Diversity celebrates the richness of human differences. Valuing diversity means recognizing that all students have a unique set of strengths, interests, and circumstances that are kept in mind when addressing particular challenges and concerns. Such individual differences are not seen as deficits; rather they are regarded as barriers that must be addressed through collective efforts and systems that can respond to the needs of the individual. A focus on equity ensures that students, parents, and all members of the school community are made to feel welcome and respected so that diversity is valued.
Educators are charged with the responsibility to make certain that each student has the opportunities for academic success and social development. This Conference will examine the inherent challenges of this mandate and celebrate existing practices and innovative projects.
The Conference will explore the topic of diversity and equity as broad categories through various sub-themes:
- Learning Differences
- Social-emotional Challenges
- Familial and Cultural Diversity
- Socio-economic Diversity
- Sexual Diversity
Dr. Russell Quaglia, the opening keynote speaker, is a globally recognized pioneer in the field of education, known for his unwavering dedication to student voice and aspirations. Dr. Quaglia has been described by news media as America's foremost authority on the development and achievement of student voice and aspirations. His innovative work is evidenced by an extensive library of research-based publications, prominent international speaking appearances, and a successfully growing list of aspirations ventures.
Check out a recent article he has written entitled The Word on Voice for a taste of what he will be presenting.