Kenneth Ponds

Vice President of Oneness and Special Advisor to the President

Ken presently serves as Vice President of Oneness and Special Advisor to the President of Starr Commonwealth, Albion, Michigan where he is focused on helping to implement the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts of the organization.  Previously though, he served as a chaplain at Starr for almost forty years.  While working with youth labeled as “at risk” and their families, he was presented with the opportunity to join with other staff who realized that the issue of “race” had to be courageously addressed allowing for better treatment outcomes for some youth.  It had to be addressed not only with the young people which Starr served, but, also with its staff and Board of Trustees.  As a result, Glasswing, which centers on racial healing and racial equity, was developed.  Ken is a certified lead-facilitator of Glasswing.  He was born and raised in Oklahoma, and is a die-hard University of Oklahoma fan.  Active in the community, Ken served on the Albion School District Board for twelve years, and presently has served on the Calhoun Intermediate School District Board for over twenty years.

  • Company Starr Commonwealth


Day 1
September 20, 2023
3:30 pm

The Courage of Transformation Through a Curriculum of Caring [DEI]

Michigan E/F
20 September
Time:  3:30 pm - 4:45 pm
Location:  Michigan E/F

This session will address the question, "How do we continue to provide quality education in our rapidly changing society, with cultural "norms" being challenged, traditions being upended, people talking at each other instead of with one another with the only voice being heard is their own?" Presenters will propose that one way to address this is by developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) focused curriculum of caring that can impact all students. Through a DEI focused curriculum of caring, we can transform our schools so that they are culturally responsive, where students can experience a felt sense of belonging, whether they are students of marginalized communities or students in majority groups. This better prepares all students to live in an ethnically and culturally diverse world and society.

Focus: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion.

1) Introduction to the Five Shifts of Transformation to help shift school culture so that all students feel seen and heard.
2) Re-righting history - allows all stories to be told.
3) The value of developing a curriculum of caring, (not learing about caring, but participating in it) in order to belong more quickly.

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