AOCC 2022: Friday, March 4th & Saturday, March 5th (EST)

Please Note: AOCC 2022 will take place primarily online with some in-person components for current Harvard students, faculty, staff, and members of the HGSE class of 2021. The schedule is subject to change.

The final schedule with the Zoom links for each of the sessions has been emailed to all conference registrants. If you did not receive this email and you would like to attend the conference virtually, please email us at

Conference Schedule and Session Information: Friday, March 4th

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Conference Check-In

In-person attendees need to check-in on the first floor of Longfellow Hall (hallway outside Askwith Hall), provide covid-19 documentation pertinent to their HGSE affiliation, and pick up a conference badge.

All in-person attendees will be required to complete HGSE clear within 24 hours of being on campus.

4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Welcome and Keynote

Please join us for a Panel of HGSE Alumni as we kick off the 20th Annual Alumni of Color Conference!

In-Person Location: Askwith Hall

The link to join this session virtually will be emailed to all conference registrants.

Join this year's panelists, and HGSE Alumni Council Members, Eurmon Hervey, Jr. Ed.M.'96, MBA, Ed.D., Raul Juarez, Ed.M.’18, James Hankins, Ed.M.’18, Dr. Jaynemarie Enyonam Angbah, Ed.M.'07, CAS'08, and AOCC co-founder Dr. Daren Graves, Ed.D.’06, for an energetic and stimulating panel. We will look at the road traveled, accomplishments, and the challenges we must overcome as we fight for social justice and liberty for a more equitable and just world.

5:40 - 6:40 p.m. Breakout Session #1

Resilience Against the Plights of Redlining: Through the Lens of LAUSD Students of Color

Presented by: Jennifer Ramiez Flores, Joel Salas-Villa, Shayra Robles, Lizbeth Ramirez Flores, Jessica Hernandez, Vivian Morales | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Los Angeles Unified School District and Kid City Hope Place high school students have documented and address their experiences to better inform peers, teachers, counselors, and school administrators on their experiences in redlined schooling. A short documentary showcases students’ experiences of redlining in education from an isolated and community perspective.

Categories: K-12 Education, Student Perspectives, High School

The Birth of Becky: White Women Upholding White Supremacy

Presented by: Dexter Moore Jr., Carmen Williams, Cherose Walker '10, Kentaro Iwasaki '21, Megan Fidler-Carey | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

This panel will explore the historical legacy of White womanhood in America and discuss the implications of the “Becky” trope used to describe contemporary behaviors of White womanhood as an invisible and unveiled threat against Black and Brown bodies. The content of this panel will be anchored in an article recently published by the Harvard Journal of African American Policy “The Birth of Becky: White Women Upholding White Supremacy.” Participants will understand the historical context of a current day challenge, examine the intersectional complexities of the author’s argument and discuss the present-day implications for citizens, regardless of their proximity to youth, family and community-serving work.

Categories: White Supremacy, Educational Justice, History

PBS KIDS: Inclusive & Equitable Family Engagement Design & Practice

Presented by: Megan Kuensting, Lavanya Mohan '15, John Sessler '13 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) KIDS has created a cohort-based hybrid course that helps educators assess and unpack layers of culture and biases that each of us brings to our relationships with families and communities in early learning spaces. This workshop will include a mix of strategies to engage participants in reflection, case-study analysis, pair-share and small-group activities. Participants take away learnings that will inform their family and community engagement practice in diverse PreK-3 classroom and childcare settings, as well as tools and strategies to continue to question themselves, challenge systems, and engage in collaboration and discourse. We believe that if we learn and unlearn together, we can advance racial equity and empower new and diverse voices and experiences, and continue the fight toward liberatory learning and education.

Categories: K-12 Education, Media, Public Education

Honesty Hour: Let's Talk About Liberation Through Education

Presented by: Markus Sherman, Sharadram Sundaresan | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Rooted in truth and reconciliation and restorative justice practice, our approach employs a process of self-reflection and interrogation that moves away from the ‘knowledge acquisition’ model employed by many. Participants will self-reflect and work to understand their own experiences and share them with others which instigates the process of ‘bridge building’ across perceived differences.  About Honesty Hour: We work with organizations to create built-to-suit diversity, equity and cultural competency programming, curate panels and conversation spaces for the public, and partner with amazing artists and entrepreneurs to create digital media that centers traditionally marginalized voices.   

Categories: DEI, Empathy Building

You Can't Spell Equity without EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

Presented by: Roni Habib '04 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

We'll explore why fostering supportive and caring relationships rooted in emotional intelligence within our school is paramount not only for staff and students’ well-being but also for meaningful discourse about equity to take place. You'll be introduced to concepts from interpersonal neurobiology to simple improv games that can facilitate deeper relationships in your school so that your students can flourish and your staff can thrive together.

