Charter School Leaders from Across the Nation Discuss Equity in Education During Conference

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Washington D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools kicks off the second day of the Virtual National Charter Schools Conference (NCSC Virtual) today. The conference theme, “Remote Learning, Reopening, and Reimagining Schools”– is custom-tailored to current events. Today NCSC Virtual will focus on a movement that has redefined America’s view on racial justice and equality this year – the Black Lives Matter movement. As schools prepare to reopen this fall, today’s sessions will focus on ensuring educators are equipped to support students and engage in critical conversations about equity and race relations.

“Today’s focus on equity in education comes as our nation is struggling to confront and heal the deep wounds of racial injustice that impact us all,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Some may ask if this is an issue the charter school sector should wade into. I say we must. Sixty-eight percent of charter school students are students of color. The impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on our students is profound and we cannot discuss reopening schools without considering all the things our students have seen and experienced this year. Given that both the coronavirus and racial injustices hit communities of color the hardest, we must do everything we can to ensure our students have the resources and support they need.”

Today’s conference opens with remarks from a rising senior and student activist at New Mexico School for the Arts, Artemisio Romero y Carver (Arte). Arte will share how his life has been affected by the Black Lives Matter movement as a student of color, and the changes we can expect students to call for in the fall.

The keynote session for the day, Black Lives Matter: The Defining Movement of Our Time, will be led by DeRay Mckesson, Co-founder of Campaign Zero and a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. Mckesson will be interviewed by Tre Johnson, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion partner at Catalyst: Ed. Johnson will close the plenary by leading a live Q&A with audience submitted questions.

Afrika Owes, KIPP alumna and administrative associate at The Center for Constitutional Rights, will moderate the afternoon’s featured session, Equity in Education: Realities and Strategies for Change. Layla Avila, CEO of Education Leaders of Color, Margaret Fortune, president and CEO of Fortune School, and Shavar Jeffries, president of Democrats for Education Reform, will co-host the panel discussion. Owes will close the session with a live Q&A featuring audience submitted questions.

To view the entire conference line-up and session offerings, visit the NCSCVirtual website. Remember to use #NCSCVirtual on Twitter and Instagram to share experiences and insights from the conference.

Registration for the conference is open to all charter school teachers, leaders, administrators, advocates, and others in the education sector. Interested media should contact shaelyn@publiccharters.org for free conference registration. To register for NCSCVirtual, click here.