Summer Institute on Education, Equity, and Justice Leveling the Playing Field: Intersecting Race and Disabilities

Virtual Conference • June 28-30, 2021


The annual American University (AU) School of Education Summer Institute on Education Equity and Justice (SIEEJ) was developed to provide professional development opportunities for community members, particularly educators, who want to learn promising practices that lead to equitable educational outcomes for underserved students, families, and communities. This year, #SIEEJthemoment as we move sessions virtually.

This year's theme is Leveling the Playing Field: Intersecting Race and Disabilities.

Sessions are designed to change both mindsets and practices. The overall goal of SIEEJ is to build a community of practice singularly focused on the strengths, challenges, and opportunities in the lives of young people of color and the communities in which they live.

Participants will be provided links to livestream all sessions in advance. All sessions will be closed captioned. Full recordings of the sessions will be made available to registered attendees.

We encourage you to engage with the sessions by using the hashtag #SIEEJthemoment.

Due to the virtual nature of this conference, certificates of participation will not be issued .

Watch Webinar Recordings

The 2020 SIEEJ Virtual Conference was held June 22-24, with three webinar sessions held each day. The 2020 theme was Uplifting Women and Girls of Color Through Antiracist Pedagogy, Practice, and Policies.

Please learn about our sessions and watch the recordings below. 

Opening Session
SOE Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy will welcome all attendees and introduce our speaker, Dean Camille Nelson from the American University Washington College of Law. 
Antiracist Pedagogy, Practice and Policies Personal Growth Goals Worksheet

Criminalization of Young Girls of Color
This session will focus on the Criminalization of Young Girls of Color: Practices and Policies. Dr. Bev-Freda Jackson sits down with Christine Platt, J.D., Dr. Deborah Tillman, Ashley Sawyer, J.D., and Carlton Miller, J.D. to discuss. Bring your lunch and join us!

Student Panel Discussion: The Lived Experiences of Women and Girls of Color
Cheryl Hewitt sits down with Lorraine Johnson, Ashley Sanchez-Viafara, Prachi Jhawar, and Veronica Pacheco to discuss young women and girls of color in the education pipeline.

Women & Mental Health in COVID-19
Drs. Day-Vines and Singh will discuss Mental Health of Women-of-Color during COVID: Through the Lens of Equity.

Learning in Digital Age
Dr. Joshua Schuschke will discuss “Expectations, Opportunities, and Futures: Culturally Responsive Learning Environments for Black Girls in the Digital Age” Bring your lunch and join us!

Social Justice in Higher Education
Dr. Brian McGowan sits down with Dr. Connie Jones, Dr. Katrina Overby, Dr. J.T. Snipes, and Dr. LaWanda Ward to discuss Social Justice in Higher Education.

Mindfulness Break – The Stretch Room 
Stretching is a great way to increase flexibility, improve range of motion, care for your muscles, release stress, and calm your mind. Simone L. Pollard will help us stretch together during this session and teach us how stretching can be a part of how You take care of You!

You can use a towel, a mat, or whatever you have as well as a stretch band, belt, or scarf to aid in getting you loose. 

Music Credit: Original music by James A. Pollard, Jr.

Teaching Young Women of Color: Antiracist Practices and Strategies
This session focuses on antiracist and culturally responsive strategies that the audience can utilize in learning environments. Presenters: Dr. Jenice View (George Mason University) and Dr. Meredith Anderson (United Negro College Fund). Facilitated by Dr. Samantha Cohen, Director of AU EdD Program.

Book Discussion
Join us for our closing session, a Book Discussion with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi on “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning.”

SIEEJ Speakers

2021 speakers to be announced soon!

2021 SIEEJ Planning Committee

The SIEEJ Planning Committees's key purpose is to coordinate the success of the SIEEJ Virtual Conference.

  • Bonnie Berry – Conference Partnerships
  • Steven Crudele – Conference Registration
  • SOE Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy – Conference Oversight
  • Leslie A. Jones – Conference Speakers
  • Jacob Ortiz – DC Public Schools Liaison 
  • Antonio Ellis – Conference Director
  • Tess Saffar – Conference Logistics
  • Benjamin Zenker – Social Media & Digital Design

Webinar Resources

Please find below resources referenced during our sessions: 

Opening Session resources from SOE Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy

Sourcing/References from Dr. Joshua Schuschke's lunch session on Expectations, Opportunities, and Futures: Culturally Responsive Learning Environments for Black Girls in the Digital Age

Recommended books from Dr. Katrina M. Overby:

  • Black Feminism in Qualitative Inquiry: A Mosaic for Writing Our Daughter's Body by Dr. Venus E. Evans-Winters |
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall |
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by Bell Hooks |

Recommended books from Dr. Joshua Schuschke's lunch session on Expectations, Opportunities, and Futures: Culturally Responsive Learning Environments for Black Girls in the Digital Age:

Resources from Day 2 morning session:

Resources from Ashley C. Sawyer, Esq.:


To support #SIEEJthemoment, please donate!
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