DEFINE. DEFY. DISMANTLE.

2017 Alumni of Color Conference

Presenter bio's

A B C D E F H I K L M N O R S T U V W Y

Presenter biographies are organized alphabetically by session titles.  Use the quick links above to easily navigate and search for bios. If contact information was provided, presenter's name will link accordingly. 


A

Anti-Yellow Racism, A Seductive Shape-Shifter

ROI KAWAI: Since 2015 Roi Kawai has been an assistant professor in Multicultural and Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. His areas of expertise include urban middle level pedagogies, racial and social justice education, and civic and social studies methods. During his seven years as a public middle school teacher, he taught American History, language arts, reading, algebra, and served as a curriculum writer and head of the school’s socio-emotional curriculum. Dr. Kawai has also taught classes on political engagement to middle/high school students in Chicago and served as an instructional coach to pre-service middle school teachers who teach students from diverse contexts in Boston. 

 

"Auctioneer": The Education of a Black Woman Auctioneer Whose Ancestors Were Auctioned

SUZANNE M. CADE: Suzanne M. Cade is a Ph.D. student in organizational leadership, policy, and development: comparative and international development education at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She completed a Master of Education degree in international education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Tuskegee University.

 

A Problem That Need Not Be: Reversing Underachievement through a Pedagogy of Confidence

STEFANIE ROME: Stefanie Rome is a doctoral student, graduate research assistant and a Gus T. Ridgel Fellow at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she is pursuing her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Stefanie is the former Assistant Director of the Hook Center for Educational Renewal in the College of Education at MU, the former Director of 5Essentials at UChicago Impact in the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute and the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education. She has spent more than 20 years as a classroom teacher, teacher mentor and instructional coach, committed to the creation of pedagogical spaces where student culture is honored and celebrated.

 

A Romantic Revolution: Dating, Courting, and Marriage in Communities of Color

SHARQI + KHALID DAVID: Sharqi and Khalid David believe that family is the foundation of all communities, and therefore, should be our focus. Since their courtship, they’ve used their passion for education, business, and service to build family resilience through traditional values. Sharqi, a HGSE alum, counselor, art enthusiast, and undercover overlover, and Khalid, an engineer, construction expert, and [hopeful] romantic combine their unique interests to design workshops to deliver relevant, relatable content for participants of all ages. This husband-and-wife team uses a digital medium to re-enage the conversation about how strategic dating, marriage, and family planning directly impacts advancement in our communities. 

 

A Seat at the Table: Testimony from Teachers of Color

ESTEFANIA RODRIGUEZ: Originally from Colombia, Estefania Rodriguez immigrated to Hartford, CT with her family where she was an undocumented student in the public school system throughout much of her childhood. As a first-generation college student, Estefania is a graduate of Boston University, School of Education and a recent graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After teaching in turnaround schools in her community, she is currently the K-8 History and Social Studies District Instructional Coach for Cambridge Public Schools. She is dedicated to increasing the numbers of teachers of color in the classroom and supporting all teachers in using critical pedagogy, Ethnic Studies, restorative justice, community activism, and a decolonizing curriculum to empower students. 

EDVERETTE BREWSTER: Edverette Brewster is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and the first male in his family to graduate from college. Earning a Bachelors of Arts from Vanderbilt University, Edverette became a Teach for America Corps Member and relocated to Boston to teach middle school English Language Arts at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School where he now teaches 7th & 8th grade Humanities and serves as the Lead Teacher. Last year, Edverette earned his Masters in Instructional Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His passion is to provide culturally relevant instruction and quality support for students in public school settings.

 

Anti-racist Student Activism: A Toolkit to Ignite Institutional Transformation

KIMBERLY ASHBY: Kimberly Ashby is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the counseling psychology program at Boston College. She received her M.A. in counseling theories from Boston College and her B.A. in psychology and comparative ethnic studies from Columbia University. Kimberly is currently the Diversity and Activism Liaison to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Counseling and Wellness Center, helping first generation students succeed, as well as facilitating workshops on race, racism, and systems of oppression for faculty, staff, and students. As a mental health clinician, Kimberly has provided individual psychotherapy and social justice/diversity and inclusion outreach at a number of college counseling centers, including Salem State University, Wellesley College, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In her scholarship, Kimberly conducts research for the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture (ISPRC) under Janet E. Helms, Ph.D. As a visual artist and activist, Kimberly acts as the visuals co-coordinator of the Eradicate Boston College Racism Movement.

CHAD OLLE: Chad Olle is pursuing a PhD in Counseling Psychology at Boston College. He has a Master of Science degree in Community Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. He identifies as an aspiring critical psychologist and activist and is active in campus movements that fight institutional racism.

AMELIE DAIGLE: Amelie Daigle is a doctoral student in the English department at Boston College where she researches and teaches postcolonial literature and fights institutionalized racism. Her article “The Translation of an Imagined Community in Raja Rao’s Kanthapura” is forthcoming in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. Her poems and short stories have appeared in several publications, most recently Cicada Magazine and The Rising Phoenix Review. She is originally from New Orleans, LA.

CHRISTINA KING: Christina (Tt) King is an undergraduate student at Boston College studying sociology and social work on a clinical track. Since moving from Southern California in 2014, she has been increasingly interested in the social impacts and social justice issues created by racism, sexism, and heterosexism. 

 

"Auctioneer": The Education of a Black Woman Auctioneer Whose Ancestors Were Auctioned

SUZANNE M. CADE: Suzanne M. Cade is a Ph.D. student in organizational leadership, policy, and development: comparative and international development education at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She completed a Master of Education degree in international education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Tuskegee University.

 

Art(ticulating) Activism: Art and activism in our everyday lives

LUMUMBA SEEGARS: Lumumba Seegars is a singer, songwriter, and actor. He has performed as a solo artist, band member, and actor in musicals, plays, and operas. He is currently a PhD student in Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School studying how identities and values lead individuals to challenge inequality within organizations as well as the degree to which organizations perpetuate inequality externally. 

JONATHAN MENDOZA: Jonathan Mendoza is a poet, activist, educator, and musician. He is the founder of the Board Bucks For Boston food drive at Emerson College as well as the Berklee Activist Network, and has organized for immigrant rights, campaign finance reform, ‘Repeal the Casino Deal,’ and more. As a poet, he has competed in Louder Than A Bomb and CUPSI, and is a National Poetry Slam champion. He is currently completing a self-designed bachelor’s degree, Arts for Social Advocacy, at Berklee College of Music. To learn more about his work, please visit MendozaPoetry.com, or you can find him eating chicken wings alone at birthday parties.

CLINT SMITH: Clint Smith is a writer and doctoral candidate at Harvard University and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the National Science Foundation. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and was a speaker at the 2015 TED Conference. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, The Guardian, Boston Review, Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere. He is the author of Counting Descent (2016), a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He was born and raised in New Orleans. 

AMANDA TORRES: Amanda Torres is a loud laughing queer, Latinx writer, singer, teacher, and organizer who loves avocados. Originally from Chicago, Amanda has been teaching and performing spoken word locally and internationally for over twelve years in schools, juvenile detention centers, libraries, community centers and museums. She is co­-founder of L@s Eloter@s, a socially engaged Latinx writing teachers collective. In addition to her teaching and performing, Amanda has led social change through youth spoken word trainings across the US. She served as the poetry artist in residence at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston for three years. In 2010, Amanda co-­founded MassLEAP, a youth poetry and social justice organization that runs Louder Than A Bomb Massachusetts. She currently serves as Artistic Director. She also works as a teaching fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

 

ARTIVISM: Using the Arts As Social Activism

LINDA STEELE: Linda Steele is an Artivist, grantmaker, and social entrepreneur based in Memphis, Tennessee. Linda brings to her work in Memphis over 15 years of experience in arts administration, practicing in cities such as Cleveland, Chicago, and New York City. In Memphis, Steele launched a Fellows Program in Arts and Social Change in 2014 and has received an Artworks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the inaugural Robert E.Gard Award from Americans for the Arts for this program that trains artists, neighborhood leaders and arts managers how to be Artivists in their communities. Steele is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

B

Beyond “Competency”: Designing and Advocating for Cultural Inclusion in the Arts

ALYSSA MACHIDA: Alyssa Machida is an arts educator born and raised in Santa Monica, California. Her work focuses on critical teaching methodologies, issues of racial equity and social justice, and designing experiences to ignite active learning for diverse audiences. Her research interests are situated at the intersection of arts, education, and activism and she is passionate about establishing critical learning and teaching practices in art museums. She earned her B.A. in History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley (2013) and her Ed.M. in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2016). Most recently, Alyssa has started her new job as Interpretive Specialist at the Detroit Institute of Arts working primarily on the reinstallation of the DIA’s Asian art galleries.

LINDSEY TOMIKO KUNISAKI: Lindsey Tomiko Kunisaki is an artist and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work is devoted to designing for inclusion in curricula, classroom practices, and public performances of arts and culture. In her current position as Program Manager with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, she manages jazz education programs at the middle school, high school, and graduate levels toward deepening the impact of jazz as cultural ambassadorship. Additionally, as a Cultural Policy Fellow in the ACTIVATE Arts Advocacy Leadership Program, Lindsey is currently exploring the ways in which policy and cultural institutions can equitably support and sustain the performing arts in community cultural life. Prior to this, Lindsey designed and implemented curricula in STEAM (science + technology + engineering + arts + math) and social justice education as a teaching artist and curriculum designer. During her time as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), her studies focused on representations of race and gender in educational arts and media, critical race theory (CRT), and designing inclusive education practices. Lindsey is an alumna of the Arts in Education program at HGSE (Ed.M), and the School of the Arts & Architecture at UCLA (B.A.), and is a Gates Millennium Scholar, Gilman International Scholar, and Maxwell H. Gluck Fellow.

 

Black Girls and the School-to-Confinement Pipeline: From Theory to Practice

ADELIA WILDER-DOCTOR: Adelia Wilder-Doctor, a native of Forsyth, Georgia and a 2011 graduate of Spelman College, is a master’s student in the Education Policy and Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before attending HGSE, Adelia worked as a Teach For America staff member for three years. In her most recent role with TFA, she worked to create an equitable and inclusive environment for staff members through her role as an Associate of Staff Diversity Strategy. She also worked to create and maintain strong partnerships between the organization and its community partners as an Associate of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships. Prior to joining staff, Adelia served as a 2011 Teach For America corps member in Houston, Texas. 

COURTNEY A. WOODS: Courtney A. Woods is a current master’s candidate studying Education Policy and Management at HGSE. Ms. Woods is preparing to serve as a civil rights attorney and future public servant. Her former professional experiences include working with the Office of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, the Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard College, and TRIO Student Support Services at Michigan State University, her alma mater. Her research interests include gun violence, mass incarceration, and the school-to-confinement pipeline.

LORRY HENDERSON: Lorry Henderson is a Master’s candidate studying Personalization, Urban Education and Critical Pedagogy through the Specialized Studies Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to HGSE, Lorry was a Special Education teacher in Atlanta Public Schools, where she had the opportunity to learn from twenty-three students with exceptionalities who sparked her interest in human potential and the value of individuality within our age of standardized education. Lorry comes from a family of dedicated Chicago educators and is excited about returning home to further her family legacy. 

JOCELYN JOHNSON: Jocelyn Johnson is pursuing her Master’s of Education in Education Policy and Management at HGSE. Prior to attending HGSE, she worked for three years as a counselor with Prep for Prep, an education nonprofit in New York City that prepares and places students from low-income and minority backgrounds in elite independent schools in New York City and east coast boarding schools. She also spent a year working with an edtech startup focusing on democratizing the college admissions process. Currently, Jocelyn interns with the College and Career Counseling Office at Codman Academy in Dorchester, MA. As the daughter of two first-generation college students, she is committed to college access, education equity, and diversity and inclusion. 

