2024 Annual Convening
Building Community for School Integration
January 31, 2024 – February 2, 2024
Students at Académie Lafayette, Kansas City, MO
#DCSC2024 – 10 Years!
Building Community for School Integration
Deepening our vision of diverse-by-design
Marking the 10 year anniversary of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition, our 2024 Annual Convening celebrates our community’s work to support, promote, and expand school integration. This year’s gathering will allow members of the Coalition to reflect on our organization’s work as well as their own commitment to the diverse-by-design movement. We will also focus on the importance of equity within advocacy and storytelling in envisioning the next decade of school integration across the country.
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.
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|
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.
Operationalizing 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.
|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
|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
|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.
Wednesday, January 31
Thursday, February 1
Friday, February 2
|9-12pm UnifiED ESVs (invite only)
2-6pm CoP Deep Dive (invite only)
6-8pm UnifiED/CoP Dinner
|9-11am CoP Deep Dive (invite only)
12-1pm Welcome & Lunch
1-2pm Keynote Address
2-5pm Workshops & Networking
6-8pm Member Reception
12:30-2pm Closing & Lunch
|Early Bird Discount Until September 4||Regular Registration
Nov 1 – Jan 1
|Late Registration (after Jan 1)|
A registrant can receive a 100% refund up to December 31, 2023.
A registrant can receive a 50% refund up to January 12, 2024.
No refunds will be given after January 13, 2024.*
Group discounts are available through the Whova platform “Group Ticket” option for groups of 4 or more.
*If you cannot join us because of a COVID-19-related illness, 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 email@example.com 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:
- 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)
- Book your hotel at our reduced rate room block at the Intercontinental KC.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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, 2024.
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, 2024.
How do I vote for Member of the Year?
Votes are submitted as part of registration for the 2024 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 email@example.com 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
#DCSC2024 Planning Committee
- Mercedes Blea-Davis, Manager of Diversity & Belonging – DSST
- Amy Held, Executive Director – Larchmont
- Myra Salinas, Senior Director of Learning and Support Services – Larchmont
- Carlos García Saldana, Director of Operations – Odyssey
- Ashli Watts, Gateway Impact Director – Gateway
- Somer Lowery, Director of Strategy & Partnerships – Growth Public Schools
- Shernice Lazare, Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging – Citizens of the World LA
- Rickie Carbajal, Regional Support Staff – Citizens of the World LA
- Shaun Walker, Data and Analytics – Citizens of the World LA
- Richard Lee, Chief Academic Officer – Our World Neighborhood Charter School
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)