A major training opportunity I ask for all staff that report me to me to attend. It was one of the best institutes I had ever attended, and I learned so much. The authentic discussions, but also all of the participants' willingness to bring me in was truly life changing.
- Stephen T. Cucchiara - 2022 Participant - Director of Student Engagement
As I step up my commitment and participation in DEI efforts, KI challenged me to move from an advocate and ally to becoming a partner in work towards a more diverse, equitable, and fully inclusive community. KI facilitators were fabulously effective at creating an interactive, dynamic, virtual learning experience while still meeting high standards for the content KI is well known for. KI also guides participants to create specific action plans to advance DEI efforts in our own communities.
- Colleen Clark-Sutton - 2022 Participant - Adjunct Professor, Cuyahoga Community College
An incredible experience. As a white person in education, I found the summit incredibly enlightening. Everything was said with intention. There were amazing speakers and participants were encouraged to share and engage in breakout sessions where we were placed in small groups to discuss topics. I am forever thankful for the opportunity to attend this event and have stayed in contact with multiple people as a result.
- Hailey Schramm - 2021 Participant - High School Teacher, Colorado Springs
KI enabled me to reflect on self, as well as, transformed my point of view on privilege - economically, politically and socially.
- Janice “JJ” Frazier, 2019 Participant - Equity Specialist/Student Teacher Recruitment and Placement, Colorado Springs School District 11
The Knapsack Institute was extremely impactful. It provided insightful discussion, modeled effective facilitation techniques, and deeper insight into complex topics. The different tracks provided the opportunity to choose the areas you were most interested in learning about while allowing for the right balance of larger group interaction, sharing and facilitation. I highly recommend this program and will be back to participate in it again.
- Mariejo Truex - 2018 Participant – Sr. Director, Education, Programs & Services, USA Swimming Sport Development
This was hands-down the best workshop that I have ever attended!
- Lyndele von Schill - 2018 Participant – Director of Diversity and Inclusion, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
I had a transformative time...It was magical, soul food, and added immeasurably to my understanding of what it means to be a human being.
- Domino Pateman - 2017 Participant - Senior - Programmer, WOW - Women of the World Festival
I feel that by attending the KI, I now have the tools and confidence to begin to move our College to the next level with respect to inclusion, diversity, and privilege issues. We can move beyond the typical book read/discussion and provide intentional professional development opportunities, invite expert speakers and make these issues an integral part of how our College operates, including how to embed social justice activities into the curriculum across several core courses.
- Monica Harris - 2016 Participant - Grand Valley State University
The Knapsack Institute was one of the most transformational and impactful professional experiences of my life and it has effectively ignited a passion for social justice work that has illustrated to me the course of my future, both personally and in my teaching. I am grateful I was given the opportunity to attend such a powerful conference, and feel thankful for the inspiration, excitement, purpose, and focus I feel after emerging from my three days in Colorado Springs.
- Ridley Sperling - 2016 Participant - Teacher/Placement Director - Rippowam Cigusa School - Bedford, NY
Educational, moving, enlightening. I feel much better prepared now to have these discussions in my classroom with the tools to work towards a constructive and impactful result.
- Steven "Buddy" Lizzol - 2016 Participant - Instructor - U.S. Air Force Academy
The summer has been hectic with two classes, two doctoral research assistants, and an independent study on Social Justice in Higher Education...I think that the materials and learning from the Institute have already born some fruit. My independent study doc student is developing a handbook for our TAs and the Center for Teaching Excellence on campus that will provide suggestions and resources for integrating social justice issues into curricula....The Knapsack Institute was a wonderful chance to learn from lots of great people working on personal and professional growth. I felt more confident in dealing with issues and have enjoyed continuing to read as I work with my doctoral student. We are going to plan a presentation for an on-campus Teaching Conference as another product of our collaborative work.
- Virginia Navarro, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Teaching & Learning - Co-Director, Career Transition Certification Program, University of Missouri St Louis
The three intensive days at the Institute empowered me with a fuller understanding of issues related to diversity and inclusion, which has resulted in a matured self awareness about my own position in relation to privilege and oppression. The KI experience has boosted my confidence to more competently facilitate discussions and activities related to the issues in my classes. The experience equipped me with resources and activities for use in the classroom and to further my own education. The depth and breadth of the content presented at the KI left me with the impression that participants could benefit whether they were new to the subject or had been working with the issues for decades.
- Suzanne Zacks - 2016 Participant - Professor of Film and Video - Grand Valley State University
In this Institute we all have so many opportunities to learn-not only from the presenters, but from each other and we are learning about ourselves. I think this is enormously valuable in our journeys of making a difference in the world around our social justice work!
- Holly Fulton - 2016 Participant - Educator, Denver Public Schools
Really great opportunity on transforming curriculum as many of our schools are trying to get into teaching issues of a diverse student population with a faculty that often has a univariate approach to pedagogy. This is a wonderful Institute with small focused groups and lots of small group work where you get the entire focus of the faculty. They have tremendous post-assessment feedback from clients as well. I learned a ton!
- Steven M. Samuels, Ph.D. - Associate Professor - Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership - U.S. Air Force Academy
It was such a privilege to be a part of the Institute. There are several things I am working on as a result of my experience at the Knapsack Institute. At this point, we haven't directly changed curriculum or outreach, which is my ultimate goal. However, three other wider community initiatives have come about; one addresses bringing this remarkable education to the various community diversity teams; another is a new "committee of color" formed through our Cultural office to address the lack of difference in the people who speak for the arts movement in our community and lastly I have been asked to sit on a advisory panel which provides leadership training, opportunities for leadership and life skills education to African American, Latino, Asian and Native American high school students. The Knapsack Institute was the impetus for a wider conversation in our community.
- Amber Coté - Program Director, FutureSelf - Project Manager, ArtWorx!
I am so grateful for the influence that all of have had on my life and future perspectives on becoming a professor!...We've decided to use the film we viewed, "Traces of the Trade," to facilitate "whiteness" discussions with the UNM community...Also, we are planning a first annual "Whiteness Symposium" in the Spring, where graduate students can informally present their research to the UNM community. We thought this would be a good idea so that way the university sees the interdisciplinary work that students are doing around issues of privilege and oppression...I am so excited to be a part of this. For the longest time I was the one who would say "Someone should be doing something about this!" Now, I am actually part of the change that needs to happen. Thanks to all of you for your inspiration!
- Sarah Santillanes - Doctoral Candidate; Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies - University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
I attended last year and it is a great experience. I encourage anyone considering applying to do so as you will have no regrets and meet some great people and receive incredible resources for your use in classes.
- Clint Fisher - College of Education - University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Especially valuable was the matrix for framing privilege and oppression. The model helped me recognize my own paths of privilege and provides a useful paradigm to raise students' awareness. I left the Knapsack Institute with lots of activities I can use, lists of films, copies of syllabae, ways to "transform" my courses, and ways to manage resistance. The leaders are insightful, personable, and responsive to questions and concerns. Colorado Springs is a beautiful setting!
- Dr. Beverly Romberger - Professor of Communications - Susquehanna University - Selinsgrove, PA