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Social Justice and Equity in Education Series

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Social Justice and Equity in Education SeriesThe Social Justice and Equity in Education is a professional development series focusing on social justice issues and equity in education.Webinars will be hosted up to twice each month and will be delivered by local and national leaders in equity with a proven background in diversity, multiculturalism and racial consciousness. These sessions will provide a strong foundation for building toward the 2nd annual Social Justice in Education conference, scheduled for spring 2021.

Licensure renewal credit is available for those who want it. To register, individuals will need to log into the AEA Learning Online website using their current user name and password. If a new account is created, the course will not be accessible until the following business day.

The Department also continues to seek guest presenters for webinars and spring conference. Learn more about the series and how to put in a proposal to be a guest speaker.

Note: Participants must register for each webinar individually.
Dates and Time Description Registration or Recording Link
Sept. 23, 2020 It’s Okay to be Uncomfortable: Moving Toward Racial Equity in Education in Iowa - The session is opened by the Department’s Director Ann Lebo and features A’ndrea Wilson, a professor at Grand View University. Wilson provides information on the impact of racism on students of color, and how people can unintentionally contribute to the problem and actively contribute to the solution. Concepts, resources and tools are shared to aid individuals as they explore their own behaviors and commit to the process of creating more racially inclusive educational environments. Sept. 23, 2020 Recording
Oct. 8, 2020 COVID-19 and Class Disparities - Features Thomas A. Mayes, Iowa Department of Education Legal Counsel. COVID-19 has increased disparities based on class. COVID-19 has also increased poverty and widened wealth gaps. The session focuses on how school communities can identify those disparities and respond to them. Webinar attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas. Oct. 8, 2020 Recording
Oct. 22, 2020 Numbers Don’t Speak for Themselves: Interpreting and Critiquing Data from a Social Justice Lens - Features Ann Gansemer-Topf, Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Iowa State University. As educators we are provided with a significant amount of data. In the current pandemic, we are provided with daily statistics by which we need to make critical decisions. A common adage is “numbers speak for themselves”; yet very rarely do numbers tell the entire story. Critical decisions are made based on a few numeric digits. Schools consistently are asked to provide data; few of us have been given the tools to make sense of the data or critique how these numbers were calculated, who they include, and the parameters by which they can be responsibly used. For instance, when we provide graduation rates or performance metrics, what are the assumptions we use to interpret this data and how might these assumptions overlook marginalized and minoritized students and schools? Through the use of examples, the session provides participants with some simple tools and questions they can use when critiquing and understanding data from a social justice and equity lens. The session also investigated commonly used metrics such as graduation and attendance rates, access to scholarships and opportunities, and performance metrics. Oct. 22, 2020 Recording
Oct. 29, 2020 Policy and Procedures Refresher Course for Equity Coordinators - Featuring three Iowa Department of Education consultants, Janet Boyd, Pam Spangler and Jeanette Thomas. Learn the requirements of the role and function of the equity coordinator in both secondary and postsecondary institutions, how the functions may be assigned to one or more individuals for programs and employment, who should not be the equity coordinator, and requirements for notification of the contact information of the coordinator. Receive samples of checklists to document the activities of the coordinator. Oct. 29, 2020 Recording
Nov. 5, 2020

Session includes two presentations.

Inclusive Schools and Communities for Queer Youth - Features Nate Monson, Executive Director for Iowa Safe Schools. Dive deeply into the challenges facing LGBTQ youth in 2020. According to The Trevor Project's recent data, 40% of all LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide this year. Educators and community members play a critical role in creating safe, supportive and affirming schools for LGBTQ youth.

Know Your Rights: Supporting Trans Students - Features Jordan Mix, Deputy Director for Iowa Safe Schools. Learn about what it means to be transgender, common obstacles facing transgender students, and state and federal rights protecting trans students in schools. Leave the presentation with a new understanding of best-practices for teaching and supporting trans students, and strategies for how to advocate for their academic success.