Categories: DEI, Healing Promotion

Bringing Back the Village: Co-Creating a Village of Support

Presented by: Shannon Hawkins '21, Angie Walker | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Community caregivers (educators, parents, education stakeholders) will come together to co-create a collective, healing-centered virtual space that explores courage and capacity, compassion, and connection to wholeheartedly co-create a village network of support in serving Black children. In the session, participants will explore, imagine and plan for a healing-centered and connected home and classroom by cultivating a “village care plan.” 

Categories: Empathy Building, Healing-Centered Partnerships, K-12 Education

Conference Schedule and Session Information: Saturday, March 5th

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. ET: Conference Check-In

In-person attendees need to check-in on the first floor of Longfellow Hall (hallway outside Askwith Hall), provide covid-19 documentation pertinent to their HGSE affiliation, and pick up a conference badge.

All in-person attendees will be required to complete HGSE clear within 24 hours of being on campus.

9:30 - 9:50 a.m. ET: Welcome Remarks

Please join the AOCC Tri-Chairs as we kick off the Saturday AOCC program with some opening remarks.

In-Person Location: Askwith Hall

Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. ET: Breakout Session #2

We Got Next: Teen Internships in Museums Influencing the Next Generation

Presented by: Darcy-Tell Morales EdM '13, Jeary Payne, Ace Evans, Nayeon Park, Sydney Munn, Jean Tobar, and Shania Johnson | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s High School Internship program has been in existence since 1965 and, in recent history, has made strides in ensuring the cohort represents a mix of young people from throughout NYC. The program's career focus has always impacted how young people consider the types of jobs they want and can have, at times pivoting their career plans. Additionally, a cohort of Met staff were high school interns themselves, proving that the experience has lasting effects on museum staff, culture, and more. Through our work with teens, we want to ensure that we broaden their view of the types of jobs and careers that are possible and continue to collaborate with internal and external colleagues to ensure success. Join The Met’s Teen Programs team, interns and alumni of the program as they discuss the impact of internships on their career development.

Categories: High School, Arts

Education & Career Opportunities for Undocumented Learners

Presented by: Iliana Perez, Gustavo Luna | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Undocumented youth face many hurdles when pursuing higher education and career opportunities. This workshop will provide updates on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act (DACA) and other immigration issues affecting youth.
The workshop will present research and best practices for supporting undocumented youth as they pursue education, career development, entrepreneurship opportunities, and personal dreams. DACamented and undocumented youth and college students will be invited to share their stories. 

Categories: Undocumented Students, Higher Education

Fostering a Culture of Belonging in the Workplace

Presented by: Melanie Walter, Constance Darshea Collins | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Belonging is a powerful and necessary presence in the modern workplace. Melanie Walter and Constance Darshea Collins will facilitate a collaborative and interactive discussion about how members of the workplace can be proactive in contributing to and fostering a culture of belonging. Belonging is about being able to bring your full, authentic self to work without fear and to be fully accepted for who you are and all of your identities. Research suggests employees of color disproportionately report not experiencing a sense of belonging in the workplace, leading to feelings of being undervalued and detachment from the rest of their teams. This session will help participants establish belonging as an imperative piece of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts in their workplaces and support the AOCC  theme of liberty. 

Categories: DEI, Workplace Development

Identity: Search for Belonging

Presented by: Nadezhda Belova | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Being a refugee- Issues of Identity, Faith and Connection in America. The proposed presentation and workshop activity explores identity through writing responses and facilitated discussion centered around specific questions meant to facilitate connections between participants across cultural divides. Constantly pretending and being pigeonholed into an identity that is not ours; the ability to bring self and hidden identities that we all possess and inhabit to the forefront of conversation and connect over our differences and similarities will undoubtedly prove invaluable for educators working with students from any age group.

CategoriesHealing Promotion

A Pedagogy for Community Empowerment and Reforming the Politics and Policies of Urban School Reform

Presented by: Warren C. Hayman EdD '78 and Kamaria C. Massey | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

A historic movement that attempted to challenge the system and reframe the politics and policies of urban school reform in an effort to foster social justice, inclusion, and belonging.  The presentation will be divided into four parts. Each part will open with a quotation, discussion on the topic and conclude with interactive conversations in response to the focus questions.   

Categories: Policy, Urban Schools, Education Reform

Pandemic PAR: An Attempt to Create Change Amidst Collective Uncertainty

Presented by: Sruti Sriram, Aaliya Shaikh, Maya Kalla, Manasi Singh, Saniya Dalal, Maitreyee Mohile, Sidra Shaikh, Rimjhim Kotla | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Youth Participatory Action Research has a long history across the world. Rooted in Paolo Freire’s critical consciousness, schools, communities, and universities across the world have engaged in collective inquiry rooted in the idea that all people have a right to inquiry, to research, to exploration, to discovery. Last year, as part of a course on participatory action research at HGSE, I organized a team of 7 students and 2 teachers (including me), from the Avasara Academy in Pune, India. As a research collective, we decided to explore student-teacher relationships on our campus, and the ways in which both students and teachers talk about what’s important and what works. As a team of students and educators, we'd like to create a space to share our now two-year journey with youth participatory action research in helping us generate and communicate knowledge in service of understanding and improving student-teacher relationships on our campus. 


