At the Heart of Our Identity:
Being Episcopal, Being Inclusive
An NAES conference on Episcopal identity, equity, and inclusion
The Purpose of This Conference
There is a clear connection between the values we share as a part of our Episcopal identity and the work we are doing to foster diversity and inclusion in our respective communities. The conference is designed for diversity practitioners in Episcopal schools, school chaplains, school leaders, and others associated with Episcopal schools eager to build upon and to further this all-important bridge.
What Makes This NAES Conference Unique?
This will be a valuable opportunity to connect with colleagues of different levels of experience in Episcopal schools, for chaplains and diversity practitioners to find ways of partnering more effectively, to explore avenues of self-care in the midst of challenging work, and to learn about strategies for planning and monitoring your school’s progress in building a program based on the unique mission of an Episcopal school.
- Mr. Rodney Glasgow
Head of Middle School & Chief Diversity Officer, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
- The Rt. Rev. Phoebe A. Roaf
Bishop of West Tennessee
- The Rt. Rev. Eugene T. Sutton
Bishop of Maryland
- Jadi Taveras
Head of School, Esperanza Academy
- The Rev. Daniel R. Heischman
NAES Executive Director
- Ann Mellow
NAES Associate Director
- Sandi Hannibal
Consultant to the NAES “At The Heart of Our Identity” Initiative
Conference Feedback and Photos
For me, my biggest takeaway was a stronger sense that our Episcopal Identity positions us to lean into conversations and discussions that focus on DEI work because of the nature of our baptismal vows. Going along with this is the understanding that being Episcopal does not mean that we’ve arrived or that we have the answers, but rather that we do have the tools to focus on this work. Finally, I came away with a deeper understanding that EI is so closely associated with whiteness and that we have much work to do in the areas of DEI!
The biggest takeaways for me were the contacts and connections that I made with educators from other Episcopal schools.
My own critiques and concerns about the history, character, quandaries, and purposes of our schools are well founded. The conference and future gatherings are a rare opportunity to speak honestly about those issues and create a new future that has grappled with its past. Motivated people of faith with a shared commitment to education and justice like these colleagues should be able to delve into this. It’s a unique opportunity.
My belief is that so many teachers, families, administrators, and other members of our school community still do not necessarily see the need for this type of work in our schools. They may not completely understand the bigger issues revolving around DEI in schools. It is extremely difficulty for some people who are trying to make changes in their schools if they do not have the support of those around them. If NAES continues to make this a priority, it will really help all involved. Knowing that we are getting our directions from NAES gives us feet to stand on.