DEFINE. DEFY. DISMANTLE.

2017 ALUMNI OF COLOR CONFERENCE

Conference Programming


Thursday, March 2ND

Critical Humanity, Social Justice, and a Moral Revolution of Values

(Dr. Peter T. Keo)

This kick-off key note presentation examines the triple giants of racism, poverty, and the systematic erasure of large segments of vulnerable people in America. The discussion will be framed around issues of social justice, particularly considering a new presidential administration built on a foundation of aggressive atavism: a set of retrograde policies that threaten to drag us back to a time of deep hate, violence, and division.  In addressing issues of social justice, the presentation will focus on broader systems-level questions: What does it mean to have a moral revolution of values? How can love, mercy, and compassion defeat hate, violence, and division? How can we promote an edifice in which basic humanity is at the heart of our value system? How can we bring these values inside the classroom, and into the streets of activism and justice? To substantiate these claims, empirical evidence – K-12 and higher education, criminal justice, workforce, and health – will be shared. Data will be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, and age. Critical humanity and the moral revolution of values aim to shed light on the marginalized and vulnerable, as we mobilize, together, for a truly inclusive and just America.


Friday, March 3rd

take action: advancing justice and equity in today's climate (keynote panel)

(Michael Blake + Arshad Ali + Simran Noor + Albino Garcia + moderator: Christina Villareal)

Dismantling oppressive structures in society and in education requires not just passionate individuals, but also coordinated action. We see that citizens who take action and work for social justice can change the status quo. As part of the annual Alumni of Color Conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, we endeavor to highlight the role of activism and other critical issues in education that effect students, teachers, and educators in communities across our country. How can we develop a deeper understanding of the roots of oppression and the current democratic processes? How, within those contexts, can we build systems of sustainable activism to ensure lasting change? Like an efficient assembly process, systems of activism require each individual to play a unique role and to make a specific contribution. Panelists will share their personal and professional experiences with activism and collective action, as illustrations of how to forge a legacy through activism. By bringing together policymakers, scholars, researchers, and practitioners in dialogue around this important issue, social justice advocates will learn new ways to leverage their practice in mobilizing current and future social justice efforts in their communities.

 

Youth Practitioners on Youth Advocacy and Organizing (Panel)

(Woohee Kim + Carlos Rojas + Keith Catone)

These panelists bring a wealth of experience, research, and/or advocacy in the field of youth organizing. This panel should lift up their experiences, research, and perspectives in a way that informs audience members' efforts to organize and empower youth.

 

Narratives and the Power of Voice (Panel)

(Sarah Matsui + Sara Ahmed + Maria Kirigin)

This panel focuses on the sharing of story as a method for organizing, inspiring, and acting to subvert oppression. The panelists are educators and activists who work with youth and/or adults to uplift voices as a primary means to undo oppression.

 

To You, 85 Cents Might Not be A Lot

(April bo Wang + Tara Barnes + Jeremiah E. Burke High School Students)

This session will argue for using the classroom as a space that promotes civic education and engagement through writing. Students will lead this session, outlining the issues that they have identified their community experiences with public transportation and sharing their findings and concerns to inform the city-wide campaign to improve the MBTA by 2040. They will also discuss their experience writing letters to the community & working with 826 Boston to publish a book. It will illustrate how public organizations set up systems for soliciting community input that perpetuates "fixes" that continue to serve certain populations more than others. 

 

They Are not Too young!: Dismantling racism in the elementary school thorough deliberate curriculum  

(Mary AntóN, Ed.d + Efe Igho-Osagie + Beth Glick + Bianca Perdez + jaime Smith)

Come hear about how one elementary school 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. Explore with them the challenges of pervasive unconscious bias even in very young children, and the work we have done to bring teachers and parents together to create structures for change.

 

Leading While Black and Brown: Staying woke in The Workplace

(Derek Terrell + Elaine Townsend Utin + Estefania Rodriguez + Toni Morgan)

Beyond discrimination and access, one challenge Students of Color face when transitioning into the workplace is balancing how to use one’s power and platform to advocate for their community. It is crucial that Professionals of Color find their voice and become agents of change in ways that affect and empower Communities of Color. In addition to classroom teaching and school leadership, there are several roles within the field of education which People of Color are occupying in order to obtain decision-making power, influence policy, and push for conversations around racism. By attending this panel, current HGSE students, alumni, and community members will hear about recent alumni’s experiences defying and dismantling oppressive structures as Professionals of Color in K-16 spaces. By discussing their work in different education sectors, they aim to inspire attendees to continue doing the good, yet challenging work of defying and dismantling systems of oppression once they leave HGSE. 

