DCSC Annual Convening logo 2023 Annual Convening

Demanding Equity and Integration

2023 Member of the Year Nominees

January 26-27, 2023

Students at Académie Lafayette, Kansas City, MO


Demanding Equity and Integration

Deepening our vision of diverse-by-design

DCSC’s 2023 Annual Convening will bring attendees together in person for the first time in three years. This year’s convening will feature a mixture of formal programming for tangible takeaways and informal networking to share stories, experiences, and healing. Our theme of Demanding Equity and Integration will be prominent not just in programming, but also in unstructured dialogue. Attendees will feel inspired by the work of other DCSC members and think more about how to move the diverse-by-design movement forward.

Our relationships have always driven our work–we finally get to be back in person!

Where is the 2023 Convening?

The 2023 Convening will be held January 26-27 at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO.

We have been looking forward to meeting in Kansas City, MO for more than 2 years (!) so we can highlight our growing membership in KC and St. Louis, the opportunity to see up close the work of our KC members.  KC has been a historical focal point of integration. As a national coalition, KC offers a centralized location to bring as many members together as possible. It’s also known for GRADE A hospitality and BBQ…See you there!

Keynote Address

Dr. Christopher Emdin

Teacher, author and advocate

Dr. Christopher Emdin is the Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair in Curriculum Theory and Professor of Education at the University of Southern California where he also serves as Director of Youth Engagement and Community Partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center.

He previously served as Director of the Science Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University and alumni fellow at the Hip-hop archive and Hutchins Center at Harvard University. He has served as STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Emdin holds a Ph.D in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

He is the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement and Science Genius BATTLES. He was recently named one of the 27 people bridging divides in the United States by Time magazine. He is the author of the award-winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation, and the New York Times bestseller For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood and the Rest of Y’all Too. His latest book, Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Excellence is currently available wherever books are sold.

See where we’ll be together in January!

Keynote Address

Dr. Bettina Love

Teacher, author and advocate

Dr. Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author and the William F. Russell Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her writing, research, teaching, and educational advocacy work meet at the intersection of disrupting education reform and strengthening public education through abolitionist teaching, Black joy, and anti-racism. The aim of her scholarship is twofold: firstly, to advance how the field of education understands and critiques school reform and the systemic and structural racism of public education within the U.S.; and secondly, to advocate for abolitionist approaches in the field of education that seek new possibilities for educational justice. In the pursuit of making her scholarship a reality, she works with activists, communities, youth, families, and school districts to build communal, civically-engaged schools rooted in the aspirations of abolitionist strategies that love and affirm Black and Brown children. Towards that end, in 2020, Dr. Love co-founded the Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN). ATN’s mission is to develop and support teachers and parents to fight injustice within their schools and communities. To date, ATN has granted over $160,000 to abolitionists around the country. She is also the creator of the Hip Hop civics curriculum GET FREE.

Dr. Love is also a founding member of the Old 4th Ward Economic Security Task Force with the Atlanta City Council. The goal of the task force is to bring guaranteed income and income stability to Black women residents living in Atlanta. In 2022, the Task Force launched the program In Her Hands , distributing more than $15 million to Black women living in Georgia. In Her Hands is one of the largest guaranteed income pilot programs in the U.S. As part of its 50th anniversary in 2022, the Kennedy Center named Dr. Love one of the Next 50 Leaders who are making the world a more inspired, inclusive, and compassionate place.

She is the author of the books We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom and Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South . Her work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including Educational Researcher , Urban Education , The Urban Review , and the Journal of LGBT Youth .


