Equity Leader Accelerator

A five-week private community for DEI leaders. Engage with a small group of 6-8 like-minded educators as we prepare for the upcoming school year. 

Become a Sponsor

The Leading Equity Center's Virtual Summit provides an opportunity to connect your brand and services that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Rethinking Traditional Practices Within Our Educational System 

As we look ahead to the future of education, we cannot go back to a "business as usual" mentality. COVID-19 has served as a wake-up call to many educators of the inequities that have existed since the foundation of our school system. 

The Leading Equity Center is committed to providing equity advocates a learning forum focused on innovative strategies and knowledge that can influence social-emotional support, equity in digital spaces, rebuilding of school culture, closing achievement gaps, and highlight what we have learned during COVID-19. 

Be part of this very important conversation by joining this LIVE virtual event which will take place on July 10 and 11. 

What does a VIRTUAL EVENT mean for participants? 

  • Access to listen and engage with the featured speakers and the concurrent sessions – both live and on your own time!
  • A BIG Perk - ALL sessions will also be recorded and available for attendees to consume after the summit is over and on your own schedule.

Featured Guests

Seema Pothini

Seema's passion for creating equitable classrooms and schools drives her commitment as an advocate for underserved youth. Her extensive experience improving student success in historically underperforming schools began when she taught in Houston. She was elected Teacher of the Year in her region and appointed to the superintendent's committee to address the opportunity gap. In addition to teaching, she has worked as a K-12 cultural integration specialist and consultant, improving student outcomes by creating family, school, and community partnerships and providing staff development. Seema served as board president for Avenues for Homeless Youth and currently serves as president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education. She is also the author of Case Studies for Equity and Social Justice Education (with Paul Gorski).


Principal Baruti Kafele

Milken National Educator, international-renowned speaker and best-selling author, Principal Baruti Kafele has excelled in the capacity of teacher and principal. As a teacher in NJ, he was selected as the district and county teacher of the year. As a principal, he led the turnaround of four different New Jersey urban public schools, including Newark Tech, which was three times recognized by U.S. News and World Report Magazine as one of America's best high schools. Principal Kafele is the author of eleven books including his newly released Amazon  #1 best-seller, The Assistant Principal 50: Critical Questions for Meaningful Leadership and Professional Growth.

Tom Murray

Tom serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education. He has testified before the US Congress and has worked alongside that body and the US Senate, the White House, and the US Department of Education. Murray serves as a regular conference keynote, was named one of “20 to Watch” by NSBA, the “Education Policy Person of the Year” by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015, and the “Education Thought Leader of the Year” in 2017. His last two books, Learning Transformed and Personal & Authentic are best sellers.


Closing Session

Letters to Oppressive Education: Realize, Resist, Resolve

Shashray McCormack

Equity & Inclusion Resource Teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY

LaManda Moore Rodriquez

Equity & Inclusion Resource Teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY

Kadia Turner

Equity & Inclusion Resource Teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY

Summit Agenda

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time

Day One (July 10)

9:30 AM - 3:30 PM

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Kick starting your day with Principal Kafele

10:30 AM The Impact of COVID-19 and George Floyd: A conversation we have to have with Seema Pothini

11:40 AM Concurrent Sessions #1

  • Mindfulness for Stress Relief and Self Care with Stephanie Romero
  • Behavior is Still Communication: How Educators Can Respond to Stress and Trauma in Students to reBuild Healthy School Culture with Emily Luft and Kelsey Burns
  • Implementing Data Equity Walks to Improve Student Outcomes with Cindy Caldwell & Bejanae Kareem
  • Let's Talk "Techquity": Empowerment Through Technology Use with Elissa Frazier & Alexes Terry 
  • How Covid-19 helped transform a school, build a community and redefine family engagement with Larry Wolpe

1:00 - 2:00 PM Empower Sessions 

STRAND 1: How do I foster social-emotional support to students and staff?

  • Beyond Collaboration: The Power of Checking In with Susannah Swanson and Kia James
  • Historical Trauma & The Impact On Student Learning with Marcus Nicks
  • Emotional & Cultural Humility - Reflective Practices to Strengthen Social-Emotional Wellness with Jen Martin and Nikki Murillo

STRAND 2: How do I rebuild school culture and community?

  • Using Restorative Practices to Rebuild Community with Danielle Nava-Mijares
  • Dear Hannah: Letters To My Daughter with Derrick Brown
  • Building Culture and Community in the Classroom with Amelia Ramos

STRAND 3: How do I close achievement gaps?

  • Disproportionality in Student Discipline with Joseph Bostic, Jr.
  • Curricula to Career: Agency-Based PBL with Alprentice McCutchen
  • Navigating Race and Implicit Bias in the Science Classroom with Leena Bakshi

STRAND 4: How do I provide equity in digital spaces?

  • "Can You Hear Me Now?" No, Low, & High Tech Solutions to Ensure Equity in Digital Spaces with Charity Parsons
  • The Families Project: Reimagining Distance Learning for the Family as the New Learning Sphere with Amy Lincoln and Rhoda Cortez
  • Keeping Equity at the Center For Sustainability Beyond the Pandemic Jennifer Wheat Townsend and Shelley Bethel

2:30 PM Closing Session with Tom Murray


Day Two (July 11)

11:20 AM - 3:00 PM

11:20 AM Welcome Back

11:25 AM Mindfulness activity with Sara Price

11:40 AM Concurrent Sessions #2

  • Culturally Responsive SEL for COVID and Beyond with Jennifer Terry, Deanna Wuotila, Lydia McClanahan, and Sandra Saucedo-Falagan
  • F.I.R.E Up! A Collaborative Confab on Coherent Culture with Nancy Padilla and Marcie Poole
  • Afro-Futurism is Now: Using Hip-Hop and Afro-Futurism to Engage African American Students in Digital Learning with NyRee Clayton-Taylor
  • You're Online... Now What? Using What We've Learned from the Current COVID19 Closing to Shape the Future of Online Learning with Shannon Kelley and Mo Thomas
  • White Supremacy Culture and Racial Equity Design Thinking: Not Losing Our Humanity During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Joe Truss

12:50 - 1:20 PM Break

1:30 PM Closing Session “Letters to Oppressive Education: Realize, Resist, Resolve” with Shashray McCormack, LaManda Moore, and Kadia Turner


July 10 10:30-3:30 PM EDT

July 11 10:30-3:00 PM EDT


This is a live virtual event. Login information will be provided in advance to attendees.


The Summit has ended but all of the sessions are available for purchase for $99.

Experience this two-day event on your own time.



Interested in sponsoring the Summit? Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities.

Summit Sponsors