 

Boston Basics: A Community-Approach to Closing Achievement Gaps Before They Start

DR. RONALD FERGUSON: Ronald F. Ferguson is an MIT-trained economist who focuses social science research on economic, social, and educational challenges. He has been on the faculty at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1983, after full time appointments at Brandeis and Brown Universities. In 2014, he co-founded Tripod Education Partners and shifted into an adjunct role at the Kennedy School, where he remains a fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and faculty director of the university-wide Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI). During the 1980s and ‘90s Ron focused much his attention on economic and community development. That work culminated in the social science synthesis volume Urban Problems and Community Development (1999), which remains an important text in graduate policy courses. By the late1980s he had begun to study education and youth development because academic skill disparities were contributing to growing wage disparity. During the 1990s and early 2000s, his writings on the topic appeared in publications of the National Research Council, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Education, and various books and journals. In December 2007, Harvard Education Press published his book Toward Excellence with Equity: An Emerging Vision for Closing the Achievement Gap. A February 2011 profile of Ron in the New York Times wrote, “there is no one in America who knows more about the gap that Ronald Ferguson.” Ron’s current focus as AGI director is an initiative entitled the Boston Basics. It takes a socio-ecological saturation approach, collaborating with many partners to reach extended families with caregiving advice for infants and toddlers. Ron holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a PhD from MIT, both in economics. He has been happily married for 38 years and is the father of two adult sons.

SARAH MCLEAN: Sarah McLean, EdLD Cohort 5 As the first in her family to go to college, Sarah McLean has spent her professional career fighting to ensure all kids have access to an excellent education. Over the last decade, Sarah has held a number of executive roles within the public and non-profit sectors leading teams to achieve ambitious goals for educational equity. Currently, Sarah is finishing her doctoral residency in HGSE’s Ed.L.D. program, expected to graduate in May 2017. Prior to entering the Ed.L.D. program, Sarah served as the Chief of Staff for Teach For America’s Regional Operations team charged with the support and management of their 50+ regions, 1,300+ regional employees and a budget of $130M+. Prior to this, Sarah spent 4 years with the district office of Baltimore City Public Schools, two and a half as the Special Assistant to the superintendent, Dr. Andrés Alonso. She led and managed special projects related to the district’s reform agenda, including the reorganization of the district office to better meet and serve the needs of local communities. Sarah spent the first six years of her career as an elementary/middle school educator in Baltimore and Guatemala City. The breadth of her experience at various levels in and outside the public education system drives Sarah’s desire and conviction to boldly lead and innovate at a systems-level towards educational equity. Sarah is the wife of Campbell McLean, a lifelong middle-school educator and the mother of three children.

 

Breaking Walls: Empowering Our Undocumented Community

WILLIAM MORRAQUIN: William Morraquin is a doctoral student at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to his studies, William served as a principal in rural California. He shares in community with fellow immigrants as he came to Los Angeles from Guatemala at the age of eight. Naomi Fortis is a Salvadoran-American educator and current masters student in the Language and Literacy cohort. Prior to coming to HGSE, Naomi served eight years as a teacher and literacy coach in D.C., El Salvador, and Mexico. Both William and Naomi are passionate about school leadership and systems that empower underrepresented students.  

FEDERICO BUSTAMANTE: Federico Bustamante is the Director of Casa Libre - a group home for homeless boys under the age of 18 with one-of-a-kind and highly specialized services for unaccompanied and undocumented immigrant and refugee minors. Originally from Colombia, Mr. Bustamante has traveled the globe extensively as the child of a high-ranking American diplomat, particularly in Northern Europe and Latin America. He resided in El Salvador during and after the civil war and is well-traveled in the Northern Triangle and knowledgeable of the region. Mr. Bustamante studied political science at James Madison University before pursuing a career in social services. His extensive experience working in the immigrant community, but particularly with undocumented and unaccompanied minors for the past six years, has established him as one of the go-to experts on the provision of services and best practices for assisting these highly vulnerable children.

STEPHANY CUEVAS: Stephany Cuevas is a fourth-year doctoral student in Culture, Communities, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the relationships mixed-status families and undocumented parents have with systems and structures of higher education; she studies how immigration status and notions of legalization influence and shape families' perceptions, understandings, and relationships with higher education. As a Xicana scholar-activist, Cuevas' work seeks to empower the communities she works with by centering and highlighting their voices and experiences. Prior to attending HGSE, she was actively involved in K-12 outreach community programming in California. She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a former Editor for the Harvard Educational Review.

DIANA ORTIZ GIRON: Diana Ortiz Giron, originally born in Mexico, came to the United States when she was six years old and has since navigated through her entire educational experience undocumented with the privilege of being granted DACA since 2013. As an undergraduate she attended Pomona College where she majored in history of the Americas and minored in Chicano/a Latino/a Studies. During her time there she co-founded the undocumented student and ally support group called IDEAS at the Claremont Colleges. She is currently in her third and last year as a Master of Divinity candidate studying Religion, Ethics, and Politics at Harvard Divinity School. Upon graduating she hopes to return to Los Angeles to continue her work in immigrant rights awareness and advocacy by appealing to moral and ethical values and by collaborating with religious communities.

ARTHUR MOLA: Arthur Mola is a second year principal of Bancroft Elementary in Washington, D.C. Previous to his principal role, he was a teacher and administrator for fifteen years in Oakland, California and Washington, D.C. before joining Bancroft Elementary as an assistant principal turned principal. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on Bilingual Education and ESL. Inspired by his bilingual experience as a child of Cuban immigrants and growing up in Bronx, New York, Mr. Mola embraces and recognizes the value of preparing students to become global citizens by celebrating their cultural heritage through literacy, language, and arts. He is very excited about continuing in the Bancroft community and contributing to the vision of preparing all students to be high-achieving, bilingual global citizens who lead in the 21st century.

 

Building Place, Juntos: Creative Placemaking for Equity

CHRISTINA PATIÑO: Christina Patiño Houle is an award winning artist and performer. Her work has appeared at SOMA (D.F. Mexico), Movement Research at Judson Church (NYC), the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NY, NY) and Second City (Chicago, IL). She served as the first Creative Director of Grand Central Neighborhood Drop-In Shelter (NYC), is a 2012 recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Idea Fund Grant and holds an MFA from Columbia in Visual Arts and an EdM from the Harvard School of Education. Additionally Houle has worked as a producer, artist and educator at Creative Time, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, The College of New Jersey and most recently at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. 

C

Community Walks: Student-Led Professional Development

SAILAJA SURESH: Sailaja Suresh is a co-founder of Oakland International High School, California's first public school dedicated to serving recently arrived immigrant students. She has been a teacher, instructional coach, and co-principal at OIHS, where she now supports educators and organizations around the Bay Area who are learning how to engage and support newcomer students. As the daughter of immigrants, she is wholeheartedly engaged in the struggle to defend our public schools as places of sanctuary and empowerment for all immigrant and refugee youth.

D

Dare to Run: Queer Women and Women of Color Running for Public Office

COURTNEY A. WOODS: Courtney A. Woods is a current master’s candidate studying Education Policy and Management at HGSE. Ms. Woods is preparing to serve as a civil rights attorney and future public servant. Her former professional experiences include working with the Office of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, the Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard College, and TRIO Student Support Services at Michigan State University, her alma mater. Her research interests include gun violence, mass incarceration, and the school-to-confinement pipeline.

RAVEN STUBBS: Raven Stubbs is a Detroit native and currently a master’s candidate studying Education Policy and Management at HGSE. A trained Applied Theatre artist, she has partnered with Chicago Public School teachers, students, and community members to use Theatre of the Oppressed techniques for community organizing, as well as to create a model social justice curriculum based on the Common Core standards. She currently consults and trains non-profit staff on servant leadership and anti-oppression methods implementation. She is interested in system-level assessments of cultural competency within public, urban school districts as well as policy reform for education. 

 

Define, Defy and Dismantle Oppression Through Sports, Entertainment & Activism

JOISELLE CUNNINGHAM: Joiselle Cunningham is a federal policy advisor, award-winning educator and consultant who has worked in the United States, Europe and Latin America. Joiselle currently serves as a Senior Advisor and consultant at Teach For Sweden, Empieza por Educar as well as other social impact and education organizations. Joiselle recently served in the Obama Administration as a Special Advisor in the Office of the Secretary at the United States Department of Education and managed educator engagement for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Joiselle has previously worked with several education organizations, including the New York City Department of Education, KIPP and America Achieves. In 2009, she contributed to and was featured in Steven Farr’s Teaching as Leadership, and highlighted specific strategies used to help students to achieve at high levels. During that same year, Joiselle was awarded Teach For America’s Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award. Joiselle recently contributed to Rick Hess’ Cage Busting Teacher, highlighting specific stories in teacher leadership and advocacy. Joiselle studied Public Policy and Economics at Duke University where she received the Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship for academic achievement. She holds an MST from Pace University and is currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where she continues her work with social impact organizations within the Harvard community. 

BRANDON MARSHALL: Brandon Marshall is a linebacker for the Denver Broncos. He led the Broncos in tackles in 2014 and was part of the Super Bowl winning squad in 2015. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and majored in criminal justice at the University of Nevada. Since signing with the Broncos in 2013, he has received the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award for exemplifying enthusiasm, cooperation, and honesty when dealing with the press and was named a Broncos Community Ambassador in 2015. Off the field, Mr. Marshall is is an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and has hosted several clothing drives for domestic violence shelters in Denver. After receiving criticism for kneeling during the National Anthem, Mr. Marshall set up a meeting with the Denver Police Chief. After that productive conversation, Mr. Marshall has continued to be involved in efforts to improve community policing and eliminate police violence against people of color.

DAVID JOHNS: David J. Johns is a consultant, thought leader and the former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in the Obama Admnistration. The Initiative works across federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African American students. Prior to joining the Department, Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) under the leadership of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Before working for the Senate HELP committee under Chairman Harkin, Johns served under the leadership of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Johns also was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow in the office of Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. Johns has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority students, neglected youth and early childhood education and with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His research as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow served as a catalyst to identify, disrupt and supplant negative perceptions of black males within academia and society. Johns is committed to volunteer services and maintains an active commitment to improve literacy among adolescent minority males. Johns obtained a master’s degree in sociology and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude while simultaneously teaching elementary school in New York City. He graduated with honors from Columbia University in 2004 with a triple major in English, creative writing and African American studies. Johns was named to the Root100 in both 2014 and 2013, selected as a member of the Ebony Power 100 in 2015 and received an early career award from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2016.

 

Defining, Defying, and Dismantling a “World of Whiteness”: Search, Hiring, and Climatic Strategies of a Diverse, Inclusive Social Justice Focused Education Faculty

DR. RICHARD REDDICK: Richard J. Reddick, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor in Educational Administration, with courtesy appointments in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, and the Warfield Center of African and African American Studies. Dr. Reddick is also the Assistant Vice President for Research and Policy in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, the Assistant Director of the Plan II Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts, and serves as a faculty fellow in the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis, all at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on several areas: the experiences of Black faculty and faculty of color at predominantly White institutions; mentoring and developmental relationships between faculty and Black students; and work-life balance in academia. Reddick's research has been published in the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ) and Harvard Educational Review (HER), featured on NPR and the Associated Press, and he has contributed over 50 scholarly articles, chapters, and entries, including four co-authored and co-edited scholarly volumes. Dr. Reddick is also active in national research associations, most notably the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).

DR. MARK ANTHONY GOODEN: Mark Anthony Gooden, Ph.D., is the Margie Gurley Seay Centennial Professor in Education. Within the Department of Educational Administration, he is also Director of The University of Texas at Austin Principalship Program (UTAPP) and Public School Executive Leadership (PSEL) Coordinator. His research interests include the principalship, anti-racist leadership, urban educational leadership and legal issues in education. His research has appeared in a range of outlets including Educational Administration Quarterly, Teachers College Record, Review of Educational Research, Journal of School Leadership, Urban Education, Journal of Research on Leadership in Education, The Journal of Negro Education, Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Education and Urban Society, The Sage Handbook of African-American Education and The Principal's Legal Handbook and others. He currently serves as a member of Executive Committee and is Immediate Past President of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), a consortium of 99 higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children.

DR. TERRANCE L. GREEN: Terrance L. Green, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the Educational Administration Department. His research focuses on the nexus of urban school reform and socially just community development with a particular focus on school and community leaders. Additionally, Dr. Green's scholarship examines issues of geography of educational opportunity for children of color from low-income backgrounds. In 2016, Dr. Green was the recipient of the William J. Davis award for the most outstanding article published in a volume of the Educational Administration Quarterly (the top journal in the field of educational administration and leadership). Dr. Green's research has been published in Teachers College Record, Educational Administration Quarterly, Urban Review, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Urban Education, Education and Urban Society, Journal of School Leadership, and the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. 

