Kanika Chadda Gupta

Podcast

067: Sara Blanchard and Misasha Graham — Talking To Kids of All Ages About Race

As we navigate the current climate of our country, we as parents have a responsibility to teach our children about race and how to be aware of injustices, stand up for what’s right, and be proactive as anti-racist citizens of the world. On today’s episode, I am joined by the hosts of the Dear White Women podcast – Sara Blanchard and Misasha Graham. They are Harvard grads who have been best friends for over two decades, and have very mixed-race families they want to advocate for. They’re smart, real, funny, and ready to make change.

Dear White Women is an award-winning weekly podcast dedicated to starting real discussions for (busy) people who wish they knew more about race, identity, and happiness in the United States.

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT AND EVERYONE HAS VALUE.
And we each have the power to influence our communities.

Through their episodes and resources, Sara and Misasha are helping us reflect on (1) our nation’s history & current events, and (2) our personal experiences with race, justice, and more — so we leave the world a little better than we found it.

Sara Blanchard helps communities build connections through conscious conversations, which she does as a podcaster, facilitator, TEDx speaker, writer, and consultant. Having worked at Goldman Sachs and having helped to teach positive psychology at Harvard, Sara speaks the language of traditional accomplishment, but for over 10 years, Sara has also pursued the science and techniques of well-being as a life coach, mother, and author of Flex Mom. In addition to emceeing events like the World Happiness Summit and facilitating meaningful panel discussions about race, Sara co-founded and co-hosts award-winning Dear White Women, a social justice podcast that highlights the humanity in the history, race, and happiness of the United States.

Misasha Graham has spent her life attempting to bridge gaps, both professionally and personally, and foster understanding among groups of people.  Misasha is an accomplished attorney, specializing in intellectual property law and cross-border work with Asia, with over ten years spent at several international law firms honing these skills.  She is currently a Special Counsel at a Bay Area law firm, having stepped away from BigLaw to focus more on being present at home. Misasha is also passionate about diversity, equality and inclusion in the practice of law as well as in her communities.  Besides being a Megaformer instructor, she is the proud mom of two very active young boys, and the co-host of the award-winning Dear White Women.

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066: Dr. Melissa Garofalo Monaco, MD — A Pediatrician’s Perspective on Covid-19

We are facing unprecedented times and as parents, we have an added responsibility of decision making for our children. We may be working from home, but should they homeschool or go back for live sessions or do a hybrid of virtual and in-person.

Today I am joined by my kids’ beloved pediatrician, Dr. Melissa Garofalo Monaco of Forest Pediatrics in Paramus, NJ.

Originally from Saddle Brook, NJ, Dr. Garofalo had been practicing pediatrics in New Jersey since 2008. She started as a graduate of the Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology in Hackensack, NJ. She then graduated with high honors from the combined BS/MD program though Stevens Institute Technology, Hoboken NJ and New Jersey Medical School Newark, NJ. She completed her pediatric training at Schneider Children’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY and also served as Chief Resident of Pediatrics. Her interests include promoting breast feeding and obesity prevention. She is board certified in Pediatrics and is a member of the NJ AAP section on Breast Feeding and has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2007. Her hospital affiliations include Hackensack University Medical Center and Valley Hospital. She has been the recipient of the Castle Connolly Top Doctor Award and NJ Kids Favorite Docs.

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064: Alice Benedict — Back To School Or Not? An Insider’s Take

Parents are in a state of frenzy as we navigate Back To School season. Gone are the days of buying binders and decorations for our kids lockers. Now we’re ensuring our Wifi is up to the mark and are having our kids become acclimated with Zoom, Google Meet, and Google Classroom.

Alice Benedict is a retired paralegal and president of the board of education in Botavia City School District in upstate New York since May of 2020/elected in July 2020. Our school district has approximately 2200 students.

She’s also a mother of three. Mother of three children since 1978. They are all adults now.

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065: Anibal Soler, Jr. — School Safety and Guidelines

According to governor.ny.gov, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that based on each region’s infection rate, schools across the state are permitted to open this fall. Every region’s infection rate is below the threshold necessary by the State’s standards to open schools. The Department of Health will review submitted reopening plans from school districts and notify districts of their status on Monday. Out of 749 school districts across the state, 127 have not yet submitted plans to the Department of Health, and another 50 are incomplete or deficient. The determination of how individual districts reopen – in-person vs a hybrid model – will be made by local school districts under strict Department of Health guidelines.

