With a growing number of family groups and other voices criticizing the decisions and commitments schools have made to diversity, equity, inclusion, and policies around the pandemic, this session serves to support school heads and their responses. During this panel presentation, participants will hear from an attorney, a crisis/PR professional, a DEI practitioner, and a psychologist who will help us prepare to navigate conflict, press, and public harassment. Following the guidance, lessons learned, and suggested considerations from the panelists, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.


  • Free for participants from SAIS member schools
  • Open only to heads of school from SAIS member schools


Jennifer Bryan is a psychologist, consultant, coach, speaker, and author with over 37 years of experience working in educational and clinical settings. She earned her masters and doctorate in counseling psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, a B.A. in creative writing from Princeton University, and studied for a year at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is founder and principal of Team Finch Consultants and founder and managing partner of Re-Set School. 

Chris Lukach is CEO of AKCG – Public Relations Counselors, a national public relations consultancy with deep experience in crisis and issue preparedness. He heads the AKCG issues and crisis communications practice. He has been instrumental in developing issues and crisis communications plans and consulting with the firm’s clients on sensitive and pivotal matters. 

Caryn Pass has represented independent schools for more than 25 years. As a partner in Venable’s Independent School Law and Labor and Employment practices and chair of Venable’s Education Practice, she advises schools nationwide on a wide range of legal issues. She tracks trends specific to independent schools and develops industry best practices. Pass works with schools on legal issues by establishing policies, procedures, and strategies that promote positive working and learning environments while limiting potential liability exposure. 

Valaida Wise is president and principal consultant of Dr. Valaida Wise Consulting, which provides diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging consulting services. Val received her Ed.D.in education leadership from George Washington University. She also holds a master’s in early childhood education from Trinity College. She is a former head of school and is currently on the faculty at John Hopkins University, Baltimore in the School of Education. 

Register Opens in a new window