 

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

(Kirsten Olsen + Valerie Brown)

Who are you as a listener? Deep listening, not a passive modality of acceptance or non-resistance, is actually a tool for intensifying political consciousness and vitality: unearthing deeper levels of self-realization and capacity to "see" The Other, in ourselves and in each other. In this highly-interactive, practice-oriented workshop, activists and leadership coaches Kirsten Olson and Valerie Brown will lead you through an exploration of your own listening lineage; how to prepare for and enter deeper levels of listening; and how to use your body as a fine-tuned instrument for listening. In these profoundly challenging and tumultuous times, we explore how listening can "raise the heat" in defining root causes of oppression, and makes these elements more explicit and mobile in uprooting the causes of oppression. We welcome all, especially youth leaders, and anyone who is interested in deepening their listening practice. Let's learn together.

 

Restorative Justice in Schools: A Practical Approach to Programming

(Christine Douglas + JD Fergus)

Given the historical trend in the United States in which schools have replicated societal inequities regarding people of color and their treatment and over-representation in disciplinary systems, the need to re-frame, restructure, and relate differently to students has come to the forefront of our work in urban education. In order to better support our youth, Prospect Hill Academy uses a restorative approach to school culture and discipline to dismantle these oppressive structures and discontinue the school-to-prison pipeline. This session will begin with a 45-minute presentation on the theory and implementation of Restorative Justice in schools using our experience at Prospect Hill Academy, an urban charter school in Cambridge, MA. The case study will be followed by a 75-minute Q&A segment with a panel consisting of students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Both sections will address our approach to the design shifts, curricular developments, and community education necessary for this transition, and, most importantly, our struggles and triumphs along the way to a truly restorative school culture.

 

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

(Lumumba Seegars + Jonathan Mendoza + Clint Smith + Amanda Torres)

How do we define, defy, and dismantle oppression through performance art? This panel seeks to understand the connection between art and activism as mutually reinforcing aspects of our everyday lives. As both producers and consumers of performance art, we will discuss the intermingling of the two and how this connection can create opportunities for resistance against oppression. The panelists will not only discuss the relationship between art and activism in their lives, but they will also share their works of music and poetry that embody their resistance against oppression.

 

Educating within the Pipeline: Systems, Practices, and Levers

(Dr. Pamela A. Mason + Dr. Lynette Tannis + Ria Fay-Berquist + Hernan Carvent + Bridget Cichello)

The Juvenile Justice Education Research Initiative’s discussion has three goals: To introduce the students and teachers within the bottleneck of the school to prison pipeline, i.e., juvenile justice facilities; to define what is known and unknown regarding the best methods of effective instruction within juvenile justice settings; and to begin to dismantle root causes obstructing positive educational outcomes for incarcerated and transitioning youth. Incarcerated students are often overlooked or misrepresented in conversations about improving educational outcomes, as are their teachers in conversations about educator experience. The range and nature of the learning and social-emotional needs of children within this setting presents problems unique to juvenile justice facilities, and must be addressed with strategies specific to the setting itself. This panel will highlight the need for research, support, and a professional learning community for juvenile justice educators, and will encourage attendees to contribute to it through scholarly work, education, and advocacy.

 

A Seat at the Table: Testimony from Teachers of Color

(Estefania Rodriguez + Edverette Brewster)

It is rare when testimony and personal narrative are used to create concrete strategies for administrators, district leaders, and white colleagues hoping to recruit and retain educators of color. We hope that by asking educators and students of color about their lived experience in the classroom we can identify common needs and frameworks for supporting and empowering minority teachers. In our workshop, “A Seat at the Table: Testimony from Teachers of Color,” we will share the experiences of teachers and students of color from urban districts in the Northeast in order to identify how to recruit and retain our communities in the classroom.