Wednesday January 25 AM UnifiED School Visits: Only for UnifiED Fellows and Explorers
PM CoP In-Person Deep Dive: Only for CoP Participants
Thursday January 26 AM CoP In-Person Deep Dive: Only for CoP Participants
PM Convening begins at 12

Bettina Love keynote at 4pm

Friday January 27 AM Convening begins at 9am
PM Convening Ends at 3pm
Time (EST)
Thursday Jan 27 12:00 – 1:15 pm Welcome Address and Opening Panel
1:15 – 1:30 pm Break
1:30 – 2:45 pm Breakout Cycle #1

The Mindful Moment Program at Morris Jeff Community School - Middle School
Restorative leadership during a pandemic.
Reimagining talent: How do we remove barriers limiting pathways from paraprofessional to lead teacher?
Centering on Instructional Equity: An Overview of the CRSP Framework
Advancing Equitable Family & Community Engagement
Governing with Equity: Putting Words into Action
Supporting ELs From Pandemic Response to Pandemic Recovery
Conversations with Kids: Walking the Road to Reinvention
Revising Curriculum With the DEI Lens Tool - A Collectivist Approach
2:45 – 3:15 pm Break
3:15 – 4:30 pm Breakout Cycle #2

Creating Affinity Spaces for Kids of Color
Strategic Planning: Keeping Our Students, Mission & Values @ the Heart of Our Work
How do we talk about school integration in ways that are compelling and effective?
What Works in DEI? Research-Based Practices to Advance DEI Work in Education
Supporting ELs From Pandemic Response to Pandemic Recovery
Equity Includes Ability: Building and Sustaining Anti-Ableist Schools
Revising Curriculum With the DEI Lens Tool - A Collectivist Approach
Centering Identity and Inclusion as Compassion
4:30 – 5:00 pm Break
5:00 – 6:00 pm Keynote Address and Q&A: Christopher Emdin
6:00 – 6:15 pm Break
6:15 – 7:30 pm Affinity Groups

Healing & Solidarity Spaces for Black Participants
Healing & Solidarity Spaces for Non-Black Participants of Color
White Accountability Space
Friday Jan 28 10:00 – 11:15 am Affinity Groups

Healing & Solidarity Spaces for Black Participants
Healing & Solidarity Spaces for Non-Black Participants of Color
White Accountability Space
11:15 – 12:00 pm Break
12:00 – 1:00 pm Day 2 Welcome Programming: HipHopEd performance
1:00 – 1:15 pm Break
1:15 – 2:30 pm Breakout Cycle #3

How can we get a diverse group of children to personally connect to American History?
Using Mentor Texts to support Professional Development on Social Justice Curriculum
Responding to the equity backlash: Background and guidance to help advocates continue to fight for the educational environments our kids deserve
Centering on Instructional Equity: An Overview of the CRSP Framework
What Works in DEI? Research-Based Practices to Advance DEI Work in Education
Governing with Equity: Putting Words into Action
Equity Includes Ability: Building and Sustaining Anti-Ableist Schools
Conversations with Kids: Walking the Road to Reinvention
Centering Identity and Inclusion as Compassion
2:30 – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 – 3:45 pm Parent Panel: Our Students’ First Teachers: Caregivers and Parents
3:45 – 4:15 pm Member of the Year Award and Closing

Breakout Sessions

Convening 2021 Strand icon: AcademicsRethinking Diversity

Takes into account differing diversities (culture, language, neurodivergence, etc.) as well as diversity across geographic contexts (rural vs. urban) and goes beyond the Black/White binary.

Convening 2021 icon: School VisitsOperationalizing Diverse-by-Design Schools

Focuses on the systems & practices of leading a school: staff recruitment, using data, instructional practice, lottery enrollment design, and creating professional development and SEL (socio-emotional learning) resources.

Telling the Story of Intentional Integration

Drives the narrative of intentional integration, academic excellence, and school choice, as well as how to communicate this narrative to policymakers and how to use this narrative to advocate for diverse-by-design schools.

