36th Annual MDA
Educators Conference
Friday, December 3, 2021

36th Annual Educators Conference

Dismantling Systemic Racism: Starting in Schools

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 Speaker
Dr. Tricia Rose
Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University

Born and raised in Harlem and the Bronx in New York City, Tricia Rose graduated from Yale University where she received a BA in Sociology and then received her Ph.D. from Brown University in American Studies. She has taught at NYU, and UC Santa Cruz and is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and the Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. Rose also serves as Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. In addition to her duties at Brown, Professor Rose sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change and Black Girls Rock, Inc.

Keynote Message
How Systemic Racism Works

In this lecture and presentation, Prof. Rose will share her ongoing research, which aims to make accessible to the public what systemic racism is and how it works to create largely invisible but significant interrelated barriers to opportunity. With a special focus on education and how it connects with other vital facets of society, Prof. Rose will reveal the continuing intersectional and compounding effects of systemic discrimination in American society today.
Event Details

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!

DEI Leadership Forum

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 12pm-4pm

* For DEI Leaders and METCO Directors

Keynote Speaker:
Manuel J. Fernandez, Interim Chief Equity Officer Cambridge Public Schools

Starting With What You Have to Get Them Where You Need Them to Be

Panel Discussion:
Successful initiatives and best practices.  How Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advocates help make the environment a more inclusive place for everyone.

Superintendent Strand

  • Superintendent Morning Session
  • Superintendent Afternoon Session

Curricular Battles in Education
Dr. Tricia Rose, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America

School boards, superintendents, even principals, and teachers are managing a complex debate and struggle over educational content and who decides what it should be. Although such debates are not new, the recent battles over “critical race theory” have grown widespread, visible, and intense. In this discussion with superintendents, Prof. Tricia Rose will anchor this open dialogue with some framing ideas to assist educators in calibrating this discussion through the right lens.

 

Centering Equity and Advancing Anti-racist/Anti-bias Practices in Schools
Manuel J. Fernandez, Chief Equity Officer Cambridge Public Schools

The recent racial justice protests across the country and the pushback by some communities against any anti-racist/anti-bias curriculum has amplified the negative experiences that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) endure within their daily lives. These experiences, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have also magnified the inequities that BIPOC students and educators face daily at school. It is overwhelming for them, their families, and the entire school community. As a result, school and district leaders are challenged to reflect and respond to: 1) the myriad ways in which race, culture, language, gender, disability, sexuality, socioeconomics, and other dimensions of humanity intersect within their learning community; 2) the way in which BIPOC students access learning, and 3) how BIPOC educators navigate spaces that reflect and perpetuate the dominant culture. The centering of equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in school districts is an essential and awesome responsibility.

This workshop will explore the lessons learned from the Cambridge Public Schools’ journey to launch a district-wide initiative focused on centering equity and promoting anit-racist/anti-bias practices This interactive workshop for school district leaders that will examine authentic problems of practice that can move a performative school district to a transformative teaching and learning community.

Superintendent Strand

Morning Session
Dr. Tricia Rose, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University

Afternoon Session

Centering Equity and Advancing Anti-racist/Anti-bias Practices in Schools
Manuel J. Fernandez, Chief Equity Officer Cambridge Public Schools

The recent racial justice protests across the country and the pushback by some communities against any anti-racist/anti-bias curriculum has amplified the negative experiences that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) endure within their daily lives. These experiences, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have also magnified the inequities that BIPOC students and educators face daily at school. It is overwhelming for them, their families, and the entire school community. As a result, school and district leaders are challenged to reflect and respond to: 1) the myriad ways in which race, culture, language, gender, disability, sexuality, socioeconomics, and other dimensions of humanity intersect within their learning community; 2) the way in which BIPOC students access learning, and 3) how BIPOC educators navigate spaces that reflect and perpetuate the dominant culture. The centering of equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in school districts is an essential and awesome responsibility.

This workshop will explore the lessons learned from the Cambridge Public Schools’ journey to launch a district-wide initiative focused on centering equity and promoting anti-racist/anti-bias practices This interactive workshop for school district leaders that will examine authentic problems of practice that can move a performative school district to a transformative teaching and learning community.

Friday Workshops

Presenter - Kathy Lopes, LICSW
In this workshop, participants will explore how they can begin the journey of building an antiracist school culture that is grounded in the values of equity, inclusion and belonging for ALL students. Intended for district and building leaders, we will highlight why ongoing learning and self-reflection are key components for the implementation and sustainability of antiracist work in your school buildings. We will also discuss strategies on how to engage all members of your school community to ensure that the change is transformational, rather than transactional.

See Speaker Bios

Presenter - Jamila Sams MA.Ed
Liberation is experiencing freedom from limits on thought or behavior while being able to question, understand, and change one’s conditions in the world. As practitioners of Social Emotional Learning, our purpose is not to teach to conform, but to educate to liberate. However, the act of liberation begins with “mirror” work. What questions do we need to ask ourselves to unlearn ideologies that uphold systemic racist practices in how we approach Social Emotional Learning in schools?

See Speaker Bios

Presenter - Richard Booth, Ph.D., LMHC
This workshop explores how trauma, stress, and anxiety (exacerbated by COVID-19) impact core neurological functioning and behaviors. Participants will also discuss expected behavioral, cognitive, and emotional manifestations of high stress and trauma on student and staff. Special consideration will be given to students from communities experiencing pre-existing traumas-including historical traumas such as racism, health, and education disparities. Additional focus will be given to how prioritizing SEL, and trauma may improve inclusion, equity, and ultimately, the life trajectories of our students. Lastly, therapeutic interviewing and coping skills will be introduced and practiced for improving foundational relationships and coping skills.


