Green Dot Public Schools California is searching for presentation and workshop proposals for its 5th annual Legacy Conference. This year’s theme, which is “Disrupting Anti-Blackness: Creating Conditions for Learning in Which All Black Scholars Excel,” is inspired by conversations the network has had with students, teachers, and staff at its 18 school sites. Presenters interested in participating in the 5th annual Legacy Conference should submit proposals by January 23, 2023.
Since launching the first conference in 2018, Green Dot California has created a collective space for educators to take the next steps in furthering a learning environment in which Black students are seen, heard, celebrated, and given support for success.
Aleta Cruel, Green Dot California’s African American Achievement Specialist, is thrilled about how this year’s Legacy Conference will jumpstart strategic action in the classroom. “We’re tackling a difficult concept around anti-Blackness. It’s so prevailing and often not seen,” she said. Educators who are equipped with tools to promote equity are able to disrupt the pattern of deficit thinking towards Black students. “The thing you’re going to do tomorrow in your classroom that is going to highlight your scholars, is going to speak to your intentions behind anti-Blackness and really lead to some improved equitable outcomes for students.”
The commitment to excellence in Black scholars extends beyond the Legacy Conference. In 2017, Green Dot California created its African American Achievement and Equity committee and has worked to craft culturally responsive learning environments. Programs such as Ánimo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School’s Empowered Reading class and several Black Student Unions allow students to connect with each other, acknowledge their socioemotional needs, and take pride in who they are.
Cruel encourages presenters to embrace the unique opportunity the Legacy Conference gives, and believes this collaboration will empower Black students. She said, “When you learn things, the point is not for you to just keep them. The point is for you to influence others, and to empower others with what you know.”