Encompass is an unprecedented organization dedicated to raising awareness about race, gender, and sexual orientation and the ways in which teachers can better address their own prejudices in the classroom. As the parent of two children who have taken the Encompass class at LACHSA, I feel so indebted to Lori Nelson and Kevin Blake for their leadership, compassion, and skill in teaching educators and students the importance of respecting and embracing differences. I hope their program will be funded and rolled out in more public and private schools. We need Encompass values more than ever in our ever-changing world.
As a student at the program's class at my school, I can honestly say that I feel like I am a part of something important. We are literally informing real teachers how create safe class rooms for real students. And that will have real impacts in the world around you and me. When students feels comfortable and appreciated in a class room, they are more willing to develop academically as a student. At least that's what I've found from my personal experience. Donate and Support Encompass now!!!!!!
I have attended all the performances that Encompass has put on in the past 10 years. Just recently I attended the "Creating Anti-Bias in the Classrooms." I am a counselor at a high school and Encompass is such a support to the schools, students and community. Their workshops/skills developments/performances are effective at getting each person to assess their own values and to understand how our experience shapes our perception of others. Their staff has the expertise in creating a safe venue to share with others without getting into a heated debate. What they do is crucial to understanding the complexity of social issues (race, gender, religion, etc). Anytime I attend the work of Encompass, I am rejuvenated and inspired to share their programs with others so they too can be "awakened". I am hoping to bring the "Creating Anti-Bias in the Classrooms" in support of the AB 537 Bill and to provide our school with training in anti-bullying.
Great non-profits are run by GREAT people. Encompass is run by the GREATEST. You know that what you do and who you are matters to all of us who believe in you.
I first worked with ENCOMPASS on a summer program called Project Spotlight. As one of the most influential experiences in my life, I now feel more confident not only in my art, but also of my identity. More importantly, I found myself becoming much more aware of the struggles my peers go through and eager enough to listen and understand them. I continue my work with ENCOMPASS on Creating Bias-Free Classrooms, where we train teachers to handle classroom situations where race, gender, and/or sexual orientation come up in the classroom. Through this program, I realized how important it his to help teachers, who directly influence their students, create a safe, welcoming learning environment.
I took part in Project Spotlight in my summer prior to senior year as a performer and I can honestly say it was one of the most life changing experiences I've had. It was a perfect combination of artistic creativity, relevant discussions concerning issues that hurt me and my peer as teen artists, and even just as teens in general. The staff was always friendly and helpful, both with personal matters and artistic criticism. I would hope Encompass and Project Spotlight not only continue but grow to a larger scale because it really does positively affect a lot of people.
As the Manager of the Institute of Leadership Development and the Program Coordinator for the county's 13 district New Teacher Induction Consortium, I had been searching for an appropriate and relevant way to assist teachers in addressing issues of bias that they are faced with in their context of teaching. Luckily for us, I was able to connect with the ENCOMPASS team.
We are completing our second year as partners, providing a multi-tiered professional development model for our more than 150 classroom teachers. In spite of the fact that our trainings must occur after the school day ends, our participants continue to actively engage in this learning opportunity. Ongoing feedback confirms that each session provides them with a new lens into bias, new approaches to address bias, and the opportunity to personally reflect on their own bias and how that might impact the ways in which teachers interact with their students and families.
We look forward to continuing our partnership and creating additional opportunities for our teachers, site administrators and mentors.
Review from Guidestar
As a veteran teacher of high school students, I am always looking for means to bring the curriculum alive for all my students. All the Encompass plays do that and more- long after the performance and the debrief that follows, my students continue to make meaning of what they experienced. Making connections for themselves is the gift that keeps on giving beyond the classroom.
Review from Guidestar
We have worked with ENCOMPASS to bring it's Compassion Play, KICK, to many K-12 schools, universities, and professional education conferences in Wisconsin since 2004. KICK is a powerful example of how live theater and a facilitated discussion can engage audiences of all ages, education levels, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. KICK reaches both the head and the heart to develop true understanding of the use of "Indian" mascots, logos, and nicknames as a human relations issue. DeLanna Studi is an amazing actor, and her depiction of a range of diverse characters allows audiences to experience multiple perspectives on the issue. Time and again, Juliana Serrano and Lex Steppling have proven to be very skilled in fostering valuable discussions that are safe and respectful without losing intellectual and emotional depth.
I also worked with ENCOMPASS to bring another Compassion Play, Horizon Line, to a national conference, and found it to be another extremely powerful learning experience. Kevin Blake is a talented actor, and Lex's ability to foster constructive dialogue is unparalleled.
Review from Guidestar
As a professional working at a national LGBT non-profit, I attended an Encompass training as research. I wanted to see how they were training teachers around issues of race and difference in the classroom, in the hopes that I would pick up some new techniques and tactics to use in my own work.
I took over 5 pages of notes.
Skyler was astute and open, welcoming each individual experience in the room while still retaining complete control over the training. The teachers in the room were engaged fully, participating in every exercise whole-heartedly.
I have no doubt that the teachers who are trained by Encompass create safe learning environments for their students... thanks to the institutional and personal change inspired by Encompass.
Review from Guidestar