More than 600 Dallas ISD staff attend self-care, healing, and equity-responsive practices webinar


More than 600 Dallas ISD educators on Monday attended a webinar on “Self-Care, Healing, & Equity-Responsive Practices When the World Feels Heavy” led by Dena Simmons, Ed.D., Assistant Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This webinar was put on by SEL Dallas, a local collective between Dallas ISD, Big Thought, Dallas Afterschool and City of Dallas Parks & Recreation. 

Simmons’ keynote talk explored self-care strategies to help staff cope with isolation, uncertainty, burnout, and the collective traumas of COVID-19 and America’s reckoning with race. She also shared practices to address Black trauma and ways to be an anti-racist educator to help ensure equity and to facilitate healing in the midst of two pandemics.

“Given our current circumstances, it’s important that as leaders we are intentional about practicing the strategies that Dr. Simmons spoke to today as a model for our campuses, and for our own well-being,” said Juany Valdespino-Gaytán, Dallas ISD Executive Director of Social and Emotional Learning. “It’s just as critical that we make the time and space throughout the day for our students, teachers, and staff to practice these self-care strategies, virtually and or/in person, as a basic and foundational need, before we can expect academic success,” 

To learn more about Dena Simmons and her work, visit:, and to join her newsletter, please visit:

To learn more about Social and Emotional Learning in Dallas ISD, visit:


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