Finding LIGHT in the Digital World
In early-August 2020, the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation hosted its seventh annual Convening honoring the newest cohort of LIGHT Awards grant recipients. While the event usually takes place in-person, the Foundation enthusiastically convened over 60 teachers and partners over videoconference for an afternoon of learning and celebration. The interactive event was designed to energize and inspire teachers, while also providing a space to think about teamwork and professional learning in the digital world.
For the second year in a row, a group of thought partners attended the Convening to help facilitate breakout sessions. These thought partners are experts in their content areas, and many have already successfully completed LIGHT Awards projects themselves. Thought partners guided conversations during several activities including discussions on how to collaborate successfully in a team environment, what core values each person brings to their work, and strategies for launching a successful LIGHT Awards project. Many attendees later remarked how helpful it was to address their goals and concerns for their projects in a structured listening environment. The LIGHT Awards is proud to have a robust and supportive community that can connect teachers and teams with similar projects and interests.
Building Healthy & Resilient Schools
For the professional learning portion of this year’s Convening, the LIGHT Awards was honored to have Elena Aguilar from Bright Morning Consulting give a live keynote on “How to Build Healthy & Resilient Schools Where Everyone Thrives”. Elena loves the chef and writer Samin Nosrat, who theorizes that the fundamental elements of good cooking are Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat. Elena plays on Samin’s theory to posit that the key ingredients to healthy and resilient in schools are Purpose, Connection, Curiosity, and Courage. Elena encouraged the LIGHT Awards community to identify their values and find purpose in their work, build social connections in their school environments, stay curious as lifelong learners, and find the courage to take risks and be bold in their teaching. Thank you, Elena!
The event also featured the graphic facilitation of Rosi Greenberg of Drawn to Lead. Rosi created beautiful personalized posters for each of the twelve teams to inspire them on their LIGHT Awards project journeys. She also created a stunning visual representation of Elena’s keynote, which can be seen below.
While the Foundation feels delighted to have convened digitally, we missed the connections we gain each summer as LIGHT Award recipients gather in-person. In order to approximate the feelings of community and celebration, the LIGHT Awards hand-delivered gift baskets to each new LIGHT Awardee around the Bay Area. Some items included in the gift baskets were the personalized posters (as seen in the photos below), a copy of Elena Aguilar’s Onward, and a candle from Glassybaby that the whole group lit together during the Convening to honor our community. The LIGHT Awards is forever grateful for its family of education leaders and visionaries, and looks forward to hosting this group and future awardees at in-person events when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the LIGHT Awards would like to extend a big thank you to all teachers – you are the special ingredient that keep our communities thriving and our futures bright.