11:10 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. ET: Breakout Session #3

Lessons from the Life of Wayne Newell: Education in Indian Country

Presented By: Chris Newell | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Wayne Newell was born at home in the Passamaquoddy community of Sipayik.  Raised without electricity or running water fought through the American English speaking education system to become a legendary intercultural educator improving education in Indian Country at the tibal, state, and federal levels.  One of the original members of Harvard's American Indian Program., Wayne graduated from Harvard GSE in 1971 with a Master's in Education.   How does a Native scholar successfully incorporate their culture in academia?  What are the practical lessons Native and non-Native educators alike can use to improve the state of education within and about Indian Country?  

Categories: Indigenous Knowledge, HGSE History

Painted Mexican Artworks Reflecting the Livid Experience and Culture of a First-Generation Latino

Presented By: Juan Pablo Garces Ramirez | Join In-Person: Location TBD | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

This painted mural will inspire dialogue from the artist’s lived experiences, but also the experiences for many first-generation Latinx/Mexican/Chican@ individuals. Latinx culture, identity, generation 1.5, education, policy, and “undacamented” communities in the US are all incorporated themes. What does it mean growing up and existing in the “in-between'' as a first-generation “American” and how can the blending of those identities impact someone's educational and lifelong trajectories? How do they compel observers to critically digest the symbolism of the paintings? I will engage in a dialogue with attendees both in-person and virtually about the painting where attendees can ask and engage in further discussion explaining symbolism, meaning and future outcomes. 

Categories: First-Generation Experience, Art

Building Schools That Liberate: The Role of Islamic Faith-Based Education in the African American Community Experience

Presented By: Shahidah Ahmad | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

In this presentation we hope to delve into the heart of education reform through a case study review of the religious-centered educational institution, The Clara Mohammed School. From its inception almost a century ago into contemporary times. Its mission has specifically targeted the liberation of the oppressed and historically marginalized community of African American people.  Through this review, key points are made around the role faith-based education can and should play in education reform as well as identifying comparatively the needs of the African American community that have addressed responsive practices historically and its relationality to contemporary times. 

Categories: Black Excellence, Faith, K-12 Education, History

Planting The Seeds: Fostering Pathways for Equitable Mental Health Care

Presented By: Zohal Shah EdM '21, Sima Haddadin EdM '21, Amreen Poonawala EdM '21, Aneri Pattani, Rafiah Maxie LCSW, ACSW  Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Rafiah Maxie, a social worker and mother, lost her son, Jamal, to his battle with mental illness. She isn’t alone. 

The stigmatization of mental health along with the scarcity of culturally-responsive and accessible resources are just a few of the many barriers that prevent communities of color from receiving help. Join us for a candid conversation with Rafiah as she speaks with Aneri Pattani, National Correspondent at Kaiser Health News, about her story, advocacy efforts, and how others can be agents of change in their communities to create more equitable access to mental health care.

The session will be moderated by HGSE alumni, Sima, Zohal, and Amreen, who recently started a podcast called Insight Health to raise awareness on systemic inequities in healthcare practices and health education. 

Categories: Mental Health, Community Efforts, Healing Promotion

The Liberatory Pedagogy of Music for Social Transformation

Presented By: Zakiyyah Sutton, Andrea Gordillo '16 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

In a culmination of experience and knowledge, presenters will offer our practice-based perspectives on the role of the arts in fostering agency, why it is an essential part of liberatory education, and how it transforms the world outside of the classroom. Our presentation will also point to how the arts can and should be used to cultivate more inclusivity, thereby disrupting the rigidity of traditional education and ensuring that liberation belongs to everyone and no one. We will present these perspectives alongside various case studies within the field of education and beyond, noting current movements in education and where the arts, and music in particular, fit within those movements.


Drop The Facade: Building Healthy Relationships

Presented By: Vishal Jain '21 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

This highly experiential workshop creates a safe space for participants to engage in dialogue through storytelling, hands-on activities, and real-talk. This workshop will support educators to build more equitable communities for the most under-resourced youth. By closing the gap between who we are on the inside and who we show up as, at school or work, we create more meaningful connections, healthier communication, deeper engagement and ultimately more powerful results for all youth.

Categories: Healing Promotion, Mental Health, DEI

12:10 - 12:55 p.m. ET - Virtual Expo

Posters from our expo presenters will be posted to our website throughout the conference. The authors will be available live between 12:10 and 12:55 to speak with conference attendees and answer questions. Zoom links to join the presenters will be emailed to all conference registrants.

