NEW BRITAIN – The Consolidated School District of New Britain will host a virtual live forum this week to discuss diversity and inclusion within the school district.
The CSDNB will host a virtual live forum Thursday at 6 p.m. on the school district’s Facebook page. “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Community Building Conversations,” will be a discussion about strategies to engage Latino and Hispanic students and their families.
Guest panelists will include Dr. Juan Coronado, Eugenio Ayala, Orlando Ruiz, Awilda Reasco and the forum will be moderated by Alicia Strong. Senior Equity and Talent Officer Dr. Nicole Sanders said the forum will consist of a panel discussion and will later open up for a question and answer section for viewers. Sanders said the forum will be the first in a series hosted by the school district.
“We’re looking at how to support our families who identify along those markers to be more successful in our community through the lens of equity,” Sanders said.
Sanders said the school district held a similar forum series last year with more than 600 participants. She said the CSDNB hosted discussions with three different groups: clergy, staff and students. Sanders said the goal is to continue to find ways to open discussions on ways the school district can be more culturally aware and humility to ensure all students’ needs are met.
“This forum is really about bringing attention to the best ways to support Latinx and Hispanic families, but I think in particular with a focus on the diversity within that umbrella, which is why I’m really excited to be moderating this,” Strong said.
Strong said families with children in New Britain schools all have different ethnicities, backgrounds and therefore have fundamentally different experiences within the school system. She said roughly 80% of students in the school system are students of color and all require different needs and resources. Strong said part of that effort is to really understand those experiences and to talk as a community about the best strategies to support different groups.
“I’m really happy that we’re having this conversation. We have one of the biggest Latinx populations in the state. I think it's really important for us to start talking about the issues because there have been issues in the past, as someone who grew up in New Britain,” Strong said. “It’s really nice to see them getting the attention they deserve.”