Black History Conference

Black History Education Conference: Bringing the Gifts that My Ancestors Gave

February 15-16, 2019

The Bringing the Gifts that My Ancestors Gave: Black History Education Conference is intended to provide a venue where community members, practitioners, educators, and families from across the state will be able to share policies, practices and procedures that have proven effective in promoting high levels of achievement for those often underserved in our school systems. Through a variety of workshop sessions, national consultants, performances, videos, resources, networking opportunities and much more, participants will be immersed in professional development that strengthens their skills by sharing around innovative instructional and learning strategies that have proven successful in motivating African American youth and enhancing their minds, bodies and spirits.

This conference will focus on 22 evidence-supported interventions associated with Black students' educational outcomes found from systematic review of research conducted by The Midwest Achievement Gap Research Alliance, along with the conference organizer and other partners including researchers, policymakers and practitioners who share an interest in improving educational outcomes for Black students. A second focus of the conference is on a professional development model called Cultural Practices that are Relevant (CPR): 7 Experiences utilizing book studies, articles, guest speakers, conferences/workshops, community site visits, school visits and finally, coaching and modeling, to assist educators in breathing new life into their instructional practices and "filling" their hearts and minds with background knowledge about the cultures of the students and families they serve.


Keynote: Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings

Mother of the Culturally Responsive Teaching Movement

Gloria Ladson-Billings is Professor Emerita and former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education. She was the 2005-2006 president of the American Educational Research Association. She is currently the President-Elect of the National Academy of Education. Ladson-Billings’ research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. She also investigates Critical Race Theory applications to education.

Dr. Ladson-Billings is the author of the critically acclaimed books, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children, Crossing over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms, and Beyond the Big House: African American Educators on Teacher Education. She is editor of 6 other books and author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. She is the former editor of the American Educational Research Journal and a member of several editorial boards. 

Her work has won numerous scholarly awards including the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, the NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Palmer O. Johnson outstanding research award. During the 2003-2004 academic year, she was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. In fall of 2004, she received the George and Louise Spindler Award from the Council on Anthropology and Education for significant and ongoing contributions to the field of educational anthropology. She holds honorary degrees from Umeå University (Umeå Sweden), University of Massachusetts-Lowell, the University of Alicante (Alicante, Spain), the Erickson Institute (Chicago), and Morgan State University (Baltimore).  She is a 2018 recipient of the AERA Distinguished Research Award, and she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2018.


Special Guest: Dr. Mahalia Hines

Mother of the Grammy & Academy Award Winning Artist, "Common"

Dr. Mahalia Hines was appointed to the Chicago Board of Education in May of 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She is currently the President of the COMMON Ground Foundation and a former Member of the Board of Directors for the Obama Foundation.

Dr. Hines has worked in the educational field for more than 35 years as a teacher and principal. During her 15 year tenure as a principal, she serviced grade levels from elementary through high school in the Chicago area. Dr. Hines has worked as a coach for first-year principals, a mentor for current principals and prospective principals in Chicago and other parts of the country. Dr. Hines continues to work with school leaders of public and charter schools in urban areas throughout the country in order to develop effective school leaders who will guide others to provide the best possible education for the children least likely to receive it. In addition to working with schools and school leaders, she travels the country speaking to single mothers on raising successful sons. 

Dr. Hines received her doctorate from the University of Illinois, Masters from Northeastern University and bachelor's degree from Central State University.

One of her proudest accomplishments is being the mother of recording artist and actor, Lonnie "Rashid" Lynn-- better known to the public as Common.

Conference Agenda

Day 1 Friday, February 15, 2019, Madison Concourse Hotel

1:00p-4:30p, Early Registration, pre-conference, vendors, & sponsor recognition

5:00p-8:00p, Welcome Reception


Day 2 Saturday, February 16, 2019, Edgewood College

7:00a-8:10a, Morning Your Way

8:30a-10:00a, Welcome & Opening Remarks

10:00a-10:15a, Break

10:15a-11:30a, Conference Sessions #1

11:30a-11:45a, Break

11:45a-12:45p, Lunch & REL MIDWEST 22 Interventions Presentation

1:00p-2:15p, Conference Sessions #2

2:15p-2:30p, Break

2:30p-3:45p, Conference Sessions #3

3:45p-4:00p, Break

4:00p-4:45p, Closing Ceremony

4:45p-5:30p, Vendors, Sponsors, Art Gallery, Networking

Morning Your Way

Are you an Early Bird Riser? Would you like to get your “Morning YOUR WAY” routine started before the morning rush? Here are four early bird options:

  1. Morning Meditation- Eat at 7:00a.m.-7:30a.m. Meditation in chapel at 7:40a.m.-8:10a.m.
  2. Art Gallery- Eat at 7:00a.m.-7:30a.m.  Take a short walk to experience the art exhibit highlighting noted African American artists Leslie Barlow (Minneapolis) and Reginald Baylor (Milwaukee) explore issues of racial identity and community in their very different art practices in the STREAM 7:40a.m.-8:10a.m.
  3. Line Dance- Eat at 7:00a.m.-7:30a.m.  Let the beat speak through your feet. Twist your body, slide to the right and then to the left. Wake up your mind, body and spirit through dancing that brings a cultural connection that traces its roots throughout the African diaspora 7:40a.m.-8:10a.m.
  4. Yoga- Eat at 7:00a.m.-7:30a.m. Wake Up Everybody by learning yoga techniques that focus on diverse areas of fitness, stress relief, wellness, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind and spiritual growth 7:40a.m.-8:10a.m.

Wake Up Everybody!!!- Are you one who needs a little more time to get going in the morning? Start your day thirty minutes later than the early birds at 7:30 a.m. Grab a boxed breakfast and choose a morning session where you can eat and learn or spend some time socializing, shopping or in solitude from 7:40a.m.-8:10a.m.

  1. Maya Angelou and Carter G. Woodson Wake Up Session Who was Maya Angelou? Hear from Maya Angelou’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., sisters and learn why Bringing the Gifts My Ancestors Gave was chosen as the title of this conference. Who was Dr. Carter G. Woodson? Hear from his Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. brothers how he Launched Negro History Week in 1926, which evolved into Black History Month in 1976.
  2. Sunrise solitude or socializing? YOU CHOOSE!!! For those of you who like to pace yourself into the new day just sit back and relax and EASE into your morning over breakfast. Network with other “EASERS” or enjoy some morning alone time in the breakfast area. Feel free to stay there until the opening session begins at 8:30a.m.
  3. Retail Therapy After eating breakfast spend some time practicing the Kwanzaa principle of Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) which means to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together. Our vendors are open for business and ready to share the gifts they bring with you! It’s your time to shop till you drop!

Session Tracks

Title: Black Girls: Becoming, Evolving, Co-Existing to Manifest Dreams & Aspirations

Presenter: Dr. Chrishirella Warthen-Sutton

Location: Predolin 115A, 2:30p-3:45p

Session Description:  The presentation will braid the scope of historical journey and triumphant with significant findings from interviews centered on the narrative of what it means to grow up black and female.  The conversations reveal personal insights on the implications of challenges, revering occurrences, perceived obstacles and resilient experiences to better understand how these factors influence their capacity to define themselves to construct a pathway of life success.


Title: Black Girls Code and Power: Developing an “It’s All About Me!” Mobile App

Presenter: Dr. Tracy Lewis-Williams

Location: Predolin 115A, 1p-2:15p

Session Description: The workshop guides participants in understanding their own attitudes and beliefs about themselves, others and computing, and empowers them to recognize and counter common and damaging attitudes and beliefs about Blacks in computing. As part of learning about the computing industry and exploring their self-identity in relation to computing, participants will develop an interactive an Android mobile app entitled “All About Me!”


Title: Black Girl Magic: Fostering Relationships and Promoting Excellence

Presenters: Rosa Thompson and Maria Loy

Location: Predolin 115A, 10:15a-11:30a

Session Description: Participants will have the opportunity learn about how the Natural Circles of Support approach that is utilized at Hawthorne Elementary School, including how to build supportive relationships with the students and how to use the assets the students bring to the group, learn about the impact on the group participants, and view a demonstration from the young Oya Sisters.


