Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Parts 1 & 2

K12ArtChat the podcast, Episodes 116 & 117 Resources

The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, and National Dance Education Organization has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students. In the third and fourth episodes of this eight-part series, The Creativity Department and co-host Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz dive deeply into Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I). Following are resources and additional information for this episode.


Dr. Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz

Oral Historian and Co-Host

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon

Music Educator, Fine and Performing Arts Instructional Leader, Equity and Inclusion Instructional Leader

Michael S. Gordon is a music educator, co–music instructional leader for fine arts and performing arts, as well as the equity and inclusion instructional leader for Wilton Public Schools, where he has guided the work of staff, students, parents, and community leaders. Michael also served as the resident director for A Better Chance of Wilton where he worked to bridge the cultural differences between students of color and their white peers. Michael’s philosophy is: Conversations lead to interaction, interactions lead to understanding, understanding leads to trust, trust leads to compassion, compassion leads to inclusion, and inclusion leads to equity. Conversations of race, diversity, inclusion, and equity must be intentional, open, and honest.

Bridget Shepard

Bridget Shepard

Theatre Arts Teacher

Bridget Shepard is a drama teacher, wife, and mother of two. She became an educator after leaving a 9–year corporate career to become a stay-at-home parent, but her lifelong passion for theatre soon led her to create an after-school theatre program. As the success of the program grew, Bridget realized her calling as an educator and became a full-time drama teacher. She currently serves as the theatre arts teacher and arts department lead teacher at Lillie May Carroll Jackson School, an all-female charter middle school in Baltimore City, Maryland.

Gayle Nicholls-Ali

Gayle Nicholls-Ali

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher

Gayle Nicholls-Ali is an award-winning arts educator, photographer, writer, and teacher leader. She has been an educator at La Cañada High School since 2007, an adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks College School of Human Development and Education from 2017 to 2022, and a digital storytelling facilitator assisting foster care youth for over a decade. Gayle’s awards include La Cañada USD Teacher of the Year, the Los Angeles County Office of Education Technology Integration Award, the 11th Annual Crystal Apple Award Honoree, LACOE Digital Voice Award, and the Scholastic Art & Writing Distinguished Teacher Award.

Lindsey Bauer

Lindsey Bauer

Lead Dance Teacher

Lindsey Bauer is a dance artist, teacher, and choreographer in New Haven, Connecticut, who aims to promote inclusivity, visibility, and collaboration. Lindsey is the lead teacher in the Department of Dance at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School (Co-op), an advisor for the National Honor Society for the Dance Arts, the Senior Capstone Project, and a mentor for beginning teachers. At Co-op, she has taught classes in technique and choreography, co-written curriculum, served on committees, and engaged in collaborations, productions, and events. She is also co–artistic director for Elm City Dance Collective, a nonprofit organization providing dance experiences in the community.

CAN Partner Organizations


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