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SEED Program

Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) Mission
The National SEED Project is a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity.

To learn more about the National SEED Project, please click here.

Takeaways from Catherine Cook's 2018-2019 SEED Seminars

  • Community building/relationships
  • Seminar curriculum uniquely tailored to the needs of the cohort
  • Personal growth and identity development
  • Further understanding of systemic oppression
  • Recognition of agency to impact change

SEED Leaders at Catherine Cook School

SEED leaders practice inclusive, collective leadership. As members of the school community, your SEED leaders have been trained to host and facilitate conversational communities within the Catherine Cook School. SEED leaders collectively review and select resources and visuals, develop participatory exercises, draft and hone seminar scripts, and analyze participant feedback. They draft personal testimonies and model exercises in order to engage seminar participants. They listen and respond to the thoughts of individual participants as well as the overall group dynamic. They manage the time and space of each seminar in order to give each participant an opportunity to engage, reflect, comment, ask questions and provide personal insight.

The SEED Program at Catherine Cook is made up of cohorts led by the following faculty, staff, and parent/guardian SEED Leaders:

  • Patrick Gall, Librarian
  • Kathy Gilmore, Lower School Coordinator
  • Rachel Hill, Senior Kindergarten Teacher/Parent
  • Jessica Majors, Middle School Humanities Teacher/Parent
  • Eddie Pryce, Assistant to the Head of Middle School and High School Placement Counselor
  • Kerstin Schaars, Parent
  • Tiffany Tafe, Senior Kindergarten Teacher
  • Jen Tomsheck, 1st Grade Teacher/Parent

What Makes SEED Different?

  • SEED starts with the assumption that we are each the authorities on our own experience and can learn to facilitate effective conversation among our peers and colleagues about issues of equity and diversity.
  • SEED asks participants to look inward at how we were schooled to deal with diversity and connection as a necessary prelude to creating curricula and environments that more adequately equip young people, colleagues, community members, and others to do so.
  • SEED takes a systemic approach to looking at oppression and privilege, rather than seeing them only in terms of individuals making individual choices.
  • SEED acknowledges that diversity work is an ongoing process, professionally and personally, not a one-time training.
  • SEED leaders do not lecture. Instead, they lead their own colleagues in experiential, interactive exercises and conversations often stimulated by videos and readings.
  • SEED uses methods of intentionally structured group conversation, tested over more than a quarter century, to create effective learning environments and facilitate thinking in a way that includes input from all voices.
  • SEED work is not about blame, shame, or guilt about one's location in societal systems. It is about deepening awareness of the existence of societal systems.
  • SEED engages allies from dominant groups in listening, learning, and taking thoughtful strategic action in order to help break down patterns of oppression.
  • SEED doesn't need a crisis (such as bullying, sexual harassment, or racially motivated violence) to address the very real power dynamics of race, class, gender, etc. that play out systemically in schools, communities, and workplaces to the detriment of fully realized democratic education/experience for all.
  • SEED seminars put in place an ongoing constructive conversation about sometimes polarizing issues, making communities more competent to deal with crises when they do occur.
  • SEED can work in conjunction with other kinds of diversity programs by preparing participants to be more aware of their own experiences with privilege and oppression and to listen more effectively to the experiences of others.

Catherine Cook 2019-2020 SEED Seminar Details

  • Seminars held monthly on Wednesdays, from October through April
    • September 25 (regular seminar for faculty/staff; info session for parents/guardians from 5:30-6:30 p.m.)
    • October 23
    • November 13
    • December 11
    • January 15
    • February 5
    • March 11
    • April 15
  • Faculty/staff seminars run from 2:30-5:00 p.m. in the Library
  • Parent seminars run from 5:30-8:00 p.m. in the Library
  • An optional dinner is provided from 5:00-5:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria
  • Facilitated by trained Catherine Cook faculty/staff and parent SEED leaders
  • Childcare is available

To participate in SEED during the 2019-2020 school year, please complete the form below. If you have any questions about SEED, please contact SEED@ccookschool.org and a facilitator will get back to you.