Fall 2020 Newsletter

Fall 2020 Newsletter
September 21, 2020

Greetings, friends and colleagues,

Wherever you are, we hope this finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe in these challenging times.

COVID, the resulting economic uncertainty, and the long overdue national reckoning with systemic racism and its impact on all aspects of society, have created an environment that is challenging in ways that have had devastating effects on our communities. But this time also creates opportunities. To think expansively about new approaches to the ways we do things across sectors. To examine what was never working in the old “normal.” And to bravely re-imagine a way forward that is more equitable, inclusive and sustainable for everyone.

At World Savvy, our organizational values have always guided our work in the world, and how we show up for each other and for our community. We believe big things are possible, we lean into complexity, and we intentionally grow a change; those are just a few of the values that we’ve been called upon to put into action more than ever in these uncertain times.

And we are building back better, stronger, and with an even more urgent focus on our vision: a K12 system that is inclusive, relevant and equitable, and prepares all young people to thrive in a more diverse and interconnected world.

The incredible support of donors in our Responsive Fund Campaign has facilitated some amazing things. In the last six months, our Program Team has led an astounding pivot, to bring nearly all of our programs and services online. Our primary goal was simple: be prepared to meet school partners, educators, and students wherever they may be as school returns in the fall, in whatever format – online, in person, or a hybrid model.

And we did it.

We rolled out 17 new online workshops and institutes, and dozens of new and updated resources since March, reaching nearly 160 people across 25 US states and 21 countries. We’ve translated resources for greater accessibility. We’ve introduced new programming for K-5 elementary teachers and learners. We’re welcoming new partner schools across CA, MN, NY and now, in MA who will engage in deep and intentional work this year to global competence into teaching, learning and organizational culture.

And we’re committed to doing better, always.

Though it has always been a focus, we recognize the need to do more to center racial equity in our internal and external work. Together, we’ve collectively leaned into operationalizing racial equity in every aspect of what we do. As we work intentionally and actively toward becoming an anti-racist organization, together our team has interrogated every corner of our work: recruiting, hiring and advancement, professional development, governance, professional learning, and finance and operations. It’s impossible to build global competence without racial equity, and without understanding and advancing intersectional efforts to address systemic inequities. We’ll soon be adding a new section to our website to share our commitments as an organization toward this end, but also to allow you, our community, to hold us accountable as we continue on this journey.

Every day, we continue to see the growing relevance of and need for World Savvy’s work, work to cultivate a reality that centers empathy, openness, cultural understanding, and deep commitment to continuous learning about the global and local issues that connect us all. Now is our time to re-imagine how K-12 education can help ensure we can build back better – for greater equity, sustainability, and inclusion, in our communities and the world.

Thank you for continuing to support us on this journey. And – be in touch! We love to hear from you.

Dana Mortenson
Co-Founder and CEO

These past months, our World Savvy Program Team has been working to support educators, school leaders, and learning communities in adapting to our new COVID-19 reality. Schools, “classrooms”, and learning have been irrevocably changed as a result of this pandemic. While there certainly have been challenges in this work, we have enjoyed facilitating new partnerships and professional learning opportunities. A few highlights:

  • In partnership with a Massachusetts public school district, we launched a pilot “cohort” learning model for implementing global competence in the learner experience, with a specific target of ensuring all scholars have a Knowledge-to-Action (K2A) experience. Pilot participants, all educators working with middle school and/or high school scholars, engaged in our “Integrating World Savvy” series; three 90-minute workshops that provide a foundational understanding of global competence and how to leverage our Case Study and K2A protocols to advance interdisciplinary, project-based, action-taking learning. Personalized coaching, currently underway, supports planning and implementation in both in-school and distance learning settings. Initial feedback from pilot participants is overwhelmingly positive and supports advancement of cohort learning across our program offerings.

