Speaking & Training
Join thousands of Educators, Parents, and Students for a Session with Dr. Cohn-Vargas. Becki gives keynotes, and offers workshops, seminars, and ongoing training opportunities for schools, organizations, and communities.
The sessions below can be customized for your needs and timeframes.
Preventing and Addressing Bullying
(Can be designed as introductory or full-day sessions for educators, students, and/or parents and caregivers. Available in Spanish.)
This interactive session introduces ways to support students to not be targets of bullying, to not bully others, to not standby and watch bullying and hurtful teasing. Participants will explore the impact of bullying and stereotyping in children’s lives and will discuss the importance of building empathy and intercultural understanding in their children. They will also learn ways to support their children and to prevent bullying among siblings and friends at home. Participants will learn how to develop school-home partnerships to foster safe and inclusive environments.
- Define bullying and identify best practices for bullying prevention and intervention
- Understand the impact of bullying and intolerance on children
- Implement strategies to prevent and address bullying and cyberbullying
- Help children learn not to bully or tease others.
- Learn ways to help children speak up and be upstanders instead of bystanders in a bullying situation.
Creating Identity Safe Classrooms and Inclusive Schools
Identity safe classrooms are those in which teachers strive to ensure students that their social identities are an asset rather than a barrier to success in school. In classrooms where students feel safe and have a sense of belonging, they develop stronger attachments to school and achieve at higher levels. The research on identity safe teaching practices find that students from all backgrounds learn better and are more engaged with school in identity safe classrooms. In this interactive seminar educators will learn an array of strategies to create “identity safe” classrooms — where students from diverse racial, social, economic, and linguistic groups can learn and flourish. Becki is the co-author of the book, Identity Safe Classrooms: Places to Belong and Learn.
Participants will learn how to:
- Develop an understanding of stereotype threat and ways to counteract negative stereotypes with students.
- Draw from the research to implement an Identity Safe Classroom in their own context.
- Refine their understanding of Dweck’s growth mindset and apply it to foster student-centered teaching.
- Thoughtfully choose from a variety of strategies to develop student voice, autonomy, and belonging for all students
- Learn culturally competent strategies to cultivate diversity as a resource for learning.
Tackling Implicit Bias and Stereotype Threat
(This session can be presented as an introductory session of a full-day or multi-session deeper exploration.)
As educators, it may seem overwhelming that in addition to addressing overt racism in our schools, we must tackle unconscious racist feelings (known as implicit bias) in our students, and ourselves. This interactive workshop offers solutions and concrete practices educators can carry out, drawing from research on implicit bias, stereotype threat, and the antidote identity safety. We will offer strategies teachers can use to counter stereotypes, build empathy, and promote identity safe environments where students of all backgrounds are welcomed, supported, and academically successful and accepting of others.
- Learn the definition of implicit bias and its negative impact on students
- Learn the definition of stereotype threat and how it limits student performance
- Learn research-based solutions to implicit bias and stereotype threat
It was an honor to have Dr. Becki Cohn Vargas present for the Diversity Council of Kean University in January of this year. Her keynote presentation about Identity Safety and subsequent workshop Creating Identity Safety in the Elementary Classroom provided the Diversity Council educators with a multitude of tools to support their education of diverse populations.
Our teachers provided outstanding feedback about their interactions with Dr. Cohn Vargas. One educator commented that Dr. Cohn Vargas’ presentation was “such a useful framework for understanding a complex phenomenon.” Another stated that Dr. Cohn Vargas was a “dynamic speaker” and a third relayed the “importance of social and emotional comfort and its positive influence on learning.” Other educators shared that they “... learned a lot about classroom and students meetings where kids have a positive forum to share their voice about their concerns/issues. I learned that identity safety is critical at every level.” Another wrote that “the stereotype threat has such an impact on students and giving them a safe identity environment can really help them be successful in school and in life.” They left saying one of their greatest takeaways was “the activities and resources presented/distributed for helping students feel safe with their identity.” Another shared “I bought Becki Cohn Vargas’s book. I plan to implement them right away.”
We look forward to partnering with Dr. Cohn Vargas in the future!
Stacy Schiller, Director Kean University, Diversity Council
I have known Becki Cohn-Vargas for over 15 years as the program was developed and I can attest to the fact that BCV lives out identity safety in the work she does with teachers, administrators and students. She 'walks the talk' in her workshops as she creates inclusive learning environments for all participants. Becki's research on identity safety in schools is relevant to teachers K-12, as well as those who work in other fields, and I appreciate her authenticity, her generosity and her passion as she makes schools and workplaces safe for all to engage and thrive.
Jennifer Abrams, Communications Consultant and Author of Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace and Hard Conversations Unpacked - the Whos, the Whens and the What Ifs