 

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

(Laura Brewer)

You have the perfect, personal system for preventing yourself from achieving the thing(s) you deeply want to achieve – be they professional or personal outcomes. In this session, we’re going to make that invisible system more visible, and then we’re going examine in what ways your system links to and maintains white supremacy tendencies, archetypes, culture and behaviors. Together, we will dig into your system through personal and group reflection, and then use the power of collective thinking to determine possible implications, action steps, and solutions for dismantling our systems and rebuilding them in more liberatory ways.

 

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

(Celia Reddick + Vidur Chopra)

In this panel, we intertwine two portraits of young people as they chart their own paths into and through social justice work. The authors, Vidur Chopra and Celia Reddick, each wrote a portrait of a young person grappling with questions of identity and belonging in a context of transnationalism, and of the process of navigating personal and community expectations to find a path into social justice. We plan to co-present the portraits with the two subjects of the portraits, and will share more details of their names and biographies during the panel.

 

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

(Nelson Pham + Frances Nan)

This session is designed to define the obstacles that AAPI individuals face in higher education, whether they are students or working professionals. Also, to increase awareness of how detrimental the model minority myth is to AAPI communities and of ways to overcome this stereotype. Lastly, to identify actionable plans for AAPI to overcome the inequalities they face in higher education and different ways the AAPI can support other communities of color so that we all can be uplifted.

 

High School Youth Do the Knowledge and Kick the Truth

(Met School Students + Sabrina Smith + Danique Dolly)

In this workshop/panel high school students from the Met School in Providence, Rhode Island will address issues around racism and systems of oppression. They will discuss and demonstrate how such challenging topics can be turned into deeper learning, organization and action. The students will also address questions and share how their current worldview. Both Sabrina Smith and Danique Dolly will highlight the structures and plans created in order to allow students to turn moments of awareness, learning and expression into authentic action.

 

Threads of Social Justice: Finding Your Political Voice

(Sara Trail + Julissa Muniz)

While it is of no surprise that Black people have been subjected to a multitude of injustices within the short span of American history, the current social climate underscores the lack of progress that has been made as it pertains to issues of race. The recent election has brought White America’s deeply rooted feelings about race, religion, sexism, immigration, as well as their disdain and resistance to change to the forefront. Instead of crumbling under the weight of this newfound awareness, it is imperative that there be productive outlets to channel this energy of resistance. This workshop will serve as a tool to help you understand the complex tapestry of your own personal and cultural identity within the current political climate. Drawing on your creative minds and unique ideas this workshop will ask you to reimagine a political future where your voice carries this nation forward. Using fabric and basting glue, participants will design a social justice quilt block reflective of the people, places and things you have witnessed and want to change moving forward.

 

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

(ALyssa Machida + Lindsey Tomiko Kunisaki)

This collaborative workshop is for artists, educators, activists, and professionals looking to implement inclusive practices in arts and cultural organizations. In this interactive learning experience, participants will work together in small groups to co-develop tools and resources to address challenges and needs for cultural inclusion in individual and organizational practice. Facilitators will also share resources they have designed to serve as tools in their work.

 

Teach Truth to Power: Critical Consciousness in Classrooms of Privilege

(Mark Nelson)

This session will focus on defying and dismantling oppression by developing critical consciousness in children who occupy identities of privilege and who, without intervention, can maintain and protect structures and belief systems which (deliberately or not) benefit their lives while maintaining the gross inequities of American society. Workshop participants will explore the myth of white saviorism and the “paradox of suffering” and apply these concepts to the need for teaching antiracism to students of privilege. I will make an argument for why more actively antiracist teachers should consider working in communities of privilege, and describe my initial steps in designing curricula in world and US histories that provide windows and mirrors for my students and promote reflection on identity, privilege, and power. I will also describe the unique challenges of doing so in private educational settings, as well as how I plan to teach social studies under the Trump administration. Finally, participants will engage in an open discussion of their experiences of teaching truth to power: this is an opportunity for reflection, feedback, and building support networks.

 

Disproportionality in Special Education: A Call to Action

(Leanne Trujillo + Dr. Lauren Katzman + Ron walker + alexis Morgan + Caroline E. Parker, Ed.d)

Culturally and linguistically diverse student populations are disproportionately classified as having a disability, placed in segregated special education classes, and involved in disciplinary actions such as suspensions and restraints. This panel of researchers and practitioners brings their rich and diverse experiences in local, state, and national educational leadership, research, and non-profit work focused on the civil rights of students classified with a disability. Panelists will define the issues and discuss their work to dismantle the negative effects of a policy meant to protect the civil rights of students with disabilities.

