Ancona revisits diversity at event

Staff Writer

The Ancona School will host its second annual Diversity Symposium on March 1. The symposium is for educators, school leaders, parents and the community to discuss the importance and challenges of diversity.

This year’s discussion will focus on diversity on a broader level by exploring the many faces, misconceptions and interpretations of Muslims in America. The first symposium, in 2013, was a part of the 50th Anniversary celebration at Ancona, 4770 S. Dorchester Ave. Last year, the discussion was on the history of the diversity efforts of the school and ways learning institutions can cultivate authentic diversity.

The symposium will take place at the school from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. highlights will include guest speakers Ubaydullah Evans Ph.D. and Rizwan Kadir Ph.D., a panel discussion followed by a Q and A, lunch, workshops and a special performance by Rohina Malik, resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, who will be performing scenes from her one-woman play “Unveiled.”

Workshop speakers and titles include:

  • Edmund Arroyo — Social worker and founder, The Heartspeak Institute, who will lead a workshop titled “What the Muslim Student Wishes their Teachers and Peers Knew.”
  • Alia Bilal — Mentor, IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network), who will lead a workshop titled “Islamic Social Justice and Civic Engagement Work.”
  • Adar Cohen, Ph.D. — Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies at DePaul University and Director of Programs, Civic Leadership Forum, who will lead a workshop titled, “Difference, Diversity, and Dialogue: Fostering Collaborative Inquiry with Youth.”
  • Ubaydullah Evans, Ph.D. — Scholar-in-Residence, ALIM (American Learning Institute for Muslims), who will lead a workshop titled, “Malcolm X and the African American Experience with Islam.”
  • Sadia Warsi, Ph.D. — Special Education, National Lewis University, who will lead a workshop titled “Promoting Social Justice in the Classroom through Children’s Literature and Critical Literacy.”