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The Annual Conference in Athens will focus on "Keeping Our Students Safe" through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging (DEIJB). This theme will shape the in-person 2 1/2 day event, offering workshops, keynote talks and workshops by Jacinta Williams, panel discussions and workshops from counselors and leaders in the field centered around DEIJB principles.

Join us to gain insights, strategies, and tools for cultivating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive counseling practice, schools and to contribute to a compassionate and effective community. Together, we can make a positive impact and work towards a brighter, more accepting future.

Exclusive Pre-conference, deep-dive sessions, are also available. Read more below.

Keynote Speaker: Jacinta Williams

Jacinta Williams is a social justice and racial equity practitioner with almost 20 years of experience facilitating change in public, independent, and  international education as well as in nonprofits and  corporations. Jacinta started her work in social justice as a front-line advocate to ensure women of color in the city of Atlanta had access to HIV/AIDS testing, programmatic resources, and clinical trials. In 2002, she co-created the Metro Atlanta Women of Color Initiative (MAWOCI), Atlanta’s first and still leading HIV testing program for women of color. 

After her time in public health, Jacinta continued her work in ensuring equitable access for marginalized communities in the education field where she worked to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into teaching and learning and school systems, policies ,and processes. Jacinta is a skilled coach, process designer and facilitator and has experience designing and leading meaningful engagement and learning experiences across the entire ecosystem. 

As a former teacher, instructional coach, and DEI leader in large non-profits, she brings a wealth of context and experience with engaging individuals, teams, and organizations in strategically addressing challenging and complex issues and integrating equitable processes to achieve equitable outcomes in structures, systems, policies, programs, and practices. 

Most recently, she served as the Head of Equity and Inclusion at Atlanta International School and now works with local and international schools and companies to recognize and disrupt any cultural norms, processes and practices that prevent the community from living into its expressed diversity, equity, and inclusion commitment and goals. She focuses her work on building the capacity of people to materially shift conditions so that everyone can thrive and partners with organizations and people who are serious about ensuring conditions that work for everyone. 

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology summa cum laude from Emory University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Oglethorpe University. In her spare time, you can find her working out, traveling, reading fantasy novels, and supporting community development efforts.

Exclusive Workshop Series by Jacinta Williams

In addition to her Keynote presentations, Jacinta will be offering 3 workshops at the Athens Conference addressing: 

  • Anticipating and Normalizing Resistance to Change
  • The Impact of Race
  • Listening as Leading: Listening Circles as Safe and Brave Spaces
  •  (re)Designing for Equity

Pre- Conference Workshops

Building Bridges of Understanding: Practical Tools for Productive Conversations on LGBTQ+ Matters

with Dr. Emily Meadows

March 7th 8am-3pm

Register Now 

Join our thought-provoking pre-conference workshop with Dr. Emily Meadows (she/her) where we delve into practical strategies to navigate and address sensitive topics around LGBTQ+ youth and practices in schools. Emily is an LGBTQ+ consultant for international schools, and has worked as a school counselor for many years. 

Whether your school is actively promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion or grappling with the challenges that lie ahead, this pre-conference workshop will equip you with the necessary tools to navigate these conversations effectively. 

In this day-long deep dive, we will: 

  • Establish key concepts and vocabulary relevant to LGBTQ+ matters
  • Address the stickiest situations that school counselors are currently facing with regards to LGBTQ+ inclusion
  • Gain hands-on experience to prepare you to navigate a range of questions and concerns related to LGBTQ+ students and school community members
  • Unpack a framework to support decision-making around LGBTQ+ questions in your school context
  • Introduce policy guidelines to build school-based safety for LGBTQ+ students
  • Consider how LGBTQ+ safety may be addressed across a range of cultural and legal contexts
  • Build community amongst international school counselors working together toward LGBTQ+ safety, equity, and belonging

Participants working in any country and cultural context are welcome to join. Don't miss this opportunity to foster an inclusive environment and develop practical skills to address LGBTQ+ matters in international schools.

Crisis Intervention: Practical Strategies and Skill Building for School Counselors

with Dr. Scott Poland

March 7th 8am-3pm

Register Now 

Schools face difficulties managing tragic incidents like student or staff deaths, terrorism, or natural disasters. School counselors must be prepared to help affected staff and K-12 students using culturally responsive practices and provide crucial guidance to school leaders in crisis planning.

This workshop helps counselors develop skills in responding to trauma, managing emotions, and building resilience. 

Dr. Poland will cover the following:

  • Providing immediate support and information to school staff and parents after a tragedy, helping them understand children's typical reactions.
  • Role-playing with the Sanford Group Processing Model to identify coping strategies, support systems, and build empathy.
  • Role-playing with the National Organization of Victims Assistance Group Crisis Intervention Model to achieve the same goals.
  • Addressing the challenging task of delivering death notifications and sharing practical examples of best practices.
  • Discussing the difficulties schools face in managing emotions and memorialization after a student suicide, providing strategies for suicide postvention.
  • Conducting community and parent forums to guide recovery, resilience, and available community resources.
  • Emphasizing the importance of teamwork and self-care for school counselors during crises.

Conference Times 

The detailed conference schedule will be posted in November. However, for planning purposes here are the times of the event: 

  • Pre-Conference workshops. March 7th 8am -3pm 
  • March 7th, Main Conference 4pm- 7:30pm 
  • March 8th and 9th Main Conference 8am - 5:00pm 

*These times are subject to change. A final schedule will be posted in November 2023.

Call for Workshop Proposals

If you are interested in presenting…Consider a highlight of your counseling program and what it provides students. We invite you to showcase, in detail, how you implement this program at your school and how it could be transferable to another school. Apply by October 1, 2023. To learn more about presenting visit the Call for Proposals Page. 

View Highlights from Last Years Conference!

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