Loyola University Maryland

Center for Innovation in Urban Education (CIUE)

Symposium Program Agenda

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The symposium agenda is still in development. 

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall Atrium 


8:30 a.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall

Joshua S. Smith, Ph.D., Dean, School of Education, Loyola University Maryland

Lisa Bleich, Executive Director, Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools

"The (R)Evolution Will Not Be Standardized" 

8:45 a.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., Kellner Family Distinguished Chair of Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Community discussion Q&A
Moderator: Camika Royal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Urban Education and Co-Director of the Center of Innovation in Urban Education, Loyola University Maryland School of Education 

Panel and Breakout Conversations: The Community Teacher

9:45-11:15 a.m.
McGuire Hall

Transformative practices in the development of culturally competent and connected educators. On the panel, breakout conversations leaders will introduce their topics. Moderator: Robert Helfenbein, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Loyola University Maryland School of Education 

A. How to privilege community wisdom in the education of teachers: Community-engaged teacher education.

Location: CTM 105/107

Led by: Wilisha Scaife, Muncie P3 Director of Family Engagement, Community Mentor, Schools Within the Context of Community, Instructor, Department of Elementary Education, Ball State University; Patricia Clark, Professor and Chair, Department of Elementary Education, Ball State University; Faith Serf, 1st Grade Teacher, Muncie Community Schools, MuncieP3 Curriculum Coordinator, Ball State University; Eva Zygmunt, Professor, Department of Elementary Education, Director, Schools Within the Context of Community, Co-Director, Alliance for Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation, Ball State University.

This session will encourage dialogue surrounding a unique approach to teacher education that embodies Murrell’s community teacher framework in the development of culturally responsive teachers.  Presenters will structure conversation on how immersing pre-service teacher candidates in a low-income, African-American neighborhood and pairing them with community mentors builds relational ties through which candidates learn the strengths of the children and families with whom they are working in schools, shifting their lens from one of deficit, to an orientation of community cultural wealth. Participants will investigate how broadening the definition of “teacher educator” beyond university faculty to include school administrators, local pastors, service providers, community elders, members of the local community council, and parents within the community creates spaces through which the development of culturally responsive teachers can more authentically emerge.

B. Democratizing teacher education: Enriching field experience with community mentors.

Location: Sellinger VIP

Session Leaders:
Carlos Nelson, The Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation in Chicago and Dr. Robert Lee, Illinois State University, Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline

Dawn Bennett & Jolyn Gardner, Multicultural Education Rights Alliance (McERA) and Dr. Kate Napolitan, University of Washington-Seattle

"A community teacher is an accomplished teacher who possesses and works to build on his/her contextualized knowledge of culture, community, and identity of children and families as the core of his/her teaching practice. Community teachers possess a "multicultural competence" that incorporates a deep and sophisticated understanding of race, racism and the contemporary contexts of schooling. Community Teachers are individuals who typically gain this understanding as a result of living and working in the same under-resourced communities where students from diverse backgrounds live and go to school. (Murrell, p.2)" 

In this session, participants will engage in a discussion connected to two teacher education programs: the Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline, which works to prepare culturally responsive and socially just teachers for Chicago through community-immersive programming and, the Community-Family-Politics strand at the University of Washington-Seattle, which strove to prepare community teachers who learnt to strategically teach against the grain. Participants in this session will have the opportunity to explore and discuss the promise of these approaches and the difficulties that can arise in developing and implementing this work.

C. Homegrown Teachers:  New Pathways for Parents and Community Members to Bring their Indigenous Knowledge to the Teaching Profession.

Location: CTM 113

Led by *Elizabeth A. Skinner, PhD, Associate Professor, Illinois State University, School of Teaching & Learning; Maricela Contreras, former GYO student, 4th Grade Bilingual Teacher at Stowe Elementary School in Chicago; and Kate Van Winkle, Executive Director, Grow Your Own Illinois.

In Illinois and specifically Chicago, the GYO Teachers initiative is no longer “new.” However, inherently unequal access to the profession, due to state and institutional level policy, combined with recent school closings and teacher layoffs, which hurt Black teachers at an inordinate rate, the work is more urgent than ever. This session will provide a brief history of the GYO Teachers initiative in Chicago and describe the preparation of local residents and leaders to be educators in the spirit of Murrell’s “community teacher.”  After creating this context, the session will move into a discussion that situates the GYO program in the present educational setting that includes the closure of schools in Black and Brown communities, intentional under resourcing of public schools, and budget “crises” that result in the layoffs of experienced teachers.  Finally, we’ll contemplate collaborative action that schools, community-based organizations (CBOs), Colleges of Education, teachers, and families can take together to push back against such reforms.