Title: Black Men Run, Brown Boys Read

Presenter: Aaron Perry

Location: Predolin 115B, 2:30-3:45p

Session Description:  Black Men Run (BMR) is a national organization focused on management of the physical and wellbeing of men of color. BMR has 50 chapters across 29 States and Aaron Perry is BMR National Director of Heath Wellness and Disease Prevention. Aaron will share with the audience his plans to replicate the new Black Men Run Brown Boys Read summer reading and fitness initiative for middle school males of color lead by men of color.


Title: Building a culturally and linguistically responsive library collection that validates and affirms all learners, as the first step to building and bridging towards academic achievement.

Presenter: Pam Hoadley

Location: Predolin 307, 2:30p-3:45p

Session Description: Building a culturally and linguistically responsive library collection, validates and affirms all learners, and is the first step to building and bridging towards academic achievement. Children who find texts in which they see their cultural and linguistic selves will foster increased engagement in literacy and will spur a lifelong love of reading. Every student should be able find a text that reflects who they are culturally and linguistically - authentically.

This session will focus on the books. All books displayed are from the Hawthorne Elementary School library collection. You will have time to examine the books, and will have many resources provided in the presentation where you will find lists of culturally and linguistically responsive materials.


Title: BLMA: Building the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement

Presenter: Paul Moga

Location: Predolin 306, 2:30p-3:45p

Session Description: This presentation will describe the effort to create and maintain the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement within Milwaukee Public Schools. Participants will learn of the initial planning, ongoing research, and productive struggle to ensure BLMA’s success.  Current research that informs the department’s work will be shared, along with samples from the BLMA Manhood Development courses, and many of the lessons learned at this point in our journey.


Title: Cultivating Black Excellence through “Living S.M.A.R.T.”

Presenters: Marisa Carr-Flowers, Kira Fobbs,  Kim O’Donahue, and Emilie Portle

Location: Predolin 112, 1p-2:15p

Session Description: In this session, participants will learn about the “Living S.M.A.R.T.” framework created by Andreal Davis and implemented under her leadership at the African American Ethnic Academy in Madison, WI.  The Academy is a Saturday Cultural and Academic enrichment program for students, pk-12. Developing cultural themes and developmentally appropriate ideas for using the “Living S.M.A.R.T.” framework provides the opportunity to explore an innovative approach in the traditional school setting.  “Living S.M.A.R.T.” stands for: Living Science/Self Esteem, Math, Art, Reading and Technology. Participants will have an opportunity to explore curriculum and resources and engage in collaborative planning of culturally responsive lessons.


Title: Drum Power integrating social emotional learning self-efficacy and academics

Presenter: Dr. Yorel Lashley

Location: Predolin 115B, 10:15a-11:30a

Session Description: Yorel Lashley, developmental psychologist and founder of Drum Power, will use his program as a model leading you through integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) with academics toward helping students build self-efficacy and assessing the results.  The workshop will focus on the key elements and pedagogical strategies, developing student-derived assessments of growth (in SEL, Academics & Self-efficacy), data-based results, using cultural/experiential relevance, systems for positive classroom management and building/maintaining healthy learning culture.


Title: Embodying Black Boy Joy Through Black Male Youth Achievement and Group Mentoring

Presenters: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Location: Predolin 306, 1p-2:15p

Session Description: The distinguished gentlemen of the Madison Kappa League is a youth leadership program sponsored by the Madison Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Its purpose is to help young men understand the importance of preparing themselves to be the future leaders of OUR community. This mentoring program also helps students achieve worthy goals and become contributors to their communities by developing their leadership skills. Come to this session to learn more about how we help students hone their leadership skills while having fun!


Title: “Everyday Racism in America and the Power of Forgiveness: They Threw Tomatoes at Us the First Day We Arrived at the ‘White’ School”

