F.O.C.U.S. Fighting Our Cause Unified in the Struggle

Wednesday, October 18-Saturday, October 21, 2017
The DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland East-Beachwood
Hosted by Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Chaperone Pre-Conference Prep Material

Chaperones New to MSAN

We in MSAN realize that not all of our districts are on the proverbial “same page” in terms of cultural competency, equity leadership development, conversations about race and achievement, or the involvement of students in a district’s equity or social justice work. To provide educators who are newer at engaging in “the work” we have provided several readings or links to websites that can assist you in preparing to bring your students to the MSAN Student Conference. It is our hope that the information here will help you:

  • gain a bit more content knowledge regarding the influences and effects of institutionalized racism on the schooling experiences of students of color,
  • gather background information about MSAN, the annual student conference, and the role MSAN wants to see students play in shaping policies and practices, and
  • review the importance of engaging in conversations about race and achievement.

These readings are intended as background information for you and, as you feel appropriate, your students. These readings are IN ADDITION TO the readings you and your students are being asked to read in preparation for this year's MSAN Student Conference.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding your role as a chaperone in preparing for the student conference. I look forward to seeing you in October.

- Madeline
Madeline M. Hafner, Ph.D.
MSAN Executive Director

Additional Material for New Chaperones

Institutionalized Racism & Education

Background Information about MSAN

Why conversations about race and achievement?

  • Race matters – in society and in our schools. It is critical for educators to address racial issues in order to uncover personal and institutional biases that prevent students of color from reaching their fullest potential. COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION serves as the essential strategy for school systems and other educational organizations to address racial disparities through safe, authentic, and effective cross-racial dialogue.  - Pacific Education Group’s website, Who We Are
  • Rethinking Conversations on Race Among Educators
    Edutopia blog post by Jose Vilson, middle school math teacher and coach, November 30, 2012

Questions for Chaperones to reflect on in preparation for the MSAN Student Conference:

  1. What do YOU expect to gain from this conference? What do you want your students to gain?
  2. Do you believe that progress is being made in the area of racial equity in public education?
  3. If you had the power to change one educational policy or practice what would it be?
  4. What are some constructive ways to talk about race in your school/district?
  5. What are some of the strategies that have been implemented in your school/district to combat racial inequality?

©2014 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System