Community Engagement and Education Virtual Event Series

New event series Fall 2021!

Please explore CEE's 2020 virtual event series and access additional resources from prior events below.

Throughout the 2020-21 school year, the CEE community gathered together virtually for a number of discussions, talks, interest group meetings, read-alouds, and celebrations, all via Zoom! From parent education sessions and updates from the frontlines of Covid-19, to discussions on allyship, equity, and justice, to community celebrations like honoring our retirees, each week has seen parents, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and grandparents meet online to share support and camaraderie.

Social Justice & Equity

Anti-Racism Interest Group (ARIG)

The Anti-Racism Interest Group (ARIG) meets regularly via Zoom to reflect, share, practice, and ask questions in small and whole-group settings.

Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith joined to moderate two of the group's meetings this past fall. Alongside the parent group leaders, Dr. Briscoe-Smith helped ARIG members begin and contextualize brave conversations on race. The meetings have been fulfilling gatherings with lots of connection, dialogue, learning, and unlearning for parents, faculty, staff, alumni, grandparents, and friends alike!

Talking About Race: Overcoming Racism in Schools

The Center’s Community Engagement and Education: Social Justice and Equity series continued on October 14th with this event developed in collaboration with The Center’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee and the newly formed Anti-Racism Interest Group.

Dean Pedro Noguera is a renowned expert on race, equity, and diversity in society and in schools. The event focused on the challenges of our times, racism and anti-racism in schools, and the marginalization of people and voices.

Senator Cory Booker Visits CEE

Senator Cory Booker spoke with our community on Wednesday, August 26 at 5:30 PM on Zoom as part of our ongoing Community Engagement and Education: Social Justice and Equity series.

Over 500 CEE Community members joined us for this special event moderated by actress, writer, producer, and CEE parent Mindy Kaling!

Community Event with Ta-Nehisi Coates

Nationally-renowned author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates joined our community on Wednesday, August 12 on Zoom as part of our ongoing Community Engagement and Education: Social Justice and Equity series.

Over 500 CEE Community members and independent school heads joined this special event moderated by Dr. Shaun Harper of the USC Race and Equity Center. Coates and Harper discussed the newfound focus on anti-racism and how school and local communities can continue the fight for justice in the wake of this year's national racial reckoning.

Faculty and Staff Session with Dr. Rodney Glasgow

In June, the faculty and staff met with Dr. Rodney Glasgow, an expert facilitator on race and equity in independent schools and Head of School at Sandy Springs Friends School as of July 2020.

Following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests across our nation, Dr. Glasgow helped provide a space for faculty and staff to discuss systemic racism in our community and share experiences as we work to fight injustice on all levels.

Black Lives Matter Protest Messaging

In an ongoing effort to support and affirm that Black Lives Matter, protest messaging collected from CEE students, parents, faculty, and staff has been installed at the corner of Melrose and La Cienega and will continue all summer. Thanks to CEE art teachers Mekenzie and Penny and the parent volunteers for bringing this meaningful show of solidarity to life.

CEE Stands Together

CEE Stands Together is an ongoing series of conversations hosted by our community affinity groups. In response to the countless unjustified and senseless killings of Black Americans in this country and the national response to persistent racism, we’ve aimed to create a forum for our community to come together to discuss these challenges collectively. The CEE Affinity Group chairs will be leading discussions over the coming months and into the fall. Each week, CEE Stands Together will focus on a different text, podcast, or documentary/film. Participants are invited to read, watch, or listen to the material (or even just a part of it!) and join a community discussion moderated by Affinity Group members on Zoom in the spirit of our CEE values of Caring, Inclusion, Honesty, and Responsibility.
CEE Third Grade Teacher Rachel Parrish moderated our first Stands Together meeting, with a focus on representation and addressing racism in our culture through the lens of Netflix’s ‘Hollywood’.

Center Parents Art Becerra-Fraijo and Alfred Fraijo Jr., co-chairs of the LGBTQ Affinity Group, facilitated a session focused on supporting LGBTQIA+ youth and their parents at home and in our school community. Art and Alfred shared the videos listed here, created by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which prompted an inspiring discussion about giving support and love to children at all stages of their personal journeys and development.

CEE's Heritage Family (African-American Affinity Group) hosted a discussion regarding the increasing awareness and support of Black Lives Matter moderated by CEE Parents Collette Bowers Zinn and Mia Madati. Parents, alumni, grandparents, and faculty and staff shared personal reflections on systemic racism in our lives and sparked a community conversation that will continue across multiple weeks.

The Latin American Affinity group moderated a session on Breaking Barriers and Fighting for Immigrant Rights, featuring guest speaker
Ricardo Lara, California Insurance Commissioner. 

CEE Reads

CEE Summer Read-Aloud Series

CEE families, alumni, faculty, and grandparents come together each Thursday afternoon during the summer for read-alouds from authors and readers from the CEE community. CEE Reads is a chance for children to connect with other students and a place for families to enjoy a communal storytime. The authors and readers have included selections from the following. Please click to watch each read!

Health and Wellbeing

Covid-19 Frontline Medical Updates

In two sessions in May and June, CEE parents Brennan Spiegel '84, MD, MSHS, Rebecca Mandel, MD, MPH, and Satish Subramanian, MD shared the latest information about Covid-19 and keeping your family safe, including the most recent research on Covid-19, vaccinations, and more. Nearly 200 families attended the most recent session! 

Dr. Brennan Speigel is a professor of medicine and public health at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA. His Covid-19 research has been widely reported in the media and his research team is actively studying the pandemic. Dr. Rebecca Mandel is a pediatrician at Valencia Pediatric Associates. Dr. Satish Subramanian is an Emergency Room physician at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

Also in May, UCLA’s Dr. Eric Esrailian and Dr. Wendy Slusser shared thoughts on “Living Well: Lessons for a Healthy Campus...and Home” with our families. Dr. Slusser is an internationally renowned leader in the fields of health, wellness, and nutrition. The session was moderated by Dr. Rebecca Mandel.

Parent Education

This spring, CEE parent and author Eve Rodsky met with families to share her Fair Play principles, which help us achieve success as our homes and the relationships become our most important organization while we practice social distancing and quarantine.

Author and speaker Julie Lythcott-Haims offered her top tips for parents during the pandemic. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult. Her TED Talk on the subject was one of the top talks of 2016, and in 2020, she became a regular correspondent with CBS This Morning on parenting. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience with racism and her journey toward self-acceptance. 

Tina Payne Bryson and Lori Gottlieb shared their insights for families as they navigate the new Covid-19 normal, including balancing being a parent, employee, teacher, cook, spouse, and business owner and ways to support your and your children’s mental health.

Bryson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers No Drama Discipline and The Whole Brain Child. She is also the founder of The Center for Connection, a multi-disciplinary clinical practice in Southern California. Gottlieb is a therapist, the author of the New York Times bestseller Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and a contributing editor and “Dear Therapist” columnist at The Atlantic.  

In June, CEE’s Director of Innovation, Matt Arguello, partnered with Common Sense Media to present a session on Managing Screen Time, Gaming, and Connecting Online During Quarantine to help parents and children find a balance while learning from home.

The Center for Early Education, a socio-economically and culturally diverse independent school for children, toddlers through grade six, strives to graduate students who are joyful, resilient, life-long learners. The Center embraces a philosophy of education that combines a nurturing, inclusive learning environment with an increasingly challenging academic program that addresses the developmental needs of each child.