Becoming Black Lawyers: Question & Answer Session with the Filmmaker Evangeline Mitchell (Special Private Screening Opportunity)

Evangeline M. Mitchell, Esq., MEd‘01

Multiple award-winning documentary short BECOMING BLACK LAWYERS features five Black lawyers candidly discussing the additional challenges they faced as Black students in predominantly White law schools as they worked hard to earn their legal education in a hypercompetitive educational environment. In their quests to become lawyers, they recognize the contradictions in their lived experiences in institutions that idealistically represent "justice" for all. Although one might think that law schools stand for the principles of equity and fairness, in reality, they recognize that the walls of law school failed to offer protection from daily prejudice, microaggressions, and anti-Blackness. 

In recent years and particularly since the racial reckoning in 2020, many law schools have made statements against racism and some have begun to do the work of addressing these issues including creating diversity, equity and inclusion positions and re-evaluating their curricula, etc. See Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project

As of February 2022, the American Bar Association, the largest voluntary association of lawyers and the accrediting body for American law schools, passed Resolution 300. This made an addition to Standard 303’s curriculum requirement mandating that law schools now - for the first time ever - provide education about bias, cross-cultural competency and racism at the beginning of one’s legal education and again before one’s graduation. As a Black lawyer herself, it is the filmmaker’s hope that this documentary can be used as a teaching tool to incite discussion around race in the law school environment - both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Categories: Black Excellence, DEI, Inclusion, Student Experiences, Anti-Blackness, Racism, Justice, Documentary, Legal Education, Law School, Professional School


Teachers as Global Researchers:  Supporting Social Justice Through Inquiry-Based Practice

Maria Teresa Tatto, MEd ‘82, EdD ‘87

This paper presents the theory, framework, and approach to becoming a global teacher-researcher in the MEd Program in Global Education at Arizona State University. The program introduces students to the unfamiliar by engaging them in a global search for research-based approaches to increase access and equity. Students bring that knowledge back to their familiar context, resulting in uniquely innovative ideas supporting action research engagement for social justice in their classroom, school district, and other education-related organizations. 

HGSE Latina Alumna Maria Teresa Tatto and her students in this Expo Presentation, are testing the program’s transformational assumption that teachers as researchers can bring about impactful and sustainable change to challenge systems of oppression through education effectively.

Categories: Global Education, Action Research, Critical Engagement, UNESCO SDG 4


Developing Inclusive Pedagogy to Prepare Preservice Teachers to Support Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student Learning

Meghan Crouch-Edwards

The UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls for teachers to be prepared to serve culturally and linguistically diverse students. This mixed-methods case study investigates a teacher education program in a large public university in the Southwest part of the United States to understand how teachers are prepared to serve culturally and linguistically diverse students. The study used semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and analysis of the teacher education curriculum to answer the research questions. The research addresses how pre-service teachers are challenged to consider diverse identities in their teaching and pedagogy.

Categories: Teacher education, Cultural diversity, Linguistic Diversity, Culturally sustaining pedagogy, Pre-service teachers, UNESCO’s SDG 4


Preparing Teachers to Implement Social-Emotional Learning: Access to Training, Resources, and Collaboration at an Elementary School 

Nicole Kaiser 

UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4 considers socioemotional learning in the primary years of schooling as essential for student wellbeing. As social-emotional learning (SEL) emerges as an integral part of global education systems, teachers have reported a lack of training in SEL content and pedagogies. This action research case study investigated teacher preparedness at an elementary school implementing SEL school-wide. The results indicated that teachers and students thought SEL was important but that the teachers felt under-prepared to implement it into their classrooms, creating a reliance on collaboration and outside resources to fill in gaps in their professional knowledge.

Categories: Social-emotional learning, Teacher training, Elementary education, Collaboration, UNESCO’s SDG 4


Postcolonialism in Secondary English Curriculum in Hawai'i: A-One Teacher Self-study

Sara Graves

This mixed-methods case study investigates the westernization of education in postcolonial settings. Conducted in Hawai’i, the research examines my role as a secondary English teacher in a colonized state by evaluating my curricula, school context, and practice through observations, questionnaires. A syllabus analysis shows how westernization manifests in education. The results encourage future research to investigate decolonizing curricula and support UNESCO’s sustainable education goals by promoting cultural pluralism in schools.

Categories: Postcolonialism, Cultural Pluralism, English Language, Hawai'i, Westernization, Sociocultural Theory, UNESCO’s SDG 4


Exploring Middle School Perspectives on Social-Emotional Learning and their Impact on School Violence

Makala Close-Haines

Social-emotional factors are related to the climate and safety within middle schools in the US and globally. This action research case study employed mixed methods to determine multi-leveled perspectives related to school violence. The results indicated SEL and district initiatives impact the climate and safety of middle school students. In addition to the COVID Pandemic, experienced globally, students and staff report a lack of skills related to SEL. The findings of this study may provide insights on the need to continue the implementation of the SEL curriculum in the district.