DR. JOSHUA CHILDS: Joshua Childs, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Educational Policy and Planning in the Department of Educational Administration. His research focuses on the analysis of social networks, urban education policy, various school improvement initiatives, reducing chronic absenteeism in schools, and policy coherence and implementation. Additionally, Dr. Childs' research examines how community organizations can be leveraged to promote educational improvement in local districts and schools. Dr. Childs' research has been published in Urban Education, Educational Policy, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

 

Dismantling Classroom Oppression Through Equity-Oriented Pedagogies and Universal Design for Learning Strategies

ANDREW ESTRADA PHUONG: Andrew Estrada Phuong is a researcher, fellow, and Harvard graduate student who has led pedagogy courses, professional teaching communities, student success programs, diversity initiatives, and pedagogical and professional trainings. He has facilitated workshops on various topics that include: Fostering Inclusive Dialogues and Cultural Humility, Implementing Equity-Oriented Pedagogy and Assessments, Reducing Stereotype Threat, Incorporating Universal Design for Learning, Applying the Learning Sciences to Instructional Technology, etc. Through these efforts, Phuong has consulted chancellors, faculty developers, faculty, graduate student instructors, undergraduate instructors, teaching staff, businesses, and K-16 teachers. Since 2010, he has also taught over 10 courses at UC Berkeley and directs the Design for Equity Lab that has conducted design-based implementation research on over 1000 students and instructors. He has written, published, and presented studies on this work at multiple conferences, symposia, and colloquia.

JUDY NGUYEN: Judy Nguyen is a Harvard graduate student who researches pedagogy, educational technologies, and professional development strategies that equip instructors to develop and sustain equity-oriented pedagogies that advance universal design. Since 2012, she has investigated how these pedagogies increased equity, positive psychosocial variables, and success for over 1,000 students and instructors. 

EILEEN CONNELL BERGER: Eileen Connell Berger is committed to the complex issues of equal access, equal opportunity and social justice in Higher Education and has been Assistant Director of the Office of Student Affairs and Head of Access and Disability Services at HGSE for 14 years. Her office welcomes and engages students and faculty in inclusive programming, access technology services, mentoring, and advising. She created a professional development partnership with student organizations ( IHED and MindMatters) and faculty that offers programs, symposia and conferences on disability issues for the Harvard community. Before coming to HGSE Eileen was Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at Salem State University and Bunker Hill Community College. She worked as a certified speech, language and hearing specialist, educator, administrator, and grant writer in public and private Education in NY and MA. She holds a MS Ed, EdD(ABD), New York and Massachusetts teacher certifications, and certification in Assistive Technology. Eileen presents with professional colleagues annually at NASPA, AHEAD and Harvard.

DENA MARIE: Dena Marie is a Ph.D. Candidate in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a Master's degree in the same field from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and English from the University of California, Davis. She has taught K-12 language curriculum from 2013 to the present; previously, she served as a Spanish language, culture, and literature instructor at UC Berkeley from 2005-2014. Her dedication to designing and implementing differentiated classroom instruction began when she encountered widely diverse cognitive processes across her language students at UC Berkeley. She regularly seeks opportunities to attend workshops and conferences on innovative and effective pedagogical practices to better address the unique learning needs of her most recent classroom contexts: teaching Spanish literacy to native Spanish speakers.

CLAIRE BANG + SHAHANA FAROOQI: Claire Bang + Shahana Farooqi are instructors and researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who organize and lead a professional teaching community to train instructors in developing and sustaining equity-oriented pedagogies. They use these pedagogies through their instruction of a social justice course and have researched how these pedagogies increased equity, positive psychosocial outcomes, and academic achievement of undergraduate students. They have presented their research at multiple conferences and symposia.

MATT COURTNEY: Matt Courtney is a teaching fellow for statistics in multiple courses at Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as a coach at Access and Disabilities Services at HGSE. Matt was a research assistant at Harvard Project Zero working under Tina Grotzer and Chris Dede on two projects: Causal Learning in the Classroom and EcoXPT. Matt holds an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. in Cognitive Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science from the University of Evansville.  

 

Disproportionality in Special Education: A Call to Action

LEANNE TRUJILLO: Leanne Trujillo is deeply committed to advancing systemic education reform and advancing K-12 education for students with disabilities, students of color, newcomers and English language learners. As a Research Associate to the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative shes provides support in the areas of data analysis for district reviews, assisting professional development projects with school districts and evaluating the outcomes of educational programs related to special education and English language learning. Prior to joining the Collaborative, Leanne worked as a high school teacher in the South Bronx, New York where she taught special education and humanities at a Title I International Baccalaureate school. Leanne has previously worked as a new teacher coach for the NYC Department of Education, consultant to UNICEF Central America, consultant for the Secretary of Education in Mexico, and several non-profit organizations such as Safe Passage Guatemala, the International Rescue Committee of Tucson and Natural Doctors International Nicaragua.Leanne has a Masters in Special Education from CUNY Hunter College and Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was the Intellectual Contribution and Faculty Tribute Award Recipient for the IEP cohort in 2016.

DR. LAUREN KATZMAN: Dr. Lauren Katzman, Ed.D is the Executive Director of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative. Prior to this work, she served as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Special Education Services for the Newark Public Schools and the Executive Director of Special Education in the New York City Department of Education. In both of these positions, she developed and led significant reform efforts, increasing academic achievement, inclusive education, reliable data management, and statutory/regulatory compliance. Prior to these positions, Dr. Katzman served as Associate Professor of Special Education at Boston University and co-authored the book Effective Inclusive Schools: Effective Inclusive Schools: Designing Successful Schoolwide Programs with Dr. Thomas Hehir, former Director of the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education and professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was also a special education teacher for 14 years in St. Louis, New Jersey, and New York City.

RON WALKER: Ron Walker has over 45 years of experience serving as a teacher, principal, staff developer, and consultant in various educational communities. Currently, Ron serves as the Executive Director and is a founding member of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, an organization founded to connect, inspire, support and strengthen school leaders dedicated to the social, emotional and academic development of boys and young men of color. COSEBOC is recognized as a critical organization in the efforts to eliminate the academic achievement and Ron has made presentations on the national and state level at the U.S. Department of Education, College Board, California Association of African American Administrators and Superintendents, The American Public Health Association, The Council of Urban Boards of Education as well being interviewed by Soledad O’Brien on the topic of Educating Black Males. Ron was invited to attend President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Forum held at the White House and has been recognized for his service in education by the Boston Public Schools, Boston College School of Education, Temple University -School of Education, The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and was nominated for Ebony’s Magazine Manifest Award for individuals making substantial contributions in the field of education. Ron has authored two publications on leadership and is featured in numerous education articles and attributes any success that he has gained to his unrelenting belief in God, the lessons taught by his parents Solomon and Delores Walker and the faith that his wife Toni, children and grandchildren place in him.

ALEXIS MORGAN: Alexis Morgan is a second-year doctoral student in the Education Leadership program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previously she spent ten years as a teacher for students with exceptionalities, a state interventionist for New Jersey Department of Education, and an instructional lead for the Office of Special Education in Newark, NJ. Her practice currently focuses on redesigning schools to support the cognitive and emotional needs of a wide range of diverse learners.  

CAROLINE PARKER: Caroline E. Parker, Ed.D., is a Principal Research Scientist at Education Development Center. She leads research to improve programs and policies for all students, particularly culturally and linguistically diverse learners, including those with disabilities and English learners. She examines a wide range of education reform issues including educational equity, technology integration, and strategies to enhance STEM learning and teaching. Dr. Parker is currently the national Lead for the English Learner Area for the ten National Educational Laboratories (RELs), and co-leads the STEM Learning and Research (STELAR) Center, which works with National Science Foundation projects to broaden participation in STEM to those underrepresented in STEM careers.

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Educating within the Pipeline: Systems, Practices, and Levers

DR. PAMELA A. MASON: Dr. Pamela A. Mason, Faculty Lead (HGSE Ed.D., M.A.T.) is director of the Language and Literacy master's program and the Jeanne Chall Reading Lab and a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her professional and research interests encompass the effects of text structure on comprehension, the interaction of text complexity and background knowledge, the interaction of literacy learning, culture, and multilingualism, and school-wide literacy program implementation and evaluation, using qualitative and quantitative measures. She has extensive experience as a reading/language arts curriculum coordinator for several local school districts and as an elementary school principal and co-edited Promising Practices for Urban Reading Instruction, an IRA publication. Mason is active in the International Reading Association, serving as the cochair of the Urban Diversity Committee, and as a member of the Common Core State Standards Task Force and the Program Committee. She collaborates with colleagues nationally and internationally on preparing reading specialist teachers, implementing literacy coaching, developing school leaders, and evaluating school-wide literacy programs. 

DR. LYNETTE TANNIS: Dr. Lynette Tannis, Co-founder (HGSE Ed.D. ‘13, Ed.M. ’10) is a nationally recognized expert on education for incarcerated youth and is currently an independent education consultant. Lynette began her educational career twenty-one years ago as a classroom teacher and high school athletic coach and also served as a school and district administrator, professional developer, and as an education delegate in China, South Africa, Trinidad, Turkey, and throughout the United States. She focuses on the necessary support structures needed to ensure juvenile justice educators are well equipped to provide students in their care with a high-quality education. Lynette’s research and post-dissertation work has taken place in juvenile facilities throughout the United States and abroad and her book, Educating Incarcerated Youth: Exploring the Impact of Relationships, Expectations, Resources, and Accountability was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014. She works very closely with juvenile justice principals and state leaders responsible for the educational services offered in confined settings.  

RIA FAY-BERQUIST: Ria Fay-Berquist, Co-founder (HGSE Ed.M. ‘16) is a founding member of the Juvenile Justice Education Research Initiative, and a teacher in two juvenile justice facilities. A former media arts and literacy instructor in alternative, continuation, and community-based school settings, Ria came to HGSE in 2015-2016 in order to explore constructivist educational approaches for high-achieving kids in juvenile justice facilities. In 2016, Ria undertook a semester-long ethnographic study exploring Montessori methods within a Department of Youth Services ELA classroom, under the leadership of Dr. Roberto Gonzalez.

HERNAN CARVENTE: Hernan Carvente (CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, B.S. '15) is a program analyst for Vera's Center on Youth Justice, where he works on improving conditions of confinement, including efforts to support the incorporation of youth voices in facility-based and statewide juvenile justice policy reform. Hernan is a member of the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and is the northeast regional representative for the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s (CJJ) National Youth Committee. He also serves on advisory boards with the National Academies of Science and the Annie E. Casey Foundation and his goal to advance efforts to reform the structure of the U.S. criminal justice system stems from his own experiences in the juvenile justice system. In May 2013, he was awarded the Spirit of Youth Award by CJJ and, in December 2014, he was awarded the Next Generation Champion for Change Award by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. As a teenager, Hernan was incarcerated for four years during which time he earned a GED and 54 college credits.

BRIDGET CICHELLO: Bridget Cichello (HGSE Ed.M. '17) is a student in the Education Policy & Management program. She is interested in exploring educator perspectives on race and disability as they are made visible in disparate rates of suspension and expulsion. She has worked with children with ADHD and Autism in clinical, home, and educational settings. Prior to coming to HGSE, she supported students as a special education teacher in a highly-inclusive middle school in Austin, TX. She graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a focus in creative non-fiction and psychology where he senior colloquium topic was "Storytelling for Therapy and Empowerment."

 

Education, not Incarceration: Using Higher Education to Challenge Mass Incarceration

BETO VASQUEZ: Beto Vasquez is currently finalizing his graduate studies at University California, San Diego in biology. His background in the sciences has made him a champion for diversity in STEM; while his incarceration and education has caused him to advocate for FIPs and address barriers to success. He is joined by other community leaders from across the nation who similarly use their stories to lead with conviction. 

JOHNNY PEREZ: Johnny Perez is the Safe Reentry advocate at the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project (MHP), a nonprofit law firm providing pro bono legal services to underserved population in NYC. Specifically, he works directly with people with mental illness and histories of incarceration, to connect them to the services in the community that will assist them to attain better measures of recovery and gain the stability necessary to avoid further contact with the criminal justice system.

LOUIS REED: Louis is a Forbes ® Coaches Council member, an in-demand conference speaker and sought-after thought leader on topics that include reentry affairs, recovery support, spiritual empowerment, and crime intervention, as appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC, in The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.  Louis has also consulted for the White House on youth violence intervention, and is a 2017 JUST Leadership USA fellow.

