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Agenda and Workshops

Friday, November 11, 2022

Amplify attendees do a quick workout, following the lead of the fitness instructor at the front of the room.

Self-care will be the focus for Friday evening, so comfortable attire is encouraged.

Opening reception with appetizers and cocktails

5:00-8:00 p.m. – Registration, self-care workshops, networking, and music by DJ Ben Rich.

Don’t forget to pick up your conference badge and t-shirts!

Self-care Session

Participants can sign up for one or more of the following sessions:

Dr. Auburn Ellis

People of all ages and fitness levels are welcome to join the Amplify Energizing Chair Yoga session. We will focus on relaxing the hips and shoulders while finding power with our breath and body.  

Ericka Reece

15-20 minute chair massage focused on the back, shoulders, neck, arms, and head, to help relax the muscles, improve flexibility and movement, alleviate stress, and increase your sense of well-being. 

Solissa Franco-McKay and Wanda Bentrop

Join us for a 20-minute session focused on self-compassion, well-being, and liberation. In community, we will explore connecting to ourselves in the present moment and putting self-care into action. Participants are invited to show up as they are, no prior mindfulness or meditation experience necessary. The offering will include music, guided meditation, and reflection.

Ritchie Cherry

BOXOUT was officially founded as a means to create experiences where passion, power, and purpose bind together. We commit ourselves to offer motivational support, life coaching, and life-changing experiences. These combine to help to reduce work burnout, interpersonal conflicts, and day-to-day stress.  

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Registration & Welcome

7:45 a.m. – Registration will begin at 7:45. Don’t forget to pick up your conference badges and t-shirts!

If you happen to arrive when the room is full, there will be an overflow room available for you to share the experience.

A photo of Nicole Goodman and Tysie McDowell

Opening KeynoteNicole Goodman and Tysie McDowell

Breakout Sessions I

There are too many instances where challenging conversations deteriorate or can feel one-sided, and in the end, leave both individuals not ready to move forward. This session will explore how radical conversations shift that paradigm and apply best practices for more effective outcomes in your individual situations. 

The purpose of this session is to identify and explain barriers that exist to prevent families of color from successfully engaging in full partnerships with their children’s teachers. Because we know that family engagement is an integral component of academic success, it is important that we acknowledge traditional forms of communication and participation may not work in all cultures. As African American parents we will share personal experiences to support our findings.

Kansas City’s relationship with education is long and complex. This session will provide historical context on how local, regional, and national policy decisions over time have shaped the educational system that we operate within the present day.

This session will focus on several ways educational systems can build capacity for student voice across your organization. Participants will leave with guidance on including space for students’ voices at decision-making tables and elements to include in making a strategic plan for Equity and Student Voice. 

If you want to change outcomes for youth, you can’t offer yourself with guilt. You have to offer yourself with love. If you offer yourself with love, young people will show up. If you offer yourself with guilt, our young people will build a wall. We work with young people who have real biographies and have real world experiences. They are not data points. The biggest truth in what we do comes from the human testimonies of our young people because human testimony is assessment.

There is a need for Black and Brown joy to be at the center of schooling to truly be inclusive of all students and support positive student outcomes. However, school stakeholders struggle with defining, identifying, and elevating Black and Brown joy and the opportunities to grow and sustain practices, pedagogies, and mindsets that are inclusive of Black and Brown joy. In this workshop, teachers and school leaders will participate in an action planning session where they will develop an action plan to sustain Black and Brown joy while addressing one of three school climate components (community, curriculum, and classroom).

A group of Amplify attendees listening to a keynote speaker. Many are recording the session with their phones. Some are wearing masks.

Breakout Sessions II

This breakout session will be a highly interactive session that will allow participants to learn and engage with one another about caste and colonization’s hold on our hearts and minds. Participants will leave the session with a general understanding of a few focal characteristics of white supremacy culture that can most affect educators of color, as well as a Reflections Journal that will help them examine their thoughts, feelings, and next steps.

This session will explore the use of racial affinity spaces for educators of color and how they can be used to leverage collective wellness and collective change. 