Categories: Social-emotional learning, School violence, Middle school, Curriculum, UNESCO’s SDG 4


Exploring the relationship between communication, curriculum, and learning outcomes during virtual learning

Sarah Bischoff

Globalization and the COVID-19 pandemic has placed virtual tools at the center of teaching and learning. This mixed-methods case study investigates responses from elementary teachers at a Kuwaiti private school reporting on relationships between virtual teacher-parent-student communication, math curriculum, and learning outcomes during the 2020-2021 academic year and Covid-19 pandemic. Results revealed that only 25% of respondents felt their students reached the same mastery level of mathematics standards as in face-to-face years. Results from interviews and observations help explain changes in resource usage, communication, and retention. 

Categories: Virtual learning, Elementary education, International education, Teacher- parent-student communication, Mathematics teaching, UNESCO’s SDG 4


The Intersection of ELL Education and Cultural Pluralism in Adult Education

Lindsey Brown

Global and local research has identified the need to introduce cultural pluralism in all facets of education. This qualitative case study probed the extent to which cultural pluralism is integrated into adult ELL classrooms in four adult education facilities in Indiana. The study employed a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and curriculum analysis to triangulate data.  Ultimately, a lack of formal cultural training has left teachers “learning on the fly.” To combat this deficit and to promote cultural pluralism, educators should be provided with, and seek out on their own, opportunities for cross-cultural exchange.

Categories: Cultural Pluralism, Adult Education, English Language Learners, Cultural Sustaining Pedagogy, UNESCO SDG 4


Action research for cognitive and psychological student engagement in a secondary school dropout prevention program

Nadalena de Julio

The UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls for strategies to improve access to secondary education. This mixed methods study examined cognitive and psychological engagement among secondary students enrolled in a dropout prevention program in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Students completed a survey to determine their engagement level. Semi-structured interviews with students and staff explored perspectives of their relationships, future goals, and the program's impact. Students were supported in their family and teacher relationships, but peer support was weaker. Students cited soft skills and community service as important program elements, while staff identified soft skills and family work.

Categories: Cognitive engagement, Psychological engagement, Student dropout, Learning pathways, UNESCO’s SDG 4


Factors Impacting Female Underrepresentation in STEM

Megan Morris

UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls for gender equality and access in all aspects of education. This mixed-methods action research study explored gender differences in secondary STEM students in participation, success, and factors to pursue STEM at an international school in Taiwan. The results indicated that male participants have higher participation and self-efficacy, while female participants have higher internal expectations. However, there are mixed results about success. Female students had significantly higher course grades but there were no statistical differences in Advanced Placement Test scores.

Categories: STEM education, Gender Gap, Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), Secondary Education, STEM Interest, UNESCO’s SDG 4


Technology integration and access to digital literacy in the time of COVID

Marta Synychych

UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 has underscored the role of technology in the classroom.  Conducted in British Columbia, this mixed-methods case study examined how teacher preparation and school information technology infrastructure mediate the use of technology in secondary science classrooms. The findings suggest that teachers’ self-perceived low level of technological knowledge, lack of technological training, and inadequate school information technology infrastructure inhibit teachers’ and students’ engagement with technology

Categories: Technology, Digital Skills, Technology Access, Teacher Preparation, Information Technology Infrastructure, UNESCO’s SDG 4

12:10 - 1:10 p.m. ET - Lunch

Take a break!

Lunch for in-person attendees will take place in the Gutman Conference Center.

1:10 - 2:10 p.m. ET - Breakout Sessions #4

Carceral Education: Expression as a Praxis of Freedom

*Please note, this session begins at 1:00PM

Presented By: Diana Saintil, Incarcerated Students (I-Can Academy) - Suffolk County Jail  | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Incarcerated students at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department explore the praxis of liberation through expressive arts (rap and poetry), and illuminate the transformative power of education as a prophylactic measure to restore human dignity, reduce recidivism rates, and empower individuals to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of our communities. Students will discuss the need to democratize access to higher education based on their experiences with the inside-out workshop through the Harvard Radcliffe Institute’s Law, Education and Justice Initiative. Their pursuit of identity within community calls for embodied empathy and humanity, the spirit and essence of Beloved Community, where the end is reconciliation, redemption and love.

