Strengthening Cultural Competency to Navigate Conflict in our Schools

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
location TBA soon
8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Presented and Facilitated by Caroline Blackwell, Vice President, Equity & Justice, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)


  • Arrival, Registration, Networking and Breakfast: 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
  • Welcome: 8:30 - 8:45 a.m.
  • Morning Program: 8:45 - 11:45 a.m.
  • Networking Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
  • Afternoon Program: 12:15 - 2:15 p.m.
  • Reflections and Farewell: 2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Register Here

About This Workshop

School teams are encouraged to participate in this workshop to strengthen the cultural competency of your entire community.

At this workshop, participants will:

  • Increase cultural self-understanding of your communication style and management of conflict situations
  • Increase understanding of diverse approaches others use to communicate ideas and engage conflict
  • Increase authenticity and better manage stress and anxiety that is often present in conflict situations
  • Use culturally responsive strategies in communicating your goals and interests to others
  • More accurately interpret the statements and actions of the other party

As we increase cultural and racial diversity within our schools, we must create safe and inclusive spaces for all. The ability to recognize and effectively respond to cultural differences in communication and conflict styles is a critically important piece of effective leadership and building strong communities.

This workshop will feature and leverage the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory® (ICS®), as an opportunity for participants to strengthen personal leadership and practice resolving conflicts that arise as a result of intercultural conflict styles.

Morning Program Details

At the start of this workshop, participants will complete the Intercultural Conflict Survey to best understand your own conflict tendencies. Caroline Blackwell will facilitate a full debrief of the results, with an interactive mapping of individual and group scores. This process will enable participants to gain fluency with the four different conflict styles defined by the survey and help gain understanding of others’ styles.

Afternoon Program Details

The afternoon will focus on applying what was learned in the morning to real-world examples and case studies of conflict in our schools. Examples will include consideration of the upcoming 2020 Presidential election, conflict in the classroom, with parents, and on teaching and administrative teams.

These case examples will be considered by mixed-style groups, allowing individuals to look at specific conflicts through the four different styles

Through this process, participants will gain a better understanding of how to navigate conflict within your school communities.

About Our Facilitator

Caroline Blackwell is Vice President for Equity & Justice at NAIS. She leads the creation and implementation of products and services that support the association’s commitment to developing and sustaining inclusive independent school communities.

Prior to joining NAIS, Caroline served as the executive director of the Metro Human Relations Commission in Nashville, Tennessee. Before that, she was a senior administrator at University School of Nashville for 17 years, including serving as the first director of multicultural affairs. Caroline holds numerous certifications, including in conflict management, facilitation, and coaching. She is the lead facilitator of the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute, director of the NAIS People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference, and regular a contributor to NAIS publications.