The conversation continues… as a follow-up of the Race, Place, & Money: The History of Public Education session, this presentation will provide data to support the imperative for why change is necessary, and what BLAQUE KC is doing to build the capacity of school board leaders, parents, teachers, and local non-profits as we create the culturally rich learning environments research suggests best meets the needs of Black learners. This session will also explore BLAQUE KC’s advocacy movement for reimagining education for Black children. 

Participants will engage in conversation about embracing a growth mindset that develops teacher autonomy in the classroom and enhances student learning while supporting the school/district’s mission and vision. Participants will take away shared knowledge and ideas that will build their autonomy as teacher leaders in the classroom. 

Participants will engage and discuss ways to prioritize mental health and wellness. Participants will learn to elevate equity by exercising their own vulnerability, assertiveness, and self-advocacy. Additionally, participants will: 

  • Acknowledge and learn about the risk of accumulative stress and pressures unique to BIPOC communities 
  • Receive an overview of depression, anxiety, fear, and trauma and how they impact BIPOC communities 
  • Understand how to utilize vulnerability, assertiveness, and self-advocacy to navigate high-stress systems such as medical/healthcare, education, workforce, and family/relational systems 

This session is designed to provide educators with tools that can be integrated into their daily lives to be present, mindful, and to access their best selves in order to lead effectively at work, in the community, and beyond. Participants will gain tools to infuse mindfulness into their self-care and professional practice.  

In the last two years, it has become glowingly apparent that young people are in dire need of classroom spaces that support their intellectual development and provide space for empowerment and liberation in the face of the bevy of emotions of navigating a social world rife with social injustice. This workshop will provide teachers and school leaders an opportunity to reflect on the context of their current classroom/school space and the pedagogies that align with that space. Participants will learn about an educational philosophy called “radical hospitality”, which focuses on the extraordinary effort and emphasis on making people feel welcome by breaking down barriers that prevent people from participating in a community. Further, participants will identify actionable steps toward creating an inclusive classroom space that is aligned with youth-centered pedagogies to support youth empowerment and liberation within educational spaces.

An Amplify attendee examines a stack of books, which was given to attendees as part of the conference.

Networking break

Breakout Sessions III

In this session, we will discuss the priceless gift of literature where Black students are the hero, the resilient, the gorgeous, the brave, and the brilliant. We will examine various texts to collaborate on methods to enhance Black literature in our academic environments. Book stacks range from Self Identity to Emotional Awareness and Management, from STEAM to Economics. They say money don’t grow on trees, but books do, and this session will be full of Black literature at its finest! 

Ever wonder why we educate children like it’s the First Industrial Revolution despite the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s globalized and technological needs? When he learned would be a parent, Nathaniel A. Turner also pondered this incongruity and invented a backward-designed personalized educational process known as “The Life Template.” 

In this session, building-level leaders will receive strategies for elevating and activating youth voice to reflect their school community. Participants will leave with an understanding of the impact youth voice has on school connectedness and student performance. They will also gain multiple strategies on how to amplify youth voice to meet student academic, social, and mental health needs. 

The purpose of this session is to identify and explain barriers that exist to prevent families of color from successfully engaging in full partnerships with their children’s teachers. Because we know that family engagement is an integral component of academic success, it is important that we acknowledge traditional forms of communication and participation may not work in all cultures. As African American parents we will share personal experiences to support our findings. 

Hip-hop music and the vibrant energy of the culture can be used as a form of healing for young people who have experienced mental health challenges caused by stressors rooted in a long history of structural racism, institutional racism, and discriminatory practices. By connecting the five SEL competencies with the five elements of hip-hop culture, participants will gain practical strategies for using hip-hop to engage young people in meaningful and relevant ways.

This workshop will explore the theory of Culturally Responsive Caring, and how educators can use this theory to engage young people academically and socially. This theory speaks to what is sorely missing in many spaces where young people interact with adults: the development of authentic and meaningful relationships. 

Amplify attendees sit in the Kansas City Room at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and listen to a facilitator give a presentation at the front of the room

Networking break

Dr. Christopher Emdin speaking on stage at Amplify.

Closing Plenary