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LAUSD Students Join Teachers and Community Leaders

LAUSD Students Join Teachers, Community Leaders on March 6 to Help Build Empathy, Resolve Conflict in Schools

Los Angeles – March 6, 2009 – Four Mount St. Mary's College faculty members contributed workshops at LAUSD's recent conference, "Building Empathy in Education: Connecting Heart and Mind," which was held on the Mount's Doheny Campus.

More than 300 students from 25 Los Angeles area high schools joined Los Angeles teachers and Mount faculty at the symposium. The program encouraged participants to actively engage in the examination of critical human relations issues. The event offered more than 30 workshops that focused on a wide range of topics, including Understanding Cyberbullying, Faces of Prejudice, and Resolving Conflicts Peacefully.

Dr. Kimmie Tang, the Special Education Director, conducted a workshop titled "Breaking Down the Stereotypes of Disabilities." This workshop was aimed at helping students and staff better understand what it means to have a disability and the impact it may have on the students academically and socially.

Dr. Robin Gordon, the Secondary Teacher Preparation Director, offered a workshop titled "Mandala Mojo. " Participants learned how to create a mandala, a practice that has been used by many cultures from ancient times to modern.

Dr. Carol Johnston spoke about "Science and The Underrepresented." Her workshop explored stereotypic views of science and scientists and how these perceptions affect students' decisions to enter and remaining science majors during college.

Dr. Shelly Tochluk, Chair of the Education Department, presented a workshop titled "What do you mean I'm acting white?" Participants explored how the white race was invented, how it came to mean what it does, and how those meanings continue to affect us in the present day.

The event was made possible through a unique collaboration of the Mount's Office of Community Engagement and its Center for Cultural Fluency; the Los Angeles unified Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity, Student-to-Student Interaction Program, and Health Education programs; and Los Angeles unified board President Mónica García, board members Marguerite La Motte and Richard Vladovic, and local district Superintendents Carol Truscott and Linda del Cueto.

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