The Equity Lab

The Equity Lab logo

Where we expand our ability to make sense of cultural differences and commonalities.

Intercultural competency is a driving force in bridging cultural differences and fostering an environment where everyone can belong, contribute and thrive.

The Equity Lab is a hub for equity-focused learning opportunities and one of the many ways Blake carries out its mission, core values and commitment to pluralism

The lab is run by the Office of Equity and Community Engagement (OECE) whose vision is to lead, facilitate and support individual and school-wide efforts that foster a more equitable, inclusive and engaged community.

The Equity Lab makes sharing topics related to equity and inclusion accessible to everyone by offering and supporting lunch-and-learn sessions, after-school workshops, one-on-one discussions, critical friend groups, professional collaborations, webinars, community partnerships and more. 

Call for Equity Lab Proposals

Alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff are invited to create a session for Blake's Equity Lab by completing a proposal, available at

Successful session proposals will facilitate conversations that reflect Blake's commitment to pluralism and the OECE vision "to foster a more equitable, inclusive and engaged community."

The 2021-22 event calendar has been filled, and the call for proposals for this year's theme, "Building Inclusive Community," is closed. Thank you to all who submitted. The theme of the 2022-23 Equity Lab season will be announced in the spring and proposals will be accepted at that time. Proposals should plan for an hour-long session and reflect the annual theme. Content should be based in research, model evidence-based practices, draw on personal mastery or reflective practice. Sessions should encourage attendees to continue exploring the subject area and inspire action.

Fall 2021 Equity Lab Experiences

Monday, Oct. 18
7pm CT

Rie Gilsdorf presents Embodying Inclusion

Rie Gilsdorf helps organizations and individuals see their current blind spots, envision their highest potential and find individual and small group ways to work toward that potential.

In this session, she will help participants develop the stamina to enact a more inclusive community as that community manifests a wider range of cultural traits. You’ll learn and practice language that anthropologists use to describe cultural traits without getting entangled in attached values. And you’ll engage in simple, gentle movement practices that allow us to feel how some alternative traits land in our bodies.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty/Staff

Zoom registration link Embodying Inclusion

Thursday, Oct. 28
7pm CT

Lora McManus-Graham presents Quiet: Creating a Strong Culture as an Introvert

Based on research presented in “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking,” Lora McManus-Graham shares tools that help to build a strong classroom culture, establish strong boundaries and high expectations and help teachers model vulnerability, particularly as it relates to Blake's commitment to pluralism. Hear suggestions on how to shut down disruptive behavior when being assertive feels unnatural, intervene when you see microaggressions, respond when you are held accountable and encourage greater student engagement.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Faculty/Staff

Zoom registration link: Quiet

Friday, Oct. 29
Noon CT

JJ Khale presents Toward a More Nuanced Understanding of Gender and Sexuality

Description: What is the difference between sex, gender, gender identity and gender expression? Is gender a spectrum or a binary? Why does understanding sexual orientation help to attain greater understanding of gender and sexuality? Blake's LGBTQ+ support and advocacy specialist JJ Kahle breaks it all down.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty/Staff

Zoom registration link Toward nuance

Monday, Nov. 1
5:30pm CT
Blake Dining Commons

OECE presents families of students of color affinity group meeting w/dinner

Open to Parents, Students

11/1/21 FOSOC affinity group meeting RSVP link

Tuesday, Nov. 9
7pm CT
Northrop campus, JNA

CHAT (Center for Hmong Arts and Talent) in partnership with Blake OECE presents Peace, Love and Unity Concert This concert will feature talented poets, musicians and other performers from the Hmong and African American communities in a display of solidarity for peace, love and unity.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty/Staff

RSVP link for CHAT concert

Tuesday, Dec. 7
7pm CT
Blake Dining Commons

Michelle Baroody presents “A Stray” film screening

Trying to outrun his bad luck, a young Muslim refugee in Minneapolis seems like he just might make it until he crosses paths with a stray dog. You don’t want to miss this award-winning film, set in our own city, followed by discussion with actors and members of the Somali community.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty/Staff

RSVP link for “A Stray” film screening

Spring 2021 Equity Lab Experiences

Wednesday, Jan. 12

Tyneeta Canonge presents “The Person You Mean To Be: How Good People Fight Bias” book talk

Free copies of the book are available at campus security desks upon request and while supplies last.

Many people philosophically believe that racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, classism and other forms of oppression exist but don't always recognize what to do about it. In 2020, individuals and organizations galvanized to find concrete ways to dismantle biased systems and build the just world we imagine for ourselves. We may be at different points along our intercultural competency journeys, but there is always room to grow our capacity to work against these systems. In her book, “The Person You Mean To Be,” Dolly Chugh attempts to help readers move from believers to builders and offers the research-based brain science behind strategies to reduce bias. Join us and contribute to the conversation as we explore the highlights of the book and examine how our desire to be good people may be in the way of us being the people we mean to be.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty/Staff

Zoom registration link: Person you mean to be

Tuesday, March 1
7pm CT

Dr. Dziwe Ntaba presents The Benefits of Equity Centered Healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic placed a spotlight on health disparities in disadvantaged communities. As we continue to make sense of its impact and the impact of other international health crises, we'll hear from global healthcare provider, Blake class of 1990 alum and 2021 Bush Foundation Fellow Dr. Dziwe Ntaba. Learn how Dr. Ntaba's equity-focused, patient-centered practice produces high-quality outcomes for individuals and health systems at large.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty/Staff

Zoom registration link Ntaba

Wednesday, April 13 
7pm CT
Blake Dining Commons

Blake learning specialists present What is it like to have dyslexia?

This simulation walks participants through what it is like for those with dyslexia to learn in school. By experiencing the ways dyslexia is processed, we hope to build understanding and empathy for those who experience this difference daily.

Open to Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty/Staff

What is it like to have dyslexia RSVP link