Building on the success of previous conferences, the 2014 Race & Pedagogy National Conference welcomed again, more than 2,000 local, regional, national, and international participants to engage issues of race and its impact on education.
In asking “What Now?” the conference challenged us to align education and justice concepts in ways that call for conscience, critique, and change. The conference included critical models of the teaching of science and race; reexamination of the criminal justice system, including the problem of disparities in discipline in our schools and its connection to a pipeline to prison as part of our nation’s mass incarceration that has been characterized as the “New Jim Crow;” innovations in public education including, recruitment and retention of teachers of color, culturally responsive teaching, and other efforts to achieve equity; methods of documenting and researching social struggles, and explorations of institutional change processes.
An important feature of the Conference was the one-day Youth Summit, which included approximately 350 high school and middle school students as well as teachers from Pierce County and beyond. A highlight of the Summit was the small group conversations with local elders who were veterans of local and national social justice movements.