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U-46 to Host Equity Matters Symposium

June 1, 2021

School District U-46 will host the inaugural U-46 Equity Matters Symposium from June 7-10, featuring national education and equity leaders. U-46 staff members will facilitate breakout sessions during this online symposium on a host of relevant topics aligned to three focus areas: equity pedagogy, relationships, and social justice. 

“This symposium is going to take place after one of the most challenging years many of us in public education have ever faced. It is designed to give our teachers, administrators, other employees, and volunteers the space and resources to build their capacity to best support the diverse needs of staff and students,” said Dr. Teresa A. Lance, Assistant Superintendent for Equity and Innovation. “We are beyond thrilled to convene so many incredibly knowledgeable and respected speakers in their field to inform and inspire our work moving forward in U-46.”

The event will be offered via Zoom to U-46 employees and community volunteers, such as those who serve on the Community Advisory Council, the Alignment Collaborative for Education, the African-American Advisory Council and the Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee. Together, staff and community members will have the opportunity to discuss and learn more about topics including anti-bias education in early childhood, the power of student-teacher relationships, restorative practices, and more.

The keynote speakers include: 

  • Dr. Gloria Ladson Billings is the author of critically acclaimed book “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children,” and the former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction  at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has led numerous efforts to reduce the academic achievement gap of minority students.
  • Richard Milner IV is a researcher, scholar, and leader in the fields of urban education and teacher education. He is currently the Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor and Chair of Education and Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. 
  • Dr. Gholdy Muhammad is an Associate Professor of Language and Literacy at Georgia State University and author of the best-selling book “Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy.” 
  • Dr. Dena Simmons is founder of LiberatED, an antiracist approach to social and emotional learning and healing. Dr. Simmons is the author of “White Rules for Black People.” 

In addition to the keynote speakers, about 14 presentations will be led by U-46 staffers, and a panel of U-46 students will discuss their own educational and life experiences. 

For more information, visit the U-46 Equity & Diversity section of the U-46 website.