Nov. 5, 2020 Recording
Nov. 19, 2020

Every Kid, Every Day: Using Technology to Create a More Culturally Responsive Classroom - Features Leslie Pralle Osborn, instructional technology consultant at Prairie Lakes AEA. Session will provide an overview of what defines a culturally responsive classroom, strategies for making real change and technology tools to support the work. Participants gain access to teaching tools and strategies, including graphic organizers and editable documents. The session includes an opportunity to experience virtual tools to help enhance culturally responsive teaching methods.

Nov. 19, 2020 recording
Dec. 3, 2020 Brown Faces in the Classroom - Features Alex Piedras, multicultural and community outreach director/international students at Grand View University. Session provides an overview of the largest minority group in the state of Iowa and some of the issues that they face, and the impact of discrimination and racism on students of color. Concepts and resources are shared to aid individuals as they explore their own behaviors and commit to having more inclusive educational environments. Dec. 3, 2020 recording
Dec. 17, 2020 Let’s Talk Justice: Student Stories...Student Voices - Nothing brings home the power and impact of education like hearing the voices of students talking about social justice and equity issues in Iowa. Their insights open your eyes to the reality students face on a daily basis at different levels in their educational journey. Students from across the state come together to share their experiences with equity, social justice and inclusion as a student in Iowa’s educational system. This diverse student panel is designed as an example of how educators can hold space for this conversation with students, staff and faculty. The panel is made up of students from different ages, backgrounds and races. Students on the panel speak openly about their experiences in schools, while also providing possible solutions. Dec. 17, 2020 recording
Jan. 7, 2021 Viewing Homeless Education Programs Through an Equity Lens - Features Carolyn Cobb, Iowa Department of Education state homeless coordinator. Cobb is joined by Julia Sullivan and Tiffany Wood from Iowa State University and Emily Teeter from the Cedar Rapids Community School District. The session informs educational organizations about homelessness, so that myths and stereotypes can give way to better informed decision-making processes. Presentation focuses on the importance of equity to McKinney Vento programming, PK-12 and college-level considerations, outreach and identification of students, service delivery, policy review and framing equity in your community. Jan. 7, 2021 recording
Jan. 21, 2021 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Supporting Our Migrant Students - Features Geri McMahon of the Iowa Department of Education, Brent Zirkel from Williamsburg Community School District, Stacey Cole from Storm Lake Community School District and migrant education coordinators Alex Johnson and April Dameron. Webinar participants will learn the definition of a migrant student, receive an overview of the migrant education program in Iowa and hear from local migrant education programs about their paths for meeting migrant students’ needs. Participants will leave the webinar with a new understanding of some of the practices for supporting migrant students and strategies for how to advocate for their academic success. Register for Jan. 21 webinar.
Feb. 4, 2021 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Youth Voice, Education, and What Actually Works - Student Panel features Kayla Powell, youth development coordinator at the Iowa Department of Human Rights. Powell will be joined by members of the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council: William Keck from Simpson College, Alex Drahos from Linn-Mar High School, Vidya Iyer from Valley High School, Volta Adovor from Ankeny Centennial High School, and Abigail King from Dubuque Senior High School. In this webinar, participants will increase their understanding of youth engagement and youth voice as a powerful equity strategy in the education setting. Student-panelists will confront youth participation barriers by discussing adultism, youth engagement and student support and equity. Learn from five Gen Z students and the Iowa Department of Human Rights staff on how to improve your learning environment for the new decade. Participants will leave the webinar with opportunities for youth engagement in their schools, and strategies to improve their relationships with and better support students. Register for Feb. 4 webinar.
Feb. 18, 2021 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Creating Restorative Schools and Classrooms - Features Justin Blietz, director of Culture and Climate Transformation for the Cedar Rapids Community School District. During this interactive presentation, participants will learn about the “why” behind restorative practices. Racial unrest, the global pandemic and other social issues have created a polarizing climate in schools that is impacting the health and well being of students and staff alike. Restorative practices provide a framework for building community and repairing harm while promoting a safe school climate. Participants will leave this session with specific skills to support the implementation of restorative practices in their setting. Register for Feb. 18 webinar.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on January 19, 2021 at 4:01pm.