SANDY LOMONICO: Sandy Lomonico earned her Masters degree in Public Health and Master's degree in Social Work with a concentration in Urban Policy. She works for the Second Chance Program in Connecticut and proudly represents those directly impacted by incarceration. Sandy is a creative and energetic community organizer who challenges policy makers to think outside of the box while addressing complex issues of mass incarceration in America.  

RYAN RISING: Ryan is a student leader at San Diego City College with a vision to end recidivism and build the Prison-to-school pipeline. Being formerly incarcerated, he is using his experience to help inspire change and reduce the mass incarceration epidemic that's destroying so many communities in our country. He believes it's up to us together as one to create change in our community.

RAIYAH HARRIS: Raiyah Harris is from Richmond, California. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Diego State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She is currently a graduate student in the Criminal Justice and Criminology Masters Program at SDSU and serve as the Graduate Assistant for Project Rebound – a group committed to facilitate the success of formerly incarcerated students in higher education. 

 

Exploring The Masks that show up in today's classrooms

ASHANTI BRANCH: Ashanti Branch, born and raised by a single mother on welfare in Oakland, California, persevered through studying and pursuing a career in civil engineering. While this career satisfied financial needs, there was something deeply missing. After tutoring struggling students, he realized that the real “fire” in his life was teaching. In 2004 as a first-year teacher, Ashanti started The Ever Forward Club, a nonprofit organization, to provide a support group for African-American and Latino males, who were not achieving to the level of their potential. Since then, The Ever Forward Club has grown to help 100% of its members graduate high school and 93% of them have gone on to attend college, trade school or military. Ashanti was selected as a 2016 project fellow at the Institute of Design at Stanford University (d.school).

CHRISTIAN GREEN: Christian Green, Ever Forward Club member at REACH Ashland Youth Center in San Lorenzo, CA. Christian joined The Ever Forward Club in 2015, currently a Freshman at San Lorenzo High School. When asked what he wants to do with his life in the future, Christian says, "I want to have my own business or become a veterinarian."

DANA WILLIAMS: Dana Williams Ever Forward Club member at REACH Ashland Youth Center in San Lorenzo, CA. Dana joined The Ever Forward Club in 2015, currently a Freshman at San Lorenzo High School.  When asked what he wants to do with his life in the future, Dana says, "Well I want to play in the NFL when I get older... and if football doesn't turn out good for me then I'm going to plan B, and plan B is to take art because I am a good artist.

DESHUN J. SMITH: DeShun J. Smith, Ever Forward Club member at REACH Ashland Youth Center in San Lorenzo, CA. DeShun joined The Ever Forward Club in 2016, currently a junior at San Lorenzo High School. When asked what he wants to do with his life in the future, Deshun says, "I hope to be something successful in life and to not become another stereotype in the society that I live in today."

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Facilitating Cross-Racial Dialogue on College Campuses

DEAWEH BENSON: As a first generation Liberian-American, Deaweh Benson fosters a commitment to the civic empowerment of historically disenfranchised groups. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College, she went on to work in classrooms in Shenzhen, China and literacy centers in Washington D.C. She is a Master’s student in the Harvard International Education Policy program. Deaweh’s current work focuses on higher education strategies to prepare students for the increasingly globalized society. 

 

Following the Rulebook: An Interactive Performance Experience on Society's Expectations of Youth

BOCH CENTER TEEN LEADERSHIP COUNCIL: Boch Center Teen Leadership Council is an after-school creative job program that employs 15 Boston Teen Leaders at one of the leading performing arts institutions in New England and greater Boston. The goal of this youth employment program is to enable Teen Leaders to deepen their job readiness and facilitation skills; engage Boston residents in meaningful dialogue about a social justice topic; and empower young people to operate as change agents in their communities. Teens specialize in an area of the performing arts to use the arts for social change. They work with children, local organizations, creative professionals, and college students on college campuses to explore social justice issues through education performances and interactive arts-based workshops devised and performed by teen employees on a Community Advocacy Tour.

KELLY PRESTEL: Kelly Prestel serves as the Associate Director of Education at the Boch Center (formerly known as Citi Performing Arts Center), where she manages the award-winning City Spotlights Leadership Program and Teen Leadership Council. She worked previously with the Boch Center as Education Programs Manager, Lead Teaching Artist, and Graduate Fellow, managed and taught for the Target Arts Program and City Spotlights and developed curriculum for the Dudley Library Arts Festival. Kelly served on the Board of Directors for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the New England Theatre Conference. She earned her Bachelors in Media and Communication Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and her Masters in Theatre Education with a concentration in Theatre and Community from Emerson College, and is certified in the Advancing Youth Development curriculum through the BEST Initiative. 

AYSHA UPCHURCH: Aysha Upchurch, Ed. M. is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and arts administrator whose work centers on social justice, inclusion, community engagement, and artistry development. Prior to relocating to Boston, she was based out of Washington, DC for over ten years, where she founded and directed the dance ensemble, Life, Rhythm, Move Project. Blending her dance training and professional backgrounds in youth advocacy and conflict resolution, she used Hip Hop dance to entertain and educate audiences while empowering youth. Trained in Advancing Youth Development curriculum, she also facilitates movement and conflict resolution workshops for young people. Aysha has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the White House and has been selected as a US State Department Cultural Envoy in Dance in Bolivia, Honduras and Guatemala. In 2007, she won the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Local Dance Commissioning Project and created Am I On?, an award-winning evening-length work about the space between youth and adult voices. Aysha has been on faculty at George Mason University and holds an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. She received her Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she currently serves as a Teaching Fellow and Project Zero Classroom faculty member. Aysha is now the Associate Director of COOL Schools at VSA Massachusetts where she works at the intersection of arts integration, special education, and professional development, continuing to endeavor to position arts and teaching artists as central ingredients to progressive and inclusive education reform. 

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HGSE School Leadership Program Presents: Using Photography to Explore Racial Identity

SAMANTHA SENCER-MURA: Samantha Sencer-Mura is a current Masters candidate in HGSE's School Leadership Program. Samantha grew up attending public schools in Minneapolis, MN where she witnessed both the great promises of diverse public schools, and the deep inequities. Since then she has worked to create transformative educational spaces for youth, working in both schools and nonprofits in Los Angeles, New York City, and Oakland. She holds a B.A. from Occidental College in Critical Theory and Social Justice. 

RANDI STONE: Randi Stone is a current Masters candidate in HGSE’s School Leadership program. Randi is the proud product of Chicago Public Schools, a former elementary school teacher, and future school principal. She founded KIPP Ascend Primary’s Parent University and served as Leadership for Educational Equity’s Community Organizing Fellow. Randi received her B.S. in Political Communication and Organizational Leadership from Emerson College and her M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Dominican University. Randi is committed to ensuring discussions on race, equity, and identity happen on behalf of the students we serve. 

VANESSA BISHOP: Vanessa Bishop is currently an HGSE Master’s Candidate in the School Leadership Program. Prior to HGSE, she served in turnaround schools for 12 years as an educator, mentor, and program leader in her hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri. Much of Vanessa’s work has been spent collaborating with families, schools, and district to increase educational equity. Vanessa received her M.S in Teacher Leadership from Lindenwood University, Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Walden University.  

ALICIA GAYNOR: Alicia Gaynor is a current Masters candidate in HGSE's School Leadership program and a future school leader. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in History and Latin American Studies, she worked as a high school science educator in Chicago Public Schools. She has served as a team leader, Appointed School Council member, and presented at the Argonne National Laboratory. She is committed to collaborating with current and future practitioners on ways to engage in discussions about race in our schools.

FELICIA AIKENS: Felicia Aikens is a candidate for a Masters degree in School Leadership at HGSE. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Diplomatic History and went on to teach high school history at The Field School in Washington D.C. During her three years are Field, she also served as a faculty advisor, varsity lacrosse coach and curriculum designer. One of her major goals as a teacher and school leader is to develop socially conscious student-citizens who have a strong understanding of their own identity. 

 

High School Youth Do the Knowledge and Kick the Truth

MET STUDENTS: Members from a Met advisory, a group of students that meet daily for four years will be the main speakers. Advisories at the Met meet and share common space for four years. This diverse mix of students will discuss how tacking the hard issues around social justice can be empowering especially when students are allowed to own their learning and experiences.

SABRINA SMITH: Sabrina Smith has been an advisor at the Met for over a decade. A graduate of Howard University, Sabrina believes in empowering students while young. She holds "social awareness" as a high academic expectation and will discuss and show how she makes real life and current events the content for deeper learning.

DANIQUE DOLLY: Danique Dolly is a former Met principal and current first year Ed.L.D. student. He believes in empowering youth and has been a progressive school principal for nine years in both Providence, RI and Baltimore, MD.

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In Solidarity: The AAPI Struggle and Building Coalitions of Color.

NELSON PHAM: Nelson Pham is a candidate for his M.S.Ed. in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Higher Education Division. Nelson holds a B.A. in political science, and before coming to Philadelphia, he worked at an AANAPISI college. He worked towards shedding light onto the invisible minority groups on campus and advocating for more services to enable them to navigate through their academic journey successfully. Nelson's current research project is in regards to identifying the issues on why AAPI representations in senior level positions within an educational institution are so low and ways to overcome this disparity. 

FRANCES NAN: Frances Nan is a candidate for her M.S.Ed. in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Higher Education division. Frances is a native of Sunnyvale, CA, and holds a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Pomona College. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, she was an Assistant Dean of Admissions at Pomona College, where she pursued an interest in the recruitment, enrollment, and retention of first-generation to college, low-income, and minoritized students, particularly Asian American Pacific Islanders and Native Americans. Frances currently serves as a Research Assistant with a focus in communications and social media at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. 

 

Indigenous Resistance: From AIM to #NoDAPL

DANIELLE LUCERO: Danielle Lucero is from Isleta Pueblo and graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies with a concentration in Indigenous Studies. She is currently pursuing an Ed.M in the Learning and Teaching from HGSE. She co-founded a non-profit organization called alterNATIVE Education. It is a program that partners colleges and universities with native communities to facilitate conversations about native pasts, presents, and futures. 

MEGAN RED SHIRT-SHAW: Megan Red Shirt-Shaw is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux tribe. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in English, and is currently attending Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education to pursue her M.Ed in Higher Education. She is the founder of Natives In America, an online literary publication for Native American, Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian youth.

KACI MORGAN: Kaci Morgan (McClure) is a Cherokee and Choctaw master's student in the Language and Literacy program, and one of the FIERCE Co-Chairs. Originally from north Texas, Kaci has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Sociology from Louisiana State University where she was the Undergraduate Student Leader of the Year, a Distinguished Communicator, a Tiger Twelve finalist, and voted Most Likely to Succeed. Kaci has conducted and presented research on culturally competent materials and instruction, and is a panelist at this year's National Council of Teachers of English conference. She looks forward to continuing to advocate for marginalized youth and returning to serving students in the public school system.

 

Intersectionality and Multiple Identities (Panel)

AMIR WILLIAMS: Amir Williams, 20, is a junior at University of California Santa Cruz, majoring in Art, minoring in Cultural Anthropology. He is a member of the African Black Student Alliance (also known as ABSA) on his campus, Haluan a competitive hip-hop dance troupe housed under the Filipino Student Association, The African American Theatre Arts Troupe and The Rainbow Theatre Arts Troupe. During his free time he enjoys Anime, Digital Illustration, Videogames, dancing and social activism. 

BEN WILD: Ben Wild is a gay, white, learning disabled education executive and learning engineer. As founder and Executive Director of the Walkabout Education Foundation, Ben leads a school-starting nonprofit that empowers students to find their love for learning through experience in the real world. Ben immigrated to America at the age of 4 and found himself awash with challenges brought on by the social constructions of whiteness, class, masculinity, nationality and (dis)ability. Reconciling these intersecting identities made school an awkward place to be, much less to learn. Walkabout is the latest iteration of Ben's work to reimagine school settings and create communities that are engines for the pluralistic society American democracy requires. Outside of Walkabout, Ben served as a facilitator for Act II of Anna Deavere Smith’s acclaimed Notes from the Field and works in HGSE’s Access and Disability Services Office as an organizational coach. Ben’s work on race focuses on educating people who “think they are white,” in the words of James Baldwin. As a white person, he believes he bears responsibility for deconstructing systems of oppression, and that when we finally learn to see each other, we are able celebrate the beauty and plurality of the human experience. He holds a Masters in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

BENJAMIN WESTBenjamin West is pursuing a doctorate in Education Policy and Program Evaluation at Harvard University. He studies policies and programs that aim to recruit, train, and retain effective teachers in K-12 public schools. Ben joins Harvard from the American Institutes for Research. He holds a M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College, and a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University. Additionally, he is an alumnus of both Teach for America and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Ben identifies himself as a person of color and member of the LGBTQ community. 