D. Better teaching through community schools: Community Organizations as Change Agents for Teacher Preparation

Location: CTM 114

Led by: Khaula Murtadha, Associate  Vice Chancellor, IUPUI,  Office of Community Engagement, Faculty in School of Education; Elizabeth Odle, the Director of Community School Collaboration for the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center; and Emily R. Pelino, Executive Director, KIPP Indy Public Schools.

E. Courageous Conversations about Race

Led by: Changa Onyango, Executive Director of Group Harvest, LLC; Lisa Bleich, Executive Director of the Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools; Paula Byrd, Deputy Director of the Alliance of Community Teachers and Schools (ACTS); Eric Jackson, Community Educator and Organizer; Julie Lin, Arts Integration Specialist; Aimee Pohl, Writer and Social justice Activist.

Courageous Conversations about Race is a facilitated and interactive conversation about the racial achievement gap. Created by Glenn Singleton and modified by ACTS and its partners, Courageous Conversations open a safe and structured space for authentic dialogue and self-development, especially useful in a school setting. ACTS facilitators will model the opening session of a Courageous Conversation process that can be used to address racial disparities and implicit bias in participants' own school communities, and to deepen teacher understanding and authenticity in connecting to the culture of their students.

Lunch and Networking

12:00-12:45 p.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall

Lunchtime Speaker
Building "Identity, Agency and Reflection" In Urban Schools

12:45 p.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall

Edward Fergus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at Steinhart School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University

Moderator: Jessica Strauss, LGSW, Co-Founder and Senior Associate, Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools.

Plenary Panel and Breakout Conversations: Educational Resiliency

Moderator: Jessica Strauss, LGSW, Co-Founder and Senior Associate, Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools

A. Transformational school environments: How schools can foster a culture of resiliency

Location: Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall

Led by Edward Fergus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at Steinhart School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University and Jessica Strauss, LGSW, Co-Founder and Senior Associate, Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools (ACTS).

For many of our young Black and Brown children, urban environments present both a maze of toxic stress and the sources of resilience and sustenance. Schools are likewise places of toxic stress for urban children, often not the havens of well-being and safety that they need. Those who intend to build school that cultivate healthy and successful young people will do best to focus on highly relational structures and practices that provide genuine caring, healing, and identity development. Stimulated by the lunchtime talk, this session will explore further the research and imperatives suggested by the research presented by Dr. Fergus, as well as some of the practices suggested by Dr. Murrell and The Resiliency Project, his nascent work with ACTS. Achieving educational resilience, a prerequisite for academic success, demands a connectedness with the local community, with families, and with the students’ heritage, which models identity, values and agency.

B. Positive school climate: Trauma-responsive alternatives to punishment and fear

Location: Sellinger VIP

Led by: Shanda Crowder, Ed.D., Director, Positive Schools Center, University of Maryland, School of Social Work/SWCOS and Everett Garnett, Ph.D., Director of Climate and Suspension, Baltimore City Schools

C. Creating Caring Classroom Communities

Location: CTM 113

Led by: Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of School Counseling, Loyola University Maryland School of Education and Vanessa Dodo-Seriki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Science and Urban Education, Co-Director for the Center for Innovation in Urban Education, Loyola University Maryland, School of Education, Rodney Parker, M.Div., M.Th., M.S., NCC, Director, ALANA Student Services, Loyola University Maryland

In his book, African-Centered Pedagogy (2002), Peter C. Murrell, Jr. described a desired community of practice in schools with the metaphor of a rich tradition held within traditional African American culture: kinship. Further expanding the metaphor he stated that kinship or family, “…is a useful metaphor for the community of practice and the figured world of inquiry we wish to establish in our classrooms… In addition to the rituals and routines that bind a group of people together, the figured world of your classroom should, like families, nurture caring relationships" (Murrell, 2002, p. 118). In this break-out session, we explore the social and cultural contexts, possibilities, and implications for student learning of today's classrooms, re-imagined as caring classrooms bound and run by the values and practices of kinship connections and Murrell's conceptualization of a community of practice. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences in caring classrooms and design a community and personal call to action aimed to strengthen and broaden the caring classroom community in today's schools.

About Cheryl Moore-Thomas
Cheryl Moore-Thomas received her doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of Maryland, specializing in the racial identity development of adolescents. As a former teacher, school counselor, student services specialist, associate dean and current faculty member and scholar, Cheryl is committed to urban education.  She has published widely in the field and consults regularly with urban school districts on issues of racial identity, leadership, critical race theory, urban school counseling, and academic achievement of students of color.

