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As I settle back into my routine and begin to reflect after another amazing People of Color Conference, it is only now that I can see what at times was a seriousness to the conference that clearly matches the mood for many since the election in November; and still there were these amazing moments of joyous celebration throughout the three-day conference.
Despite this, there was a clear thread from featured speakers to peer workshops to student performances – our schools must continue to foster meaningful conversations, remain open-minded, and model equity and justice. While this is not surprising, I find myself thinking about how we go about doing these things in transparent and age appropriate ways.
Dr. Bryan Stevenson, this year’s opening keynote speaker, really gave me something to think about as he challenged conference participants to remember change is not easy but it is necessary in our country. The powerful hour-long presentation to a room full of teachers and students was hopeful in spite of the often sad reminders of how broken the world can be. Dr. Stevenson challenged conference participates to think about change and our role as change agents in meaningful ways. He believes:
Ultimately, Dr. Stevenson’s talk resonated with me because I, too, believe change is not only important but it is essential to the work that takes place in our schools each day. I’ve included a powerful Ted Talk from Dr. Stevenson where he talks about the importance of having conversations about injustice. tlb