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Decolonizing Data and Language Part 1

Mar 3, 2023 10AM – Mar 3, 2023 12PM Virtual

This 2-hour virtual workshop explains how deficit language dehumanizes and deflects from the structural racism and flaws baked into our systems, and offers ways to effectively use data to illuminate systemic barriers and reveal root causes. Limited spots available.



Date: March 3, 2023

Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM

Location: Virtual

Price: $250 per person

20% off for groups of five or more. The group discount is applied when 5 or more people are registered at one time.

For questions about the workshop, contact Erikson’s Policy and Leadership Department



Join our professional development workshop and learn how data and language can illuminate systemic change.

In this introduction to Decolonizing Data and Language, participants will explore the dangers of labels and “othering”, deficit language terms and more. 

This 2-hour engaging workshop is for you if you want to:

  • Disrupt the process of blaming communities for systemic failures
  • Advocate for changes to policies, systems, and funding allocations
  • Identify gaps and barriers in services and processes
  • Better align resources and tailor support to address root causes

Space is limited: A maximum of 100 people can register and a minimum number of 20 is required in order for the workshop to run effectively.

Register Now

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Penny Smith

Penny Smith

Director, Learning and Impact

Penny Smith is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®), IDI®(Intercultural Development Instrument) Qualified Administrator, and co-creator of “Decolonizing Data and Language” workshop. She leads the Policy and Leadership Department at Erikson Institute as the director of learning and impact and is focused on developing capacity-building learning models that activate a base of committed Illinois leaders who can protect and increase investments in early childhood; contribute to building back the early childhood system; and amplify awareness of the importance of early childhood locally, statewide and nationally.

More about Penny Smith

portrait of Cristina Pacione-Zayas

Cristina Pacione-Zayas,

PhD, Senior Policy Advisor

Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas is the senior policy advisor consultant for Erikson Institute. She co-established the Early Childhood Leadership Academy and previously served as Erikson Institute’s Policy and Leadership Department’s associate vice president of policy before joining the state legislature as the Illinois state senator representing the 20th district. Her service in Chicago Public Schools and Enlace Chicago built a track record for leveraging community partnerships, implementing restorative justice practices, and supporting the leadership of young people, parents, and educators.