 

Indigenous Resistance: From AIM to #NoDAPL

(Danielle Lucero + Megan Red Shirt-Shaw + Kaci Morgan McClure)

One visible movement for racial justice in the past year has been the water protectors fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This workshop will explore the methods of resistance and legacy of indigenous resistance in the United States. We will discuss methods used to obstruct a project that threatens to take a disproportionate toll on indigenous communities. 

 

Narratives and the Power of Voice

(Sarah 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.

 

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

(Courtney A. Woods + Raven Stubbs)

The purpose of this session is to identify the unique challenges for women of color and queer women interested in running for political office, and develop strategies for overcoming those challenges. While there are resources increasingly available for women interested in being public servants, there is a gap in information available for queer women and women of color, who are likely to face specific challenges related to their social identities. We hope that audience members will actively engage in discussions and utilize the resources we share in order to leave the session with a better understanding of how to organize in favor of queer women and women of color interested in running, and perhaps even take interest in running themselves.

 

Tools of Strength

(Namibia Donadio + Augustina Warton)

This interactive workshop will examine how voices and powerful identities of oppressed people have been silenced through systemic oppression of altering our self-image, self esteem, and historical narrative. We will learn core practices for examining identity, building community and strategies for organizing through creative arts, multi-media and theater. We will both demonstrate and engage in ways that we can defy and disrupt that silence and replace it with true voices of s/heroism.We will move through ways to create a safe space to process topics of race, discrimination, divestment and genocide, through playing games, visual text analysis and Theater of the Oppressed. We’ll explore how Social Justice Pedagogy will be can help us examine the power in our personal identity that can equip us with tools to re-tell OUR story in larger society.  

 

Salem High Speaks Out!

(Andre Fonseco)

The unit’s culminating project is a poetic presentation of their “family trees”, inspired by Clint Smith’s poem “Counting Descent”. Their presentation reflects on how their family histories and current lives intersect with the ramifications of immigration and systemic racism.

 

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

(Samantha Sencer-Mura + Randi Stone + Vanessa Bishop + Alicia Gaynor + Felicia Aikens)

Based on the work of Alexandra Lightfoot, earlier this year students from the School Leadership Program created a photography exhibit that showcased both how they understand their racial identity, and an imagining of how their life would be different had they been born a different racial identity. In this session, participants will be walked through a similar process in which they will learn about the project and how it could be utilized in schools or other educational spaces as a means to explore identity and start discussions about race. Finally, participants will start to draft their own photography project based on both their real and imagined racial identity. 

 

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

(Lee Teitel + Dr. Stacy Scott + Reginald Johnson + Dr. Mary Anton-Oldenburg + Uche Amaechi)

In 1974, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote “Unless our children begin to learn together, then there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together.” Those words feel prophetic in a country with increasingly resegregated schools, routine police violence against people of color, and escalating racist political rhetoric. Reimagining Integration: Diverse and Equitable Schools (RIDES) is an HGSE project which aspires to find ways to increase the number and quality of the settings where “our children can learn together” so “our people [can] learn to live together.” Part 1 of this interactive session will introduce tools and frameworks for building diverse and equitable schools that are committed to dismantling racism; Part 2 will share powerful journey stories from teachers, administrators, and parents from local schools working with these tools. 


Saturday, March 4th

Key Issues for Social Leaders of Color (Panel)

(Deaweh Benson + R.D. Leyva + Nelson Pham + ALison Welcher + Zeina Fayyaz Kim)

Organizational leaders of color working in the social sector possess a variety of unique assets - culturally, personally, collectively - while facing particular challenges given the reality of racism within systems of power (i.e. school districts, non-profits, government/civic organizations, agencies, funders, etc.). This panel will lift up the voices of effective leaders of color - entrepreneurs, executive directors, managers, principals, district leaders, elected officials, and/or emerging leaders - who have wisdom to share about navigating the perils and opportunities for people of color in social sector work.

