This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Angeline Dean.
“People, Policy, Politics, and Processes” – Jane West
The knowledge of this framework and its relation to analysis and advocacy spearheaded the Holmes Advanced Policy Course. This framework, along with homework given by AACTE staffers Jane West and Weade James was not only the necessary grounding to an understanding that truly “all politics are local” but also ripe for Luis Maldonado to address the navigating of politics and policies. Immediately following, Lakeisha Steele, professional staffer and policy team leader for Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House, Education & Labor Committee, “ripped the runway” with her honesty, passion, and commitment to social and transformational change! She reminded us that “we are our ancestors wildest dreams!” Therefore, we like our ancestors and so many who have transitioned this year, must be prepared to live in “good trouble” spaces and we must Persevere.
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” – Shirley Chisolm.
As we segued into the rest of the Holmes Policy Institute, we were gifted with the Power statement of “Miss Unbought and Unbossed” herself, Shirley Chisolm. How befitting as this statement resonated as an overarching theme for such a time as this. AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick challenged us to thwart the narratives that brand Black bodies in lies and deficits. She pushed us to exercise our Positionality as spaces of truth, resistance, power, and countered narratives that honor civil rights ancestors in the proper telling of history and data in education. With that, students posed questions that blended and asserted their politics, processes, power, and positionality as people such as: What exactly is the role of a dean in residence and how or does it relate to Holmes students and their needs? What systems are in place to protect (another p word) BIPOC students against whiteness and internalized racism in predominantly white institutions?
Last week, scholars of color convened for the AACTE Holmes Policy Institute, a three-day training under this year’s theme, “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy.” The virtual conference, the first of the AACTE 2020 Washington Week events, offered students the opportunity to connect with peers, build their networks and engage in lively discussions on current trends. The advocacy and policy training focused on how the intersection of policy, education, and research can affect positive change for students of color.
Day 1 kicked off with AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick leading a session on civil rights in education and AACTE consultant Jane West presenting a policy briefing. Day 2 centered on presentations by guest speakers—faculty, national organization professionals, and congressional staffers—who covered topics such as efforts to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and community-based participatory research to achieve social justice. The final day of training began with social reform advocates Jael Kerandi and Amanda Wilkerson, and moderator Ann Charity Hudley sharing their experiences and guidance on how scholars of color can mobilize for change.
Rep. Bobby Scott to Deliver Keynote
Today the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) launches its inaugural virtual Washington Week by hosting the Holmes Policy Institute, an event that amplifies the voice of masters- and doctoral-level students of color on policies affecting educator preparation. Themed “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy,” this year’s Institute takes place September 8-10.
“We are thrilled to support AACTE Holmes Program students in addressing critical issues in educator preparation, such as increasing teacher diversity and equity,” said Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., AACTE president and CEO. “This signature event offers our future teacher educators of color the tools to navigate national, state and local policies that directly impact those most-often marginalized in education systems.”
Over the course of three days, Holmes students, coordinators, and leaders throughout the country will explore best practices in education advocacy by participating in presentations and small group discussions. In response to the recent, racial unrest in the United States, several sessions will examine these issues as they relate to equity in educator preparation, including:
- Civil Rights in Education: History, Resistance and Opportunities
- Policing in Schools and Efforts to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Community-Based Participatory Research to Achieve Social Justice
The Holmes Policy Institute will culminate with a closing keynote address by Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Throughout his 14 terms representing Virginia’s third congressional district, the congressman has been a champion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and has advanced policies addressing the equity gaps in education. Following his keynote remarks, Rep. Scott will engage in an interactive discussion with the Holmes students about the state of public education, educator preparation, and the importance of diversifying the educator workforce.
Next week, a number of Holmes students will apply what they learn and put their advocacy skills into practice during AACTE’s Day on the Hill event, joining the Association’s state leaders in virtual meetings with Congressional representatives.
AACTE’s Washington Week virtual conference is quickly approaching. This year’s event will feature the Holmes Advanced Policy Short Course, Holmes Policy Institute, AACTE’s Day on the Hill, and the State Leader’s Institute.
Joining the Holmes Policy Institute this year is Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Congressman Scott will deliver the closing keynote address at this year’s Holmes Policy Institute on Thursday, September 10.
Throughout his 14 terms representing Virginia’s third congressional district, Congressman Scott has been a champion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has advanced policies to address the equity gaps in education, employment, and healthcare. In 1993, Chairman Scott became the first African American elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African American elected to Congress in the history of Virginia. Congressman Scott continues to break barriers and create opportunities for future generations of African American and minority leaders.
Following his keynote remarks, the Congressman will engage in an interactive discussion with the Holmes Scholars about the state of public education, educator preparation, and the importance of diversifying the educator workforce.
To learn more about the AACTE Holmes Program, contact me at email@example.com.
