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Dr. Daryl Howard

Daryl Howard, Ph.D is an equity instructional specialist whose work and research interests include race and cultural proficiency, social emotional learning, and the triumphs and challenges of African American male students. As a member of Maryland’s State Department of Education’s Task Force on Equity and Excellence for Black Boys, he researches and recommends policy and practice to disrupt harmful narratives, decrease disproportionality and elevate achievement. Howard is instrumental in the work of the Building our Network of Diversity (BOND) Project, where he leads initiatives focused on the
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Western States Center

Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, Western States Center works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy so all people can live, love, worship and work free from fear. We strengthen the organizing capacity of often-marginalized communities, with a particular emphasis on gender justice, racial justice and tribal sovereignty work. We provide training, leadership development and organizational capacity support to social movements and leaders committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We convene culture-makers to shift the narrative and use culture as a vehicle for base- and
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Charles E. Cobb Jr.

Charles E. Cobb Jr. is a distinguished journalist, educator and activist. As a field secretary with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) he originated the idea of freedom schools as a part of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. He began his journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for WHUR Radio in Washington, DC. In 1976 he joined the staff of National Public Radio as a foreign affairs reporter, bringing to that network its first regular coverage of Africa. From 1985 to 1997 Cobb was a National Geographic staff member. He is the coauthor, with civil rights organizer
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Sarah Said

Sarah Said is a Middle Eastern daughter of immigrants from the southwest suburbs of Chicago. Currently, she lives in the suburbs west of Chicago. She is one of the founding administrators of an Expeditionary Learning school, the Elgin Math and Science Academy (EMSA), close to 40 miles west of Chicago. A mother of three children herself, Sarah serves as the school’s director of language and equity programs. In this role, she oversees the school’s Multilingual Learning program and supports the school’s equity frameworks. Sarah has strong beliefs in school-to-family connections and demonstrates
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Dr. Rachael Mahmood

Dr. Rachael Mahmood is a fifth grade teacher in a large school district outside of Chicago. In addition to teaching, she works as an equity ambassador designing and delivering equity workshops throughout her school district as well as in surrounding schools. Rachael shares ideas, lessons, and frameworks for culturally responsive teaching with other educators on her YouTube channel and on Twitter. Her doctoral research re-examined parent involvement models to credit the involvement of African American mothers with low incomes. In January 2020, she was featured in the Chicago Tribune: Naperville
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Lakota Pearl Pochedley (Shishibéniyek Bodwéwadmik)

Lakota Pearl Pochedley (Shishibéniyek Bodwéwadmik) is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (also known as the Gun Lake Tribe). She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation located in Shawnee, Oklahoma. In 2013, Lakota graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in sociocultural anthropology and ethnicity and race studies with a specialization in Native American studies. During this time, she had the opportunity to work with a pre-K literacy Program, AmeriCorps Jumpstart, as a corps member and
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Maribel Valdez Gonzalez

Maribel Valdez Gonzalez is a Xicana educator and San Antonio-born daughter of Mexican immigrants with a goal to create academically and culturally engaging learning experiences through a culturally responsive framework that fosters empowerment, agency, and radical kindness. She is a STEMbyTAF Transformation Coach for Technology Access Foundation. She works directly with administrators and teachers to achieve educational justice for all students, especially Black and Brown students. Maribel partners with K–12 public schools as an instructional coach to shift pedagogy, transform curriculum using
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Jennifer Rowe

Jennifer Rowe is the Executive Director of Educational Equity for Indian Prairie School District in Aurora, Illinois. She has a strong passion for equity work and believes that through building relationships and providing opportunity, real change can occur. Rowe is the co-founder of the Valley Runway, a program that provides prom dresses and tuxedos to students, has partnered with FermiLab to create a summer STEM camp for Black and Latinx students, and has collaborated with 360 Youth Services to provide school-based mental health services in her district’s middle and high schools.
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Clint Smith

Clint Smith is a Ph.D. candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the author of the poetry collection Counting Descent (Write Bloody Publishing, 2016). His essays, poems and scholarly writing have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, the Atlantic, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.
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Melissa Stuart

Melissa Rivera Stuart is a copywriter at an advertising agency. She previously worked as a children's textbook writer and editor for a major publisher. Melissa has deep connections to Puerto Rico, including her beloved abuelo, Trinidad Rivera, who has been living on the island for nearly 96 years.