Thursday Block 2 (90 minutes)

1. Partnering for Success: Supporting Educators in Creating Welcoming Environments for Young Male Students of Color 
(Presented by Dr. Diana Ward)

Addressing conscious and unconscious biases is essential for teachers as they seek to build authentic relationships. Participants will consider how identity and lived experiences affect their interactions, reflect on the origin of biases, and discuss tips for creating more welcoming classrooms for young men of color and their families. Participants will learn how to improve student engagement through consciously inclusive practices and culturally relevant instruction and how to improve family engagement through positive, two-way communication. This practice-based session allows participants to receive real-time feedback from experienced educators with a robust background in teacher training and development, family engagement, and adult learning.

2. Save Our Children: The Struggle Between Black Parents and Schools
(Presented by Dr. Twyla Williams)

“One of the characteristics of an empowering educator is his or her ability to inspire hope for the future.” The results from a research study of African American parents with students in middle school grades will be shared to reflect the quest for post-secondary experiences. This workshop will serve as a conversation game changer with an emphasis on the pursuit of high achievement in the midst of struggle and will provide strategic solutions for educating African American children.

3. Implicit Bias and What We Can Do 
(Presented by Aleza Berube)

We will collaborate together to digest research on implicit bias in the classroom. Participants will share ideas on how to create systems and structures that counteract implicit biases and systemic racism.

4. Leaders of the New School
(Presented by Mike Brown)

“Culturally Relevant” is not enough? In this session, we’ll creatively put into actionable practice the missing pieces of culturally “Empowering” leadership and pedagogy. The research and work streams of the most prolific anti-racist theorist and educators of ed reform are at the center of this 4-pronged approach to creating schools that are not just “relevant” to our black and brown boys, but “empowering”. Through team activities, group discussion, and independent reflection leaders will break the mold of traditional school models and create a game-changing experience for our young men. Whether you are a teacher or principal, all participants will leave this session as “Leaders of the New School!”

5. Moving Beyond Culturally Relevant Instruction to the Complexity of Identity 
(Presented by Christina Brown)

Students and educators bring a multitude of complex intersectional identities to school with them each day. In order to innovate and move to the next level of cultural relevance to close achievement and belief gaps, we must move beyond demographics that simplify student identities into easy to understand categories. This session will help educators develop a stance of inquiry, going beyond sub-groups to acknowledging the complex identities students bring to the work of learning. Participants will discuss powerful game-changing tools for exploring concepts of identity, stereotype threat, cultural humility, curricular windows and mirrors, counter narratives, and asset mapping.

6. Leveraging Learning Networks and Opportunities to Increase School Attendance for Boys of Color 
(Presented by Joshua Childs)

Improving school attendance takes a collaborative effort that is focused on a single goal. Reducing chronic absenteeism involves understanding data, peer-to- peer learning, and implanting techniques that focus on positive relationships and useful interventions. In this workshop learn about a school attendance model being implemented in Austin, TX focused on mentoring. Also, this workshop will facilitate discussion on best practices for reducing chronic absenteeism among boys of color.

7. Proactive vs. Reactive “Preparing Yourself to Prepare Your Students for…" 
(Presented by John Fletcher)

Many educators are not comfortable talking about sensitive issues or hot topics and many students are not ready to receive the information and dialogue effectively. Well Let's Be Prepared…. Participate in a workshop designed to:

  • break the ice
  • effectively prepare educators to discuss sensitive issues and hot topics
  • have your students prepared to dialogue and
  • create social media projects (PSA, skits, etc.)

8. Innovative approaches for management of classroom attentional issues: Balls, boys, and experiential strategies 
(Presented by Abigail Norfleet James, Ph.D.)

The rising numbers of children identified with various forms of attentional issues including ADHD is creating problems in education. The conventional approach is to provide special educational programs which are costly and do not always provide positive results. Additionally, an overwhelming number of these identified students are male, which seems to indicate that there is some gender factor involved. This workshop will use neuroscience as a basis for classroom and playground strategies which have been shown to help students especially boys, succeed in school. The approaches have been used in a wide variety of schools with positive results.