Strand Title Facilitator Description
Rethinking Diversity Decoding Diversity: Defining and Activating Diversity in Education Organizations Lucerito Ortiz & Cornelius Lee, Promise54 Many education organizations use the term “Diversity” to communicate goals or values, yet only about 25% of organizations have actually defined the term for themselves. This conversation invites participants to examine what we mean by “diversity,” what informs our own definitions and understanding of the term, and how to support diversity through creating conditions for inclusion.
Rethinking Diversity Moving the Goalpost on Inclusion: Towards Anti-Ableist School Communities Megan Ohlssen, Anti-AbleistED The session surfaces how to advance disability justice through intrapersonal and organizational diversity and equity work. By exploring the similarities and differences between inclusive and anti-ableist education, we will confront our positionality and engage with new strategies for addressing ableism and bias in schools. We will take time to reflect and discuss to co-design next steps that move us from awareness to action in our school communities.
Operationalizing DbD Schools Embracing Diversity & Creating Connection as a Means to Foster Purpose, Identity & SEL Skills Jabali Sawicki, nXu To foster a productive learning environment, diverse-by-design schools must consciously create connection & community among their diverse populations while also creating space for each individual’s identity. As a construct, purpose development requires community & relationship building, and SEL skill & identity development. Attendees will explore strategies to foster a sense of purpose, forging connections across lines of difference through vulnerable conversations & self-reflective exercises.
Operationalizing DbD Schools Panel: School Leader Succession: Keep Your Leader As Long As You Can, & Replace Them Well When You Have To Carrie Irvin, Education Board Partners Charter school boards are responsible for replacing a school leader when they depart. This session aims to equip charter school boards for handling succession with a strong equity lens, and with a clear focus on ensuring that transitions do not derail student learning or school culture.
Operationalizing DbD Schools Equitable Career Pathways Design Jonathan Howard, Edgility Consulting The biggest challenge facing talent teams today is people development, especially across lines of difference. Far too often, staff from marginalized backgrounds are leaving organizations because they don’t perceive opportunities to advance their careers. In this session, we will dig into the barriers to growth that need to be addressed.
Operationalizing DbD Schools Creating Safe Spaces through Affinity Groups Tawana Harper, Valor Collegiate Academies Within in our world and schools, students/staff will encounter a diverse population. This is an amazing opportunity for individuals to gain diverse perspectives. In some cases, being in a diverse population can be very lonely for the most marginalized individuals who are afraid to show up as themselves. Affinity groups create opportunities for individuals who share the same identity marker to share experiences, while still being apart of the larger community.
Operationalizing DbD Schools Equity and Opportunity: Redesign high school to advance equity & post-secondary attainment Keeanna Warren & Aireal Anderson, Purdue Polytechnic High School Purdue launched Purdue Polytechnic High Schools in 2017 to increase the number of underrepresented students who could gain admission. The PPHS team understood that to change outcomes high school needed a redesign. PPHS receives national attention for its unique school model, leading to better student outcomes. This presentation will cover the school model, outcomes, and lessons learned and offer ample opportunity for discussion and Q&A.
Operationalizing DbD Race, Power, and Privilege in Special Education: Using Co-Teaching to Make Inclusion Possible Sergio Jara Arroyos, Tiffany Galloway & Brian Williams II, Blue Engine Often, decisions on supporting students with disabilities are rooted in compliance. This is particularly concerning for students of color who are more likely than their white peers to be placed in highly exclusionary settings. Innovation in education often centers a general education classroom or “the average student.” Schools must operationalize practices and systems that sustain effective co-teaching to ensure BIPOC students with disabilities have access to a general education setting.
Telling the Story of Intentional Integration Multiple Measures: Effective Evaluation of All Schools David Greenberg, Courtney Hughley & Morgan Powell, NACSA The typical measures charter school contracts use tell us something, but they don’t tell us everything. Many authorizers are considering a broader array of measures, but schools must be active participants in developing metrics that get to their core mission. This session will walk through NACSA’s Multiple Measures Readiness Assessment to 1) gauge if the school is ready to consider multiple measures, 2) evaluate next steps, and 3) dialogue with other school leaders.
Telling the Story of Intentional Integration Integrating Anti-Bias Education Goals into Projects Sara Lev, Larchmont Charter School In this session, participants will learn how to effectively integrate the Anti-Bias Education goals – Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action into Project Based Learning (PBL) by exploring a sample project, studying the Anti-Bias Education goals, and examining PBLWorks’ Gold Standard Framework for PBL design. Participants will learn how to intentionally integrate the ABE goals into the instructional day while experiencing protocols and routines that can be used in a variety of learning contexts.
Telling the Story of Intentional Integration Pandemic to Progress: Gathering Stories of Pandemic-Era Charter Innovations Titilayo Tinubu Ali
Michelle Croft
Harold Hinds
Tanvi Kodali
Charter schools have more flexibility in staffing and spending than traditional public schools, which can make it easier to adapt to changing circumstances and implement new models, strategies, and curricula. Join this breakout session to participate in a discussion that will help the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools better understand how charter schools leveraged this flexibility to adopt pandemic-era practices that have the potential to improve educational outcomes, student learning, and school success in the future. Information collected from the session will be used as part of a larger effort to develop resources aimed at documenting and sharing charter school innovations generated during the pandemic.
Telling the Story of Intentional Integration Beyond Anecdotes: Using valid data to tell your school’s story Naomi DeVeaux National Charter Schools Institute School today is at a cross-roads. There are those who are lamenting drops in NAEP testing scores, and others who are pausing long enough to ask, “what is NAEP actually testing and are our current adults the type of adults we need to lead tomorrow?” To measure school quality, we need to look beyond the narrow lens of state standards in math and reading and capture the thoughtfulness that comes when diverse students learn and grow together–both academically and social-emotionally.
Telling the Story of Intentional Integration Advocacy Panel Natalie Hester
Naomi Shelton
Yomika Bennet
Dean Johnson
Edie Barnard
This panel brings together organizations across three different states to discuss ways that schools can develop their advocacy strategy. Advocacy efforts can range from collaborating with authorizer associations and local policymakers to the everyday work schools are doing with their students and families. After a Q&A with panelists, participants will also have the opportunity to network with other attendees.
Telling the Story of Intentional Integration The Revolution Will Not Be Standardized Dr. Mike Brown Vanderbilt University & New Schools For Alabama