 

Intersectionality and Multiple Identities (Panel)

(Marissa Alberty + Amir Williams + Tatianna Cannon + Ben Wild + Asil Yassine + Ben West)

This panel will discuss the intersections of identity - race, gender, sexuality, and many other forms of identity mix to make us who we are. Within these identities, there is often more complexity than singular adjectives like "cisgender", "multiracial", or "gay" may suggest. It's messy, and it's who we are. Join for this panel to hear reflections from educators and activists on intersections of identity.  

 

Resisting Institutional Oppression in Public Systems (Panel)

(Lokelani Cummings-Watanabe + Aishatu Yusuf + Brianna Baker + Jennifer Moore + Vince Marigna)

American public institutions, from schools to the courts, hospitals to legislatures, are heirs to a racist past. This panel brings together several experts with insights as witnesses to institutional inequity, and experiences resisting and dismantling oppressive actions and policy.

 

ARTIVISM: Using the Arts As Social Activism

(Linda Steele)

Many people think of the arts in terms of performances of music and dance or exhibitions of artwork. But the arts have the power to amplify voices and can be tools for social activism and social justice. In this session, you will be introduced to the field of Artivism;learn how to use the arts as a form of social activism; and see how artists around the country are raising awareness of issues and policies via the arts. We will highlight the work of citizen artists in Memphis and across the country.

 

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

(Andrew Estrada Phuong + Judy Nguyen + Eileen Berger + Dena Marie + Shahana Farooqi + Claire Bang + Matthew Courtney)

This program introduces 10 research-based strategies that instructors can apply to increase equity, access, and inclusion in college classrooms. We will also provide various ways to integrate access technologies into curricula to support diverse students’ success. These strategies originate from an equity-oriented pedagogy that hybridizes democratic, multimodal, universal design for learning, assessment-driven, and game-based instruction. Since 2010, we have applied design-based research methodologies to formulate, evaluate, and refine this pedagogy. Ongoing mixed-methods studies have identified 10 teaching and assessment strategies that helped instructors address diverse students’ needs, expand students’ learning preferences, and earn average 7/7 course ratings. These practices have increased equity by improving 1000+ students’ engagement, collaboration, positive psycho-social variables (e.g., resilience, hope, confidence, sense of self-efficacy, self-concept), and academic performance. In addition, this equity-oriented pedagogy has helped reduce stereotype threat and increase a greater sense of community and inclusion in the classroom.

 

Community Walks: Student-Led Professional Development

(Sailaja Suresh)

Community walks are a much-cherished tradition at Oakland International High School, in which students and parents lead our staff through a day of learning and exploration throughout the city. These professional development experiences allow teachers to learn about our families' immigration experiences, needs, assets, and supports directly in the community. Every organization has the capacity to coordinate community walks in their own cities, which allow for incredibly deep and authentic learning experiences for both students and educators. In this workshop, you will learn about the structure we use to organize our community walks, and you will begin planning your own community walks with others in your region.

 

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

(Beto Vasquez)

US Prison populations have grown at an alarming rate of more than 500% over the past 40 years. There are currently more than two million people incarcerated in the United States. Education is a vital component of successful rehabilitation and largely contributes to increasing rates of attrition in recidivism. This workshop will generate dialogue about current criminal justice & legislative practices, barriers faced by formerly incarcerated populations (FIPs) as they re-enter society, and provide an opportunity to hear first-hand personal narratives from FI individuals whose lives have been transformed by education.

 

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

(Richard J. Reddick, Ed.D. + Mark Anthony Gooden, Ph.D. + Terrance L. Green, Ph.D. + Joshua Childs, Ph.D.)

In this session, four faculty members in the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin (dubbed the “Brofessors”) discuss how one academic department employed scholarship, practice, and vision to defy structural oppression in the academy by intentionally diversifying the faculty on the axes of race, ethnicity, and gender. We describe how pre-search, recruitment, and search processes place inclusion at the forefront and purposefully disrupt processes that favor upper middle class, cisgender, straight, White men in faculty search processes. Finally, we will present strategies that keep our collective vision of an inclusive scholarly community centered on social justice central to our work as scholars, community members, and practitioners.

