Workshop Title: Developing Racial Literacy: A Foundation to Sustaining Culturally Responsive Education
Presenter: Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Teachers College, Columbia University
As it relates to educators, individuals who develop racial literacy are able to engage in the necessary personal reflection about their racial beliefs and practices, and teach their students and colleagues to do the same. Most teachers complete their graduate programs without having experienced deep and sustaining conversations about race and how it impacts the teaching, learning, and leadership process. When these individuals enter their classrooms and schools, they are not prepared to work with a diverse student body. A desired outcome of racial literacy in an outwardly racist society like America is for members of the dominant racial category (most of the nation’s teachers and school leaders) to adopt an antiracist stance, and for persons of color to resist a victim stance. Racial literacy in schools includes the ability to read, discuss, and write about situations that include racial inequity and racial bias as part of the norm of the schooling process.
Workshop Title: What Next? How District Staff Can Shift Operational Practices for Equity and Inclusion
Presenter: Rhonda Broussard, Beloved Community
Workshop Description: In this workshop, participants will learn to conduct and design mini-audits of operating practices in their district, identify 2-3 areas of growth in district operations and workshop quick wins (key activities that don’t require increased funding or staffing) for implementation this school year, and identify supports needed to lead effective change management for equity. This workshop will be particularly useful to district-level team members in roles/departments including human resources, operations, supplier diversity, data analysis, and professional development/talent practices.
Workshop Title: Community and District Collaboration: Shared Space Cafes in Portland, ME
Presenters: Pious Ali, Portland Empowered and Grace Valenzuela, Portland Public Schools
Workshop Description: Parents and families need to be in contact with their children’s school and to understand the school system in order to make an impact on education policies, practices, and decisions. In Portland, ME -- a small city that has over sixty languages in its schools -- Portland Empowered and the Portland Public Schools have implemented Shared Space Cafés. With Shared Space Cafés, parents plan, design, lead, and facilitate conversations in their native languages in small groups that include both other parents and school staff. Interpretation is typically provided primarily for school staff to allow them to understand non-English conversations. Shared Space Cafés are important forums for Portland Empowered staff and organizers to hear concerns and dreams of parents and families when it comes to education. In this workshop, Pious Ali from Portland Empowered and Grace Valenzuela from Portland Public Schools will share the origins and history of Shared Space Cafes and discuss some of the lessons learned from those sessions. Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to work in small groups in a mock Shared Space Café.