35th Annual Educators Conference
Climate Matters: The Effect of Race in the 21st Century, How We Impact Student Achievement


Friday, December 6, 2019 | 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Four Points Sheraton Norwood Hotel
1125 Boston-Providence Turnpike, Norwood, MA 02062





Conference Background

One of the many ways the METCO Directors’ Association strives to achieve its core objectives, is through our annual Educators Conference. The first MDA Conference was organized in 1984 in an effort to provide staff development and information for educators, and community members who worked with African-American children in suburban school settings. Now in its 35th year, the MDA continues its commitment to the cultural development, and academic achievement of children of color. We start each conference with the premise that all children can learn, must learn and will learn.

Keynote Message

Teaching & Learning from the Student’s Standpoint 

In an age where terms like “multiculturalism” and “cultural relevance” have been littered across the educational landscape, teachers and administrators still have a challenging time implementing instructional approaches/tools that meet the needs of a diverse student population. Education speaker Christopher Emdin explores the current educational buzz words, bridges the divides between theory and practice, and provides tangible tools for educators on improving their practice.

Superintendent Strand

Superintendent Morning Session – Dr. Christopher Emdin

Connecting The Indigenous & Neoindigeious
Chapter 1 from For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education


Superintendent Afternoon Session – Panel of District Leaders

Equity in Education: What it Is and Why it Matters
Equity-centered district leaders, understating that equity and excellence must be the driving force in the leadership of schools.


On Internalized Racism - Hayden Frederick Clarke, Director of Strategy in the Office of Opportunity Gaps and the founder of BlackPrint Education Consulting

An examination of how racism and the legacies of chattel slavery and European imperialism have persisted in injuring the psyches of people of color around the globe as well as a critical discussion of how people of color perpetuate White Supremacy. By the end of this session participants will be able to identify discrete elements of internalized racism as well as wage a basic critique on how those elements shape their professional landscapes. Participants will also be able to preliminarily speak to the global consequences of White Supremacy on people of color.


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Moving Beyond the Education Survival Complex: How to ensure Students of Color Thrive - Dr. Stefani Harvey, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts at Boston

Participants in this workshop will engage in critical dialogue which recognize how white supremacy is a result of discriminatory policies which privilege whiteness and in doing so fail Black and Brown students in learning communities. Participants will learn strategies to help students thrive-opposed to survive.  Participants will leave the workshop with an urgent calling to lead courageous conversations in their school communities which demand culturally responsive pedagogical practices.


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Decolonizing Equity: Centering Race in Your Practice - Kimberly Thomas, Partnership Director Equal Opportunity Schools

Does your school and/or district have an equity policy? Does that equity policy include clear, explicit, intentional and frequent conversations about race and institutional racism? Because institutional racism matters. Learning to center race and institutional racism in your equity efforts is critical to their power and sustainability.

This session will provide a grounding in the historical context of racism in education and the opportunity to dig into relevant areas in the advanced course pipeline that reflect ongoing institutional bias and racial inequity.

Participants will reflect on the state of racial equity in their advanced courses   and identify at least one action item to take back to their schools and districts that will disrupt the cycle of racial inequity.


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Boys of Color: Learning from the Footprints of the Past, Taking Footsteps to the Future: Climate Matters! - Ron Walker, Executive Director- Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color

Participants will be exposed to and engaged in conversations designed to influence and impact mindsets and actions related to the education of boys and young men of color. Equitable access to a culturally responsive, appreciative and sustaining education designed to uplift the affirmative social, emotional, cultural and academic development of boys and young men of color is still not firmly or fully actualized in school settings across the nation. Participants will be engaged in critical conversations, role play, impactful readings and other activities designed to ask the question, why are boys and young men of color still the canaries in the mine? Participants will also engage and understand the application of the latest edition of Standards and Promising Practices for Schools Educating Boys of Color, the core document of COSEBOC and how it can be an important tool in the process of educating all students and especially Boys and Young Men of Color.


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Race STILL Matters: Between the World and US - Dr. Gary Bailey, DHL, MSW, ACSW

Recognizing that racism and cultural bias affect all of us at some level, and requires that individual practitioners constantly re-evaluate their own attitudes, biases and personal experiences with people of different races and ethnic groups, gender, social class, religious and spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, age, and mental and physical ability. Dr. Bailey’s presentation will explore the role that cultural humility, intersectionality, and minority stress theory can have on the therapeutic relationship. He will also discuss utilizing a social justice framework in the therapeutic relationship and will examine the how mental health professionals can play an important part in promoting equity, equality and fairness in their practice; as well as the role that they must play in addressing racism, and other forms of oppression in the clinical environment.


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Overcoming White Fragility - Rebecca Smoler, ELA Coordinator and IDEAS Instructor

Robin DiAngelo describes white fragility as the defensive moves that white people make when we are challenged racially. These reactions, which can include anger, defensiveness, fear, and guilt, have the power to derail efforts towards culturally responsive schools and classrooms. In this workshop, participants will explore ways white fragility can pop up in educational communities — in our students, colleagues, parents, community members, and if we are white, ourselves. We will examine steps we can take to challenge our own and others’ fragile feelings to be better allies and anti-racist educators.


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How Adutlification Bias Impacts the Educational Outcomes of Black Girls - Dr. Jamilia Blake, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss adultification bias and how it manifests itself within educational K-12 contexts to impact the educational outcomes, particularly in relation to behavioral management and school discipline outcomes, for Black girls.  Participants will identify racial disparities in school discipline from a gender lens, develop an understanding of adultification bias, and Identify best practices in culturally responsive behavior management.


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CRE, CRP, and CRT – What are they, what’s the difference, and why should I care? - Edward Walker, Founder/President of Independent Consultants of Education + IDEAS Teacher Coach/Instructor + Guidance Counselor

As the result of a resurgence of racial tension and widening inequities trickling through our education systems, there has been a “rebirth” of dialogue, highlighting the importance of cultural relevance in and outside of the classroom. In this session, we will focus on the “why now” components of the said dialogue(s), with intentions to encourage participants to think more critically about how they engage in the conversations so that they can boldly move into action.


Click here Presenter Bios

Conference Registration

Registration closes Wednesday, November 13th, and all changes and cancellations must be made by Friday, November 15th.

Should you have any questions or concerns please contact our Registrar, Margaret Credle-Thomas at metcodirectors.conference@gmail.com or (781) 316-3566.





Keynote Speaker
Dr. Christopher Emdin

Dr. Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University; where he also serves as Director of the Science Education program and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education.

He is an alumni fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and served as STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy.

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MDA – Scholarships and Vendor Opportunities

Please come prepared to purchase raffle tickets to support the scholarships for 3 METCO students, and enjoy a host of both educational and cultural vending experiences!

 Vendors Apply Here