Pollyanna Conference

Saturday, October 19, 2024

Harvard-Westlake School is excited to host its eighth annual Pollyanna Conference! We hope you will join us! As always, the day promises to be exciting and informative. 

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 2024.

Last year we were excited to add a more focused elementary school component and because that was a resounding success, we will have that again this year! We have heard feedback and convened a committee of elementary practitioners to devise ways to make the day valuable for their schools. The schedule has been adjusted so that there will be intentional time for elementary school PODs to hear from students currently in 6th to 8th grade, insights which may be more immediately applicable to those in K-6 or K-8 communities.


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. This year we will feature a breakout session that will speak specifically to the experience of elementary/middle school students in addition to our traditional high school panel. 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



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