MARISSA ALBERTY: Marissa Alberty holds a B.A. in International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma and an EdM in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She began her educational career as a Head Start pre-k teacher, and later taught in middle school in Washington, D.C. Marissa currently works in her home state as the Managing Director of Internal Affairs for Teach for America – Oklahoma City, where she serves as the chief of staff, managing regional strategy, office management and staff professional development. Throughout her time at Teach for America, Marissa has led family and community engagement efforts with the believe that effective leaders across all levels of education systems are at their best when working in partnership with communities with a critical eye towards justice and equity. 

TATIANNA CANNON: Though born in San Jose, California, Tatianna Cannon has spent most of her life in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she earned her BA in Letters and an M.Ed in Adult and Higher Education. Boomer Sooner! After receiving her degrees, Tatianna became committed to helping under-served students through Student Affairs at the University of Oklahoma and as an adjunct professor on campus before transitioning her career path to public affairs and institutional advancement. As a fundraiser, she has worked with the University of Oklahoma, Myriad Botanical Gardens, and Teach for America. She currently serves as the Managing Director of Development and Public Affairs for Teach for America - Oklahoma City. As a part of this role, Tatianna is responsible for the development and implementation of vision and strategy for her team (including external communications strategy and government relations), overseeing data management, analysis, and reporting for all development work, and managing progress to revenue goal. Primarily, she is responsible for building local relationships to find, promote, and capitalize on alignment between TFA regional vision and local social justice organizations/movements’ visions.

ASIL YASSINE: Asil Yassine is a masters student in the Language and Literacy program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She previously taught in Detroit, where most of her students were immigrants from Yemen, Iraq, and Syria and learning English as a second language. Her passion for supporting bilingual students stems from the fact that she, too, spoke Arabic as her first language and had to navigate a similar linguistic journey. She plans on returning to teaching in Detroit upon graduation.  

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Key Issues for Social Leaders of Color (Panel)

ZEINA FAYYAZ KIM: Zeina is an Associate Partner on the Diverse Leaders team at NewSchools Venture Fund. In this role, she leverages all of her prior background in philanthropy, investing, diversity and inclusion. Zeina began her career at the nonprofit research and consulting firm Root Cause, where she managed accelerator programs for high-performing, growth-seeking nonprofits. Initially, she oversaw Root Cause’s flagship accelerator, focused on the New England area. Zeina then designed and launched a second accelerator, national in scope, to support nonprofits in the field of black male achievement. More recently, Zeina interned at Sonen Capital, an impact investment firm, and in the investment management division of Goldman Sachs. She holds an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and an AB from Harvard College. 

ALSION WELCHER: Alison Welcher has served as a teacher, school leader, and district administrator in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC). As a school leader, she led a middle school turnaround which led to local, regional and national recognition, including a profile with “Getting Smart: 100 Schools Worth Visiting” in 2014 and in the book, Breakthrough Principals: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Stronger Schools, which inspires principals across the country to value and invest in teacher leadership. Alison holds a Bachelors of Arts in English from Spelman College and a master’s degree in Risk and Prevention with Adolescents at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently, she is a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Educational Leadership (EdLD) program. 

R.D. LEYVA: R.D. Leyva serves as the Program Director at Latinos for Education where he connects Latinos to professional development opportunities, high-impact roles, and one another. Prior to this role, he served as Director of Diversity and Leadership at Teach For America, where he supported the organization’s corps members and alumni of color across the country. He was responsible for building and developing 32 regional chapters of The Collective, Teach For America’s Alumni of Color Association. He began his professional career as a middle school math teacher in West Philadelphia while earning his teaching certification at The University of Pennsylvania. R.D. is a native Texan and holds a B.S. in Interpersonal Communications from The University of Texas at Austin. He is also an inaugural Pahara-Aspen NextGen Fellow and currently resides in Washington, DC.

DEAWEH BENSON: As a first generation Liberian-American, Deaweh Benson fosters a commitment to the civic empowerment of historically disenfranchised groups. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College, she went on to work in classrooms in Shenzhen, China and literacy centers in Washington D.C. She is a Master’s student in the Harvard International Education Policy program. Deaweh’s current work focuses on higher education strategies to prepare students for the increasingly globalized society. 

NELSON PHAM: Nelson Pham is a candidate for his M.S.Ed. in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Higher Education Division. Nelson holds a B.A. in political science, and before coming to Philadelphia, he worked at an AANAPISI college. He worked towards shedding light onto the invisible minority groups on campus and advocating for more services to enable them to navigate through their academic journey successfully. Nelson's current research project is in regards to identifying the issues on why AAPI representations in senior level positions within an educational institution are so low and ways to overcome this disparity. 

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Leading While Black and Brown: Staying Woke in the Workplace

DEREK TERRELL: Derek Terrell (HGSE ’16) was born in South Korea, but spent most of his childhood growing up in Lexington, KY. He currently serves as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Caltech and has over 8 years of experience in admissions and higher education. As a first-generation college student, he decided to focus his studies and initiatives on access, equity, and inclusion for underrepresented students. Derek continues to keep these values at the core of his work at Caltech and through various professional organizations.

ELAINE TOWNSEND UTIN: Elaine Townsend Utin (HGSE '16) - a proud Peruvian-American - is the Assistant Director of N.C. Sli, a comprehensive leadership development and mentorship program for Latinx scholars in North Carolina. In her life and work, she is deeply committed to promoting and creating channels for equitable access to resources, ideas, and opportunities while challenging attitudes and behaviors that further perpetuate systemic oppression. After earning her B.A. in Middle Grades Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she worked in South Korea as an elementary teacher via a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award. She received her Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she joined the Technology, Innovation, and Education cohort. During her time at HGSE, Elaine was the Co-President of Comunidad Latinx, the Publicity and Communications Chair for the Alumni of Color Conference, and a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council representative.

ESTEFANIA RODRIGUEZ: Originally from Colombia, Estefania Rodriguez (HGSE '16) immigrated to Hartford, CT with her family where she was an undocumented student in the public school system throughout much of her childhood. As a first-generation college student, Estefania is a graduate of Boston University, School of Education and a recent graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After teaching in turnaround schools in her community, she is currently the K-8 History and Social Studies District Instructional Coach for Cambridge Public Schools. She is dedicated to increasing the numbers of teachers of color in the classroom and supporting all teachers in using critical pedagogy, Ethnic Studies, restorative justice, community activism, and a decolonizing curriculum to empower students.

TONI MORGAN: Toni Morgan (HGSE '16) is a Boston-based, Afro-Carribean Canadian feminist and entrepreneur. As a community development professional, she brings over a decade of experience launching, leading and managing award-winning access programs for communities of color in post-secondary education, entrepreneurship and employment and affordable housing. Toni is also a 2016 HGSE Education Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Harvard Innovation Lab, where she leads her band of misfits in the disruption of conventional paradigms around race and economic rights in the copyright industry. When she's not shaking up the world as an entrepreneur, Toni is an administrative fellow at Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

 

Leveraging your Voice for Equity: Equity Narratives

DR. DARNISA AMANTE: Dr. Darnisa Amante is an educational and racial equity strategist and CEO/ Founder of the Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP). She is deeply committed to the study of culture; innovation; and experiential ways to transform organizational and school culture on issues of racial equity. Since earning her master’s degree in Anthropology from Brandeis University, and her doctorate from Harvard’s Educational Leadership Doctorate (Ed.L.D.), she honed her expertise of culture and challenges facing communities of color to partner with school and organizational leaders to build capacity in racial equity, parent engagement and organizational management of equity-based initiatives.  

DAISY HAN: Daisy has her master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s College of California and her teaching certifications for Montessori education 1st-12th grade. Currently at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Daisy is studying educational leadership in confronting systemic racism and creating equitable opportunities for all students.While serving as an experiential socio-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum facilitator for the nonprofit organization, The Mosaic Project, Daisy experienced the positive impact of uniting children from diverse backgrounds, providing them with essential community building skills, and empowering them to become peacemakers.

ELIZABETH ALBANY: With a bachelor’s in Brain and Cognitive Science from MIT, she has always been curious about how people think, question, and make decisions. From her perspective, this interest is incredibly relevant to her other passion, education. The overlap between these fields led her to Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she is earning her Master’s of Education in Mind, Brain, and Education. This experience has been incredibly self-reflective for her, leading her to explore her biracial identity more explicitly for the first time. Through this self-exploration, coupled with the current events in our country, she has discovered a deep calling toward equity work, seeing it as the key to making the world a little better, in a lasting way, for everyone. 

 

Looking Back & Looking Forward: Portrait(s) of Action

ANASTASIA AGUIAR: Anastasia is a doctoral student in education at Harvard, with a concentration in Culture, Institutions, and Society. Her research interests include youth civic development, school-family relationships, and migration, with a regional focus on South Asia. Prior to graduate school, she taught high school history in Rhode Island, and worked at an education foundation in Delhi, where she focused on teacher professional development.

VIDUR CHOPRA: Vidur Chopra is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where his research examines the sociology of conflict and its impact on displaced, young people's education and life trajectories. He's interested in examining the transnational and local ties that they sustain or sever with their communities, and the roles schools and universities play in enabling and extending support for youth when displaced. He has undertaken research work in Burundi, Ethiopia, India, Rwanda and Lebanon and is passionate about generating action-oriented knowledge that focuses on the strength and agency of individuals impacted by conflict. 

CELIA REDDICK: Celia Reddick is a second year PhD student in the Communities, Institutions and Society concentration. She is interested in the connections between language of instruction policies and displacement, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining HGSE, Celia worked in curriculum design with Partners In Health in Rwanda. She also spent a year in western Uganda as a teacher trainer, and before that worked with new arrivals to the U.S. as a 9th and 10th grade English as a Second Language teacher in New York City. 

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Muslim Youth Voices: Marginalization and Resistance

BARBARA SAHIL: Barbara Sahli is an educator and consultant who delivers presentations for educators, students, and others seeking greater understanding of Islam from a Muslim’s perspective. A former middle school language arts teacher, she received her Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Human Development and Psychology program. Recently, she launched the Muslim Youth Voices project to collect counter-narratives written by young Muslims about their experiences in America which she shares in interactive workshops. She co-authored a chapter in Muslim Voices in School: Narratives of Identity and Pluralism, winner of the National Association for Multicultural Education’s Philip C. Chinn multicultural book award in 2010.

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Narratives and the Power of Voice

SARAH MATSUI: Sarah Matsui is the author of Learning From Counternarratives in Teach For America, a critical exploration of the lived experiences of Teach For America corps members. Matsui holds an M.S.Ed. in Secondary Math Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on discourse analysis, teacher health, critical pedagogy, & American public education. 

SARA AHMED: Sara Ahmed is an International Education Policy student from Egypt. She has long been intrigued by issues of cross cultural dialogue and identity, particularly pertaining to Middle Eastern and Western identities. In this session she explores some of the historical implications of Islam in the Middle East on perceptions of Muslims today. 

MK KIRIGIN: MK Kirigin was born in La Paz, Bolivia but grew up moving to a new country every two years. Before starting her master's in Education Policy and Management at HGSE, she spent two years working in the admission office at her alma mater, Amherst College. Her research interests focus on dismantling and disrupting oppressive systems and practices through critical theory, decolonization, dialectics, and dialogical discourse. Most recently, she is interested in the power of counter-narratives and speaking out (loud) as a form of radical healing and community building, particularly among historically oppressed youth. 

 

Navigating Intersectionality through Spoken Word Poetry

TONY DELAROSA: Tony DelaRosa is a Filipino American poet, Sriracha Addict, and founder of Boston Pulse youth spoken word organization. He is an educator and serves as a founder of the network-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force at Match Education. As a Teach For America alumnus, he started the sister organization called Indy Pulse back in 2013 as a means to co-empower youth voice in Indianapolis. His work in culturally responsive pedagogy has brought him to both Mexico and the Philippines. He's excited to be back at AOCC for his 2nd time, and ready to work with students and educators to use their voice as a tool for social change! 

