An Appreciation for Representing SEED at the NAME Conference
I want to express my appreciation for the opportunity to represent SEED at the 2013 National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) Conference held in Oakland, California, November 6 to 10, 2013. It was an important chance to not just promote SEED and the summer New Leaders’ Week, but to also meet so many educators from around the country, pre-K through graduate schools, committed to restoring education to its proper place as merging one's thirst for knowledge with the ability to teach as well as learn.
Our presentation went very well, timed to perfection, and it drew several people who I'm conﬁdent will follow up with new leaders' training. Connecting with so many educators who knew something about SEED and wanted more was priceless.
Reconnecting with the Minnesota SEEDfolks Anna Wilken and Cassidy Pohl from Anoka Hennepin district was particularly gratifying, because for years they have been using their SEED training to lead ongoing groups of peers and in their work with young people.
Attending workshops where professors presented research on how teachers of color positively impact student outcomes, assessing ways that women of color both support and undermine each other, creating safe schools for all students, etc., reminded me of just how powerful and essential it is for SEED to continue creating learning communities where colleagues can learn to hone their leadership skills, implement new ways of teaching and learning, and grow together. I relearned that SEED undergirds multicultural curricula by making sure to "feed the teachers so they don't eat the students", to use the title of one of my favorite middle school titles.
Marcia Lovelace and I were able to have a valuable, in-depth conversation about class, both at the SEED table and at one of the organized luncheons with a larger group. Knowing that teacher leaders within an institution can initiate and sustain such exploration because of SEED made the lunch talk very hopeful, because as keynote speaker Dr. James A. Banks so eloquently reminded us, it is insufﬁcient to know and to care...we must act. I was also reminded that the political potential of SEED leaders can't be overstated, as Marcia described the painstaking organizing work she does in Oakland.
Relationships matter, and our opportunity to be together at the conference was a gift for us as well as all the people we met and reconnected with at NAME. It is no coincidence that when and where we gather as a group publicly, people notice and want to know more.
Given the current political climate of partisanship, privilege, and unwillingness to listen to differing points of view, it was a much needed source of encouragement to be able to work in public with Emmy Howe, Emily Style, Peggy McIntosh, Donald Burroughs, Judy Logan, and Marcia Lovelace, and be part of such a large group of teacher leaders who are committed to inclusion, equity, diversity and multiculturalism.
Again, thank you.