Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


2019 Diversity Summit: Essential Skills for a Changing Climate
Alison Park & Dawan Julien

March 7 - 8, 2019

Hotel Allegro
Chicago, IL

Registration for the Diversity Summit is closed.
If you have any questions, please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190.

Thursday, March 7 – Friday, March 8, 2019

Thursday, March 7: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm (Registration opens at 9:00 am)
Friday, March 8: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Click here for a tentative Diversity Summit agenda.

We invite all faculty, administrators, and trustees to join us at the ISACS Diversity Summit on Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8, 2019, as we welcome all who share a commitment to diversity, equity, and justice in our schools. The Summit will provide an opportunity to learn new strategies; understand current research while considering school culture, resources and challenges; and, possible steps for advancing our work in these areas. Participants will be provided time to hear from leading practitioners, learn about specific strategies, connect with other committed educators, celebrate successes, renew commitments, and return to school with informed plans for action. We hope you will join us to share the energy of these essential and energizing conversations.  We look forward to hearing a multitude of voices in this two-day conversation.

Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Institutionally with Alison Park

“The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion is ongoing. It’s never done.”


While it’s true that the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requires an ongoing commitment, that doesn’t mean we can’t—or shouldn’t—hold ourselves and our communities accountable for progress and growth. In this workshop, we’ll begin by talking about how to talk about DEI purposefully, growthfully, and effectively. Then, we’ll explore a framework for advancing DEI institutionally, which begins with clarifying the vision and philosophy of your school’s commitment; setting goals and assessing progress; strategically planning for the capacity in your institutional structures and systems to advance toward your vision; articulating expectations for cultural competency growth throughout your community; and empowering everyone to own this work together.

Courageous Conversations with Dawan Julien

Introduction to Courageous Conversation is a powerful, personally transforming, one-day seminar that helps leaders, employees, and organizations understand the impact of race on their lives, their work, and their overall growth and development. Most importantly, it models and teaches a protocol for discussing race in ways that are productive, insightful, and generative - even in today’s challenging political climate. We cannot solve the problems created by systemic racism without discussing race. Introduction to Courageous Conversation enables organizations to generate equity by imparting a method for connecting and communicating across our differences. Regardless of their personal beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and experiences, participants’ critical consciousness of race will be strengthened, leading them to investigate the role that racism plays in institutionalizing educational disparities.

Featured Speakers

Alison Park is the founder of Blink Consulting. Since 2005, Blink has collaborated with over 100 schools, as well as various community-based, government and for-profit organizations to help create communities where all children, youth and adults can thrive. In addition to her work with clients, Park has facilitated at numerous conferences, partnered with other organizations, and served on Park Day School's Board of Trustees. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Mosaic Project and the SMART program's board of directors. Before Blink, Park taught in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, including Marin Academy and Head-Royce Middle School. She earned her BA in African Studies at Yale University and two Master's degrees at Harvard's Graduate School of Education.
Dawan Julien is an equity transformation specialist at Courageous Conversations. She is a visionary leader who has advocated for educational equity for communities of color for over 20 years. Born and raised in Baltimore, her mother was constantly seeking the best educational opportunities for her and, after transferring between multiple public schools, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Bryn Mawr, an independent school for girls. From 6th -12th grade she navigated between the separate and unequal worlds of West Baltimore and Roland Park. Out of this experience, Dawan’s lifelong commitment to racial equity work, particularly in education, was born. Dawan began her career in Teach For America, as a bilingual/ESL teacher at CJHS 145 in South Bronx, and later as a social studies teacher at KIPP:STAR College Prep Charter School. From there, she became director of high school academic support for KIPP NYC . She has created innovative initiatives including: establishing a College Scholars program, expanding social services, and designing professional learning around racial identity development, anti-racist teaching practices, and culturally responsive pedagogy. She has presented at conferences, including NYSACAC, Student Success Network Expo, and PASE@Pace. Dawan served on the board of the College Access Consortium of New York (CACNY) as its founding vice chair for development and is also a co-founder of the College Access Anti-Racism Coalition. She earned her BA in African-American Studies from Columbia University, an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, and lives in Harlem with her husband and two children.

The Diversity Summit will take place at the Hotel Allegro, 171 West Randolph Street. The Hotel Allegro is located in the heart of downtown Chicago in the busy theatre district in close proximity to the Art Institute and Navy Pier. It is also just minutes from Grant Park, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park, and Chicago's beautiful lakefront that stretches for miles.

