African American Children and Families Conference

The Power of Our People, Strength Through History, Culture, Hope, Experience and Collective Stories

February 21-22, 2019


Welcome to the 8th Annual African American Children and Families Conference, and the 13th Annual UNI African American Read-in, 2019. We at the University of Northern Iowa are proud and honored to offer many interesting, engaging and culturally relevant voices connecting the voices of the past to the present and future. Culturally relevant speakers, workshops and open conversations will highlight this year's conference. Lessons learned from the past will make this conference a positive, cultural and educational sharing of ideas and experiences for attendees. Our theme this year is "The Power of Our People, Strength Through History, Culture, Hope, Experience and Collective Stories."


“The Power of Our People” is a familiar message of social justice and at the forefront of our lives. Today we see thousands take to the streets across America to march and fight for justice. Whether dealing with immigration, equity or child welfare, we are reminded that it is the people who truly hold the power. Families and communities were key in the launching and sustaining of the Civil Rights Movement. There are so many collective stories to tell. We must share in times that brought about hope, prosperity and opportunities for Black children and families as well as other groups that needed support. The College of Education started this school year with an emphasis on how each one of us has a story to tell. We hope that you will share you stories with us February 21- 22, 2019. And remember, everyone has a story to tell! 


As we approach the 8th year of the University of Northern Iowa's Conference on African American Children and Families, we are happy to present diverse and well prepared presenters and researchers to share about the lives and experiences of African American children and families. This conference is one of the few nationally and internationally recognized conferences addressing relevant issues that presents a strength-based approach to children and families. Participants are community and state-wide representatives such as educators, faculty, staff, administrators, school personnel, law enforcement, social workers, psychologists, parents as well as middle and high school and university students.

We are a team of supporters ensuring the delivery of culturally relevant information, providing resources and documentation reigniting the power to focus on the unique strengths and needs of Black children. The emphasis of a strengths-based model decries the all-to-often deficit-focused model imposed upon Black children and their families. With the support of the University of Northern Iowa's administration, faculty, students and representatives of our local and statewide communities, we must forge ahead reigniting the forces. We must be more determined now than ever that our graduates who leave the university be prepared to make unbiased and supportive decisions as they venture out into the world working with diverse populations. With Iowa's changing diverse population, the time is now to help implement the university's strategic plan on diversity, inclusion and community engagement. We too are a part of the mission of the National Black Child Development's message of improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and their families through education, support and advocacy.

Today, more than ever before, we must all stand up to share in and uphold the legacy that was led by our ancestors. There is much work to be done in the promotion of racial, cultural, gender equity and diversity.

Pre-Conference Institute on African American Children and Families

Thursday, February 21, 2019 5-9 p.m. Maucker Union, UNI

8th Annual Conference on African American Children and Families

Friday, February 22, 2019, 8 am- 4:15 p.m. Schindler Education Center, UNI

Designed for educators, administrators, child care providers, law enforcement, policy makers, health care professionals, social workers, business leaders, middle and high school students as well as UNI students and faculty.

This conference will promote a better understanding of culture, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, ELL and the needs of African American children and families as well as others of diverse backgrounds. Come join us for a day of networking, sharing and meeting new colleagues to help improve the quality of life of children and families. Learn many new strategies and approaches to better relationships. Many individuals want to engage with you!

We hope that you will join us in celebrating a collective work honoring the legacy of the past and future. We thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to being engaged in providing hope and encouragement for improving the quality of life for African American children and families while joining in brighter experiences for all children! 

Classroom Management Book CoverAfrican Americans and Students of Diverse Backgrounds Book CoverThe first ten UNI students to register will receive a copy of either Effective Strategies and Approaches to Use with African Americans and Students of Diverse Backgrounds or Effective Strategies in Elementary Classroom Management