PERTH AMBOY, NJ - How do you talk about the recent racially charged incidents that are in the headlines with children? Do you feel that you have enough insight on diversity and inclusion issues?

On August 25, the American Conference on Diversity will empower early childhood educators with the skills to build more inclusive learning environments where all students, parents, and teachers feel welcome. Early childhood educators, anti-bullying specialists, service providers, administrators, counselors, and early childhood students: This is an excellent opportunity to enhance and refresh your professional-development skills before the new school year starts. In addition, you can learn new strategies and techniques to address bullying and bias in your classrooms.

Thanks to funding from the PNC Foundation, this session will address current issues related to diversity and inclusion in schools.

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Open to educators and youth service professionals throughout Middlesex County, the event will be held at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA (365 New Brunswick Ave. in Perth Amboy, NJ) on Tuesday, August 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (check-in begins at 8:30 am).

There is a $35 non-refundable registration fee for the session. Lunch will be provided. Seating is limited. Please email damica@AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org or call 732-745-9330 to register by Friday, August 14. Make check payable to: American Conference on Diversity and mail to: ACOD 109 Church Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Through instruction, facilitated dialogue, small group discussions, and opportunities for self-assessment, the thought-provoking session will enhance your ability to create positive change and to:

►Gain greater awareness of biases and how they can unintentionally be transferred to young children in your care

►Increase your knowledge of multicultural education

►Develop concrete skills to bring back to the workplace and share will colleagues

“The American Conference on Diversity understands the impact educators can have on youth and the entire school community!” says President and CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley. “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about innovative ways to build more inclusive learning environments and to stop the cycle of hate and misunderstanding that can be so contagious to children.”

The “Attitudes Are Contagious” session will be facilitated by our Director of Youth/Collegiate Services Bari Katz. Ms. Katz is an educator, facilitator, and curriculum designer who works with nonprofit organizations and schools across the country to develop strong youth development and social-justice programs for students. After serving as the Program Director for the National Conference for Community and Justice for three years in New York City, Ms. Katz went on to co-found a charter high school in Brooklyn, NY, where she served as the founding Director of Student Life. Ms. Katz also served as a National Training Specialist for the Posse Foundation, a college access and leadership program for urban high-school students. She helped replicate the Posse program in New Orleans and Houston and traveled to Posse’s nine regional offices to support program staff, evaluate curriculum, and coach trainers who work directly with Posse Scholars. Ms. Katz has been an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College since 2008 and is committed to supporting and empowering young people as they navigate systems of urban education and gain access to higher education. She received her Master’s degree in Sociology and two Bachelor’s degrees in Politics and Sociology from New York University where she studied race and ethnicity, urban education, and collective action.

What have past participants said about the Early Childhood Education Institute?

     “The experiences I had…made me challenge my own assumptions and my own prejudiced thinking.”

     “It raised my knowledge tremendously on the subject of multicultural education.”

     “This session provided me with skills to work toward change in a multicultural curriculum in my program.”

     “It gave me knowledge and ideas that I can use with the families I work with.”

About the American Conference on Diversity

The American Conference on Diversity was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today, the programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity builds on an historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates Regional Community Networks covering all of New Jersey. Visit www.AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org to learn more.