AACTE congratulates Tiffany Hamm, Holmes Scholar of the Month for August 2020. Hamm is in the third year of her doctoral program at Syracuse University, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in science education. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Hamm taught earth science in her hometown of Bronx, New York, and earned a B.S. in marine sciences from Stony Brook University and an M.Ed. in Urban Adolescence Education from Long Island University- Brooklyn Campus.
Hamm’s research interest is centered on urban science education. Her life’s work is to study ways to make science education more accessible to students attending schools in urban communities. Hamm recently completed a TED talk titled Urban Narratives in Science Education for the TEDxSyracuseUniversity program
Having a Holmes Program at your institution is an excellent way to provide professional development and student support for racially diverse candidates in educator preparation programs (EPPs). With the upcoming financial challenges COVID-19 will bring to funding efforts that will lead to diversification in the field, AACTE is committed to helping provide those development opportunities with a new resource—the Holmes Program Coordinators Directory.
Are you interested in expanding or creating a Holmes Program? AACTE Holmes Program Coordinators have the experiential knowledge to share with those looking to learn more about the benefits and logistics to starting a Holmes Program at the Masters or Doctoral level. You can learn more by accessing the new Holmes Program Coordinators Directory in the AACTE Resource Library.
The AACTE 2020 Washington Week will feature two virtual Holmes Program events: the Holmes Advanced Policy Course, September 2-3, and the Holmes Policy Institute, September 8-10.
Holmes Advanced Policy Course: September 2-3
The Holmes Program Advanced Policy Course will engage Holmes Scholars in “Moving Towards Equity Through Advocacy and Policy,” the theme of this year’s event. Participants in the Course will explore policy and advocacy principles and address current events that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in education. The sessions include a deep dive into the 4 P’s of Policy and Advocacy, led by Jane West, AACTE Consultant for Government Relations, and will conclude with an engaging Q&A forum. Scholars will also hear from congressional staffers from Capitol Hill, who will address current issues and trends in education that align with DEI policies and practices.
This article originally appeared on the Virginia Commonwealth School of Education website and is reprinted with permission.
As public school systems across the country are readying plans to reopen — in some fashion — this fall, a new study at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is investigating the preparedness of two school districts within the greater Richmond area amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study, “Exploring PreK-12 Public School Systems’ Pandemic Preparedness During COVID-19 School Closures,” is led by Holmes Scholar alumnus Dwayne Ray Cormier, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Foundations of Education in the School of Education and a visiting iCubed scholar.
“I wanted to see: what do the protocols and processes look like?” Cormier said. “And I then want to see if there’s anything we can learn that can be shared throughout the state or throughout the country that would help schools prepare.”
Take advantage of discounted rates for the virtual AACTE 2020 Washington Week! Join AACTE’s efforts to advocate for the funding and support colleges of education need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your voice matters now more than ever, and this year’s reduced rates allow your colleagues and students to participate in the political action as well.
Here’s what past attendees had to say about the value Washington Week offers:
“I’m excited that it’s time for Washington Week again! Last year was my first experience, and I loved every minute of it. [Activities included] learning the ins and outs of how to advocate, practicing advocacy skills, and visiting the House of Representatives [as well as] discussing mental health initiatives in schools, teacher shortages, and low wages for educators. It’s an awesome experience, one that I’ll never forget. Get excited for a great time you won’t regret!” − Danna Demezier, Florida Atlantic University
“In the past, I have attended three Washington Weeks. It was amazing! I had the opportunity to share my concerns as a former educator, teacher educator, and a constituent. Nothing compares to running around Washington with Deans and meeting staffers or legislators in Congress.” − Azaria Cunningham, Penn State University
“I attended the State Leaders Institute my first year as state chapter president. The networking and valuable information obtained from experts changed the way we did business in our state chapter. Our state chapter has grown because of SLI. It is the best professional development opportunity for state chapter leaders. It should not be missed.” − Mary Murray, Bowling Green State University
AACTE in collaboration with the Holmes Scholars Council is offering a Virtual Writing Session to help provide a community of support for students’ personal and professional writing and publishing endeavors. Participants of the event will learn about strategies and tools for effective writing from guest speakers Andrew Daire, dean of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Diandra Prescod, associate professor of counselor education and counseling psychology at University of Connecticut.
Along with a designated space for both collaborative and individual writing, participants will also have the opportunity to work with writing coaches in pre-scheduled one-on-one coaching sessions to enhance research and scholarly productivity. Students will receive constructive writing feedback from faculty members at Boston University, University of Central Florida, DePaul University, and Florida Atlantic University. The goal for this event is to ensure that Holmes Scholars have a supportive space to focus on their writing goals and academic endeavors during this unprecedented and difficult period.
Events will occur on Saturday, August 15 and 22 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST). Interested scholars are encouraged to register and sign-up for a one-on-one coaching session in advance.