If we want our students to receive a quality, equitable education, it is important for us to feed our own minds, continue to improve our practice, and to evaluate ourselves and our actions every step of the way. Here are three influencers you should follow on Twitter.
Dr. Camika Royal
As the assistant professor and co-director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Loyola University Maryland, Dr. Royal is redefining what types of trainings and practices are needed to support teachers working in an urban community. She challenges educators to develop an “an asset-based view” to shift their perception of students and their families. Much like Kate Gerson explained in her Summer Standards Institute keynote, Dr. Royal, believes that our education system is not broken, but it is systematically designed to benefit White children. Further, she says we should change our mindsets and rid our schools of conditions that perpetuate inequitable practices and behavior.
Dr. Omekongo Dibinga
A self-described “UPstander,” Dr. Dibinga is an expert on implicit bias and currently lectures as professor of cross-cultural communication at American University. In his keynote, Finding Common Ground In Uncommon Times, he describes ways that we can all challenge implicit bias and explains how to have difficult conversations on race. He has appeared on CNN, BET, and NPR to discuss his community activism, and he recently spoke at the National Principals Conference, where he addressed school leaders’ need to be more self-aware so they can build their cultural competence.
Dr. Veronica García
Dr. Garcia, superintendent of the Santa Fe Public Schools, has been a champion of equity and a voice for disadvantaged Latino students since the 1970s. She was recently awarded the National Education Association (NEA) H. Councill Trenholm Award for her dedication to uplifting poor students and creating safe spaces for immigrant students and their families in schools. She is a school leader who advocates for all students, and her innovative practices—such as creating a hotline for students and families to report bullying and harassment— are strong examples of identifying students’ needs and implementing strategies to address them.
Who are you following for ideas and inspiration? Tweet at us with your answer, using #SmarterTogether.