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Appreciation of Diversity workshop series for staff to begin Feb. 11

(02/07/2023) The Appreciation of Diversity speaker series is offered in alignment with the Anoka-Hennepin Equity Achievement Plan, a coordinated effort to promote high academic achievement for all students and eliminate predictable and persistent gaps between student groups. 

Gaining an understanding of the cultures throughout Anoka-Hennepin schools and the community is the focus of the Appreciation of Diversity workshop series, a voluntary opportunity available to all Anoka-Hennepin employees. 

The first workshop of the Appreciation of Diversity series is set for 8:30-11:30 a.m. on  Saturday, Feb. 11. This workshop will be available in person only at the Educational Service Center (ESC) in Anoka. Registration can be completed in the Learning Management System (LMS). 

Visit to view the entire plan and additional information.

Workshop 2:

Title: Black Culture: Storytelling through Music

There are many different characteristics of Black music. The use of drums was an important tool to communicate sorrow, hope, and celebrations. The lyrics were written, sung and shared about the hardships of slaves. The hymns and rhythms sounded like languages we hear in present times in African cultures. Today, Blues, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Gospel music are heavily influenced by social justice. Music played and still plays a central role in African American civil rights movements in America and elsewhere. Music has the power to change one’s mood, inspire, and change perceptions. Join Minnesota’s top Black artists on presenting life experiences with culture, history, and their lyrics. Join a well-known Grammy Award-winning music director and producer.

About the guest speaker:
Gary D. Hines, Music Director and Producer of the three-time, Grammy Award-winning Sounds of Blackness.

Pop, Hip-Hop, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Latin, Rock, Blues, Reggae, Ragtime, Classical and Gospel. Gary has recorded, performed, toured, written for and appeared with Quincy Jones, Jimmy “Jam” Harris & Terry Lewis, Prince, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Johnny Gill, Patti LaBelle, Sting, Dolly Parton, Danny Glover and Jordin Sparks to name just a few. Gary has performed in every major city in the U.S. and abroad in Africa, England, Holland, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Jamaica, Martinique and The Bahamas - with Sounds of Blackness.

Gary has also conducted countless music workshops, seminars, lecture-demonstrations and Master Classes across the United States and internationally about the history, impact and evolution of African-American music and culture. Gary has been the recipient of such honors as a Grammy, International Time For Peace Award, Minnesota Music Academy Awards, Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Award, Distinguished Citizen Award, Golden Scroll For The Promise of Greatness Award and as Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from his Alma Mater Macalester College, St. Paul. The Sounds of Blackness latest album, "The Sounds of Blackness" won a 2012 NAACP Image Award. Finally, this workshop will also highlight our musically talented students showcasing their poems, lyrics and rhymes.

Saturday, February 11, 2023
8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Registration is free and available through the Learning Management System (LMS). Access A-HConnect through the lock and key on the website.

Workshop 3:

Title: LGBTQIA in diverse communities

Description: People of color and people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) communities each face challenges in American society, and the challenges are especially acute when a person identifies with both groups. For example, people with this intersectionality are at a greater risk for mental health challenges, homelessness, and chemical dependency, issues among others. This session introduces individuals to key terminology pertaining to LGBTQIA communities to foster greater understanding and awareness. In this session, you will have a chance to hear individual experiences set in this context by the organization Outfront Minnesota.

Saturday, April 15, 2023
8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Registration is free and available through the Learning Management System (LMS). Access A-HConnect through the lock and key on the website.