Categories: Higher Education in Prisons, Transformative Power of Education, Rap/Poetry, Liberation  

Being a White-Presenting Person of Color

Presented By: Dr. Lizette Ortega Dolan, Sara Momii Roberts, Celeste Tahamont  | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Being a white presenting BIPOC is a complicated and nuanced experience in the United States, particularly during this era of “racial reckoning”. This workshop is meant to be a thought provoking conversation for individuals who are interested in deepening their understanding of the complexity of racial identity of their students, fellow colleagues, and families who identify as (or don’t realize they are) white-presenting BIPOC within our schools. Participants will consider key terminology such as “white presenting”, “white passing”, and “white adjacent” along with frameworks for positive racial identity. We expect that this will grow awareness and skill in responding to the needs of white presenting, white passing, or white adjacent BIPOC. Together, we will also unpack the complexity of the role that white presenting BIPOC play in anti-racism work.

Categories: DEI, Affinity, Identity

JusticeLoves: The Five Languages of Justice

Presented by: Amelia Thompson | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Pew Research Center found since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, adults who identify as Black or Asian have noted increased experiences of racial intolerance (Pew Research Center, 2020). Outside of individual experiences, the study also found four in ten adults in the U.S. said it was more common for people to make racially insensitive remarks about Asians since before the pandemic (Pew Research Center, 2020). These findings beget the questions:  How do we learn what racial justice is? What practical strategies exist to help us integrate justice-oriented practices into our work toward liberation through education? What opportunities exist to help children develop racially just outlooks and equip researchers, policy makers and practitioners with strategies necessary to support racial justice?   I developed The 5 Languages of Justice in response to these questions.


Pontiac Resilience Project: Addressing ACEs, Childhood Trauma, and Historical and Sustained Racism in Pontiac

Presented By: Ascend Foundation, Oakland University-Pontiac Initiative Early Childhood Education (OUPIECE), Pontiac Promise Zone, Prospect Missionary Baptist Church | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

The Pontiac Resilience Project is an interdisciplinary university-community partnership that addresses adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and childhood trauma, including historical and sustained racism through community awareness and education. Once a vibrant and prosperous Detroit suburb, Pontiac has a rich history that makes many residents proud. Currently, however, Pontiac epitomizes disparity. While located in the most affluent county in Michigan, thirty percent of the residents live in poverty and more than 60 percent of children grow up in households that receive public assistance. After the recent shooting at Oxford High School, school violence threats swept across the county. Unlike other area schools, Pontiac schools made the “tough” decision to remain open, further exacerbating the pandemic distress of students and staff already impacted by ACEs. As a part of the presentation, we will share uplifting messages (videos) from Pontiac high school students as well as community influencers that were created to inform, educate, and reflect on the important issue of mental health. Our continuing effort is guided by the words of a long-time Pontiac leader, “You’ve got to remember where you came from, in order to get to where you gotta go… Growth is inevitable… Pontiac’s bones are too strong for it not to grow.”

Categories: High School, Prenatal-12 Education, Community, Healing Promotion 

Racial Healing Spaces for School Leaders of Color: A Movement to Build More Equitable Schools

Presented By: Eleonora Cahill, ‘00, Mary Duran, La Toyua Tolbert | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Resilient Futures provides training and consultation to help schools understand childhood trauma and resilience, develop trauma informed teaching practices, and promote anti-racist systems and practices.  One of the root causes of BIPOC educators leaving the field of education is the experience of individual and institutional racism. To respond to the impact of racial trauma on BIPOC leaders, it is critical that we provide Affinity Spaces in which to do healing work. This presentation provides an overview of a program which supports BIPOC School Leaders across a school district through direct acknowledgement of racial trauma and the offering of healing spaces. This innovation is an example of a contemporary movement which seeks to challenge systems of oppression within schools.

Categories: K-12 Education, Healing Promotion, Workplace Development

2:20 - 3:20 p.m. ET - Breakout Sessions #5

Equitable and Liberatory Computer Science Education: The Path to Culturally Responsive/Sustaining CS For All

Presented By: Chan Pham | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Computer Science education in K-12 has seen booming growth in the last several years thanks to nation-wide initiatives, bipartisan support, and corporate funding. While this has successfully increased access to CS ed opportunities, many questions remain: Who has access and how do better include girls, Black and Brown students, and other historically marginalized groups? What should be taught in class and towards what goal? How can we teach CS towards cultural competence, social justice, and liberation?
This panel gathers CS education researchers and practitioners to begin answering these questions. Over the session, we will explore what equitable and liberatory CS looks like and what we can do to make it a possibility and reality for all students.

Categories: K-12 Education, DEI 

Already Enough: Using the Inherent Creativity of Black Culture to Serve Black Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Presented by: Shanae Irving '21, Chloe Diggs '21, Chiamaka Ikpeze '22,  Muna Malin '21 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Using creative expressions that already exist within the cultural context of Black communities across the diaspora, we will explore how to develop collective wellness, agency, and internalized belonging for Black students with exceptionalities. We employ a healing and joy-centered framework to call attention to existing and global Black artistic expressions that school communities can leverage to promote social and emotional skills, autonomy, and community engagement. The target population for this work is Black students along the autism spectrum in NYC schools and those that work with them, focusing on those within the ASD Nest program. All those looking to build upon the inherent creativity rooted in their students’ culture and backgrounds are welcome!

