Supervised by Assistant Head of School for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Erica Thompson and led by former Director of Auxiliary Programs and current equity and diversity consultant Rhia Hamilton alongside a rotating group of faculty, Case Convenings operate as small-group, discussion-based spaces in which faculty, staff, and administrators are invited to share their personal stories and experiences regarding race and engage in a scaffolded dialogue with colleagues. This innovative, group-centric model fosters community-building and empathy through shared experience—especially along the lines of racial awareness—and provides a framework to examine assumptions and implicit bias. Case Convenings on race provide a space for reflection and learning among adults and help expand the wealth of tools and support the faculty is able to offer in their interactions with others.
Dr. Hamilton first encountered Case Convenings at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2005 as part of advanced coursework in adult leadership and development. We have adapted Case Convenings to help adults at St. Patrick’s explore their own unresolved dilemmas, which we refer to as cases, involving race.
Within our community, Case Convenings on race have led to higher rates of comfort discussing race, a stronger sense of collegiality, and increased racial awareness and sensitivity. St. Patrick’s faculty, staff, and administrators are committed to creating a community in which all students feel supported as they explore their identities, and the equity of all students is upheld within an Episcopal framework. As the world outside of our school walls grapples with the necessity for social justice, we seek to embrace it. And as a community that strives to grow together, we acknowledge that true change begins with each of us.