Pollyanna Conference

October 23, 2021
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Harvard-Westlake School is excited to host its fifth annual Pollyanna Conference!  The theme of this year’s conference is “Reimagining Resiliency with Resolve.”  Resilience is a complex word with mixed connotations.  The formal definition is the capacity to recover, spring back, show flexibility, and embrace toughness.  We often describe individuals and communities as resilient - in particular those who have faced generational adversity and systemic marginalization.  But what does it truly mean for an individual or community to exist in a perpetual state of resilience?  When resilience is examined through the lens of equity and inclusion, what new understandings can we gain about resilience?  This year we will explore the expectations and biases that exist around resilience and we will reimagine what our communities would look like if we shift to instilling an unshakable resolve in addition to resilience.  

We hope you will join us in person as a participant. As always, the day promises to be exciting and informative.  We are excited to be back together on the middle school campus.   

The mission of Pollyanna is to create a platform "where groups of people can explore together diversity, inclusion, and equity and share ideas, experiences and knowledge in order to become change agents in their immediate communities. The conference model is a dynamic, focused and interactive program that provides guidance and training for community leaders. The goal is to improve inclusion within communities and the understanding that racial, socioeconomic, religious and sexual diversity enhances all elements of the community."    

Pollyanna is structured a bit differently than other conferences. Each school will be represented as a School POD – with approximately 15 individuals who play a role in advancing the diversity discussion at your school. We ask that you send two members from each of the following constituent groups, if possible: head of school, administrators, alumni, diversity coordinators, faculty, parents, students (8th through 12th grade), and trustees. We will ask for a list of your POD members in early September 2021.


The morning will begin with brief opening remarks and a special keynote speaker. The balance of the morning will be dedicated to workshops broken down by constituent groups, each individually facilitated. After a break for lunch, there will be a dynamic student presentation. Each school will then reunite with its members for afternoon workshops, which will focus on discussions of next steps for each school. The day will end with a closing share-out session.


Harvard-Westlake Middle School, 700 North Faring Road, Los Angeles, 90077


The conference will accommodate the first 18 schools that register. The cost for each School POD to attend is $1,500 before June 30, 2021 and $1,800 after July 1, 2021. Please be in touch if the cost is prohibitive for your school. Once you have completed the short registration form and entered your credit card payment, we will be in touch with you regarding next steps.

For additional information, please email jjones@hw.com.