EMMANUEL OPPONG-YEBOAH: Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah is a Ghanaian American poet living out the diaspora in Boston (Massachusetts). He is both Black & alive. Emmanuel is currently proud to serve his communities in many capacities: 1) as the Director of Curriculum for Boston Pulse, 2) as an editor for the socially active literary journal "Winter Tangerine," and 3) a Teaching Artist in Boston. Emmanuel realized he was referring to himself in the third person. This upset him. He chose to write a list of some things that make him happy instead: hot carbs, brightly colored chapbooks, the long sigh at the end of a good book.

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Orangeburg: Educational Realities in Rural AmericA

CHLOÉ SUBERVILLE: Chloé Suberville is a Masters in International Education Policy candidate. As a Mexican-American-French educator, Chloé has gained a global perspective about the ways in which education can be used as a tool to empower students. During her time as a teacher in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Chloé was struck by the intricacies and complexities of what it means to be a student of color in America, particularly in its most rural and often forgotten regions. Her students' dedication to their education has inspired her to pursue this project with the purposing of giving these students a voice and platform in a creative and engaging way. 

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Race to the Bottom: A Critical Lens on the Disparity of Literacy Educatio

ANKHI THAKURTA: Ankhi Thakurta was born in Kolkata, India and raised predominantly in the United States. After studying English and Anthropology at Swarthmore College, she worked as a Global Academic Fellow in Writing at New York University’s newest campus in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. After obtaining her Ed.M. from HGSE in 2015 in the Language and Literacy strand, she began teaching 8th grade in East Harlem, New York. This is her second year teaching.  

AISHA BEVERLY: Aisha Beverly was born and raised in a housing development in the South Bronx. She has been an educator with the Department of Education for 14 years. She has a Master’s in Childhood Education from Mercy College and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the College of Saint Rose. Her goal as a teacher, coach, and future administrator is to attack the deficit at its root and work to provide opportunities for children of poverty to have access to rich and meaningful literary experiences which support academic development and the development of the whole child. 

CHLOE DIAMOND: Chloe Diamond is a second year teacher of English as a New Language (ENL) for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in East Harlem. Prior to entering teaching, she worked in project management for a curriculum development research grant. She holds a Master in Teaching in Elementary and English Language Learner Education from the University of Washington and an M.A. in Politics and Education from Teachers College.

 

Reimagining Integration: How we can get more and better diverse and equitable schools

LEE TEITEL: Lee Teitel is lecturer and faculty director of Reimagining Integration: The Diverse and Equitable Schools Project at HGSE (RIDES). He teaches courses on integrated schools and leading and coaching for equity and diversity along with leadership development, partnership and networking, and understanding organizations and how to improve them. Before launching RIDES, Lee taught in and directed HGSE’s School Leadership Program for eight years. As a consultant, he has worked with numerous individual partnerships, networks, and with statewide school and teacher improvement efforts, as well as with urban and high-needs districts in the U.S. and Canada. He has coached individual superintendents, helped set up ongoing learning networks among superintendents and among principals, and has worked with intact leadership teams to help them support school and district improvement.

DR. STACY SCOTT: Dr. Stacy Scott is HGSE Visiting Practitioner in Education, Senior Consultant for RIDES, and former Superintendent, Framingham Public Schools. He is the President of the Center for Understanding Equity. He has worked as an educator, superintendent, psychologist, coach and policy maker. He consults in business, education, and nonprofit settings focused on strategic planning, capacity building, data driven performance and leadership development. His early research focused on adolescent resilience. He wrote Making Equity Work (Center for Understanding Equity, 2006) as a guide for leaders to manage change, increase equity and improve the performance of students and schools. 

REGINALD JOHNSON: Reginald Johnson is a Strategy lead for RIDES and a doctoral candidate in the Education Leadership program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His studies focus on the intersection of race and achievement in K-12 school systems. In addition, Reginald has focused his efforts on improving racial inclusivity strategies to increase non-cognitive outcomes for all students. Reginald has professional experiences in psychotherapy, sports medicine, teaching, and administration. Most recently, he was a school leader at Universal Audenried Charter High School in Philadelphia, PA. 

DR. MARY ANTON-OLDENBURG: Dr. Mary Anton-Oldenburg is principal of Bowman Elementary School, in Lexington MA, a school that has moved from "talking about race" with adults to implementing a K-5 curriculum expressing dealing with the themes of identity, bias, power, privilege, oppression, racism and critical next steps. She is joined in this session by staff members Efe Igho-Osagie, Beth Glick, Bianca Perdez, and Jaime Smith. Bowman has been working with RIDES since 2016.

UCHE AMAECHI: Uche Amaechi is the extended learning time coordinator at the Fletcher Maynard Academy (FMA), in Cambridge MA. He works with faculty and staff on strategy, leadership, technology and equity. Uche also works in assorted TF roles in social enterprise, leadership, organizational learning and informal learning. Uche serves on the board of Science Club for Girls, Farrington Nature Linc, and Community Charter School of Cambridge--organizations with an equity focus that target children and youth from underserved populations. FMA has been working with RIDES since 2015.

 

Resilience to the Front: Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Uplift LGBTQ Youth

KRYSTAL TORRES-COVARRUBIAS: Krystal Torres-Covarrubias is the OUT for Safe Schools™ Coordinator at the LA LGBT Center. Her focus is the implementation of the National OUT for Safe Schools™ Campaign that encourages school leaders, administrators and teachers to come out as visible allies to LGBTQ youth on school campuses across the country. Her background is in school-based programming for youth at-risk of drop-out and parent and community engagement. Krystal earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Masters of Education in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

MIE FUKUDA: Mie Fukuda, Ed.M., is the Children and Youth Program Specialist at Futures Without Violence. Prior to joining FUTURES, she was a Children's Advocate and Japanese Bilingual Preschool Teacher in San Francisco. As a Children’s Advocate at the Asian Women’s Shelter, Mie co-managed the shelter’s Children’s Program and provided comprehensive case management to children and families surviving domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. She is a certified Domestic Violence Counselor and speaks English, Japanese, and Spanish. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Education in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

 

Resisting Structural Oppression in Public Systems

AISHATU YUSUF: Aishatu believes that change must be envisioned through an intersectional lens that captures race, and gender identity. To this end, she has worked on reducing the barriers for formally incarcerated women, evaluating the strengths and needs of girls in gangs, and currently serves as a senior education policy fellow for the National Black Women's Justice Institute (NBWJI), where she works on participatory action research that address interrupting school to confinement pathways for girls. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and intercultural communications from the University of Utah and a Master’s of Public Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

LOKELANI CUMMINGS-WATANABE: Lokelani Cummings-Watanabe is an Inclusion Associate at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorcester, MA. As an individual who identifies as a Native Hawaiian alongside other racial backgrounds, Lokelani was born and raised in Hawai'i on the island of O'ahu and left the islands to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Writing & Rhetoric from Colgate University in 2015 and a Master of Education in Prevention Science & Practice (Adolescent Counseling strand) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2016. Upon graduation from HGSE, Lokelani continues to search for ways in which educators and communities can motivate students to pursue post-secondary education and how students can be better supported through their activism.

BRIANNA BAKER:  I am a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University pursuing a Master of Arts in the Social Studies Education Program. My activism and academic work largely focuses on the disproportionate ways that Black youth are funneled out of the educational system and into prisons through structures that criminalize student misbehavior. This work challenges literature that masculinizes criminalization to recognize the ways that girls also experience the phenomenon recognized as the school to prison pipeline. As a researcher, juvenile justice advocate, and future teacher I am committed to the praxis of academic and grassroots work. I am committed to this work as a fervent advocate for spaces and schools that unconditionally affirm Black brilliance.

JENNIFER MOORE: As the CEO of a private consulting organization, Jennifer Moore is an independent consultant who supports executive leadership teams looking to analyze the distinguishable, yet often hidden ways racism permeates working environments. Leveraging a high impact strategy, Jennifer leads diverse, cross-functional teams to develop recommendations for structural change; including measures to monitor the quality of such proposals through a racial equity impact assessment. This process enables stakeholders directly impacted to determine what practices are necessary to support diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Prior to consulting, Jennifer worked for Teach For America-New Jersey as the Managing Director of the Teacher Leadership Development Team. One of her many contributions included a major overhaul of their teacher development program. As a result of her assessment and leadership, the teacher support team prioritized culturally relevant pedagogy as a framework for new teacher development.

VINCE MARIGNA: Vince is a 2003 Teach For America-Newark Alum. He taught High School English, Journalism, and Creative Writing for two years at Weequahic High School. After this commitment, Vince joined TFA staff as program director for TFA Newark, where he supported 1st and 2nd year corps members in their development as well as worked with district strategy and cultivation. . In 2007, he joined KIPP NJ, as the Director of Strategic Human Assets. In this role, Vince was responsible for the development and implementation of recruitment and selection strategies for four schools as well as supporting the executive staff on a network-wide leadership development initiative. In the summer of 2011, Vince moved in the CAO role, overseeing the development, coaching and management of the school leaders and managing the academic program across all schools. In 2015, he moved into the role of Chief People Officer with KIPP New Jersey. Vince is married with one dog. 

 

Restorative Justice in Schools: A Practical Approach to Programming

CHRISTINE DOUGLAS: Christine Douglas, Collegiate Institute Principal at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School. In addition to her work at PHACS, Christine has presented about Restorative Justice in schools at various venues, both independently and as a Trainer with the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University and the Institute for Restorative Initiatives. She is also engaged in ongoing professional development work around planning and implementing restorative approach with the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, Everett High School in Everett, MA, and the Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy in Kenner, Louisiana.   

JD FERGUS: J D. Fergus, Upper School and Collegiate Institute Restorative Justice Coordinator and Sankofa IX Coach, Prospect Hill Academy Charter School. His work involves weaving the restorative philosophy into school culture, continuously building the capacity and deepening the understanding of faculty and staff around restorative justice as well as proactively and reactively incorporating restorative practices into school curriculum and systems for interventions. In addition to his work at PHACS, J D. has also presented in various venues independently on Restorative Justice in schools at the 2016 COSEBOC Annual Conference in New York City and the 2016 METCO Director’s Association Conference.  

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Salem High Speaks Out!

ANDRE FONSECA: Andre Fonseca is an English Language Development teacher at Salem High School, where his two classes of intermediate multilingual students have been working for the past month on an identity, race, and racism unit. 

 

Sharpening Your Listening Skills to Build Your Work As An Activist and Leader

DR. KIRSTEN OLSON: Kirsten Olson, Ed.D., PCC is an activist, leadership coach and consultant, and co-founder of the Institute for Democratic Education in America, a national not-for-profit linking visionary, out-of-the-box educators. A recovering academic, she is a 2005 graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education doctoral program, where she focused on structural inequalities in the American educational system. Her day job is Chief Listening Officer at Old Sow Coaching and Consulting. She has been cultivating her listening practice, and thinking about listening as an act of activism, for 25 years. Kirsten Olson and Valerie Brown are co-authors of The Mindful School Leader (2014), among other titles.

VALERIA BROWN: Valerie Brown, J.D., M.A., is a spiritual activist, ICF-certified coach and graduate of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. She transitioned, at times ungracefully, from a high-powered career as a lawyer-lobbyist to a vibrant career as a national and international retreat leader, writer, speaker, and Principal of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC (www.leadsmartcoaching.com) specializing in mindfulness and leadership training. Valerie has studied and practiced mindfulness in the Plum Village tradition since 1995, and was ordained in the Tiep Hien Order by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003. 

 

Social Location Space: Interactive Environments for Learning and Dialogue about Structural Oppression and Intersectional Vulnerability

YOUTH IN ACTION (YIA): Youth In Action (YIA) is an organization dedicated to youth voice and leadership and is inspired to create another kind of narrative for the youth and adult relationship. YIA is where youth share their stories, practice leadership, and create change in their communities. We envision a world where youth are at the forefront of positive social change - and believes that with their natural ability to innovate, capacity to lead, and desire for justice - that world is possible.

