What does race have to do with the ways that two learner groups–students with disabilities and English Language Learners—have historically and currently receive services in our schools? For decades, special educators have been trained to view their work primarily through the lens of disability and compliance; English Language Learner teachers have similarly isolated language as the central factor to their role and responsibility. Through this Regional Summit experience, participants will be invited to isolate race in critically unpacking the historical, social, and political contexts in which race operated to set a foundation for the current day inequities faced by these two learner groups where racial inequity is too often the default status quo in our schools. Participants will be guided through the PEG Systemic Racial Equity Transformation Framework to frame a critical perspective back in their home districts about the impact of race and institutionalized racism in accessing culturally relevant, inclusive learning environments for students receiving special education services (SP) and English Language Learners (ELL). We will also surface a critical understanding of the adaptive, racial equity leadership challenges faced by school districts to move from a focus on compliance to equity and excellence. Anecdotes of partner districts that are engaging in systemic interruption of inequitable practices for students who are SP/ELL will be shared as we collectively engage to amplify these promising practices across the nation. (Prerequisite: Completion of Beyond Diversity™)
Courageous Conversation Community,
I hope that you, your families, friends and neighbors are all well and safe as we discover what it really means to be a global community. No one questions that COVID-19 has critically interrupted our systems—social, economic, crisis management and others. As we continue to understand and endure, we are reminded of the color, culture and consciousness of the systems and institutions upon which our treatment and recovery depend.
The way in which we greet, engage and associate with one another has been altered dramatically. Our collective effort to stay in and keep each other safe, however, do not include silence on matters critical to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of our humanity. While the pandemic is colorblind and knows no borders, the responses are neither.
We sincerely hope that you will join the Courageous Conversation which will follow.
Founder and President