9. Bridging Our Gaps: Rethinking Discipline in Urban Schools 
(Presented by Brandy Gratten)

Many urban campuses confront the difficulty of addressing student discipline issues. In this session, Administrator Brandy Gratten will share her insights on how she leads her team in disrupting ineffective traditional discipline cycles through bridging gaps with better understandings. Her experience in an urban campus serving primarily males of color will engage your mind and heart. In this interactive session, you will walk away with renewed passion for service, tangible "do tomorrow" techniques, and an inspiration that will empower you to positively transform your own practices with the goal of impacting those you serve for the better.

10. Transforming the Lives of Young Men of Color through Literacy
(Presented by David Miller)

This workshop is designed for teachers, principals, and other professionals in the field of education that are interested in getting young men of color excited about reading and writing. The workshop will present best practices and “success strategies” for implementing reading and writing interventions for young men of color. Participants will explore literature that engages young men, both fiction and non-fiction, and how to assist young men to make reading selections that will keep them engaged and motivated to read.

11. Community Centered Approach to System Change 
(Presented by Julia Mejia)

A child’s educational experiences are shaped by the communities in which they live, and schools alone cannot correct the historic realities that have left boys of color underserved and vulnerable.  Context, culture, and family must both shape and reinforce what and how a child is taught in a classroom.  But too often, the barriers between school, family, and community seem insurmountable, with each working in isolation to impact these learners. This workshop will offer concrete ideas for increasing inter-generational family engagement, and tips for building community-centered collaborations across ages and agencies. Participants will join in a lively solution-focused dialogue.

12. For Principals Only - PART II
(Presented by Dr. Darnisa Amante)

This session only open to principals who are signed up for the Pre-conference "For Principals Only" session. This session is designed to support principals as they delve into these complex questions and design practices for their schools that support the emergence of game changers, we have created an interactive learning experience with DEEP's (Disruptive Equity Education Project) CEO/Founder Dr. Darnisa Amante. Dr. Amante will engage our leaders using DEEP's research-driven equity framework. During the 4-hour session, we will explore the adaptive and complex challenges of leading for racial equity.

13. Elevating CRE Educators - Competency Based Recognition and Career Pathways for High Value Teacher Leaders
(Presented by Mary Strain and Kisha Porcher)

Participants in this session will examine how to leverage competency-based learning and career pathways for educators to drive and sustain efforts in support of boys and young men of color. Participants will also examine the competencies and evidence defined by the NYC DOE for emerging teacher leaders and the intersection with high leverage CRE practices.  We will engage in facilitated discussions around how systems can define competency based learning for adults, how micro credentials can be used to define systemic values and what types of incentives and roles encourage educators to pursue CRE expertise and lead others. 

14. Creating Change Through Social Innovation As A Black Male: How I Did It and How Others Can Too 
(Presented by Will Morris)

Will Morris will discuss the three essential activities that budding social innovators of color can participate in to be successful in the social impact space.  He will share personal stories about his journey as a social entrepreneur and the lessons he’s learned along the way. In particular, this session will highlight Morris' journey to create impact within the education space by creating an education technology startup in graduate school that is now serving schools across the nation after being featured by publications like SlateEducation Week, and The Hechinger Report. This session will empower participants with resources they can use to explore and jump-start their own social entrepreneurship journey or resources they can connect boys of color to, so they can be supported as innovators. We will discuss the risks, rewards, and skills necessary to be successful as an innovator of color and how to navigate the social entrepreneurship landscape to best reach success as a creator.

15. Indigenous Epistemologies in Action: The Nahui Ollin as a Teaching Methodology
(Presented by Curtis Acosta)

This session will be an interactive teaching model of the acclaimed Mexican American Studies program in Tucson led by Chican@/Latin@ Literature teacher, Curtis Acosta. Participants will have an opportunity to experience a sampling of the pedagogy and curriculum through a simulated classroom experience that focuses on a diverse array of multicultural literature. Upon conclusion of the model teaching model, participants will examine the lesson through the lens of Indigenous epistemologies, and how we can use the Nahui Ollin as a teaching methodology to improve academic outcomes through humanizing practices.