PITTSFIELD LISTENS (PL): Pittsfield Listens (PL) encourages the power of youth, parent and family voice on issues and policies that directly affect their education and their life, with a specific focus on engaging those who have historically been underrepresented in educational decision making in the district and in the community. PL's youth group, Pittsfield Youth Voice in it Together (PYViiT), supports the development of young leaders through participatory methods.

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Teach Truth to Power: Critical Consciousness in Classrooms of Privilege

MARK NELSON: Mark Nelson (L&T 2016) teaches middles school social studies at Almaden Country School: a small PK-8 private school in San Jose, CA. He has over 12 years in formal and informal learning spaces in MA, NY, CA, and Viet Nam, and after working in education research at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and Panorama Education, Mark returned to the classroom for the purpose of working with students from backgrounds similar to his own, and plans to develop practitioner-research focused on critical consciousness in students of privilege. His approach is guided by HGSE courses including Critical Race Theory, Ethnic Studies, and Educating to Transform Society: Preparing Students to Disrupt and Dismantle Racism. He has previously co-presented the workshop “White Saviors or White Allies: Combating Institutionalized Racism in Education” at AOCC 2014.

 

Teaching Resistance and Possibility

KEITH CATONE: Keith Catone (Ed.M. '06, Ed.D. '14) is associate director for community organizing and engagement at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University where he manages AISR's New England-based community organizing technical assistance team and serves as an adjunct lecturer for the Brown Education Department. Prior to joining AISR, he was the project director for the Youth 4 Change Alliance in Providence, Rhode Island. Previously, he taught high school social studies at Banana Kelly High School in the South Bronx and co-founded the New York Collective of Radical Educators. He serves on the advisory boards of the Education for Liberation Network and the Roger Williams University School of Education. Keith received the 2015 AERA Division K Teaching and Teacher Education Outstanding Dissertation Award and is the author of the recently published Pedagogy of Teacher Activism (Peter Lang, 2017).

CHRISTINA "V" VILLAREAL: Christina “V” Villarreal currently serves as the Director of History and Social Studies Education and Lecturer of Education at Brown University and also continues in her role as an Adjunct Lecturer at HGSE teaching the Ethnic Studies & Education course. She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, an Ed.M. from HGSE (’05), an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from SF State and is presently pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Studies Education at Teachers College, where her research focuses on exploring racial literacies and humanizing pedagogies in secondary social studies classrooms through portraiture. Previously, Villarreal spent nearly a decade teaching and learning with the beautiful youth of East Oakland, California.

NATALIA ORTIZ: Natalia Ortiz (Ed.M. '06), a former high school social studies teacher, is currently ABD and working on completing her PhD. In addition to her studies, Natalia is a Writing Across Curriculum fellow at LaGuardia Community College, a trainer for Border Crossers, an organization that does racial justice work with teachers in New York City, taught as an adjunct instructor in the Curriculum and Teaching department at Hunter College (CUNY), and is a full time mother to a five and 1.5 year old. She continues to love the field of education and continues to encourage and recruit dedicated, passionate, and social justice driven teachers into classrooms nationwide.

 

The "Voiceless" Heroes: Creating Equity through Restorative Practices The Alliance School Way

HEATHER SATTLER: Heather Sattler, is in her twenty-first year of teaching in the Milwaukee Public Schools. She facilitated the creation of our school's model of Restorative Practices during the past six years, and we continue to participate in its evolution. Also, Heather has been co-facilitating Restorative Practices trainings for schools and organizations for the past three years with her work partner, Sharon Lerman. We have participated in some of these trainings by coaching the participants while they created and facilitated circles for their schools and organizations. 

 

The Learning Lab: An Innovation Course that Promotes Black Women’s Self-Agency

DR. MORISKA SELBY: Dr. Moriska V. Selby earned a doctorate in Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) from HGSE in May 2016. Currently, she is the Executive Director at Adventure Girlz (www.adventuregirlz.org) -- a leadership program for Black girls in grades 6-8 who are at risk of school push out from underperforming schools into the juvenile justice system. As a Visiting Professor at Bennett College – a small, private, historically Black liberal arts college for women -- in Greensboro, NC., Dr. Selby developed and leads an innovation course called The Learning Lab as a way for college women to make a big intellectual and emotional investment around a problem of practice: exploring the context and resources needed to launch a boarding school that will serve as a residential foster care placement site for 14-19 year old girls. 

 

The Role of Mentor Teachers in Increasing Teacher Diversity in Boston Public Schools

YARIMA ARIZA: Yarima Ariza, a native of Colombia, emigrated to the U.S. in 1994 where she began her educational and professional journey. She obtained a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College, and a MA in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was honored with the ‘Leadership in Education Award.’ Following her graduation from Harvard, Yarima became an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow and worked at the central office of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) with the Chief Academic Officer. Yarima is a National Board Certified Teacher in Art, who has taught for 17 years and currently teaches at the Mario Umana Academy K-8 School in BPS. She is currently the lead designer and program coordinator for the Accelerated Community to Teacher (ACTT) program, an initiative of the Office of Human Capital to recruit and support members of the community in their endeavor to become K-12 teachers.  

MAURA DONLAN: Maura Donlan graduated from Westfield State College with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and proceeded to obtain a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Massachusetts, Boston. As a teacher in Boston Public Schools, she shows a strong sense of community engagement and collaboration with colleagues both inside and outside the school setting and seeks out local artists within the community to foster growing partnerships. With over eight years of relevant teaching experience, she is working toward becoming a Nation Board Certified Teacher, and she serves as a design team member and Early Childhood mentor in the Accelerated Community to Teacher (ACTT) program. In her free time, she enjoys travel and researching different cultures. 

CHIMA IKONNE: Before becoming a public school teacher, Chima Ikonne spent four years at the Boston Globe where he covered local stories. He graduated from the Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) program in 2007 and began his career as a middle school ELA teacher. Having taught 8th grade ELA for 2 years, he transitioned to the high school level, becoming a founding ELA/SPED teacher at the Mary Lyon Pilot High School, a fully inclusive school that served students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. During his seven years there, he taught ELA to 9th and 12th graders, AP Language and Composition, creative writing and ESL. He also served in the capacity of English department chair, teacher leader, and ILT co-facilitator. In addition to his role as inclusion specialist teacher at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, he serves as the ELA/humanities content methods instructor of the Accelerated Community to Teacher (ACTT) program. Chima is working on his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth. His interest areas are alternatives to the zero-tolerance policies particularly in urban settings, pedagogical practices that foster learning for students with EBD, and teachers' backgrounds and their impact on students' academic and emotional growth in K12 settings.

JULIAN A. MCNEIL: Julian A. McNeil has served as the mathematics program director at Boston Latin Academy since September 2015. Prior to assuming this role, he spent nearly a decade teaching mathematics in Philadelphia and Boston, and led initiatives both locally and abroad. As a third-generation graduate of the Boston Public Schools, Julian is passionate about helping the district attract, develop, and retain high quality teachers of color to serve the city’s youth. As a result, he continually supports many of the Office of Human Capital’s initiatives, currently serving in the role of design team member and Math mentor/instructor of the Accelerated Community to Teacher (ACTT) program. Julian also serves as an adjunct lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and mentor teacher at the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy. Julian earned National Board Certification in math and won competitive fellowships through Math for America, Focus on Math, and Teach Plus. Julian holds an M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Mathematics from Hampton University.

 

The Role of Teacher Residency Programs in Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Teachers of Color

NIK WHITE: Nik White teaches 6th grade math and science at Berkley Maynard Academy, an Aspire Public School in Oakland, CA. Nik received a BA from SF State University, a Master's degree from the University of the Pacific, and is part of the Aspire Teacher Residency Program, as a resident and now a mentor teacher to Vitalis Obidi. Nik believes culturally relevant teaching practices are the key to successful instruction and classroom management, and holds all students to the highest expectations because they have such great potential. 

VITALIS OBIDI: Vitalis was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and experienced a diverse amount of educational opportunities. One of those was being supported by the Making Waves Education Program, which helps low income Bay Area families get into and through college. After graduating from Santa Clara State University, Vitalis was determined to support youth as an educator the same way his teachers from Making Waves supported him. He now does so as a teacher resident with the Aspire Teacher Residency program under the mentorship of Nik White.  

WISLINE FRANÇOIS: Wisline François grew up in Boston and is a former Boston Public School student. She completed her undergraduate education at Pine Manor College and her master's degree from UMass Boston through the Boston Teacher Residency Program. She has demonstrated through her community engagement and affiliations that she is committed to social responsibility and civic engagement. As an educator Wisline is dedicated to self-improvement and providing students with an excellent culturally-sensitive educational experience. 

CHIMA IKONNE: Before becoming a public school teacher, Chima Ikonne spent four years at the Boston Globe where he covered local stories. He graduated from the Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) program in 2007 and began his career as a middle school ELA teacher. Having taught 8th grade ELA for 2 years, he transitioned to the high school level, becoming a founding ELA/SPED teacher at the Mary Lyon Pilot High School, a fully inclusive school that served students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. During his seven years there, he taught ELA to 9th and 12th graders, AP Language and Composition, creative writing and ESL. He also served in the capacity of English department chair, teacher leader, and ILT co-facilitator. Presently, he is a specialist teacher at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School where he works primarily with English language learners and students on IEPs. His hobbies include running (he is training to run in his first marathon this year) and writing (he is in the end stages of his first young adult fiction novel). Chima is working on his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth. His interest areas are alternatives to the zero-tolerance policies particularly in urban settings, pedagogical practices that foster learning for students with EBD, and teachers' backgrounds and their impact on students' academic and emotional growth in K12 settings.

ADDIS + CHRISTIAAN SUMERHILL: Addis and Christiaan Summerhill are proud Boston Public School, HBCU (Hampton University & Morehouse College), and Boston Teacher Residency graduates. They have both taught in Boston Public Schools for over 8 years and have worked with the district in other roles and initiatives. Their additional district work has involved the recruitment, support and retention of educators of color in Boston Public Schools.

 

They are NOT TOO YOUNG!: Dismantling Racism in the Elementary School through Deliberate Curriculum

MARY ANTÓN: Mary Antón, Ed.D. received her doctorate from HGSE with a focus on the intersection of achievement motivation of students of color and literacy. She is the Principal of the Bowman Elementary School and is a frequent speaker nationally and statewide on setting up the conditions for equitable schools and equitable school leadership. As a Latina historically working in the schools with predominately white staff in diverse populations, Dr. Antón is critically concerned about the recruitment, retention and development of leadership opportunities for teachers of color.

EFE IGHO-OSAGIE: Efe Igho-osagie is a clinical social worker by training and is currently the counselor at the Bowman Elementary School. Originally from Nigeria, Ms. Igho-osagie has been a strong advocate for creating structures for students to talk about race and for helping students develop strong positive racial identities.

BETH GLICK: Beth Glick, LICSW is currently the Assistant Principal of the Bowman School. Having spent 17 years as a counselor, in her new role she oversees the counseling department and is active in the creation of social-emotional programs and interventions that support all children. A musician, Beth has contributed her talents to the development of the Dismantling Racism Curriculum through the writing of original songs, as well as support for teachers as they embark on difficult conversations.

BIANCA PERDIZ: Bianca Perdiz is a first grade teacher in her second year of teaching. She is critically interested in the impact of race and gender on students' school experiences. Ms. Perdiz has been a leading member of the Dismantling Racism curriculum development team, creating material for grade one and leading her team in exploring ways to talk with young children about race and racism.

JAIMIE SMITH: Jaime Smith is an English Language Learner teacher at the Bowman School. A career changer, Ms. Smith originally studied Opera and worked in publishing. As a young child growing up near the south side of Chicago and attending a predominately white private school, Ms. Smith is committed to finding ways to address the social isolation and institutional racism that students often experience when they are of the non-privileged group.

 

Threads of Social Justice: Finding Your Political Voic

SARA TRAIL: Sara Trail is a master’s student at Harvard Graduate School of Education in Prevention Science and Practice and interested in how the combination of culturally relevant curriculum and social justice art can serve as an intervention tool for at-risk students and students of color in urban schools.

JULISSA MUNIZ: Julissa Muniz is a Ph.D candidate at Northwestern in the Human Development and Social Policy Program and her research is focused on transforming the way we approach education within carceral spaces, particularly for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. 

 

To You, 85 Cents Might Not be A Lot...

TARA BARNES: Tara Barnes is a Commonwealth Corps Writers' Room Program Coordinator at the Burke High School. She coordinates in-class visits, creative writing workshops, and volunteer engagement, and is passionate about social impact & youth civic engagement. 

