September 13, 2017

Voices Envisioned, 2017-2018

Now in its eleventh year, Voices Envisioned is a series of events for Oakwood students, their families, and our faculty/staff/administrators to explore important issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Dr. Jennifer Bryan

May 15, 2018
7PM–9PM | Oakwood Secondary School Atrium

From the Dress Up Corner to the Senior Prom: A Community Conversation About Gender and Sexuality Diversity

Exploring gender and sexuality in PreK-12 communities can be a challenge. Teachers worry about saying the wrong thing to students. Parents worry that their children are too young to explore these topics. Students just want to be known and supported, regardless of how they identify. Please join Dr. Jennifer Bryan for a lively, interactive conversation about the role of gender and sexuality at home and at school. Bring questions, curiosity and a sense of humor!

In 2001, Dr. Jennifer Bryan of Team Finch Consultants began offering specialized gender and sexuality consultation to PreK-12 schools, and had continued to expand and refine her programs over the past 15 years. She published a comprehensive text From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Schools with Rowman and Littlefield Education. Her conceptual and pedagogical models related to gender and sexuality in educational settings continue to evolve, keeping pace with the profound and rapid social changes occurring every day in the culture at large. Through consultancy, training, speaking, research and collaborative projects, Team Finch supports those who want to better understand the role of gender and sexuality in PreK-12 Education. With increased understanding of Gender and Sexuality Diversity, schools can build safe learning communities, create inclusive curricula, and teach students 21st Century skills for living and serving in our complex world.

Cohosted by PODEI & the Parent Org Education Committee.


2017-18 School Year: Past Events


January 16, 2018
7PM–9PM | Oakwood Secondary School Atrium

“We have this idea that the ‘good kid’ is the compliant kid… the kid who sits still and learns quietly… but that’s a narrow definition of what constitutes intelligence that leaves a lot of people out.” —Jonathan Mooney

Jonathan Mooney is a dyslexic writer, speaker, and do-gooder who did not learn to read until 12 years old. He faced a number of low expectations growing up—was told he would flip burgers, be a high school drop out and end up in jail. Needless to say these hopeful prophecies didn’t come to pass. Opposed to being a high school drop out he became a college graduate from Brown university with an honors degree in English lit; instead of flipping burgers he ended up writing books, the first of which he wrote at the age of 23 as an undergrad; and instead of becoming an inmate he became an advocate creating organizations and initiatives that help people who get the short end of the stick. He has been a professional public speaker for over 15 years and has spoken in 49 states and five countries. Over the years he has spoken to kids in kindergarten, corporate execs, high school students, Ivy League professors, social workers, librarians, inmates, designers, parents, teachers, and everyone in-between about re-imaging education for the 21st century, inclusion, neurodiversity, the myth of normalcy, youth empowerment and much more. While he tailors each presentation to his clients needs, all of Jonathan’s presentations are delivered without notes or power point slides with humor, heart, and tremendous passion. Outside of his speaking and writing, Jonathan works for social change and justice.


Amer Ahmed
Islamophobia: Dispelling Myths to Break Down Barriers
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
7PM–9PM | Oakwood Secondary School Atrium

The call for the ban of Muslims to the United States is included among the many abhorrent cultural, social and political issues that have recently emerged. Although, the entire post-911 era has been filled with hateful rhetoric and violent acts directed towards Muslims, Islamophobia has never been more rampant and overt than it is today. An issue of both religion and racism, this toxic climate has resulted in dramatic increases in hate crimes against Muslims and those perceived as Muslims. Using personal narrative, Amer’s talk will dispel biased misconceptions about Islam and educate attendees on the current state of Islamophobia in America.

Amer Ahmed, Ed.D, is a social justice educator, hip hop activist, diversity consultant and college administrator serving as Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at UMASS, Amherst.

Voices Envisioned is co-hosted by the Parent Org Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee and Linda Rose-Winters, Director of Diversity Programs.