Sundiata Salaam-Morrish American-Him, BES

This high-impact, high engagement session places school/district educators in the seat of activism for true equity by 1) providing a historical analysis of race-based ed policy, 2) suggesting actionable steps to authentically honor and prep students of color for success, and 3) sharing strategies to begin righting the historical wrongs within ed institutions. Using case studies, recent academic research, and a little motivation, this presentation provides educators a promising pathway forward!

Member of the Year Award

DCSC honors a member school or school network that has embodied our mission through our Member of the Year Award. Our MoY will reflect our commitment to integration, inclusion, and anti-racism, and this year will be chosen through the votes of active members.  Please review the nomination forms below. Members will be able to vote as part of their registration procress for the convening.

Congratulations to our 2022 Member of the Year

Two Rivers Public Charter School

“Two Rivers joined [the Coalition] to find another group of schools that were willing to give us feedback and push us…and we found a home with DCSC.”

Registration Fees

Early Bird Discount Until December 1 Regular Registration
Dec 2 – Jan 15
Late Registration Jan 16 – Jan 27
Members $350 $450 $550
Non-Members $500 $600 $700

A registrant can receive a 100% refund up to December 21, 2022.
A registrant can receive a 50% refund up to January 12, 2023.
No refunds will be given after January 12, 2023.***

Group discounts are available through the Whova platform “Group Ticket” option for groups of 3 or more. 

***If you cannot join us for the convening because of COVID-19 related illness for youself, or someone in your community we will work with you to provide a refund. 

Can I register on-site?

No, there will be no on-site registration.  The last day to register was January 24, 2022.

Are there sponsorship opportunities?

Yes! Reach out to info@diversecharters.org to learn about how you can support this important work. 


Who should come to #DCSC2023

Influencers from DCSC member schools and networks, partners from the field and prospective members should attend the DCSC 2022 Convening.

We are intentionally using the term “influencer” to be inclusive to both formal titles (Principal, ED, CEO) and additional key leaders across school sites and network teams who may lead Diversity, Equity and Inclusive (DEI) school and network-wide efforts in your context. We suggest more than one representative from each school (and/or network) because there will be moments in the convening when attendees will be asked to develop next steps to bring back to their schools/orgs and believe this is best done in teams.

True to our name, we aim to welcome a diverse group of participants to our virtual gathering. Thank you for including all dimensions of this term when considering attending.

How do I register?

You can register here.

What happens after I register?