  • Our inaugural “Making Your Classroom World Savvy” synchronous professional learning workshop for grade 4-6 educators was a huge success. Designed and facilitated by World Savvy Educator KK Neimann, this 90-session introduced participants to the concept of global competence and its relevance in meeting the holistic needs of upper elementary-aged learners. Using the World Savvy Global Competence Matrix, KK provided specific examples for targeted learning and shared relevant, engaging implementation resources. Additional sessions will be offered beginning in September 2020 and cohort sessions can be personalized to meet the needs of individual learning communities.

As career educators, we welcome the opportunity to support you, now and always. Feel free to connect with us at

Did you know that World Savvy recently released our 2020-2021 program catalog?!

In response to COVID, we have moved nearly 100% of our programming online and created over 30 virtual professional learning opportunities to educators around the globe! Take a look at our program offerings here!

Here’s a look at some of the books, articles, films, and other resources World Savvy staff have been inspired by recently. We’d love to hear your suggestions, too – connect with us on social media and let us know what you’re learning!

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain

by Zaretta L. Hammond

“Dr. Hammond provides a great balance between theory and practice in her book, all in a very digestible format. A must read for educators at a time when culturally responsive pedagogy is essential to meeting the needs of all learners.” – Susan Costello Tennyson, Chief Program Officer

Check out the book

Good Ancestor Podcast

by Layla Saad

“This podcast by the author of “Me and White Supremacy” has been such a key resource for me on my anti-racism journey. Layla asks such thought-provoking and challenging questions of today’s changemakers around what it means to be a good ancestor – how we can create a more just and healed world, now and for future generations.” – Whitney Larson, Development and Communications Manager

Listen to the podcast

The Vanishing Half

by Brit Bennett

“I enjoyed The Vanishing Half because of its rich narrative and because of the way it deepened my personal understanding of colorism and performative whiteness.” – Mallory Tuominen, Director of Professional Learning

Check out the book

Did you know we’ve launched a new World Savvy Educators’ Network app?!

The app is designed FOR educators to engage with their colleagues, share resources, celebrate learning, and more. You can find it in the Google and Apple stores now!

Share these upcoming opportunities and resources with the educators in your life!

World Savvy Partnerships

We partner with schools to build inclusive, adaptive, future-ready learning environments. Our multi-year partnerships are designed collaboratively with school leaders to align with each school’s strategic vision and goals.

Integrating World Savvy Series

This comprehensive workshop experience includes our three workshops: Introduction to Global Competence, Case Study Protocol, and Knowledge to Action followed by two 30-minute individual coaching for implementation sessions.

Online Learning Opportunities

World Savvy offers professional learning that introduces key elements of our educational approach and effective principles from our work in the field, hosted by our staff, consultants, and partner teachers.


Educator Resources:

Kids Can Make a Difference

Our friends at Kids Can Make a Difference developed 20 lesson plans to help educators involve their students in understanding what COVID19 is doing and what needs to be done.

Download the lesson plans!

Zinn Education Project

Zinn Education Project introduces students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. 

Check out these classroom resources to teach about people’s history.

Global Oneness Project

Committed to the exploration of cultural, environmental, and social issues, offering a rich library of multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and articles.

Check out their library of digital stories and lessons!

Did you know that World Savvy has SIX new micro-credentials?

In partnership with Digital Promise, we’re offering micro-credentials which allow educators to demonstrate mastery of a range of skills to promote global competence within the K-12 learner experience. Check out the range of micro-credentials we offer!


Many thanks to the generosity of our Sponsors who, when our annual World of Good event was cancelled this spring, converted their gifts to sponsor our Responsive Fund Campaign – supporting World Savvy as we pivoted to address the changing needs of educators and students in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since March, we have moved more than 75% of our program capabilities online and created a wealth of virtual opportunities and resources for educators and students. Thank you to our Spring Sponsors who helped make this possible!


KK and Doug Neimann
Mitchell + Mitchell Marketing

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