 

Muslim Youth Voices: Marginalization and Resistance

(Barbara Sahli)

This presentation raises awareness about the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim youth in the U.S. Through counter-narratives, Muslim students define themselves and defy dominant narratives. Participants will develop strategies to support Muslim youth, dismantle stereotypes, and create equitable learning environments for students of all identities.

 

Breaking Walls: Empowering Our Undocumented Community

(William Morraquin + Federico Bustamante + Stephany Cuevas + Diana Ortiz + Arthur Mola)

Our session seeks to create awareness around the various assets and challenges in undocumented communities, especially for youth in the education system. Through a conversation with a panel of professionals, educators, and students we will support participants to ask questions, participate in roundtable discussions, and share their own experience. Ultimately our goal is to facilitate network and coalition building to continue our conversations outside of the session by sharing resources and creating a supportive network.

 

Navigating Intersectionality through Spoken Word Poetry

(Tony Delarosa + Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah)

In order to fully own our narratives and use it for positive social change, we must be able to navigate the intersections of our identities. Join us in diving into intersectionality through the art of spoken word. We will define intersectionality for ourselves, study spoken word poetry, and tap into our own intersectionality by writing our own spoken word poem. At the end we will commit to bringing this knowledge and experience to our own communities!

 

Teaching Resistance and Possibility

(Keith Catone + Christina “V” Villarreal + Natalia Ortiz)

Without question, critical pedagogy and education calls upon teachers to be activist agents of change. In this historical moment, then, we need teachers to be activists as much as ever. This panel/workshop session seeks to complicate, but also concretize, teacher activism by offering various perspectives and analyses of teacher activist pedagogy drawn from empirical studies of teacher praxis. We will not offer any prescribed formula for teacher activism (and contend that there is none), but instead will paint multifaceted layers of pedagogy that undergird teachers’ efforts to change and transform the world. Through a series of short academic paper presentations, breakout sessions, and large group discussion and debrief, participants will be able to reframe and rethink the role of teachers as activists and understand new ways in which to think about the ways teachers can defy structural oppression and dismantle oppressive structures.

 

Building Place, Juntos: Creative Placemaking for Equity

(Christina Patiño Houle)

Building Place, Juntos: Creative Placemaking for Equity will be a 120 minute workshop investigating how the practice of Creative Placemaking can be a tool for social and restorative justice. Using the case study of Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator the workshop will demonstrate how the practice of partnering artists with municipalities and local stakeholders can be a powerful resource for capacity building in marginalized communities. The session will also include exercises and advisements for how artists, planners, and educators can work together to build more just and equitable communities.

 

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

(Ronald F. Ferguson + Sarah McLean)

School-achievement related skill gaps between racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups are apparent in national data by the time that a birth cohort is two years old. Research has established a number of early childhood experiences that differ by group and contribute to these gaps. In response, a public-private partnership, led by four men of color in Boston including the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ron Ferguson, has spearheaded an initiative called the Boston Basics Campaign (www.bostonbasics.org). It is designed to use an “ecological saturation” approach to reach parents and caregivers with key insights and examples of ways to ensure their children get off to a strong start. In this workshop, we will familiarize participants with the research on early achievement gaps, an overview of the Boston Basics campaign and solicit participants’ feedback and their ideas for additional ways to achieve the goal of ecological saturation in Boston or their own communities. Participants would also be invited to consider ways in which they might like to be involved in the Boston-based project or in emerging efforts around the country.

 

Leveraging your Voice for Equity: Equity Narratives

(Dr. Darnisa Amante + Daisy Han + Elizabeth Albany)

Equity Narratives provides a space for individuals to reflect on and share their personal stories of racial equity and inequity with one another. Over the course of our workshop, you will engage in facilitator led discussions on the challenges of tackling inequity. You will learn how to create and develop narratives for leadership for racial equity. You will also leave this session feeling more connection to your individual purpose in equity-based initiatives; feeling a deeper connection to others, and feeling better prepared to engage in leadership with others to dismantle inequity.

