Keynote speakers named for coming TECA conference

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Posted 2/19/19

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance is set to host its second annual  "DiversifiED" conference featuring David Johns,  executive director of the National Black Justice …

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Keynote speakers named for coming TECA conference

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NASHVILLE — Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance is set to host its second annual  "DiversifiED" conference featuring David Johns,  executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition; Teach Plus CEO Roberto Rodriguez; and 2018 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Cicely Woodard.

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Trevecca Nazarene University.  

 DiversifiED is the annual leadership conference for educators of color. The conference is open to all public school educators, pre-service educators, teacher educators and education advocates with an interest in celebrating the importance of a diverse teacher workforce in Tennessee.

This year’s theme is Equity and Beyond. Through two keynote addresses, breakout sessions, and a Teacher of the Year Panel discussion, attendees will explore what equitable outcomes and practices look like across the state for educators, communities, and students.  

 “We are excited to host our second annual conference, which will highlight some of the brightest minds in education and social justice,” said Diarese George, Ed.D, TECA’s founder and chairman of the board. “We are serious about equipping educators of color with the tools to advocate and lead, and DiversifiED gives us this opportunity annually.”

 The purpose of the conference is to allow educators to engage with thought leaders who will transform the way they see themselves as educators, advocates and leaders.

The morning keynote will be delivered by Rodriguez, who, in addition to being the CEO of Teach Plus is a former deputy assistant to the president for education during the Obama Administration.

The afternoon keynote will be delivered by Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, and the former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during the Obama Administration.

The afternoon will also include a Teacher of the Year panel discussion featuring Woodard, James Ford of North Carolina, Ivonne Orozco of New Mexico; and Josh Parker of Maryland.

TECA is doubling down on its efforts to amplify the voices of educators of color. In November, the organization released its inaugural policy report, "Sharing Our Stories: Perspectives of Teachers of Color in Tennessee," which highlighted the experiences of educators of color in Tennessee and offers policy recommendations on how schools and districts can support them.

Learn more and download the report at bit.ly/TECASharing.  

The media and the public are invited to attend DiversifiED. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased at bit.ly/DiversifiED. Media may contact Tereva Parham at 615-419-1223 or by email at tereva@denorbrands.com for credentials.

About TECA: The mission of Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance is to amplify the voice, presence, and support for educators of color while remaining student-centered and solutions-oriented. The central belief of TECA is that all students benefit from teachers and administrators of color, especially since many of these educators were once students of color themselves.

Because of these shared experiences, educators of color are able to speak to the systemic inequities that students of color face. Many of Tennessee’s policymakers do not look like or represent the majority of students in state schools and TECA believes in elevating teacher leaders of color to be policy advocates for their students.

Learn more about TECA at  tneca.org.

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