About Rodney Parker:
Rodney Parker has served as the director of ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, Native American) Services at Loyola University Maryland for more than a decade. He received a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Duke University and Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University Maryland.  His previous academic achievements in theology and pastoral formation combined with the Jesuit value cura personalis (care for the whole person) help to provide a comprehensive, mission-oriented response of care for students of color at Loyola. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Loyola University Maryland. His dissertation focuses on the role of spirituality in the relationship between race-related stress and subjective well-being for Black male undergraduate students at predominantly white colleges and universities.

D. Culturally grounded instructional and family-engagement practices: Identity development and community-building

Location: CTM 114

Led by: Paula Byrd, Program Director, Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools, and director of People of the Word community school literacy campaign, Simone Gibson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor. Morgan State University

In this session, we will discuss People of the Word, community school literacy campaign designed by Dr. Murrell, Dr Terry Meier, and Jessica Strauss, and inspired by Ball State University’s Books Like Me. We will explore how it engages children, teachers, and community members in the selection of culturally and community relevant books. The collective reading of these books, along with the creation of arts-integrated activities, immerses students in books that cultivate their development – their racial identity, resilience, and achievement. Additionally, this session will support the work of People of the Word by highlight findings from a pilot study that 1) explored teacher candidates’ familiarity and comfort with African American folktales, a form of storytelling often aligned with the period of enslavement for African Americans, and 2) examined ways candidates used African American folktales to engage Pk-12 learners in social-political consciousness.

E. Promoting identity and agency after school: The importance of university/youth development collaboration

Location: CTM 105/107

Led by: Stephanie Flores- Koulish, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Loyola University Maryland School of Education, Moira Fratantuono,Wide Angle Youth Media

Baltimore’s Wide Angle Youth Media and Loyola University MD have a history of collaborating on a variety of initiatives throughout Wide Angle’s history in the past 15 years. Dr. Flores-Koulish will discuss a variety of past collaborations. Ms. Fratantuono will focus on a recent robust professional development collaboration using the youth-produced film Second Chances, which focuses on alternatives to school suspensions. Participants will be engaged to share and explore the value and challenges of university-school-community collaborations with youth that provide enriching environments for identity development and expanding youth capacity for expression, impact and leadership.

Panel and Practice: Mindfulness as fundamental practice in urban schooling: Three approaches 

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall

Moderated by Paula Byrd, Deputy Director, Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools (ACTS).

A. Mindfulness for Elementary Students

Location: CTM 105/107

Led by: Tawanna Kane, Director, Inner Resources, Baltimore
Presentation Materials 

B. Mindfulness for teachers, staff and parents

Location: Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall

Led by: Amy Bloom Connolly, Founder and Director of the Center for MindfulAwareness and the SHINE© program, Baltimore 

Anchored in current cognitive neuroscience and proven mindfulness teachings, SHINE helps people develop greater self-regulation, so they can better manage emotions, reduce stress, and respond more effectively to the challenges of daily living. It is a universal program that makes mindful awareness practices accessible, practical, and relevant to people from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences.

SHINE is built on a foundation of nine Keys to Mindfulness© which focus on building self-awareness, promoting resilience, reducing stress, decreasing anxiety and increasing compassion. The Keys creatively address participants’ diverse emotional, educational and developmental levels, and are presented in an environment of safety, cultural sensitivity, light-heartedness and deep respect. Session participants will be introduced to the keys and will practice strategies for teachers and other caregivers to manage their own stress and remain prepared to provide caring environments for their students.

C. Mindfulness for Teens

Location: CTM 113/114

Led by Amy Edelstein, Founder, The Inner Strength Foundation, Philadelphia 

The Teen Program was developed by Ms. Edelstein, an educator, to support the insight, creativity and emerging selfhood of our inner city adolescents. The program’s mission is to provide aspiring youth from primarily at-risk communities with tools to self-reflect, develop interpersonal skills, and gain perspective on how our culture and physiology affect us. This self-development creates inner strength, providing resources for teens to manage challenges and succeed as they move on to higher education and enter the workforce. The 12-week high school program includes lessons exploring the nature of mind, thought, and awareness; the art of relationship and cultivating compassion; adolescent neuroscience and the 300 million year influence of brain development; cultural change and the unique stresses and opportunities of the postmodern age. Woven into the curriculum is instruction and practice time using seven evidence-based mindfulness tools. Programs currently reach 1200 students annually in the Philadelphia School District.  Participants will be introduced to the seven tools and will experience several of the teens’ favorite practices.

Closing Plenary- Reflection and Future Action

5:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall 

Moderator: Lisa Bleich, Executive Director, Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools 

Closing Remarks: Camika Royal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Urban Education, Loyola University Maryland School of Education 

Closing Reception

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Andrew White Student Center, McGuire Hall Atrium