Categories: K-12, Accessibility, Arts, SEL, Black Excellence

Using a Critical 'white' Literacy Framework to Disrupt whiteness in Children's Literature

Presented by: Divya Anand and Laura Hsu ‘09 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

This workshop explores how #Antiracist children’s books inadvertently continue to center whiteness or white comfort. Participants will be guided to use a critical “white” literacy framework to analyze a children’s book with fellow participants. Strategies to critically interrogate whiteness within and beyond children’s books will be shared.

Categories: Anti-racism, Children’s Literature, Critical Literacy Framework, Disrupting Whiteness

Confronting Exploitation and Coloniality in Education Research

Presented by: Vo Ram Yoon '21 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

From interviewing children at refugee camps to tracking the test scores of students at urban public schools, education researchers often document the pain and underperformance of minoritized populations with vague promises that positive social change will occur from such work, only to result in academic articles locked behind paywalls and the inequitable status quo. In this presentation, Vo will be reflecting on his experiences as an evaluation consultant for the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) and describing how education research can reflect settler colonialism by treating knowledge as property, disregarding relationship-building, and pursuing state-sanctioned agendas that assert issues, such as poverty and segregation, as subjects to be studied but not resolved. Scholar Leigh Patel states that "research is a fundamentally relational, cultural, and political practice" and attendees will be reflecting on what it means to conduct liberatory education research beyond just having good intentions.

Categories: Research, Anti-Colonialism, Evaluation, Indigenous Knowledge, Epistemology

Invisible to Visible: Strides in Asian American Studies in K-12 and Higher Education

Presented By: Dr. Wenli Jen, Christina Yu, Rick Eng  | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

The rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in the US result from hundreds of years of perpetuated stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination of AAPI. The social justice efforts for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are ever more the imperative discussion when it comes to communities of color. As such, some states have legislation for Asian American studies to be finally and formally included in K-12 curriculum, with California state universities requiring ethnic studies in general education requirements. This panel discussion presents the current efforts for inclusivity in curriculum and underrepresented communities and their stories to be visible. The panel also discusses how educators can participate and get involved in their local schools, colleges and communities. 

Categories: K-12 Education, Higher education, Asian Experience

Neoterism: Exploring Bicultural Identity Transformation

Presented by: Yujiro Shimogori | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Neoterism implies the emergence of a new, modern frame of mind and self-authority through the process of regulating two cultural identities. In a time when plurality of existence is a common place, neoterism attempts to promote connection between cultures let alone concinnating a new, globally oriented existence. This entails liberation from the confinements of one’s heritage identity and experiencing genesis of a new, modern frame of mind. The individual becomes an expert in acknowledging the differences and similarities of cultures, not to mention realizing the commonalities of cultures. Neoterism attempts to define a new goal for bilingual learners in the unfolding twenty-first century.

Categories: Bilingual Education, Human Development, Biculturalism, Cross-Cultural Psychology  

3:35 - 4:35 p.m. ET - Breakout Session #6

Talking College: A Community Based Language and Racial Identity Development Model for Black College Student Justice

Presented by: Anne H. Charity Hudley AB, AM '98 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

As Black students transition from high school to college, they seek to add their voices and perspectives to academic discourse and to the scholarly community in a way that is both advantageous and authentic. The Talking College Project is a Black student and Black studies centered way to learn more about the particular linguistic choices of Black students while empowering them to be proud of their cultural and linguistic heritage. Black students took introductory educational linguistics courses that examined the role of language in the Black college experience and collected information from college students through both interviews and ethnography. We as educators and linguists to provide more Black college students with information that both empowers them raciolinguistically AND respects their developing identity choices. 

Categories: Black Excellence, Higher Education, DEI

Exploration of Manhood through an Afrocentric Paradigm: The Manhood Tree Group

Presented by: Anthony De Jesus, Abdul-Rahmaan Muhammad, Steve Raider Ginsberg, Kevin Muhammad | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

The Manhood Tree was implemented at the University of Saint Joseph. All participants identified as African American, Afro-Latinx or as Jewish Diaspora men reflecting diverse ethnic, religious, gender and socioeconomic identities which were explored in the group. Panelists will engage participants with interactive discussion and examples of activities from the curriculum and their implications for implementation at various levels with African American and African Diaspora communities.  The concepts of eldering and question driven pedagogy especially highlight the intergenerational nature of our implementation of the Manhood Tree whereby facilitators demonstrate authority based on knowledge, wisdom and expertise and co-create curriculum with students.

