Keeping the Promise of Public Education Symposium, October 5, 2018

On October 5, 2018 The NEA Foundation hosted the Keeping the Promise of Public Education Symposium, in Washington, DC.

The symposium featured storytellers from all over the U.S. and many facets of the education ecosystem, each offering unique, creative reflections on the promise of public education. In what ways are we keeping that promise? In what ways do we still need to grow? Closing stories were told by KIND founder and CEO and author Daniel Lubetzky, and TED Talk star and celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

You can watch the full Symposium below:

Keeping the Promise of Public Education Symposium - Act 1
Keeping the Promise of Public Education - Act I
Keeping the Promise of Public Education Symposium - Act 2
Keeping the Promise of Public Education - Act II
Keeping the Promise of Public Education Symposium - Act 3
Keeping the Promise of Public Education - Act III

More Stories

Check out these additional stories about keeping the promise of public education, which were shared by local media in the lead-up to the Symposium.

Our Storytellers

Here are some of the storytellers who joined us for the Symposium:

  • Linda Ryden, Washington DC, an elementary school “peace teacher” uses mindfulness to build students’ social and emotional skills
  • Ayanna Hudson, Washington DC, a leader at the National Endowment of the Arts advocates for arts education in schools, with help from student poets.
  • Josh Parker, Owings Mills MD, a Maryland Teacher of the Year, shared his journey as an African-American male to educate and lead his students, particularly African-American boys
  • Craig Beals, Billings MT, a science teacher and Montana Teacher of the Year, recounted the moment that he decided to become a teacher and why joy is an essential part of his practice
  • Logan Meza and Amina Henderson-Redwan, youth organizers from the Community for Just Schools Fund described their life experiences – and how they were prompted to become activists
  • Rachna Heizer, Burke VA, the parent of an autistic teenager and musical prodigy – recounted the fight to use her child’s gifts to drive their education with a performance by her son, Jake
  • Pamela Broussard and Ayanna Davis, Houston TX, spoke in raw terms about the migrant student experience, and what it’s like to walk in their students’ shoes
  • Jamie Dickson, Madison MS, shared how he uses his love of poetry to reach his students, as they grapple with depression, incarceration and more
  • Rolland Janairo, San Francisco CA, the COO of World Savvy, described his upbringing in an immigrant household, and how public schools both served – and nearly failed him
  • Jake Miller, Camp Hill PA, an award-winning history teacher, told the story of how his teachers saved his life
  • Anne Pegram and Sharon Yates, Baltimore MD and Dinwiddie VA, two veteran teachers described their experience with school desegregation and racial diversity, and their passionate advocacy for culturally competent teaching
  • Sonia Galaviz, Boise ID, Idaho Teacher of the Year, connected her Mexican immigrant parents’ experience to her own hard work and professional success – and the hopes she has for her children
  • John Jackson, Quincy MA, President of the Schott Foundation, talked about the importance of love and happiness as we work give students the opportunities they need

Our Closing Storytellers

Daniel Lubetzky is a Mexican-American social entrepreneur working to build bridges between people and elevate our shared humanity. Daniel is the Founder & CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks, a not-only-for-profit business with a mission to elevate kindness and empathy in society. To scale this mission, Daniel established The KIND Foundation in 2015. The Foundation's signature initiative, Empatico, connects classrooms around the world through meaningful interactions that help kids explore their similarities and differences and expand their worldviews.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the leading African writer of her generation. Her work is read around the world, and has been translated into over thirty languages. Chimamanda’s 2013 novel, Americanah, has received numerous accolades, including the US National Book Critics Circle Award. Her 2009 TED Talk, “The Danger of A Single Story,” is now one of the top ten most-viewed TED Talks of all time. Chimamanda is committed to assisting young aspiring writers. As one of her commitments, she leads an annual Writers Workshop in her home country, Nigeria.

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