Complimentary highlights of the Hotel Allegro include: a 24-hour fitness center, pet friendly policies, and complimentary coffee and tea and evening social hour reception in the lobby. Guests must join the IHG Rewards Club (free of charge) to receive wireless internet access in guest rooms and common areas. For more details on the Hotel Allegro at

ALERT - Hotel Accommodations Scam
ISACS does not reach out to attendees and exhibitors directly to book hotel rooms. To book a room at the ISACS group rate, only use the discounted group rates posted above or communicated with you via emails from If you receive calls or emails from third-party companies, we strongly advise that you do not provide these solicitors any personal information. Large conferences are targets for companies seeking to take advantage of attendees. We have received reports in the past that our conference attendees have been contacted by third party companies with offers to provide hotel accommodations at a lower rate than the ISACS group rate. These solicitations are an attempt to confirm your email address and obtain your credit card information. Please do not provide any information to these third party companies. These third-party companies create websites and/or use email and phone solicitations offering special discounted hotel rooms. Often, these discounted rooms do not exist. If you have any doubt about the information that you are receiving regarding any ISACS room blocks, please email or call us at or (312) 750-1190.

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Hotel Allegro for $129 plus tax/night (single or double occupancy) for Tuesday, March 5–Friday, March 8. To make a reservation call 1-800-KIMPTON (1-800-546-7866) and use group code: " NI3 for ISACS Diversity Summit."  For online reservations, click on the following Booking Link. The discounted rate is available until Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

If availability allows, the hotel will honor extended reservations three days before and three days after the Summit. Please note that online reservations are just for the exact dates and type of rooms listed on the contract. If you would like to book another room type or extend your stay before or after the Summit dates, please call the 1-800-KIMPTON to book your room.

If you are having trouble booking a room, please call the ISACS office at (312)-750-1190.

Please note, room cancellations must be made by 6 pm central, 72 hours prior to your arrival to avoid a charge of one-night room and tax. 

Air Travel
Both Midway and O'Hare airports are easily accessible to the Hotel Allegro. Fly into Midway (on Southwest Airlines) or into O'Hare and take the "L" (Chicago's public transportation) and be downtown in less than an hour.

Ground Transportation, Hotel Allegro Parking and Directions
For travel into the city from the airports, consider taking public transportation (visit, a taxi, Uber/Lyft or a shared shuttle on Go Airport Express.

Hotel Allegro offers valet parking service. Valet parking is $29 for up to 10 hours and $63 for overnight with in and out privileges (rates are subject to change). If you are a hotel guest, the overnight parking will be added to your hotel bill. 

There are additional lots within a few blocks of the hotel that offer less expensive daily self-parking. To secure discounted parking prior to your arrival in Chicago, visit

Click here for directions including public transportation, taxi rates, as well as parking information for the Hotel Allegro.

​GO Airport Express (Share-a-Ride) Shuttle Service
ISACS has negotiated a special rate with GO Airport Express for ISACS members – 15% off standard rates. Reservations MUST be made in advance and online to receive the discounted rate.  The standard rate per person to/from O’Hare is approximately $28 one-way; $49 round-trip. The standard rate per person to/from Midway is approximately $24 one-way; $40 round-trip. To receive the 15% discount off the standard rates, please click here for the Go Airport Express website to make a reservation in advance. A credit card is required and charged at the time of reservation. Airport walk-ups are not be eligible for the discounted rate, standard rates apply. Parties of two or more reserving at the same time receive a discount.  Please visit the website for more information.

Registration Fee

  • $375 Member
  • $450 Non-Member
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $25 discount.
  • Registration fee includes two continental breakfasts, two lunches, and daily refreshments. 
  • The Summit is designed as a two-day program and ISACS encourages you to attend both days. If you are unable to attend both days and would like to attend Thursday only or Friday only, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 for registration information.
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below.
  • Alison Park will also be presenting a one-day workshop, Leaders of Color in Conversation on Wednesday, March 6. For more information and to register for that event, click here.

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the Summit has been completed the following communications will be sent from ISACS:

  • An email will automatically be sent to the contact person on the registration confirming that registration has been completed.
  • Approximately three weeks prior to the Summit, ISACS will send a confirmation email to the registrant with details for the Summit.
  • Approximately one week prior to the Summit, ISACS will send a final confirmation email to the registrant with details for the Summit.

If you do not receive these emails prior to arriving at the Summit, please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190. It is possible your email address was entered incorrectly OR your registration was not completed.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for the Diversity Summit must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any. Refunds amounts may be determined at the event’s conclusion. At any time, registration may be transferred to another member from the same school.

Contacting the ISACS office
If you have any questions related to any aspect of your attendance or travel, please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 or email

Member Cost: $375     Non-member Cost: $450


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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