Categories: Higher Education, Program Design 

Kindling the Flame: Supporting Student Advocacy in Educational Spaces

Presented by: Jenny Portillo and Marianna Stepniak | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Student activism has been a catalyst for systemic change towards justice throughout American history. Youth activism has ranged from nonviolent sit-ins during the civil rights movement to present-day, nationwide marches for racial justice. Student movements on college campuses and K-12 public schools have helped highlight movements for liberation and led to changes for communities within and outside of schools. Key lessons drawn from generations of student activism can help support different forms of youth organizing across various educational spaces. Impactful student activism requires support from adults and organizations that can develop youth capacity for leadership and strategic organizing. In this workshop, participants will learn about key historical moments in student activism for justice and lessons that can be drawn from these moments to support students.

Categories: K-12 Education, Program Design, Nonprofits, Community, Student Perspectives, History

What Works in DEI? Research-Based Practices to Advance DEI Work in Education

Presented by: Lucerito Ortiz, Michael Corral | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Creating diverse, inclusive, equitable, and antiracist organizations is a precondition for achieving liberty and social justice. As we work to live out our missions, it is critical that we take a reflective lens and look at the state of our own organizations. Throughout history and into present day, much of the burden of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in organization has fallen on the shoulders of People of Color and those with historically marginalized communities. Our hope with Unrealized Impact 2.0: The Hard Truth About Where We Are and Ways to Move Forward- the largest study of its kind on DEI in education- is to present a call to action to the education sector for individuals and organizations to collectively own and share the burden of true transformation. Our session will invite folks into a discussion of research-based practices and recommendations on advancing DEI in education and creating spaces where all people- especially those with historically marginalized identities- can fully thrive and do their best work.

Categories: DEI, Talent, K-12, Nonprofits, Workplace Culture

New Found Strategies for Newfoundland & Labrador Teachers: Launching an Anti-Racist Professional Learning Series in a Canadian Province

Presented by: R. Lennon Audrain EdM ‘20, Heather Carroll EdM ‘20, Tari Ajadi | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Explore the launch and impact of a virtual professional learning series for teachers in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the summer of 2020, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) launched a ‘Black Lives Matter Resource Guide For Families’ to respond to the first widespread conversation about anti-Black racism in the province’s history. The guide absconded responsibility for school-based and systems-based equity work. This led us to launch a free, virtual, and unaffiliated professional learning series for teachers on the topic of anti-racist pedagogy. Through direct professional learning with teachers, we explore how external groups can impact student learning conditions by challenging unjust and complicit systems, exposing how institutional racism is weaponized, and partnering to advocate for equity. 

Categories: International, K-12 Education, Teacher Development

Coaching to Disrupt the Status Quo: Promoting Liberation and Well-Being

Presented by: Rashaida Melvin ‘17 and Lauren Vargas | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Instructional coaching, when focused on centering marginalized students and causing “good trouble,” can support teachers and schools in making the kind of practical changes needed to disrupt the status quo, and as quickly as possible, in order to promote the liberation and well-being of students and teachers alike in K-12 education. Practical planning for what educators (especially educators who coach teachers) can do to disrupt the status quo, promote liberation, and create classrooms where students thrive and enjoy the freedom and power that comes with an anti-oppressive education. We do this through six key liberatory practices for coaching to disrupt the status quo. This workshop aims to build instructional coaches' capacity to promote classrooms where “none of us are free until all of us are free.” 

Categories: DEI, Workplace Development, Coaching, Liberation

4:50 - 6:30 p.m. ET - Closing Keynote Workshop and Awards

Global Shakeout: Movement in Action 

Presented by: Manuela Welton

In-Person Location: Longfellow 319 & 320 | Join Virtually: Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants

Global Shakeout is an experiential mindfulness movement using dance as a means to reduce stress and build community. Dance as an expressive art is an act of liberation that’s an opportunity for social emotional learning and group connection. 

Inspired by my mother’s legacy of inclusivity in her ballet school in inner-city Colombia, Global Shakeout’s concept took form through my work with former child soldiers as a tool to access creative outlets and healthy self-expression.

The GSO journey incorporates breath exercises and creates space for visions as well as promotes community engagement, conversation and connection. 

Overuse of technology, the pandemic and social isolation--  Now more than ever, isn't it time to shake it out? 

Categories: Arts, Movement, Human Development, SEL

AOCC Awards Ceremony and Closing Remarks

6:45 - 8:45 p.m. ET - Dinner and Dance Party

In-person attendees are invited to join us for dinner in the Gutman Conference Center. The dinner will be followed by a virtual and in-person dance party featuring DJ Justis Lopez. In-person attendees, please join the dance party in the Reading Area on the first floor of Gutman. Virtual attendees, please join us online! The Zoom link will be emailed to all conference registrants.