2018 National Symposium

All Our Children: The Church's Role in Education Equity

Keynote Speakers


The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry was installed as the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church on November 1, 2015.

Born in Chicago, IL, on March 13, 1953, Presiding Bishop Curry attended public schools in Buffalo, NY, and was graduated with high honors from Hobart College in Geneva, NY, in 1975. He received a Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, CT.

Throughout his ministry, Presiding Bishop Curry has been active in issues of social justice, speaking out on public education, immigration policy, and marriage equality.

In his three parish ministries in North Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland, Presiding Bishop Curry had extensive involvement in Crisis Control Ministry, the founding of ecumenical summer day camps for children, preaching missions, the Absalom Jones initiative, creation of networks of family day care providers, creation of educational centers, and the brokering of millions of dollars of investment in inner city neighborhoods.

In the Diocese of North Carolina, Presiding Bishop Curry instituted a network of canons, deacons, and youth ministry professionals dedicated to supporting the ministry that happens in local congregations.

Presiding Bishop Curry has served on the boards of a large number of organizations, including the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) and as Chair and now Honorary Chair of Episcopal Relief & Development.  He was a member of the Commission on Ministry in each of the three dioceses where he has served.

Presiding Bishop Curry has a national preaching and teaching ministry, having been featured on The Protestant Hour and as a frequent speaker at conferences around the country.  He has authored numerous publications including columns for the Huffington Post and the Baltimore Times.  His most recent book, Songs My Grandma Sang, was published in June 2015; Crazy Christians:  A Call to Follow Jesus was his first book, in August 2013.  He has received honorary degrees from Episcopal Divinity School, Sewanee, Virginia Theological Seminary, and Yale.

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Raza Studies and Education at San Francisco State University. He is also the founder of the Roses in Concrete Community School, a community responsive lab school in East Oakland (www.rosesinconcrete.org), the Teaching Excellence Network (www.10teaching.org) and the Community Responsive Education Group (www.communityresponsive.org). As a classroom teacher and school leader in East Oakland for the past 24 years, his pedagogy has been widely studied and acclaimed for producing uncommon levels of social and academic success for students. Duncan-Andrade lectures around the world and has authored two books and numerous journal articles and book chapters on effective practices in schools. In 2015, Duncan-Andrade was tapped to be a Commissioner on the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) and in 2016 was part of the great educators invited to the White House on National Teacher Appreciation Day by President Obama. Duncan-Andrade has also been ranked as one of the nation’s most influential scholars by EdWeek’s Public Influence Rankings for the past three years.


Duncan-Andrade’s transformational work on the elements of effective teaching in schools serving poor and working class children is recognized throughout the U.S. and as far abroad as New Zealand.  His research interests and publications span the areas of urban schooling and curriculum change, urban teacher development and retention, critical pedagogy, and cultural and ethnic studies. He works closely with teachers, school site leaders, union leaders and school district officials to help them develop classroom practices and school cultures that foster self-confidence, esteem, and academic success among all students.  Duncan-Andrade holds a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies in Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature, both from the University of California – Berkeley.

Plenary Panels:

A Vision for Equitable, High Quality Public Education and Why It Matters
Moderated by: Caroline Maulden

Lunchtime Conversation – Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Dean Kelly Brown Douglas

How the Church is Responding & Making a Difference
Moderated by: Rev. Susan Heath

Selected Workshops:

The Little Church that Could: Naming and Claiming our Strengths & Resources for School Partnerships

Led by: Ansel Sanders, President & CEO – Public Education Partners & Sean Dogan, Pastor – Long Branch Baptist Church

In this workshop, we will explore church-school partnerships for education equity within participants’ own context. We will begin with an overview of the history of church engagement in social justice endeavors and use this as a backdrop to identify our own church’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in seeking to build partnerships with public schools. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of “where to start” in their communities and how to build a network of others wrestling with similar challenges/opportunities.

Understanding Childhood Adversity: Implications for Educational Systems and Outcomes

Led by: Lee Porter, Chief Program Officer, Children’s Trust of South Carolina

The goal of this workshop is to help participants understand ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences), their impact on a child’s ability to learn in the school setting, and how ACES can impact the larger educational system.


Closing the Achievement Gap Begins with Experiences from Birth to Five

Led by: Cynthia Jackson, Senior Vice President – Ounce of Prevention Fund Director, Educare Learning Network

Readiness to succeed in school is rooted in experiences that take place long before a child enters kindergarten. Recognizing this, many public schools are now providing early learning and family support centers. Learn how the early experiences and strong bonds babies develop with caring adults literally help build their brains. Explore why young children need both cognitive and social skills to enter school with the confidence, motivation, persistence and curiosity to be successful learners. Discuss helping parents recognize and build their strengths as first teachers and advocates for their children. Take home resources to use in your community.

Telling Your Story—Using Data: “Five loaves, Two Fish”

Led by: Professor Derek Black – University of South Carolina & Professor Marion Martin, Furman University

What’s the story of “education equity” in your public schools? This workshop will identify the basic metrics you might use and where to find the data. Marion Martin, Furman University chemistry professor, who attended Richland County, South Carolina public schools, will facilitate the workshop. Derek W. Black, University of South Carolina law professor, will explore the “education equity” data in Richland County. How might Marion’s experience compare with Professor Black’s data? Come; see!

Carrying Whiteness into Other Spaces

Led by: Morgan Lee, Chief Learning Leader – Leading Up, LLC

Explore with one another the challenges and beauty of carrying whiteness into the world and what it might mean for your own work within schools and churches. You will hear stories of how school leaders are exposed to race, ethnicity and culture and what that same work might mean for your work in schools and faith communities. A space will be built to begin discussions on the biases we carry, invisible privilege and how institutional racism within school structures might help to better inform your work. Learn to begin to work from a place of humility.

This event would not be possible without support from the following organizations: