Beyond Differences Professional Development Past Speakers

Ashanti Branch smiling at the camera

Ashanti Branch (he/him)

Taking off The Mask

Aza Frias

Aza Frias (they/them)

Gender 101 and How to Support Transgender Students

Evan Wolkenstein (he/him)

Building Empathy Series

Kajal Shahali Smiling at the camera

Kajal Shahali (she/her)

Creating Welcoming Classrooms & Supporting Newcomer Students

Photograph of Soyeon Davis

Soyeon Davis (she/her)

A Conversation About Grief & Loss with MESO

Photo of Tida Beattie smiling at the camera

Tida Beattie (she/her)

A Conversation About Grief & Loss with MESO

Professional headshot of Erin Cutin

Erin Curtin (she/her)

Redefining Disability

Headshot of Evelynn Moon

Evelynn Moon (she/her)

Expanding the Definition of Grief & Loss

Dr. Kelli Harding headshot

Dr. Kelli Harding (she/her)

The Effects of Loneliness & Depression

Photo of Tida Beattie smiling at the camera

Lanette Jimmerson (she/her)

SEL with an Equity Lens

Photograph of Michael Tyler holding a copy of his children's book.

Michael Tyler (he/him)

Promoting Acceptance and Social Transformation

Headshot of Evelynn Moon

Lois McGuire (she/her)

The Importance of Self-reflection

Photo of Tamara Fyke

Tamara Fyke (she/her)

Integrating SEL – from Love in a Big World

Image of Ayesis Clay smiling at the camera

Ayesis Clay (she/her)

Write Your Way Out – Finding Hope, Humor and Healing in Your Teacher Story

Closeup photo of Genava Pierre Dixon

Genavae Pierre Dixon (she/her)

Tools to Assess Student Wellbeing

Photograph of Rush Sabiston-Frank

Rush Sabiston-Frank (she/her)

Integrating SEL – Lessons from the Institute for Social & Emotional Learning

Photo of Debby Machold

Debby Machold (she/her)

Healthy Transitions & Goodbyes

Closeup photo of Genava Pierre Dixon

Michael Lovejoy (he/him)

Meeting Them Where They Are: Supporting and Connecting with Students with Special Needs

Fong Marcolongo smiling at the camera

Fong Marcolongo (she/her)

How to Cultivate an Anti-racist Classroom

KB Brookins holds a mic while reading from their book How to Identify Yourself with a Wound

KB Brookins (they/them)

Utilizing Creative Writing to tell Empowering Stories

Jamar Gilson looks into the camera smiling

Jamar Gilson (he/him)

Coming Back From Mistakes

A portrait of Jazz. Jazz has light skin and dark hair in a bun on the top of their head with two strands of hair framing their face. They are wearing glasses, a rose gold flower crown, a red floral hairpin, and silver leaf earrings. They have on bright red eyeshadow, yellow paint on their face, and their lipstick fades from yellow in the center to dark red.

Jazz Bell (they/them)

How Disability Justice Made Me a Better Friend

Emily Janssen looks into the camera smiling

Emily Janssen (she/her)

Supporting Student Agency Through Storytelling

Meghan Bridges looks into the camera smiling

Meghan Bridges (she/her)

Supporting Student Agency Through Storytelling

Jaryn Holbrook Janeway looks into the camera smiling

Jaryn Holbrook Janeway, MBA, SHRM-SCP (they/them)

Supporting Student Agency Through Storytelling

A black and white photo of Keesha Dixon looking into the camera with a soft smile

Keesha Dixon (she/her)

Supporting Student Agency through Creative Storytelling

Elisha Minter looks into the camera smiling

Elisha "Mother" Minton (she/her)

Supporting Student Agency through Storytelling

Further Praise for Beyond Differences

“I LOVE the humanistic approach that this training provided because that is how students connect.”

– Carlos, New York

“It was valuable for me to hear, “You don’t have to know the answer, you just have to be the avenue” when a student is in need. That was super helpful to not be afraid to get involved.”

-Bella, Colorado

“I appreciate all of the resources and authentic conversations! I am very excited about reviewing this workshop series again when I receive the link for it as it was very valuable and I plan to implement it in my school. I found it very helpful to remember that I also need to participate in the process and share information about myself with the students I work with. Thank you again!”

– Janice, New York

“I connected with Beyond Differences because of the people and the mission. I love connecting with people, in general! It’s especially amazing connecting and collaborating with folks with shared commitments to nurturing the well being of the whole child for all children. It was amazing to meet the team in Dallas at the happy hour, and I’m excited to continue and broaden the work in Texas.”

– Myi’a, Texas

“This is ALL so necessary for educators. What resonated with me the most was how this is a mind-set and not a ‘quick fix.’ THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!”

– Christine, New York


“This is so important to reinforce peer learning, building relationships and trust. Building students up to learning strategies for change in a positive manner.”

– Deanna, California

“We often talk about how much each of us matters and more often than not, we focus on the positive aspects of that statement. However this conversation made room for the fact that mattering carries with it a large responsibility. Because we are significant we can impact the world in both positive and negative ways.”

– Marianna, New York

“I’ve been in education for a long time, and you forget things. A lot of this has been reaffirmation of things to do, strategies to use – a really beneficial reminder. Also, we have problems in Aurora but they’re everywhere. So it’s also a reminder that we’re not in this alone.”

– Sara, Colorado


“I enjoy the discussions; I leave the meetings with so many great ideas to bring back to our school community. We appreciate you!”

– Jeffrey, New York