A Courageous Conversation about Race with Hamlin Faculty

As part of our professional development day on October 31st, Hamlin’s faculty sat down to have a courageous conversation about race. We were guided in this exploration by Glenn Singleton and Marcus Moore who have worked extensively with a wide variety of organizations such as the Spence School, the Dalton School, and Google.

“Founded by Glenn E. Singleton in 1992, Pacific Educational Group is committed to achieving racial equity in education. We engage in sustained partnerships with educational organizations to transform beliefs, behaviors, and results so people of all races can achieve at their highest levels and live their most empowered and powerful lives.”

“COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION is our award-winning protocol for effectively engaging, sustaining and deepening interracial dialogue. (Pacific Educational Group website).”

Hamlin’s faculty spent four hours focused on both deep reflection and profound sharing. Head of School, Wanda Holland Greene helped to frame the day by stating, “we often have our ‘to do’ list, today is about generating our ‘to think’ list.”

Core to the work of the day was understanding how to engage in a truthful conversation about race. According to Singleton, a courageous conversation about race can only take place when someone speaks their own truth. To help achieve this, Mr. Singleton and Mr. Moore led us through a mixture of personal reflection writing, pair-share dialogues, table discussions, and larger group discussions. We also practiced the intricate process of mindful listening, inquiring and responding. Central to moving the discourse forward was understanding the four agreements of a courageous conversation, “stay engaged, speak your truth, experience discomfort, and expect/accept non-closure.”

The following are a few of the rich quotations from today’s profound work:

“The opposite of fear is love, there is so much fear around race.”

“There is sophisticated racism, not always recognized, institutionalized. It is good for a community to recognize how they have internalized racism.”

“Rather than calling race relations ‘it’ or ‘this,’ don’t shy away from calling it by name and be specific.”

As a culminating exercise we were asked to deepening our thinking about race. Each table of participants generated a question to share with the group as a whole. Below are a couple of the questions.

“What is Hamlin’s level of commitment to the topic of race?”

“How do we get this conversation more into the classroom and the greater San Francisco community?”

Mr. Singleton concluded our session by stating; “Fight the fight against nothing is going to change, Fight the fight against, I’m not good enough to lead this change.”

Below is a short video segment of Glenn Singleton:

To learn more about Mr. Singleton’s earlier visit to Hamlin, please visit:

http://pubs.hamlin.org/blog/2016/09/08/diversity-inclusion-glenn-singleton/

For more information about the Pacific Educational Group, please visit:

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