JEREMIAH E. BURKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: These 11th grade students are part of an elective English course that has partnered with 826 Boston to publish a book of student letters addressed to policymakers. During this year-long project, students have conducted in-depth research and interviews with stakeholders about the issues surrounding Boston public transportation. They also partnered with the Focus 40 team to design and co-host a focus group of their peers at the Burke, to learn more about the public transportation experiences of their community. Their letters highlight the impact an unreliable, inaccessible transportation system has on the Dorchester community, particularly students in that community.

O'BRYANT HIGH SCHOOL  STUDENTS: This group of 10th grade physics students are engaging in a Northeastern University curriculum for STEM education to learn more about the mechanics, funding, and operations of public transportation. This cohort of students will be responsible for taking the concerns from the Burke student letters, drafting solutions & writing their own reflection pieces. They will work with 826 Boston & engineers on creating a prototype of a public transportation system that addresses community needs. 

 

Tools of Strength

NAMIBIA DONADIO: Namibia is an arts education specialist, and strategic thought partner for conscious creatives. With 11 years experience in workshop facilitation, community organizing and building capacity among leaders in the intersections of politics, art and education. She co-founded ARTIS Love + Action, which uses art as a vehicle of education for social justice through consultation and programming in universities, social service agencies and community based organizations. She’s provided consultation and leadership training throughout New York City and New Jersey including Association to Benefit Children, Rutgers University, Hostos Student Leadership Academy, New York University Metro Center for Equity and Transformation in Schools and Aspire High Mentoring Program and for over two hundred NYC public school teachers. Her philosophy is rooted in the power of love, and the belief that we have the tools we need to impact our world. 

AUGUSTINA WARTON: For the past 10 years Augustina has worked designing youth programs, workshops and curriculum with the purpose of providing a platform for young people to creatively engage and respond to the world around them through the arts. As an artivist and educator her work is process-based and aims to immerse people in a learning experience that cultivates curiosity, grounds in understanding and moves people to activate their creative power for social change. She has presented across the country working with educators to explore how they can strengthen their understanding of how to use the arts and social justice for change in their classrooms and communities- including presenting for the US DOE, Teaching with Purpose and Free Minds, Free People. She is Co-founder and Programs Architect of ARTIS Love + Action and currently works at Urban Arts Partnership as Program Manager and co-creator of ChangeMKRS, a social justice arts-based after school program, providing programming for over 2,000 young people in NYC.

 

Transforming hostile campus climates to healing spaces: Utilizing performance art as a therapeutic intervention to cope with race-based trauma

SHAKIERA CAUSEY: Shakiera Causey currently teaches undergraduate courses and is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Guilford Technical Community College. She possesses both a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from North Carolina Central University. She also holds a M.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is currently a first year doctoral student in the same program. Her research interests are families and health interventions, race-based trauma support, and cultural socialization about violence. 

AMANDA BARNES: Amanda Barnes is a current graduate student in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of Central Florida. She is interested in parent education and program development and evaluation. She is originally from Atlanta, GA and hopes to devote her work to helping parents and their young children in southwest Atlanta where she was raised. 

DOMINIQUE EDWARDS: Domonique Edwards is a graduate student in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is studying the within group variation of family processes in Black families as well as the development and evaluation of culturally relevant interventions for Black youth. Domonique received her B.A. in Dance and Psychology (Valedictorian, 2016). Prior to joining the HDFS graduate program, Domonique was Coordinator for Outreach in Lloyd International Honors College, for which she developed programming that used the art of improvisation to engage issues of inclusion and diversity on campus, community-police relations, and students' professional development.

TIERA MOORA: Tiera Moore is a MA candidate in the Liberal Studies Program, with a certificate in Global Studies, at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her interdisciplinary interests include the histories, cultures, literature, and philosophies of various African peoples across the world. Of Nigerian descent, Tiera has conducted ethnographic research at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in Nigeria. In addition, she serves as a director and producer of Community Play!/All Stars Project Greensboro--a series of free cultural events, classes, and workshops created in and with the Warnersville community that uses the developmental power of performance, improvisation, and experiential learning to support human development and creativity.

NEISHA WASHINGTON: Neisha Washington is a first year MS/PhD student in The University of North Carolina's Human Development and Family Studies Program. During her undergraduate career, she attended a Predominantly White Institution and learned how to define and navigate racism on a college campus. Her research interests include parenting strategies that influence mundane decision-making processes in Latino and Black adolescents and the impact of these skills on adolescents' decisions in risky environments.

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Understanding Tribal Sovereignty & Reclaiming the Narrative in Education

ALLSION MEE: Allison Mee is a Masters student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studies curriculum design and learning processes. As a born-and-bred Oklahoman, she is passionate about cultivating critical perspectives in rural classrooms. Prior to HGSE, Allison earned her B.A. in International Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma, focusing on poverty and development. 

ELIZABETH PAYNE: Licensed attorney Elizabeth Mee Payne, founder of the Oklahoma State University Center for Sovereign Nations, directs a new center on campus that has a three-fold mission of Sovereignty, Students, and Partnerships. Joined by founding partner, The Chickasaw Nation, other tribal nation partners, academic partners and student leaders, Payne’s center has hosted 2,250 student visits and 15 sovereignty focused events since its launch in Fall 2015. Prior to coming to OSU in 2010, Elizabeth was a corporate executive (1992-2010) and in private legal practice (1987-1992).  

EMMA KINCADE: Emma Kincade is a citizen of Cherokee Nation pursuing a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Oklahoma State University. As a student leader at the Center for Sovereign Nations, she works to initiate and maintain relationships with Native American students and the sovereign nations they represent. She hopes to serve as a connecting tool between campus leadership and Native students through community engagement and the education of tribal sovereignty.  

MASHELI BILLY: Masheli Billy is a long-time advocate for Native People. Being raised in the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes of Oklahoma. Throughout the years, Masheli has worked with the public school system and the Oklahoma State legislature to allow Native American languages to be taught in schools. During his years at Oklahoma State University, Masheli has served as a student ambassador with the Center for Sovereign Nations. Masheli has earned numerous art awards in the Red Earth festival as well as the Southeastern Arts competition in Oklahoma. He believes his work signifies the essence of advocating Tribal Sovereignty to those whose hearts are willing to listen. This spring he is completing his degree in Aerospace Administrations and Operations and will also be commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. 

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Valuing a Multiplicity of Backgrounds (panel)

MARISSA ALBERTY: Marissa Alberty holds a B.A. in International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma and an EdM in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She began her educational career as a Head Start pre-k teacher, and later taught in middle school in Washington, D.C. Marissa currently works in her home state as the Managing Director of Internal Affairs for Teach for America – Oklahoma City, where she serves as the chief of staff, managing regional strategy, office management and staff professional development. Throughout her time at Teach for America, Marissa has led family and community engagement efforts with the believe that effective leaders across all levels of education systems are at their best when working in partnership with communities with a critical eye towards justice and equity. 

TATIANNA CANNON: Though born in San Jose, California, Tatianna Cannon has spent most of her life in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she earned her BA in Letters and an M.Ed in Adult and Higher Education. Boomer Sooner! After receiving her degrees, Tatianna became committed to helping under-served students through Student Affairs at the University of Oklahoma and as an adjunct professor on campus before transitioning her career path to public affairs and institutional advancement. As a fundraiser, she has worked with the University of Oklahoma, Myriad Botanical Gardens, and Teach for America. She currently serves as the Managing Director of Development and Public Affairs for Teach for America - Oklahoma City. As a part of this role, Tatianna is responsible for the development and implementation of vision and strategy for her team (including external communications strategy and government relations), overseeing data management, analysis, and reporting for all development work, and managing progress to revenue goal. Primarily, she is responsible for building local relationships to find, promote, and capitalize on alignment between TFA regional vision and local social justice organizations/movements’ visions.

ASIL YASSINE: Asil Yassine is a masters student in the Language and Literacy program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She previously taught in Detroit, where most of her students were immigrants from Yemen, Iraq, and Syria and learning English as a second language. Her passion for supporting bilingual students stems from the fact that she, too, spoke Arabic as her first language and had to navigate a similar linguistic journey. She plans on returning to teaching in Detroit upon graduation.  

 

Voices of the Other: A program that empowers student voice through dialogue and action based on social justice

MARYAM WASSIL-WARDAK: Maryam Wassil-Wardak is an assistant principal at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, a CREC magnet school in Hartford, CT. She taught social studies for twelve years at Hall High School in West Hartford, CT and one year in Scotland, under a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. She developed the program called Voices of the Other, a social justice group that seeks to understand the various “isms”, and especially on discrimination, through dialogue, intellectual pursuit, and service.  

ASIA CLAREMONT: Asia Claremont is a social studies teacher at Hall High School. She is also a co-advisor for the group Voices of the Other, an organization that seeks to bring students together to understand and discuss topics on discrimination and multiculturalism. Asia and the students from Voices of the Other will be presenting on the Empowering student voice through dialogue and social justice action.

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Whose Promise? Resisting Institutional Erasure Through the Arts

MICHAEL LEE: Michael Lee is a Norwegian-American writer, performer and youth worker. Having received scholarships and grants from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the LOFT Literary Center, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, his work has appeared in Ninth Letter, Hayden's Ferry Review, Indiana Review, Poetry Northwest, and The Carolina Quarterly among others. Michael has worked as a dishwasher, a farm hand, a traveling performer, a youth counselor, arts programming director and case manager serving young people experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis. He is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of education, and currently teaches 9th grade social studies in Minneapolis where he lives with many books and a coffee pot.

SHANAE BURCH: Shanae Burch is a professional actor/facilitator who has recently collaborated with Central Square Theater, American Repertory Theater, and Huntington Theater. She has been featured in WAM Theatre’s Fresh Takes Reading Series in the Berkshires, as well as in local productions with Israeli Stage, Bad Habit Productions, Fresh Ink Theatre, and Hibernian Hall. Shanae is a graduate of Emerson College’s "Acting" program, as well as Harvard Graduate School of Education’s “Arts in Education” program with a focus in storytelling for equity & health promotion. She's one of this year's fellows for the Cambridge based women's health initiative, Community Conversations: Sister to Sister, and also works at Harvard's Bok Center for Teaching & Learning in developing applied theater programming. She lives, works, runs, and attends church in Cambridge, MA. about.me/shanaeburch

TONI MORGAN: Toni Morgan (HGSE '16) is a Boston-based, Afro-Carribean Canadian feminist and entrepreneur. As a community development professional, she brings over a decade of experience launching, leading and managing award-winning access programs for communities of color in post-secondary education, entrepreneurship and employment and affordable housing. Toni is also a 2016 HGSE Education Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Harvard Innovation Lab, where she leads her band of misfits in the disruption of conventional paradigms around race and economic rights in the copyright industry. When she's not shaking up the world as an entrepreneur, Toni is an administrative fellow at Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

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Your Personal System of Self-Sabotage and How It Maintains White Supremacy

LAURA BREWER: Laura brewer is the CEO of Mean Well. Speak Well. Do Well., Inc., a leadership development company that provides bold, socially-conscious coaching to high-performing movers/shakers in social and racial justice. laura is an expert in developing bold, disruptive, high-impact leadership by teaching others the skills to see and dismantle their own internal systems of sabotage, oppression, and repression in order to hone the skills necessary to dismantle oppressive systems in our communities, organizations, and world. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her wife, some cats and chickens, and her surf board. Contact her at laura@mwswdw.com to discuss collaboration opportunities.

 

Youth Practitioners on Youth Advocacy and Organizing

WOOHEE KIM: Woohee Kim is a Korean who spent most of her life growing up in Seoul. Her ongoing research is on Korean youth activism around ‘comfort women’ (Sexual Slavery by the Japanese Military) issues, which draws from anthropological fieldwork and interviews she conducted with youth activists in Seoul for 4 months over the past summer with support from Kathryn W. Davis Projects for Peace grant. Woohee is a scholar-activist who is interested not only in studying youth activists and the issue of Sexual Slavery by the Japanese Military but also in protesting, organizing with youth activists, and advocating internationally for justice on the issue. Woohee is interested in educational studies, social justice, inspiring conversations, and building supportive communities through her involvement in Organizations of Asian Sisters in Solidarity at her institution.