Presenter: Dr. Wilma J. Turner, author

Location: Predolin 307, 1p-2:15p

Session Description:  This presentation is based on an auto-ethnographic study of my life and culture in the racist society in which I grew up. The study has been published in the form of a new book entitled: Everyday Racism in America and the Power of Forgiveness, 2018. The story begins when I first realized I was Black at age 10 and a desegregation case where Black parents of 14 students sued the Charleston, MO Board of Education. My mother was one of those who had the courage to stand up against racial segregation and allowed me to attend an all-White school where neither the students nor the teachers wanted us in “their school.” I speak of the trauma I experienced in the hostile environment where upon arrival tomatoes were thrown at us to show their disapproval. We were sat in the back of the classroom and called the “N-word” on a daily basis by the students. This study follows my journey from the halls of that high school to a HBCU in Alabama and then to a classroom where I was responsible for helping to educate students in one inner-city school in Chicago. I explore how my teaching practices impacted what I taught and how they resulted in numerous enhancements for my students. Through the use of several interventions: high expectations for every student, parental involvement, social-emotional and character development, development of teacher-student relationships and the implementation of a culturally-relevant pedagogy, my students were positively influenced and their academic achievement scores improved. The book also addresses how love and forgiveness, even in the face of mistreatment, can give you added strength for living your best life.


Title: Harnessing History: Increasing student skills by incorporating historical primary sources into your teaching

Presenters: Cynthia Bachhuber and Lisa Saywell

Location: Predolin 308, 10:15a-11:30a

Session Description: Primary sources are the building blocks used to create the narrative of history. But should those pieces of evidence only be accessible to professional historians? No! Bringing historical primary sources into your classroom and teaching your students to work with them sharpens their critical thinking skills, helps them understand how history is constructed, and empowers them to take ownership of the story. This session with librarians from the Wisconsin Historical Society will provide a grounding for educators to bring these sources and skills back to their schools. Attendees will participate in classroom-ready activities, leave with in-person and online support resources, and have the opportunity to engage with authentic, unique holdings from the Historical Society’s collections - such as documents and artifacts from Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine.


Title: Joys of the Womb

Presenter: Pam Soward

Location: Predolin 118, 1p-2:30p

Session Description: The title of my project is “Joys from the Womb”. This title came as a result of many discussions on intergenerational trauma, current and ongoing trauma in the African descent community today. The senseless killing of African descent people by police who are sworn to serve and protect and the current racial tension that is being promoted in this country causing young African descent women to lose babies which speaks to the high infant mortality rate in the African descent community. There is a strong connection between external stress with internal mortality. African descent women are dying from postpartum cardiomyopathy which is a rare form of heart failure who have recently given birth. The purpose of this presentation is to offer how important it is for the African descent community to be informed of the risk factors and how an alternative encouraging lifestyle and environment is for in-utero development. There is a need for providing a peaceful and supportive pathway from in-utero to the external environment for African descent babies, mommies, and families to grow into productive contributing citizens in America and this world. I will cite several articles and video discussions that I hope will confirm that an external environment of racism is an important determining factor for the infant mortality rate in the African descent community. According to the World Health Organization risk factors such as racism are modifiable. We must work together to affect change.


Title: Looking Back, Using Data and Moving Ahead

Presenter: Kent Smith and Milaney Leverson

Location: Predolin 308, 2:30p-3:45p

Session Description: Diversity.  School climate.  Positive behavior intervention and support.  Response to Intervention.  School to Prison Pipeline.  These topics have been a part of public education in some way for the last several decades.  While these topics are vital necessity, if done in isolation from each other lasting change is difficult.  This session will examine a brief history of public instruction in the United States and present how we have arrived at a collective point.  The presenters will then discuss how data can be used to identify places in education systems where students are being underserved and under supported, and will discuss the role that implicit bias plays in maintaining those disparate outcomes.  Lastly, the presenters will present some ideas regarding how to control for some of those implicit biases within the systems using data.


Title: Mission 4.0

Presenter: Lori Mann-Carey

Location: Predolin 112, 2:30p-3:45p

Session Description: Mission 4.0 is proud to be considered as one of the 22 intervention strategies that have been proven to have a positive impact on the education of students.  Mission 4.0 combines tutoring, academic support, parent/family engagement, student commitment, consistent and intentional motivational messaging, social-emotional learning and enrichment activities to support student success.  Mission 4.0 meets Monday – Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 pm, and 1-2 Saturdays per month from 9:00 – Noon, and serves a light nutritious dinner during the week.  Most amazing is that 35-40 students regularly attend! Come and hear more about Mission 4.0 and learn why and how, participation in Mission 4.0 can improve student academic success as well as gaining an understanding of other benefits of participation. 