Take these three steps:

  1. Arrange your travel to KC. Programming for the convening starts at 12 CT on Thursday Jan 26. (If you are in the UnifiED Explorers or Communities of Practice program you will need to arrive earlier in the week)
  2. Book your hotel at our reduced rate room block at the Intercontinental KC.
  3. Once we release our full agenda, you will be able to pre-register for sessions! Using the same email you registered with sign into our convening platform (web or mobile!), look through the agenda and pre-register for the sessions you would like to attend.

Are there registration discounts?


  • The first 50 people to register get 20% off by using the code: 1st50
  • CoP Participants recieve 20% off by using the code: dcsc2023-cop
  • UnifiED Explorers and Fellows receive free registration by using the code: dcscunified
  • Any group of 3 or more can recieve a 20% discount by using the “Group Ticket” option in Whova.

Reach out to events@diversecharters.org if you have questions.

Is there a discount hotel block available?

Yes!  We are pleased to provide a discount room rate at the lovely Intercontinental KC hotel. This hotel is very close to the conference venue and DCSC will be providing a shuttle service back and forth to the convening for attendees during the chilly January mornings and afternoons.

The room block is first come, first served and will be available until Friday, January 6, 2023.

How do I book my hotel with the discount room block?

Simple! Go to this Intercontinetal KC booking link and click the “Book Now” icon in the top right corner.

The room block is first come, first served and will be available until Friday, January 6, 2023.

How do I vote for Member of the Year?

Votes are submitted as part of registration for the 2023 Annual Convening (one can only vote if ‘Member’ is selected during registration). Voting for MoY closes on January 13.

Votes from all DCSC member schools and networks will be weighted so that each member organization has one vote.

What if I need help registering?

No problem! Just email us at events@diversecharters.org and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

I'm local and driving. Is there parking?

Yes! Parking is free of charge and located on the north side of the Kauffman Center building. Please enter through the right-hand set of doors for the Conference Center.

4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Will there be school visits?

Yes! DCSC member schools will host attendees.  Once we release the full convening schedule, you can reserve your slot through the WHOVA app. School visits spots are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Transportation will be provided to the schools from the Kauffman Center. Here are the school options (with grades served in parentheses):

Academic Lafayette – Thursday Jan 26 1:15pm

Citizens of the World KC – Friday Jan 27 9:30am

Crossroads Charter School – Friday Jan 27 11:15am

Register for the Convening

Learn more about DCSC and our Annual Convening

Video by KimberLee Webber | TalkOakland.org

#DCSC2023 Sponsors

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

#DCSC2023 Planning Committee

  • Aaron Griffen, Chief Equity Officer – DSST (Denver, CO)
  • Aaron Watson, Director fo Schools Gateway Public Schools (San Francisco, CA)
  • Ashli Watts, Gateway Impact Director – Gateway Public Schools (San Francisco, CA)
  • Dawnyela Meredith, Director of Alumni, Equity, and Empowerment  – Two Rivers PCS (Washington, D.C.)
  • Katherine Kelbaugh, Executive Director – The Museum School of Avondale Estates (Atlanta, GA)
  • Tyeshia Smith, Director of Admissions/School Social Worker – City Garden Montessori (St. Louis, MO)
  • Tysie McDowell, Superintendent of Schools – Crossroads Charter Schools (Kansas City, MO)

Interested in sponsoring our Annual Convening? Email us at events@diversecharters.org.

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Start to engage!

For all attendees

Our 2022 Annual Convening will be as interactive as ever! This year’s programming will offer attendees the opportunity to learn and network with one another through three types of sessions: workshops, dilemma discussions, and school showcases. Read more about each session type for this year’s Annual Convening and submit a proposal by November 12th!

Every year we honor a member school or school network that has embodied our mission. This year, DCSC’s Member of the Year will reflect our commitment to integration, inclusion, and anti-racism through the votes of active members. We are accepting self-nominations for this award until November 12th!

For DCSC member schools and networks only

Breakout Session Request for Proposal

For all attendees of #DCSC2022

In addition to whole group programming and Affinity Groups, which return by popular demand, our 2022 Annual Convening will feature three types of programming for attendees:

  • Workshops (Skill/Knowledge Building)
  • Model Showcases
  • Consultancy Sessions (Solutions of Practice)

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