Multicultural Educators Forum 2023

Creating a Courageous School Culture

TUESDAY, February 21, 2023

Schedule for the Day

8:30 a.m. - Check-in and Welcome Breakfast
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. - Opening Keynote Speaker and Workshop (Ward Hall)
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Mindfulness practices
12:00 - 12:45 p.m. - Lunch
12:45 - 2:15 p.m. - Breakout sessions
(Grading for Equity; Social Emotional Learning and the Trauma-Informed Lens)

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. - Break
2:30 - 4:00 p.m. - Closing Keynote Speaker and Workshop (Ward Hall)
4:00 p.m. - Social Hour


OPENING Keynote 

"Courageous Conversations" with Adar Cohen







Adar Cohen will launch the Forum with a keynote presentation addressing how to have a difficult conversation and the costs of chronic conflict avoidance and arming attendees with three simple, usable, and effective tools. 

Adar leads conversations in conflict zones, family rooms, and other places where people can save the world. His work has been featured by the New York Times, TED, TED Ideas, MSNBC, and AEON.

Adar holds a PhD in conflict resolution from Trinity College Dublin. A Harry S. Truman Scholar, a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, and a George Mitchell Scholar, Adar has lectured at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and -- at the invitation of the King of Bhutan -- at Sherubste College, the Himalayan Kingdom’s first institution for higher education.

He is a co-founder of Civic Leadership Foundation, which has supported over 25,000 young people in preparing for success in school, in their careers, and as citizens. His book, Jimmie Lee & James, is now available in paperback.

CLOSING Keynote 

"The Power to Change, Grow, and Create Culture" with Tamekia MizLadi Smith

Tamekia MizLadi Smith is affectionately known as “the Singing Speaking Poet." As the founder of EDU Arts, LLC, she utilizes various forms of creative arts to convey a memorable learning experience. Her experience and passion for Health Equity, DEI, and Self-Care have been instrumental in her approach to creating programming for Workplace Culture and Wellbeing.

With over 20 years of diverse speaking and training experience, her practical approach to aiding corporations in creating a psychologically safe space has made her a sought-after keynote speaker. After speaking at the TED Conference in Vancouver Canada, she authored a book entitled Take the Stage, which provides pre and post stage advice, coaching, and life lessons for aspiring public speakers.

breakout sessionS

"Grading for Equity" with Courtney Fenner (virtual)

In this breakout group facilitated by Courtney Fenner, teachers and leaders will troubleshoot specific challenges and strategies to successfully implement equitable grading practices. In order to fully engage in this session’s work, participants must have read Grading for Equity and be ready to discuss the challenges of implementing equitable grading strategies. 

Courtney is a career educator with 19 years of experience across a breadth of schools where her roles have included classroom teacher, grade team leader, and Director of Equity & Inclusion. She holds an MA in English Education from Brooklyn College, an MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a BA in Studies in Women & Gender from the University of Virginia.

She is the author of the book, Kollege Knowledge: A Grrrl’s Guide to Surviving the First Year, and was the 2013 Young Women’s Leadership Network’s Teacher of the Year.

Courtney first joined Crescendo Education Group as a remote equitable grading coach. She has used equitable grading practices in her classrooms and has seen firsthand success with her students’ skill-building and confidence. When not facilitating and coaching, she is making homemade ice cream by hand, eating her way through new cities, and saving home design inspiration posts on Instagram.

NOTEAn additional breakout session focused on Social Emotional Learning and the Trauma-Informed Lens is also currently under development for the Forum. 




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