Jen Cort is an education consultant in the areas of equity, inclusion, diversity and justice. In this podcast, Jen opens up a "third space"— a place outside our familiar home and work environments — in order that we might begin to engage in some of the provocative questions that need to be addressed. Listen in as Jen speaks with some of the leading thinkers and doers in the field.
Peace only happens by hearing each other's story and through love
Leo S. Ullman was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in July 1939. After surviving WWIIas a “hidden child,” as chronicled in his book, “796 Days”, and in a documentary film, "ThereWere Good People...Doing Extraordinary Deeds: Leo Ullman’s Story” Harvard College (1961) received law and business degrees from Columbia University. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.
Mr. Ullman practiced law and founded a real estate investment trust, which he took to the New York Stock Exchange and was named Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.” Mr. Ullman served as a Director of the Anne Frank Center USA, established the Jewish Historical Museum of Amsterdam, and was a member of the Development Committee of the U.S.Holocaust Memorial Museum. At Andover, Leo established the “Ullman Lectures” as part of tolerance education.Leo and his wife, Kay, have co-sponsored the exhibit “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda” at the U.S.National Holocaust Memorial Museum. They have also funded the creation of a “Righteous Remembrance Room” atStockton University’s Holocaust Resource Center to honor the persons who saved his life and the lives of others in hisfamily.
Mr. Ullman was the goalie in 1960 and 1961 for Harvard’s championshiplacrosse team has completed 145 triathlons, including 3 Ironman competitions, and bicycled across the U.S. in 25days, donated a collection of some 15,000 Nolan Ryan baseball cardsto Stockton University, authored“The Largest and Most Unique Collection of all Things Nolan Ryan” and “Leo, A Hidden Child in WWII,” which includes 19 pages of illustrations by Michelle Shain.
Leo continues to be active in lectures and programs on the Holocaust in many schools, universities, churches,synagogues and civic organizations.
“School is not serving us at the moment,” with LGBTQ+ student activist L. J. Valenzuela.
L.J. challenges listeners: ‘within each of our roles in society, we have the power and opportunity to take risks’ and to ‘look at yourself, determine your privileges, and go do something different.’
As a proud, queer, and trans high school student in Jacksonville, FL, L.J. Valenzuela started advocating by joining Equality Florida's Youth Leadership Council and some local LGBTQ+ groups in his area. Since then, he has spoken at conferences, including the All Together Now Conference, the Association for Middle-Level Education Conference, and a statewide back-to-school mental health webinar earlier this year.
Currently, he is a Field and Advocacy fellow with Equality Florida. He is also working within his community to produce an LGBTQ+ play, Hunger, by Ashlyn Colwell, with the playwright within the upcoming months. From these experiences and his journey, L.J. has committed to professionally supporting his community, planning to incorporate activism into his chosen career through an interdisciplinary approach. He likewise urges everyone to find their power and use it to support the queer community and other marginalized groups through their unique ways.In his free time, L.J. is also an avid theatre kid, animated film enthusiast, and LEGO set builder!
You can reach him at @ljvalenzuela37 on Instagram or firstname.lastname@example.org via email.
L.J. clarifies his comments: ‘I’ve become aware that the “red list” for the Thespys program may have been formed for copyright purposes instead of content purposes, though this is unclear. I know we cannot bring anything on the “red list” to the District competition. That said, from my experience, theatrical productions in Florida's schools are still being censored. As a student, I cannot take certain pieces to competition due to their content, and our in-school endeavors must also follow new curriculum laws. I have spoken to my teacher about this, and a main takeaway from official meetings is that many policies have not been fully clarified, so it is difficult to implement them without taking the “safe” censorship route, including censoring LGBTQ+ topics. Therefore, I hesitate to provide a definitive description of the “red list.” However, it should also be remembered that different districts may be handling the situation differently.’
Natalie Gillard shares the journey of meeting the need for experiential DEI work. And are snow days equitable?
About Natalie Gillard
Natalie Gillard is a DEI strategist and the creator of FACTUALITY, a facilitated dialogue, crash course, and interactive experience that simulates structural inequality.
Over the last six years, Natalie has led virtual and in-person FACTUALITY facilitations for over 57,000 global participants. FACTUALITY has supported the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at hundreds of multinational companies, universities, government agencies, and nonprofits (including Google, Twitter, FOX, American Express, Under Armour, Converse, Yale, Princeton, UCLA, Stanford, Boston University, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Rikers, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, American Heart Association and more).
Natalie and FACTUALITY have been featured in Fortune Magazine, USA Today, and Amazon best-seller The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table. FACTUALITY has also raised and donated over $20,000 to organizations that advance social equity through its Factuality Gives Back program and became an ice cream flavor through a partnership with the social justice ice cream brand, Taharka Brothers.
