Pollyanna creates discussion platforms for groups of people to explore issues of diversity, equity and inclusion;
and to share experiences and knowledge. We believe in being eternally optimistic even in the face of challenge. Pollyanna exists to be part of the solution.

Welcome from Casper Caldarola
November 2018
October ended on a very sad and tragic note with the massacre of Jewish people at The Tree of Life Synagogue, the murder of two Black people in a Kroger's and the bombs mailed to well-known and outspoken Democrats and news organizations. As an American, I am appalled by what has been happening in our country. As a person, I am disgusted that more people aren’t speaking out and denouncing the silence of many of our government officials. As a Jew, I am terrified with the hate and violence shown against us and People of Color, Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants and anyone who isn’t considered part of the making America great again plan.

I know voting is one important way to bring about change, and I will be on line November 6. In addition, I heard the very wise Bryan Stevenson speak a couple of weeks ago. He offered the audience 4 tangible and actionable steps which I’ve taken to heart and am looking for ways to implement in my life:

  1. Get proximate and be willing to go into other neighborhoods
  2. Change narratives, understand different narratives and do not forget history
  3. Stay hopeful as hope is at the beginning of changing the world 
  4. Get uncomfortable and be willing to do things that are inconvenient 

If we all do our part, we can bring about change and make America better than it is or was. That’s the Pollyanna in me, eternally optimistic. Please vote and please consider helping us reach 100% support from friends of Pollyanna .

Pollyanna is making a difference. In October, we had the Dalton Intra-Conference on The Dalton Citizen: Community & Belonging and Harvard-Westlake's Independent School Conference on Implicit Bias. Each conference was unifying and brought people together having discussions and creating actionable steps to bring about change in their schools. This month, we have conferences at The Children's School in Atlanta and Far Brook in Short Hills. That is making a difference.

If you're going to be in Nashville at the People of Color Conference later this month, please stop by our table and say hi!

With much hope,
Intra-Conference & Aspirational Action Program
Kathy Chan & Ryan Ewers, Pollyanna Team Members
KC: It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm about the recently developed Pollyanna Intra-Conference and Aspirational Action Program . Ryan, what will a school gain by working with Pollyanna on this program?
RE: Extremely exciting, Kathy. As you know the From Diversity to Community Conference began with independent schools in a given geographic region asking questions about how to create more inclusive schools. Now, the Pollyanna Intra-Conference can bring the same type of conversations to just a school’s community specifically: students, parents, employees, alumni and parents of alumni. Themes for conferences can come from an existing strategic plan, need for building community, writing or re-writing a mission or vision statement, or Pollyanna can help develop a tailored theme. Building off the Intra-Conference, the Aspirational Action Program addresses the common question, “now, how do we hold our institution accountable to move the needle on all of this and how do I stay involved”?
RE: Kathy, as a team member, what is the main purpose of the Intra-Conference?
KC: Pollyanna designed the Intra-Conference as an institutional capacity-building and excavating tool for schools wanting to deepen their knowledge, enhance practices and improve skills in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The very nature of the Intra-Conference, its emphasis on Pollyanna’s motto Every Voice Matters brings a school together and establishes and strengthens community connections. The conference informs the community and provides a platform for sharing personal experiences, expressing opinions and perspectives, and generating ideas and solutions for growth. This results in an enthusiasm and a strong desire for informed Aspirational Action by the school community.
KC: Ryan, how would you describe the Aspirational Action Program process?
RE: Aspirational Action ideally picks up shortly after the Intra-Conference. Pollyanna helps structure retreats for stakeholder groups, co-designs DEI projects with metrics and starts down the path of creating goals for the school year. Accountability is made visible through in-process data being captured along the way. Results from projects will be collected and shared with the community to highlight how the needle is moving on respective initiatives. Regardless of how a school decides to approach Aspirational Action, Pollyanna serves as facilitators the entire way. Ultimately, Pollyanna’s goal is to ensure that positive and sustainable capacity-building approaches to the work of inclusive practice becomes institutionalized within a school so that year-to-year as demographics evolve and the community widens, approaches continue to be relevant, inviting and engaging.
RE: The Dalton School just held its first Intra-Conference titled The Dalton Citizen: Community & Belonging. Tell me about it?
KC: Dalton’s Intra-Conference was very successful as it addressed one initiative of the new strategic plan. Author and keynote Charles Vogl kicked off the day and focused on how to create a culture of belonging. He set the stage for morning discussions by constituent groups to share their experiences and brainstorm ways to make the community more inclusive. The afternoon included a panel discussion with two representatives from each constituent group, next steps and closing remarks.
The Intra-Conference allowed:
  • Leadership to effectively communicate a clear vision
  • Change agents to feel energized
  • Stakeholder numbers to be increased
  • Attendees to now have a shared understanding and direction
  • Attendees to have a strong desire for intentional follow-up discussions
  • Relevant data was collected to inform future initiatives
The Pollyanna team provided guidance and support throughout the planning and execution of the Dalton Intra-Conference.
Please contact us for more information about the Intra-Conference and Aspirational Action Program.
Pollyanna Family
Contact us to join the growing list of Schools in our family.

 The Children's School in Atlanta, GA
The Dalton School in New York, NY
Far Brook School in Short Hills, NJ
Francis W. Parker in Chicago, IL
Francis Parker in San Diego, CA
Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, CA
New City School in St. Louis, MO
Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC
St. Clement's School in Toronto, Canada
Town School for Boys in San Francisco, CA
Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, VT
The Wheeler School in Providence, RI
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Pollyanna, Inc. is a New York not-for-profit corporation 501(c)(3). © 2018 Pollyanna.

Casper Caldarola, Kathy Chan & Ryan Ewers: Interview | Louisa Wells: Design