Lewiston High School: The Two-Way Street of Diversity and Understanding

Workshop 4 | Wednesday, May 10 | 2:45 - 4:15

"What are the things that we could change in Lewiston High School? The community in Lewiston in general? What can you, as a young person, add to make things better?" These are the big questions Jenn Carter, Program Director of 21st Century Students at Lewiston Public Schools asked her students to think about in their after-school help program. Rising to the challenge, this group of about 20 Somali students came up with a simple goal: create a dialogue between students, staff, parents, and administrators, and then use this dialogue to build relationships and solve problems. In an effort to make their school community safe and productive for everyone, these sophomores and juniors began researching Restorative Practices – an alternative method of school discipline. Their efforts culminated with a culture training workshop for over 50 of Lewiston’s educators, creating an open space for two-way conversations about uncomfortable experiences involving race, diversity, and cultural disconnect. The Century 21 students join us to share lessons in leadership, understanding, and communication learned along the way; perhaps it can help model our own workplace conversations about culture, diversity, and performance.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI general (HR) credit.