K-12, higher education leaders to grapple with taboo topics at UNT conference

What: The 33rd annual Educational Leadership Conference at the University of North Texas. This year’s theme, “Crucial Conversations on Equity and Excellence,” will feature talks, presentations and interactive group activities designed to bring issues such as race, faith and sexual orientation to the forefront of education conversations and initiatives. 

When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9 (Wednesday).

Where: UNT's Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd.                    

Register: Deadline is Oct. 31 (Monday). $150 for general registration. $75 for a currently enrolled UNT student or employee. Register and get information at http://www.coe.unt.edu/conferences/2016-education-leadership-conference.

Parking: Parking permits for the special event zone of Lot 20, located across the street from the Gateway Center, are included with registration.

Media: To reserve parking and press passes, contact Monique.Bird@unt.edu or 940-369-7782 by Oct. 28 (Friday).

Race and ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, faith and ableness – topics often described as too taboo for conversation – will be the subjects of the 2016 Educational Leadership Conference at the University of North Texas. The longtime annual event fosters thought around learning topics that can create large-scale change in educational institutions.

“We really wanted to take on concepts that are typically deemed undiscussable,” said Miriam Ezzani, assistant professor of teacher education and administration in the UNT College of Education. “After all, our students in K-12 education and higher education represent these differences in our classrooms.”

In a twist, this year’s conference, which usually targets leadership in the primary and secondary school systems, will also feature discussions of interest to K-12 teachers, as well as collegiate educators, administrators and instructors.

“It’s an opportunity for teachers and faculty to learn alongside leaders in K-12 and university institutions,” said Ezzani. “We anticipate this conference to be a springboard for deeper discussion on these topics when participants return to their schools, districts, programs, departments and colleges.” 

This year’s keynote presenters, Randy Lindsey and Ray Terrell, are two of the most prolific writers and presenters on diversity and cultural proficiency in the nation, said Ezzani. The pair will engage the audience with interactive activities on topics that can be hard to talk about – with the idea of increasing understanding, appreciation and valuing of differences and diversity. Ultimately, the goal is to close gaps in education and to build organizational support and large-scale initiatives that create access and equity for students.

The conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9 (Wednesday) at the UNT Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd. Register and get information online at http://www.coe.unt.edu/conferences/2016-education-leadership-conference.

The conference is sponsored by the UNT Office of the President, Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity, the College of Education, the Department of Teacher Education and Administration, and the Educational Leadership Program.


Story by UNT News Service