Create Sticky Change through institutional priorities and traditions
Quentin McDowell, head of Mercersburg Academy. After arriving at Mercersburg in 2007, Quentin has served as history faculty, director of summer and extended programs, Admission, senior associate director of admission, financial aid, and head boys’ varsity soccer coach for eight years, leading the Blue Storm to its first-ever Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship and the PAISAA state championship game in 2014. Before he arrived at Mercersburg, he was, for two years, a member of the history faculty and head boys’ varsity soccer coach at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts.
Quentin has played an active role in professional associations like The Enrollment Management Association, The Association of Boarding Schools, and the Independent Educational Consultants Association, where he has become an engaged educational leader. Quentin is also co-founder of the Erdmann Institute for Enrollment Leadership, co-founder and faculty member of the Future Leaders Institute, and a member of the Forbes Business Council.
A native of Washington state, Quentin attended Holderness School in Plymouth, New Hampshire, as a postgraduate student before matriculating to Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from George Washington University.
Quentin email email@example.com
Mentions:Muhlenberg college, Holderness School, Erdmann Institute for Enrollment Leadership, Forbes Business Council, TABS, Cushing Academy, Mercersburg, Characteristic Institute, NAIS, Linda McDowell, Katie titus, Peggy Macintosh, Marlo Thomas
Teachers are agents of change
Authors, speakers, presenters, and change agents, Cornelius and Kass Minor of Minor Collective share how they live in the space of possibility.Cornelius Minor is a Brooklyn-based educator and part-time Pokemon trainer. He works with teachers, school leaders, and leaders of community-based organizations to support equitable literacy reform in cities (and sometimes villages) across the globe. His latest book, We Got This, explores how the work of creating more equitable school spaces is embedded in our everyday choices — specifically in the choice to listen to kids.Cornelius has been featured in Education Week, Brooklyn Magazine, and Teaching Tolerance Magazine. He has partnered with The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, The New York City Department of Education, The International Literacy Association, Scholastic, and Lesley University’s Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.
Kass Minor is an inclusive educator and community organizer deeply involved in local, inquiry-based teacher research and school community development. Alongside partnerships with the University of Chicago, Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project, The Author Village, and the New York City Department of Education, since 2004, she has worked as a teacher, staff developer, adjunct professor, speaker, and documentarian. Kass reads books like other people listen to albums; the classroom is her concert space. While Kass’s organizing work in school communities is inspired by her NorthStars Myles Horton and Fannie Lou Hamer, her pedagogy is centered on joy from the surrounding communities and motivated by the idea that every adult can teach and every student can learn. Teacherhood, paired with motherhood, has driven her love of information sharing and redefining who gets to be a knower in the fiery world we live in today. She is the author of, Teaching Fiercely: Spreading Joy and Justice in Our Schools.
Twitter: @MsKass1Instagram: @MsKass1 @theminorcollective
Clubhouse: @kassminor / House: Joyful NoiseNewsletter: bit.ly/TeachFierceUpdates Website: Kassandcorn.com
Poetry- The Gateway to knowing and understanding unseen identities
Tony Keith, Jr. and Mel Cort share the paths they have walked to ensure understanding of their unstated identities. Lacking windows or mirrors for their historically marginalized identities, poetry created an avenue to express, explore, understand, and speak these identifiers.
Anthony (Tony) Keith, Jr., PhD. is a Black American gay poet, spoken word artist, and Hip-Hop educational leader from Washington, D.C. He is the author of the debut young adult memoir in verse “How the Boogeyman Became a Poet” and the young adult poetry collection “Knucklehead,” forthcoming from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. His feature performances include John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Cathedral, and the African Alliance Community Center in Arusha, Tanzania. Tony’s writings appear in the Journal of Negro Education, Equity & Excellence in Education and the Journal of Black Masculinity, and many others. A multi-year fellow of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Tony is the founder and CEO of Ed Emcee Academy, an entrepreneurial extension of his award-winning dissertation research about Hip-Hop culture and leadership for racial equity in American education. He holds a Ph.D. in education from George Mason University and lives with his husband, Harry Christian III, and their dog, Sage, in his DC hometown.
Mel Cort, a 'Threepeat' Third Space guest, returns to co-host this episode. Mel is a youth poet at Mercersburg Academy, specializing in Queer and disabled storytelling. They love performing, bookbinding, DEI work, and befriending cats.
Inviting the elephant in the room to tea? It’s more like the entire herd for tea, scones, and the full service!
Affirming, inspiring and honest. If you do or want to do justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work, this is a MUST listen.
Had a training through work with Jen and it was very informative and helpful