Dr. Debbie Almontaser

Dr. Debbie Almontaser is an internationally recognized, award-winning educator, speaker and authority on cross cultural understanding. She is an influential community leader and the Founder and CEO of Bridging Cultures Group, Inc.

Dr. Almontaser was the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, NY. A twenty-five year veteran of the NYC Public School System, she taught special education, inclusion, trained teachers in literacy, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity advisor. Currently, she is the Board President of the Muslim Community Network (www.mcnny.org). She frequently lectures, serves on panels, and facilitates teacher and public workshops on cultural diversity, conflict resolution, Arab Culture, Islam, Muslims in America, interfaith coalition building and youth leadership at schools, universities, libraries, museums, faith-based organizations, churches, synagogues, as well as national and international conferences.

Trainings and Workshops

Workshop: Building Compassionate Learning Communities Through Culturally Responsive Education
Price: $1,000.00
Overview:

As human beings, we must recognize that each and every one of us has unique traditions, values, and beliefs that that make us who we are as human beings. These unique traditions derive from our racial and ethnic identity, language, religion and formal/ informal community, neighborhood, and family connections that formulate our identities as individuals. When people openly share their lives, cultural identities, and life experiences, they are able to build trust and foster stronger relationships.

A climate of openness that enables us to learn about each other’s culture leads to engagement and encourages a culture of learning and collaboration. Sharing our lives with others not only builds our self-esteem, self-confidence, and pride, but it also does the same for our counterparts. When students are engaged in learning that is reflective of their racial and cultural identities, it fosters academic success. Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) develops students’ ability to communicate and connect across cultures as well as empower them to become agents of social change.

In this workshop, teachers will first investigate their own heritage, upbringing, and potential cultural and racial biases through a set of activities. This will be followed with exploring student-centered approaches to teaching. The teaching will consist of identifying, nurturing, and promoting the unique cultural strengths of students to help them achieve academic success, build their voice, and embed the values of kindness, openness, and diversity within the classroom. This interactive workshop will model cultural proficiency activities for teachers that can be used in their classrooms to establish a caring and nurturing learning environment for their students. In addition, introduce long term initiatives such as a school diversity task force and a peer mediation program.
This learning module includes:
  • 30-minute planning session with program leaders via video conference
  • Half day Religious Literacy training
  • Customized curriculum designed based on your needs
  • 2-hour on-site follow-up to observe staff and provide feedback
  • Written action plan with further resources and next steps
Audience: Teachers and school staff.
​Want a customized version of this learning module? We can also offer this topic in 3 and 4-hour versions. Just contact us!
*Pricing is for NYC, Long Island, and Westchester. If outside of this metro area, additional travel fees may apply.
Workshop: Valuing and Celebrating Our Religious Diversity through Religious Literacy
Price: $1,000.00
Overview:
Nearly 315 religions and denominations exist in the United States alone, and National Council for Social Studies (NCSS), as a result of this increasing diversity in American public schools, the NCSS has long held the belief that they should be a key part of the social studies curriculum. To meet this mandate, there is a great need for teacher access to high quality religious literacy training across the US. The NCSS states that “knowledge about religion is not only a characteristic of an educated person, but necessary for effective and engaged citizenship in a diverse nation and world.” The objective is to train teachers to teach “about” world religions. Charles Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Center in Washington, rightly asserts that “millions of parents from diverse religious backgrounds entrust the education of their children to the teachers in our nation’s public school” and that “teachers need to be fully informed about the constitutional and educational principles for understanding the role of religion in public education.”
This workshop will train administrators, teachers, and guidance counselors how to talk and teach about religious diversity in a public school setting. The incorporation of religious literacy at all school levels will mitigate faith based prejudice and discrimination as well as create harmonious school communities.
Upon request, this workshop can be expanded to a World Religions Unit, where we can offer lectures from professional academics, community-based faith leaders, and plan site visits to local houses of worship.
This learning module includes:
  • 30-minute planning session with program leaders via video conference
  • 2-hour in-person, interactive workshop for staff
  • Customized curriculum designed based on your needs
  • 2-hour on-site follow-up to observe staff and provide feedback
  • Written action plan with further resources and next steps
Audience: Teachers and school staff.
​Want a customized version of this learning module? We can also offer this topic in 3 and 4-hour versions. Just contact us!
*Pricing is for NYC, Long Island, and Westchester. If outside of this metro area, additional travel fees may apply.
Workshop: How to Teach about 9/11 in our Multicultural Classrooms: Building Understanding and Compassion
Price: $1,000.00
Overview:
Over the course of the last 17 years, teachers have asked, “How do I teach about 9/11 when I have Muslim students in my classroom?” Concerns for teachers range from singling out students, to having to address emotions, biases, perceptions and misconceptions related to the events of September 11th with the growing tide of Islamophobia. Many teachers struggle with teaching about 9/11 and for that matter, find it difficult or sensitive to talk about news stories with students in their classrooms. This workshop offers teachers the tools needed to discuss 9/11 with Muslim students in their classrooms and equips teachers with the tools to present sensitive topics in general.
This learning module includes:
  • 30-minute planning session with program leaders via video conference
  • 2-hour in-person, interactive workshop for staff
  • Customized curriculum designed based on your needs
  • 2-hour on-site follow-up to observe staff and provide feedback
  • Written action plan with further resources and next steps
Audience: Culturally Sensitive Up-Stander Training
​Want a customized version of this learning module? We can also offer this topic in 3 and 4-hour versions. Just contact us!
*Pricing is for NYC, Long Island, and Westchester. If outside of this metro area, additional travel fees may apply.
Workshop: Culturally Sensitive Up-Stander Training

Price: $1,500.00

Overview:
With the growing tide of Islamophobia and the number of hate crime incidents in communities and school settings, this workshop aims to educate individuals on how to be Up Standers without violating religious limitations. It provides step by step strategies on how to be an Up Stander for an observant Muslim, and providing cultural sensitivity tips throughout the presentation, followed by Q/A.
The workshop techniques can be used with anyone being targeted regardless of race, religion, age, etc. The workshop presents how and when to intervene in an incident, offer techniques to distract the harasser, and offer support to the individual who is being targeted. This training incorporates non-invasive techniques and promotes a safe way to stand up to harasser, get the victim to safety, and how to discretely contact police or others to aid the victim.
This learning module includes:
  • 1 hour planning session with leaders to customize workshop
  • 2-hour in-person, interactive workshop for staff
  • Learn to be culturally and religiously proficient to aide an observant Muslim/any community member being harassed
  • How to strategically be an Up Stander when dealing with a harasser
  • How to get the targeted individual to safety
  • Up Stander role play
  • Ending with Q&A
  • 2-hour on-site follow-up to observe staff and provide feedback
  • Written action plan with further resources and next steps
Audience: School staff, students, nonprofit staff, house of worship leaders, and general public
​Want a customized version of this learning module? We can also offer this topic in 3 and 4-hour versions. Just contact us!
*Pricing is for NYC, Long Island, and Westchester. If outside of this metro area, additional travel fees may apply.