hope you will join the conversation!

AIMS Members: $70 (through November 1st) or $80 (After November 1st)
NON AIMS Members: $140 (through November 1st) or $150 (After November 1st)

Lunch will be included.

Please note that NO REFUNDS will be issued for cancellations for this class after November 5th.



Consent to Use of Photo / Video / Audio: Registration, attendance at, or participation in AIMS meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to AIMS’ use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videos, electronic reproductions, and audio of such events and activities.



A teacher and equity practitioner, Samantha Fletcher worked as a journalist and producer for newspapers, magazines, and radio before transitioning to independent schools. This is her 10th year teaching early childhood--including a year teaching a middle school cultural awareness course--at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, where her 7- and 4-year-old sons KJ and Isaiah also attend. She earned her master's in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Minority, Urban, and Multicultural Education from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Sociology from Augusta State University.

Jonathan Fichter, Academic Technology Coordinator at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School, has been teaching for 15 years, 12 of which have been in AIMS schools. He earned a master's degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard and a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature at Yale. He is parent to Charlie, age 8, and Eli, age 6, both of whom attend St. Patrick's.

Together, Jonathan and Samantha learned to facilitate racial dialogues by participating in Arlington's Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead program. They have facilitated racial dialogs for St. Patrick's teachers and parents and for the Yale Club of Washington, DC. They have presented at AIMS technology retreats, the AIMS diversity conference, and at NAIS People of Color conferences. One of their most recent presentations was for AIMS teachers at Rochambeau, The French International School in March 2019; a program that filled quickly!

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