We encourage public schools to embody American diversity while preparing students to pursue higher education, meaningful work, and an equal role in our democracy.

2021 Convening Highlights

Interrupting Inequity

“I’ve learned so much and feel very energized to incorporate the work… and see it live out in our school.”

#DCSC2021, our seventh Annual Convening, was also our first virtual convening. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, DCSC members still wanted to come together under this year’s theme of Interrupting Inequity.

Conversations during this year’s convening pushed attendees to think about how they can disrupt practices and systems of inequity at their schools and organizations. As Brittany Packnett Cunningham, our keynote address, stated, “…when we are building better futures for our young people – if we are doing it for them and not with them, if we are doing it to them and not with them, then we are engaging in the same kind of white supremacy practices that we say we’re trying to eradicate.”

230+ registered

96% of survey respondents rated the 2021 Annual Convening favorably

50+ hours of programming

#DCSC2021 Keynote:
Brittany Packnett Cunningham

in conversation with DCSC Board Chair, Veronica Brooks-Uy

“The conversation with Ms. Packnett-Cunningham was outstanding. Both listening to her, as well as the way the moderation and questions were set up made it extremely beneficial. Thank you for arranging this.”

#DCSC2021 Workshop Sessions

Content and strategy sessions focused on providing attendees access to specific tools and resources to improve their practice.

Convening 2021 Strand icon: Academics Academics

Teach and learn with all students while rejecting traditional, oppressive frameworks.


Foster sustaining relationships with external stakeholders and uplift grassroots expertise.

“I walked away from each of my workshops with something new to use.”

Convening 2021 icon: School Visits School Visits

School visits have always been a cornerstone of the DCSC Convening. This year, we have access to a curated list of member schools across the country. During school visits, attendees will view short clips of virtual school and work through a protocol with school leaders from our curated schools.

Central Queens Academy – Queens, NY

Detroit Prep – Detroit, MI

DSST Public Schools – Denver, CO

LEEP Dual Language Academy – Brooklyn, NY

Valor Collegiate – Nashville, TN

Yu Ming Charter School – Oakland, CA

Convening 2021 icon: Racial Affinity Affinity Groups

We know that leading diverse-by-design schools is a singular experience. However, that experience is not the same for us all. This year, we’ve partnered with Embracing Equity to facilitate three separate racial affinity breakout spaces for tailored dialogue and anti-racist skill building for educators and leaders during this national racial reckoning and beyond.

Healing & Solidarity Spaces for Black Participants

Healing & Solidarity Spaces for Non-Black Participants of Color

White Accountability Space

Member Panel

Moderated by DCSC Board Member, Ron Rice

“Great dialogue and wonderful to see familiar and new faces and know there are other schools wrestling with the same challenges and doing similarly great work!”

DCSC Members of the Year

Each year, DCSC celebrates a member school or network as an exemplar of diverse-by-design communities. From publicly available data, along with internally collected metrics on membership engagement, we selected finalists that might inspire other members invested in this movement.

Congratulations to this year’s DCSC Members of the Year, Prospect Schools (Brooklyn, NY) and Yu Ming Charter School (Oakland, CA).


#DCSC2021 Networking

and film screening by EPIC Theatre Ensemble

Friday also included a film screening premiere by EPIC Theatre Ensemble, Default. We encourage DCSC members to invite EPIC to your school as part of their 50 State Conversation campaign.

“I appreciated the various platforms and it made the convening warm and inviting.”

2021 Convening Sponsors

Our committed sponsors helped make this convening happen. Thank you!

DCSC would like to thank this year’s planning committee in helping the Coalition’s staff, board and funders prepare for the 2021 Annual Convening:

  • Valerie Braimah, Executive Director of City Charter Schools (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Mike Chalupa, DCSC Board Member and Academic Director of City Neighbors Foundation (Baltimore, MD)
  • Alisha Gripp, UnifiED Alum and Dean of Middle School of Citizens of the World (Kansas City, MO)
  • Monisha Karnani, Director, Demonstration & Outreach at Inspired Teaching Demonstration School (Washington, D.C.)
  • Robyn King, Director of Admissions and Community Outreach of Académie Lafayette (Kansas City, MO)
  • Sean Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of International High School of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)

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