Title: My People Are Destroyed For Lack of Knowledge: Examining the Role of the Black Church & Education

Presenter: Dr. Lamont Francies

Location: Predolin 308, 1p-2:15p

Session Description: In this session we will explore the role of the historical role of the Black Church and its role in holistically educating the black child. We will discuss the Black Church as symbol of racial resiliency and its effectiveness in a 21st century paradigm. We will also discuss the institutional failures and faults of the Black Church and how some churches have become complicit in the mis-education of Black youth.    


Title: Omega Boys Club Lifting As We Climb

Presenter: Richard L. Jones JD

Location: Predolin 306, 10:15a-11:30a

Session Description: In this session the presenter will share how the "principles of brotherhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift were used to attain the highest standards of academic and social excellence in the lives of fifteen striving to succeed elementary school African American Males. Come hear and see their stories and celebrate their academic and behavioral achievements. Quantitative and qualitative data will be shared as evidence of this successful male mentoring program.


Title: "Surviving isn't Thriving: Navigating & Addressing the Challenges of Leading While

Presenter: Dr. Krystal Hardy Allen

Location: Predolin 112, 10:15a-11:30a

Session Description:  In the midst of neoliberal education reform and a volatile sociopolitical climate, the role and responsibilities of principals and system leaders has drastically changed.  Beholden to being instructional and cultural leaders for students and staff, educational leaders must also build and exercise business and political acumen.  For Black educational leaders, especially Black women, the added weights of individual and institutional racism, as well as the unique politics at play within respective districts, dramatically contribute to one's mental, emotional, and physical health.  If we're not careful, we will barely recognize ourselves internally and out; for we cannot give our children, families, and communities what we do not or no longer have to give.  This session touches matters that are in high demand for leaders everywhere!  During this time together, session participants will: a) identify the unconscious and institutional manifestations of white supremacy and neoliberal education reform within your school or network setting - regardless of whether you're in a predominantly Black ,white, Latino, etc. school setting) and b) navigate strategies and considerations for building and maintaining your mental, emotional, and physical health - as well as success and longevity - in the work we champion daily. 


Title: “9: Using Hip-Hop Music and Culture As An Effective Instructional Tool and Strategy to Motivate Black Students

Presenter: Wayne Mecheal Muhammad

Location: Predolin 115B, 1p-2:15p

Session Description: Presenter will provide an in-depth look at certain aspects of hip-hop culture and music and how those can be fused into classroom instruction across multiple disciplines to engage, motivate, and teach students.



Presenter: Michelle Belnavis

Location: Predolin 307, 10:15a-11:30a

Session Description: The purpose and objective of Read Your Heart Out, is to grow professionally in the area of culturally responsiveness, specifically related to family engagement and culturally responsive literacy. Read Your Heart Out celebrates National African American Parent Involvement Day. Student outcomes measured will encompass active engagement and positive identity development. These measureable outcomes are evidenced in reduced classroom management concerns, reduction in office referrals and increased engagement. Increased parent and family participation also build positive school culture as students are validated and affirmed for their cultural beliefs, values, behaviors and language. This event is rationalized through the Wisconsin educator standards and components of a culturally responsive multi-level system of supports and Domains 2 and 3 of Educator Effectiveness. (Leadership, Family Engagement, Positive Culture, School Climate, Classroom Environment)                                                                                                                                                              



Continuing Education Units & Academic Credit


Travel & Lodging

Conference location(s):

Day 1- Friday, February 15, 2019, Madison Concourse Hotel: 1 West Dayton Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53713

Day 2- Edgewood College, Predolin Hall: 1000 Edgewood College Drive, Madison, WI. 53711

Hotel options:

Madison Councourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53713,

Rate: $149.00 Single/Dbl. Occupancy
Discounted rate is good through January 16, 2019, use group reference code- Black History Education Conference
Reservations: 1-800-356-8293

Parking: Reduced parking rates for day attendees, $5.00 per spot in the hotel parking facility.

Check in at 3:00p.m, check out at 11:00a.m

Hotel Red, 1501 Monroe Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53711

Rate: King Executive: $129, Premier Studio Suite: $169

Discounted rate is good through December 31, 2018, use group reference code- Black History Education Conference
Reservations: 608 819-8228

Parking: Self valet parking in the hotels underground structure and shuttle service provided to local attractions. Parking is complimentary, most spaces are sheltered and are accessible on the Regent side of the building.