On Friday, November 6, 2020, the Equity Institute at Skyline College hosted the 3rd Bi-Annual Equity Summit, a virtual half-day professional learning experience that featured 10 national thought leaders, practitioners, and activists who shared their perspective, expertise, and recommendations for advancing equity, social justice and re-imagining educational spaces. This year’s featured keynote speaker was activist and filmmaker, Bree Newsome Bass. The experience brought together over 300 educators, students, and community members who logged onto zoom from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley and Southern California, and out of state.
The program commenced with opening remarks from President Melissa Moreno, EI Manager Katrina Pantig, and a moment of silence for the passing of Tom Mohr. The first half of the Summit experience consisted of three 15-minute “Equity Talks” on Humanizing Pedagogy (Dorinda Carter-Andrews, Ph.D.) , Culturally Responsive Teaching (Cesar Cruz, Ed.D.), and Transformative STEM Teaching and Learning (Roni Ellington, Ph.D.). Following the presentations, attendees were invited to an informal community engagement session facilitated by Michelle Batista, Director of Student Support. During this session, participants had the opportunity to network and have dialogue about the topics presented. The formal program resumed with the Equity Plenary, Transformative School Leadership which featured panelists, Michael Benitez, Ph.D., Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Ed.D, and Darrick Smith, Ed.D, moderated by Ali Michael, Ph.D. Panelists spoke authentically and passionately drawing from their experiences as faculty and administrators and the impact they have been able to make in their respective institutions and communities.
The event culminated with a Keynote Address from Bree Newsome Bass. Her keynote addressed historical movements for racial justice and liberation, critiquing white supremacy and anti-black racism that has grown and intensified, and reflecting on her journey as an activist and organizer. Following her talk, Bree engaged in an interview style conversation facilitated by Equity Summit and Equity Institute Founder, Lasana O. Hotep, Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at UC Berkeley. Their conversation painted more details to Bree’s key milestones as a leader and what led her to the courageous and iconic act of climbing up and removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House in 2015. The full experience culminated with a hip-hop performance by Bi-lingual artist, producer and activist, Olmeca.
A participant shared, “The experience taught me to align your fight for equity with your daily actions. It’s not just the march, the book you read, the forums you attend. Equity should be fought for in the normal processes of your day, not just a discussion. Think and reflect on how the actions we individual choose each day contribute to equity/inequity in our communities.”
Article by Katrina Pantig