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S2/E2: Building Relationships With Immigrant Communities Through Local Cultural Immersion

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How might we ensure that teachers are equipped with the empathy necessary to work with diverse groups of students? What kinds of professional development experiences are both practical and effective in supporting teachers who may not share the experiences of their students? What are simple steps anyone can take to learn more about cultural and linguistic diversity in their communities? We discuss these questions and much more with Laura Gardner. 
 
 

Laura has 16 years of experience working in public education, refugee resettlement, and social work. While in public education, she worked as a district level manager for immigrant family and community engagement as well as a school social worker. Laura also worked for Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) managing their national technical assistance initiative to federal Refugee School Impact Grantees. Laura has facilitated professional development on building the capacity of teachers and school systems to engage immigrant families in their children’s education, language access, cultural competency, equity, unaccompanied immigrant children, immigrant family reunification, and refugee resettlement. Laura holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
 
During our conversation, Laura and I referenced the following resources:
 

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