In this hands-on workshop, participants will engage with visual and performing arts as they learn how to move beyond simply acknowledging diverse cultures, to respectfully incorporating different perspectives and practices into their teaching in a meaningful and authentic way.

The morning will focus on Afro-centric pedagogy and artistic practices. Artist Celeta Hickman will lead participants in Afro-Caribbean dance and beading activities, exploring how collective dance can enhance communication, cultivate joy, and increase receptivity to learning. The morning will also consider the importance of supporting the expression of individual identity within a larger culture.

In the second half of the day, artist Liz Foster-Shaner will guide participants through the fundamentals of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed practice, including using theater to rehearse ideas for positive social change using interactive exercises to consider roles as educators in perpetuating or challenging systems of oppression in our classrooms, while also recognizing the ways in which these systems are also oppressive to us as educators.

Participants will come away with tangible techniques to develop critical thinking skills, encourage creative problem-solving, promote critical listening, and strengthen empathy within their classroom. This workshop is intended to be a celebration of teachers’ and students’ humanity, enabling all participants to discover joy through artistic expression and cultural exploration.