Now more than ever, we are stretching our mindsets and heart sets wide enough to think about redesigning our systems policies and practices to amplify the “cultural currencies” that are meant to enrich our students’ education. Over the last two weeks, more than 1,000 educators engaged in the two-day Virtual Summit, focusing on grade-level curriculum, strategic supports, and equitable instruction to help teachers, leaders, and coaches produce meaningful, engaging in-person and virtual classroom experiences.
Lacey Robinson, president & CEO of UnboundEd, kicked things off with an inspiring opening keynote on day one. Her message was that acknowledging all of America’s systematic racist transgressions is key to unifying. She also reminded us about the opportunities ahead if we can look beyond the challenges we face today.
Acknowledging all of America’s systematically racist transgressions, lies, judgments, stealing of land, dismantling the human spirit, and killing of bodies are vital to repairing our collective relationship with our country and each other. Acknowledging isn’t blaming. It’s solidifying what happened, and ensuring it never happens again, and having a shared responsibility to change its impact from where we stand. America is almost impossible to name a function of life where racism has not and does not touch.Lacey Robinson, President & CEO of UnboundEd
Following the keynote, participants transitioned into their day-long sessions, where facilitators pushed them to examine the heightened role that their beliefs play in educational equity.
Dr. Lisa Delpit, educationalist, author, Eminent Scholar, and executive director of the Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Florida International University, was the keynote speaker on day two. She shared ways to become aware of and change our perspectives on children who have been marginalized and charged us to see the brilliance that all students bring to this world.
“We, for the most part, do not know the amazing astronomical, architectural, and technological knowledge of Africa, the mathematical genius of the Arab and Central American world. The advanced philosophy, poetry, and political structure of Native Americans; the amazing literature to be found in all countries of color, in short. How much of the Western civilization owes a debt to the other civilizations that taught them much of what they know?”Dr. Lisa Delpit, Educationalist, Author, Eminent Scholar, and Executive Director of the Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Florida International University
Throughout the final day, educators identified entry points they can create for students with interrupted learning and left with next steps to prepare for virtual, hybrid, or in-person instruction amid the ongoing pandemic.
At the end of day two, participants were better prepared to make instructional decisions that provide students with access to grade-level, meaningful experiences.