This spring, Green Dot Public Schools California hosted their third annual Legacy Conference, a day of programming about how educators and staff can evolve practices to better support African American students. This year’s theme focused on how to strengthen the unique cultural assets of Black students.

“The Legacy Conference is a collective space for all Green Dot California employees to reflect on their current beliefs and practices, gain new bases of knowledge, and commit to taking strategic action towards improved equitable outcomes for our Black students and families,” says Kris Terry, Green Dot Public Schools’ Senior Director of African American Achievement and Equity.

What has often been noted throughout educational research is the importance of pedagogical practices that affirm Black students’ cultural identities and assets. Amongst the programming were student and alumni panel sessions, workshops, and presentations from equity leaders in K-12 public education from across the country and educators within the Green Dot network.

The intention of this conference is to reaffirm the responsibility of all Green Dot stakeholders to be intentional in the effort to dismantle the systems that perpetuate deficit-based thinking about Black students’ abilities, intellect, character, and potential and replace it with a learning environment that celebrates and expects excellence in achievement, and centers the voices of Black students.