Edgewood College was honored to host this important community event. National educational consultant Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings was the featured keynote speaker.
The conference was hosted February 21-22, 2020, at Edgewood College, the Overture Center, the Madison Concourse Hotel, and the Wisconsin Historical Society.
“As recently reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the performance gap between black and white students continues to widen in the state of Wisconsin,” Tony Garcia, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Edgewood College, said. “Locally here in Madison, we continue to see K-12 and higher education institutions struggle with creating equitable learning opportunities for diverse students. The importance and timeliness of this conference cannot be overstated and we are eager to welcome educators from across the state of Wisconsin to engage in meaningful dialogue on how best to promote and model academic excellence.”
Dreaming In Ethnic Melodies had a strong emphasis on social and emotional learning, and universal literacy instruction under six African-American categories of children’s literature. Sessions during the conference focused on nine cultural values that promote self-love and identity development, addressed how to utilize culturally relevant pedagogical approaches, highlighted successful family engagement practices, shared culturally relevant leadership strategies, demonstrated the importance of utilizing the arts to increase the possibilities for our collective behavioral and academic outcomes, and drew on student’s personal experiences.
“The conference experience is intended to provide a venue where educators from across the state and country will be able to share policies, practices, programs, and procedures that have proven effective in promoting high levels of achievement for those often being underserved in our school systems,” Andreal Davis, conference creator and CEO of Cultural Practices That Are Relevant Consulting, said. “Continuing to think with the idea of ‘communalism’ in mind, we are asking attendees to open heads, hands and hearts to collaborate and to close the stark gaps that exist for many of the students and families that we serve in our community and across the country.”