The 4th Annual Black History Education Conference will share best policies, practices and programs with educators across the United States

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The 4and This year, the theme for the annual Black History Education Conference is “I Am Someone.” and will take place virtually from Friday to Saturday February 18 and 19. This two days conference, hosted by UW-Madison Professional Learning and Community Education (PLACE), will provide a space for educators across the country to come together and share policies and practices that support high levels of achievement in underserved and underrepresented school communities.

The theme for this year’s Black History Education Conference is “I Am Someone”. (Illustrated by Ciera Carey)

“I had worked at the state level and created training on culturally appropriate practices,” Andreal Davis, a longtime education leader in the Madison area, told Madison365. I kept hearing in various meetings and from different people that there was a huge education gap between African American students and Native American students. And I had previously worked with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) where I did a lot of work on African American education and developed a lot of work from that foundation. I created a professional development model called CPR: Breathing New Life In Our pedagogical practices, where we focus on six areas of black education, trying to improve in the school district.

Davis is the Culturally Appropriate Practices Coordinator for the Wisconsin Response to Intervention (Rtl) Center, having served 26 years at MMSD in a variety of roles. Davis, founder of The Value of Relevant Cultural Practices, LLC, created the conference to improve school districts and support students suffering from achievement gaps and lack of resources.

Andreal Davis
(Photo by David Dahmer)

I ended up moving this job at the state level and working with a team to move their training more broadly“Davis said. So more than just being in the school district, we moved it statewide. I kept hearing about the academic achievement gaps and I kept meeting people across the state who were doing a really good job around black education. I kept going up to people saying, ‘What can we do? How can we go faster? How can we go faster?

“We have these opportunities, these attitude gaps, the achievement gap, how can we move faster? I just didn’t feel like people were moving fast enough,” she adds. “I said, ‘OYou know what, I’ll stop asking. I will do it myself. I created the Black History Education Conference four years ago.

List of presenters for this year’s Black History Education Conference includes Dr. Alfred Tatum, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Dr. Chike Akua, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Freddie Taylor, Douglas Ewart, State Representative Shelia Stubbs and Terrence Carey.

The virtual conference will feature a variety of events, including keynote sessions, activities, and escape sessions. Davis spoke about the impact of this conference on Black educators and students and his gratitude to those who have supported his efforts over the years.

I am thrilled with the commitment many home, school and community members have made to attend the conference and take action afterwards.“, Davis said. “Ssome of our speakers, like Milaney Leverson, have shared their wisdom and gifts with us for four consecutive years and there is always a high demand from families and the community to hear his messages and those of his presentation team on equity in education.

There is also a free student event, The Student Strand, hosted by the Carter G. Woodson Foundation. Madison community members and organizations have a plethora of activities for students to engage and learn from.

I want them to know that there is also a student component which is also free“, Davis said. “It will take place on the same day, but with a different Zoom link and it is sponsored by the Woodson Scholarship Community Services Foundation, that my husband is the president and thisis actually a branch of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Jhey, with FOSTER and See in‘ Is believin‘, LLC, will be sponsoring this. But above all, the Carter G. Woodson Foundation.

“And we have [HBCU] Grambling State University is coming to give a presentation called “Where Everybody Is Somebody.” They’re going to show off a collaboration they did with Beyonce. We have Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. giving a presentation on the college application process.

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