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Creating Brave Spaces

Creating the Conditions for Deep Equity Work with Adults



August 15, 16, 17, and 18, 2022

School Teacher


3:00 - 4:00 pm Central Time

Empty Classroom

Session Occurs on Zoom





Recorded Access Until October 31, 2022

If you are an educator or leader looking for collaboration and ideas to grow your skill set in leading equity work in schools, these sessions will help you identify actions you can take to create brave spaces and conditions for deep equity work. We have a professional obligation to lead in a way that surfaces and interrupts inequities and transforms practices that help us to create the schools children deserve.


These sessions will offer an opportunity to reflect on ways to support adults in navigating identity development. We will explore how you might set a compelling foundation that builds trust, connections and psychological safety that adults need in order to engage in cognitive dissonance. These conditions help adults embrace innovative practices that disrupt the status quo and help center equity. When this foundation has been laid, we can more effectively reflect on how our social identities shape how we see ourselves, our students, our families.


As a result of participating in this series, participants will have strategies that:

  • support reflection and planning around identity development with adults

  • help educators explore beliefs and mindsets

  • propel equity work forward with ideas and next steps


Maria Dyslin born in Spain, moved to the United States at the age of 8 as an emerging bilingual. Maria has been in education since 1997. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, and her teaching license and Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the Teach for Diversity program. She taught for 11 years in grades 2-4 and then served as an instructional coach for 9 years—coaching teachers and teams around instructional practices and effective collaboration. 

Maria was inspired to expand her work to impact more students and staff and is currently an elementary principal. Maria is committed to creating a collaborative environment where staff can reflect, inspect, and adjust instruction and environments that meet the needs of all students. Maria has also served as an adjunct literacy instructor at Concordia University in both the teacher certification program as well as the graduate reading program. Her passion and enthusiasm for inspiring students and staff in order to create a more just educational system drives all she does.
Maria has led the implementation of professional learning communities, universal instruction in social emotional learning ( including PBIS, Responsive Classroom, Second Step, Restorative Practices) multi-tiered systems of support and equity. Maria facilitates powerful professional learning around literacy, standards-aligned instruction and assessment, rigorous teaching, data analysis, and professional learning communities.

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Maria Dyslin

Session Information

Music Class

Session 1

Setting a Compelling Foundation for Collective Capacity Building

In this session,  Maria will offer suggestions about how to go about grounding adults in professional learning to help them better understand WHY developing racial consciousness is necessary. We will identify ways that a compelling why paired with the conditions for psychologically safety and trust help adult learners lean into courageous curiosity and cognitive dissonance.

Team Meeting

Session 2

Exploring Bias

In this session, Maria will guide participants in exploring mental models and how bias is deeply rooted in us  all. Participants will explore explicit bias, implicit bias, and confirmation bias.

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Session 3

Facilitating Identity Development That Calls People In

In this session, Maria will guide participants through a series of reflections intended to help them explore what working towards equity means and how exploring their own identity markers and beliefs are critical steps in supporting others in identity development.

Teacher and Class_edited.jpg

Session 4

Activating the Courage to Create a Classroom Culture of Belonging

In this session, Maria will guide participants in reflection and planning that will helps educators intentionally create a culture of belonging in classrooms that are identity affirming and we offer mirrors and windows that expand students’ world views.