 

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

(Dr. Moriska V. Selby + Aravia Patterson + De'Asia Rhyne + Deja Willis + Deneisha Gillard + Jourdan Montgomery + Tyara Brown)

In this workshop, we are defining oppression as: others setting limitations on the personal aspirations of Black girls and women by making them believe they have no power, skills, or resources to affect change. The facilitators will walk the audience through these tools that are approaches that can be used in the classroom, community organizing and afterschool learning programs to dismantle the oppressive structures that are designed to impede Black girls and women. It is also important to note that these tools are applicable to a wider range of marginalized people who are silenced. The facilitators of this workshop will speak through the lens of Black Women while encouraging audience members to think about developing self-agency within their respective target group.

 

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

(Shakiera T. Causey + Nailah Amen + Amanda Barnes + Domonique Edwards + Tiera Moore + Neisha Washington + Dr. Stephanie Irby-Coard)

This interactive workshop experience will (1) address the needs of students of color at PWIs who experience race-based trauma and offer concrete research findings that highlight the importance of acknowledging the effects of race-based trauma on students of color and (2) facilitate discussion about using creative expression to cope with race-based trauma experiences.

 

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

(Ankhi Thakurta + Aisha Beverly + Chloe Diamond)

Though literacy is often reduced to a handful of decontextualized cognitive skills, the persistent marginalization of minority students in ELA classrooms across the United States suggests the inadequacy and, indeed, harmfulness of such formulations. This workshop, led by three middle school educators, will deal with the subject of literacy in two major ways: first, it will share how traditional approaches to literacy education within the United States perpetuate opportunity divides between minority learners and their White peers; second, it will use case studies to prompt workshop participants to rethink how marginalized students engage with the processes of reading and writing. We hope this session will encourage participants to reframe the experiences and practices of underserved students as assets rather than hindrances to the process of literacy acquisition and consider ways in which literacy education may be used as a powerful lever for social change.

 

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

(Yarima Ariza + Maura Donlan + Chima Ikonne + Julian A. McNeil)

In the last five years, the Office of Human Capital (OHC) in Boston Public Schools (BPS) has made a concerted attempt to recruit and retain teachers of diverse backgrounds that reflect the ethnic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds of students in BPS. One of the programs that came from this initiative is the Accelerated Community to Teacher (ACTT) program which was created under the premise that the next generation of BPS teachers are in our classrooms or are presently in the homes and community organizations in the City of Boston. As members of the ACTT design team and current classroom practitioners, we understand the importance of providing our students with an exceptional education. To this end, it is necessary to prepare, place and support talented teachers in classrooms who come from as many different cultures and heritages as their students.

 

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

(Sharqi + Khalid David)

During this highly-interactive workshop designed to challenges our notions about love, romance, and activism, participants will explore the role of “love” in the destruction and restoration of the family unit. Participants will also examine how the rediscovery and use of “love” in communities of color can lead to our social, economic and political advancement.

 

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

(Adelia Wilder-Doctor + Courtney Woods + Lorry Henderson + Jocelyn Johnson)

The experiences of black girls mirror social constructions of our society, especially whiteness, femininity, and heternomativity. In this session, we will identify ways that black girls have been filtered into the justice system, and discuss policy reform, community organizing, and pedagogical strategies for closing the black girls’ school-to-confinement pipeline.

 

Whose Promise? Resisting Institutional Erasure Through the Arts

(Michael Lee + Shanae Burch + Toni Morgan)

In October 2015, five students enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School of Education challenged the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. What became known as “the counter exhibition”, initiated a student-led movement to resist the institutional erasure facilitated by a photography exhibition celebrating 62 writers, 58 of whom were white (and mostly men), heralded as some of “the most celebrated contributors to our literary heritage”. The panel, comprised of three of the original five students, will present a short documentary chronicling and exploring the events, as well as the context in which they took place. Panelists will then discuss and field questions which aim to explore art as a means of resistance and the ways in which narrative, representation and imagination act as sites of radical inquiry, accountability, reclamation and healing.

 

Understanding Tribal Sovereignty & Reclaiming the Narrative in Education

(Allison Mee + Elizabeth Payne + Emma Kincade + Masheli Billy)

What is the experience of being a Native student in a majority non-Native classroom? How does it feel to be given the choice of either dressing as an “Indian” or a “Pioneer” when your class is preparing to “celebrate” the anniversary of your state’s land run of 1889? For many students, this is not a cause for celebration, but a reminder of a deeply unjust and tragic event. Stemming from our experience as Oklahomans, this session seeks to stimulate discussion and greater understanding of Tribal Nations as economic powerhouses and progressive educators, including efforts to create better education experiences for Native students in majority non-Native school settings. During this session, we invite you to help shape the future of an online simulation with the intent of helping students understand the roots of oppression and prompting their engagement in current efforts to further social justice.