See Speaker Bios

Presenter - Jamele Adams
Elementary Schools are often the introduction of young scholars into the institution of “formal” education.This session spends time affirming the importance of love, inclusion and trust in elementary schools as the journey commences. This session will share techniques and strategies that can be applied to assist in the work, affiliated efforts and building inclusive communities.


See Speaker Bios

Presenters Dr. Natasha Halfkenny and Dr. Raymond Porch
In this workshop, we will explore some of the history of what makes schools historically racist institutions and how to build a new Anit-Racist culture. We will unpack the importance of mindset, skillset, technical and adaptive work, self-awareness, and self-reflection.


See Speaker Bios

Presenters: Darla DeGrace and Nehia Al-Shanniek
A broad research base shows us the value of a diverse teaching staff for all students, particularly students of color. When teachers are the same race as their students, students are less likely to be suspended, they’re more likely to be referred to gifted programs, and they’re more likely to complete high school and go to college. As such, we seek to identify and upend the inequities within the educational system, and we know that a lack of diversity in the teacher workforce is a key lever. During this session, participants will review the research around the importance of more diverse talent in schools as well as the barriers to inviting and retaining teachers of color. Session participants will draft a vision draft for student experience and its connection to staff experience. Participants will also explore the role of identity and bias in perpetuating current barriers and will leave with a defined range of systems, policies and practices that need to shift in support of delivering on your vision for the staff experience.


See Speaker Bios

Presenter: Jennifer De Leon
Where are you from? Where are you from-from? Where are you really from? These are questions that author Jennifer De Leon faced while growing up—and continues to face—as a person of color. They inspired her to write a young adult novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (Simon & Schuster, 2020), in which first-generation Latinx METCO student Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, Liliana must decide what she believes in and take a stand. In this honest and energizing presentation about race and belonging and the power of storytelling to dismantle systemic racism in schools, Jenn pulls the curtain back on her own experiences—in life and on the page. This session will conclude with an audience Q & A and a book signing by the author.


See Speaker Bios

Presenter: Lisa Smith McQueenie
The workshop will explore how towns and schools might partner to increase understanding, adopt an anti-racist agenda and create progressive and effective strategies to address systemic racism. The history of school segregation, redlining, discriminatory hiring, and systemic racism in policing offer stark examples of the structural barriers to building more inclusive and equitable communities. Utilizing case studies and other sources we will examine how municipalities and school districts can work together to create the change necessary to counter the impact of systemic racism, its manifestations, and ensure more equitable experiences for all.


See Speaker Bios

Presenter:Kamau Ptah
This interactive workshop will examine how race affects the education system and students lived experiences. Through engaging with COSEBOC Standards, participants will learn how to develop a culturally responsive approach to building an Anti-Racist classroom, learning community and school district. Additionally, participants will learn how to explore the impact of unconscious bias though a Rites of Passage lens and gain tools to address their own racial dispositions as they strive to create Antiracist learning communities.


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Presenters: Leslie Smart and Rebecca Smoler
Initiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement (IDEAS), previously known as EMI, has been partnering with the METCO Directors Association in working to dismantle systemic racism in schools for over 30 years. This interactive workshop is designed to introduce educators to the complex issues raised by race and racism and their impact on student learning and achievement. The workshop will encourage educators to recognize the link between self-awareness and professional development as a component of providing equity to all students.


See Speaker Bios

Registration

Registration closes FRIDAY, November 26th, and all changes and cancellations must be made by Friday, November 26th.

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

Registration

Registration is now closed.  

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

Dr. Tricia Rose, Ph.D

Born and raised in Harlem and the Bronx in New York City, Tricia Rose graduated from Yale University where she received a BA in Sociology and then received her Ph.D. from Brown University in American Studies. She has taught at NYU, and UC Santa Cruz and is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and the Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. Rose also serves as Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. In addition to her duties at Brown, Professor Rose sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change, and Black Girls Rock, Inc.

Rose is an internationally respected scholar of post-civil rights era black U.S. culture, popular music, social issues, gender, and sexuality. She has been awarded for her teaching and has received several scholarly fellowships including ones from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Association of University Women.

She is most well known for her groundbreaking book on the emergence of hip-hop culture. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America is considered foundational text for the study of hip hop, one that has defined what is now an entire field of study. Black Noise won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1995, was voted among the top 25 books of 1995 by the Village Voice and in 1999 was listed by Black Issues in Higher Education as one of its “Top Books of the Twentieth Century.”

In 2003 Rose published a rare and powerful oral narrative history of black women’s sexual life stories, called Longing To Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy. In 2008, Professor Rose returned to hip hop to challenge the field she helped found, with: The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-And Why It Matters. Her essays can be found in a range of scholarly journals and public venues. She is currently working on a project called How Structural Racism Works.

Tricia Rose lectures, engages in conversation and presents seminars and workshops to scholarly and general audiences on a wide range of issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality, and art and social justice. Rose has been featured on PBS, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and other national and local media outlets. More of her work can be found in scholarly journals and more popular outlets. She encourages you to connect with her on her website: www.triciarose.com, on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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Learn more about Dr. Rose here.