The Governor also announced that school districts must post their remote learning plan online as well as their plan for testing and tracing students and teachers. Schools must also have three to five public meetings prior to August 21 with parents – who will be allowed to participate remotely – as well as one meeting with teachers to go through their reopening plan.

“Based on our infection rate, New York State is in the best possible situation right now. If anybody can open schools, we can open schools. We do masks, we do social distancing, we’ve kept that infection rate down, and we can bring the same level of intelligence to the school reopening that we brought to the economic reopening,” Governor Cuomo said. ” Our school guidance has been touted as the smartest in the country. Our economic reopening guidance was the smartest in the country. So, if anyone can do it, we can do it. But we have been successful because we’ve been smart and we have to continue to be smart. Parents and teachers must feel safe and secure in each school district’s plan to return to school, and those plans must adhere to the Department of Health’s guidance. To ensure that is the case, New York’s family’s must be fully informed and part of the conversation. And so, over the next several weeks, school districts must engage: Talking to parents and teachers and getting all parties on board.”

Of the 70,170 test results reported to New York State yesterday, 714, or 1.0 percent, were positive.

Today I am joined by Superintendent Anibal Soler.

Mr. Anibal Soler, Jr. is currently the Superintendent of Schools for the Batavia City School District. A small city school district located in Genesee County that serves approximately 2,200 students.

Before his appointment as Superintendent of Batavia City Schools, Anibal served as the Associate Superintendent of Strategic Alignment and Innovation for Buffalo Public Schools, the second-largest school district in New York State. In that role, his leadership focused on building and supporting Strong Community Schools, a turnaround strategy used to move the district’s lowest-performing schools to schools in “good-standing”. He also supervised District Athletics and Adult Education Division and lastly the district’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. Prior to his role as an Associate Superintendent, Anibal was a Principal at North Park Academy in North Buffalo, where he helped establish North Buffalo’s first community school and helped transition the school from a 5-8th grade school to a new PreK to 8 Community School.

Previous to his role at North Park Academy, Anibal served 7 years as a high school Principal in the Rochester City School district where he led the district’s largest comprehensive high school. Through his professional journey, he also has served in prior capacities as an Academy Director, Instructional Technology Teacher, and Art Teacher.

In 2014, Anibal was recognized by President Obama and The White House as a Latino Educator Champion of Change for his leadership and commitment to positive change for the Latino community.

Additionally, Anibal is a member of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) a national organization that advocates for Latinos and Latino educators. In 2011-12, Anibal was a Charter Member of the inaugural ALAS Superintendents Leadership Academy in 2011-12. Currently, he serves as the Communications Officer and Regional Board member for the New York State Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (NYSALAS) representing Western, NY.

This past October 2019, Mayor Byron Brown of the City of Buffalo recognized Anibal as a Champion of Education as part of Buffalo’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

Finally, Anibal is a husband and proud father to four amazing kids. He enjoys sports, staying current with technology trends, and reading education-themed articles and books.

Most recently, in December 2019 Anibal was selected as the next Superintendent for Batavia City Schools in Batavia, NY.

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063: Reena B. Patel — Stop Yelling + Implement Positive Parenting

To gain knowledge and strength through study and experience, while laughing along the journey, to better support our family and friends in an effort to serve society. This is the family mission statement of Reena B. Patel, a Parenting Expert, Guidance Counselor, Licensed Educational Psychologist, and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 

For more than 20 years, Reena B. Patel, LEP, BCBA has had the privilege of working with families and children supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. Patel has worked extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development.

It all started while in graduate school when Patel was working at UCLA’s NeuroPsychiatric Hospitals Early Childhood Partial Day Program. It was here when Patel first worked with children with Autism. From there, she began to hone in on identifying any limiting factors for kids, whether it be learning challenges, physical impairments, and/or social/emotional difficulties by working in schools. She has since successfully created Autism programs, conducted training courses in Behavior Interventions for District Administrators, Teachers, and Staff, created District Behavior Training Modules, and conducted parent education trainings in schools around Southern California that assist with effective educational techniques and positive behaviors Solutions.

Currently Patel is the Founder and CEO of AutiZm & More that serves to help children and their families embed positive behavior support strategies across home, school and community settings. Her company strives to improve the quality of life for all children. She routinely holds workshops throughout California, guiding and training parents, mental health professionals, families and educators on positive parenting techniques, educational interventions, and practical solutions and how it can be beneficial for all children. All workshops have a positive approach and message of kindness and compassion.

Recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year”, she continues to write children’s stories, provides unmatched support to her community and beyond via her private practice and training.

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