 

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

(Youth In Action (YIA) + Pittsfield Listens (PL) + Thaina Merlain + Latifat Odetunde + Missy Ottun +  Sydnee Gross)

This interactive, youth-led workshop explores whether the installation of a dynamic learning space about power, structural location, and social transformation yield productive outcomes in young peoples' and adults' analysis and practices to address intersectional vulnerability. In this workshop, young people from two communities, Pittsfield, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island invite you experience their co-created social location space. They will share their insights about how this pedagogical tool has created unique opportunities for youth and adults across both a rural, predominantly white working class community and an urban, working class community of color to think together about effective approaches to learning and dialogue about structural oppression and intersectionality. 

 

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

(Krystal Torres-Covarrubias + Mie Fukuda)

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”- Audre Lorde
LGBTQ youth, particularly of color, face diverse and significant challenges to thriving in traditional school settings. In this session we will explore the devastating developmental impacts that violence and trauma can have on children and youth generally, while integrating what we know about the layered experiences of LGBTQ+ youth of color. We will use tools that expand thinking on violence, trauma, gender identity, sexuality and resilience-building to practice trauma-informed approaches to working alongside LGBTQ + youth.

 

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

(Heather Sattler + youth)

The circle keepers from The Alliance School of Milwaukee will share their understanding of Restorative Practices (RP) as well as their school's model of RP via a video that they co-created. They will also facilitate circles so that everyone will have the opportunity to share their stories and articulate their understanding of and experience with oppression, share ways that they work to defy it, and create a concrete plan to partner in dismantling structural oppression using non-violent action.

 

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

(Stefanie Rome)

This interactive workshop is designed to engage educators interested in pedagogical activism in conversations about practice. We will explore and engage in topics such as: The role of race and systemic racism in the academic underachievement of students of color in urban schools; The power of mediation as a tool for reversing the underachievement of students of color; Practical, research-based practices and strategies designed and selected for engaging students in the learning process.

 

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

(Shakiera Causey + Amanda Barnes + Domonique Edwards + Tiera Moore + Neisha Washington)

This interactive workshop experience will (1) address the needs of students of color at PWIs who experience race-based trauma and offer concrete research findings that highlight the importance of acknowledging the effects of race-based trauma on students of color and (2) facilitate discussion about using creative expression to cope with race-based trauma experiences.

 

Anti-Yellow Racism, A Seductive Shape-Shifter

(Roi Kawai)

Anti-yellow racism obscures its ugly face with distracting masks: funny ones, seductive ones, and ones that lull us into a false sense of comfort and privilege. As a Japanese-American man, teacher educator, and a yellow education scholar, I often experience and observe this deception. In this workshop, we will collaborate to bring form to the elusive, shape-shifting system of anti-yellow racism. We will then examine three root causes of this system: (1) the muddled image of anti-yellow racism; (2) the seduction of racist love; and (3) how yellow lacks staying power on the color palate of race discussions.  

 

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

(Nik White + Vitalis Obidi + Wisline Francois + Chima Ikonne + Addis and Christiaan Summerhill)

This panel brings together five Black teachers to discuss their experiences working in historically under served schools and communities in Boston and Oakland. The educators on this panel work inside the education system to dismantle oppressive educational structures that marginalize students of color and unduly burden teachers of color. What unites the educators on this panel is their connection to two urban teacher residency programs aimed at diversifying the teacher workforce —the Boston Teacher Residency & Aspire Teacher Residency (CA). Panelists will examine the ways residency programs seek to recruit teachers of color and rigorously prepare them for successful careers in the classroom.  

 

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

(Maryam Wassil-Wardak + Asia Claremont)

Voices of the Other is a social justice program that provides students a space to discuss pertinent issues that affect them and their reality, commit to service and empowerment, challenge microaggressions, all while breaking down barriers and social perceptions. Students, from a diverse suburban high school and urban magnet high school, come together to discuss the need for this program in their respective educational settings, while evaluating its impact on their social, emotional, and academic growth.