African American Children and Families Conference

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

February 21-22, 2019

Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Jamila Lyiscott

Dr. Jamila Lyiscott

Jamila Lyiscott is a social justice education scholar, nationally renowned speaker, spoken word artist, and educational consultant. She was recently appointed as an Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Senior Research Fellow of Teachers College, Columbia University’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). Across these spaces, Jamila's work focuses on racial justice, community engagement, and youth activism in education through the lens of what she has termed, "Vision-Driven Justice." She has been invited to over 100 institutions throughout the nation where she works with youth, educators, and people across disciplines to inspire vision and action. Jamila is also the founder and co-director of the Cyphers For Justice (CFJ) youth, research, and advocacy program, apprenticing NYC High School youth, incarcerated youth, and educators as critical social researchers through hip-hop, spoken word, and digital literacy.

Jamila is most well know for being featured on Ted.com where her video, “3 Ways to Speak English,” was viewed over 4 million times. She has also been featured in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up,” on NPR, Huffington Post, Lexus Verses and Flow, Upworthy, The Root, and many other media outlets nationally and internationally. Her poetry and scholarly work have been published in several peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

Jamila is the recent co-grantee of a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad Award, which will take her to Ghana in the Summer of 2018. She is currently preparing a book manuscript about her work within Predominantly White Institutions across the nation, helping educators to confront white privilege within and beyond the classroom. Through her community, scholastic, and artistic efforts, Jamila hopes to powerfully explore, assert, and defend the value of Black lives throughout the world.

Jamila Lyiscott is a social justice education scholar, nationally renowned speaker, spoken word artist, and educational consultant. She was recently appointed as an Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Senior Research Fellow of Teachers College, Columbia University’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). Across these spaces, Jamila's work focuses on racial justice, community engagement, and youth activism in education through the lens of what she has termed, "Vision-Driven Justice." She has been invited to over 100 institutions throughout the nation where she works with youth, educators, and people across disciplines to inspire vision and action. Jamila is also the founder and co-director of the Cyphers For Justice (CFJ) youth, research, and advocacy program, apprenticing NYC High School youth, incarcerated youth, and educators as critical social researchers through hip-hop, spoken word, and digital literacy.

Jamila is most well know for being featured on Ted.com where her video, “3 Ways to Speak English,” was viewed over 4 million times. She has also been featured in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up,” on NPR, Huffington Post, Lexus Verses and Flow, Upworthy, The Root, and many other media outlets nationally and internationally. Her poetry and scholarly work have been published in several peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

Jamila is the recent co-grantee of a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad Award, which will take her to Ghana in the Summer of 2018. She is currently preparing a book manuscript about her work within Predominantly White Institutions across the nation, helping educators to confront white privilege within and beyond the classroom. Through her community, scholastic, and artistic efforts, Jamila hopes to powerfully explore, assert, and defend the value of Black lives throughout the world.


Dr. Louis Hilton

Dr. Louis Hilton

Dr. Louis R. Hilton III, former Professor of History of African-American Education served as the Director of Education for Liberation a Community Initiative Program designed to promote cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion. Currently Dr. Hilton is an Educational Consultant. His mission is to provide academic services that promote high-quality learning and academic achievement for students from kindergarten to college, in order to transform education into a personal, vitalizing and empowering force. He has mentored and provided academic support for students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Hilton's research interest focuses on using autobiography to study the cultural foundations of African-American education.

Dr. Hilton earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, his Masters of Education in Educational Policy Studies, and his Doctorate of Education in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his wife (Tayra) have two children (Louis IV and Gabriela). Dr. Hilton believes that education has the power to transform the lives of individuals and through this process transform society. His motto is "As Always: Educate-Liberate-Empower!"


Chassidi Martin

Chassidi Martin

Pastor Chassidi Martin is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Royal Legacy Christian Academy located at 715 E. 4th Street in Waterloo. She also serves as Associate Pastor of Harvest Vineyard Church. She will share with us about spirituality in the classroom and how to establish a culture of respect and positivity in a school environment. Pastor Chassidi will also explain the “Early Total One Way,” method of teaching a language immersion program, and why it is proven to be the most effective way to teach a second language. The students from the Royal Legacy Christian Academy will share their talents at the conference’s opening session on Friday, February 22, 2019.

 

 


Earnestine MeakinsEarnestine Meakins

Earnestine Meakins, Evangelist and Motivational Speaker, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa will lead a special session on prayer in the schools. What is happening in those states that have put prayer back in the schools? Can we see or expect greater success with prayer in the schools?

 
 


Wilfred M. JohnsonDr. Wilfred (Mickye) Johnson

Wilfred M. Johnson has worked and trained youth for over twenty years. Currently Dr. Johnson is employed as an administrator at the University of Northern Iowa. He directs the Classic Upward Bound Program, which is designed to assist high schools that are from under-representative populations with enrolling and graduating from a college of their choice. Dr. Johnson is well respected in his field and currently he is mentoring ten Upward Bound programs. Wilfred’s greatest attribute to the program is that he believes that all students can learn when given the proper time, encouragement, and motivation.

Dr. Johnson believes that we must lead by example and it shows in his volunteering. To improve the diverse conditions in Iowa he has served on the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans, Iowa Finance Authority, Iowa Community Health Leadership Institute, Unite Way Cabinet, Iowa Child Support Advisory Committee, UNI Leadership Council, Tri County Head Start Board, National Training Grant, and Chaired Wartburg College Diversity Board. Dr. Johnson accepted his appointments because he felt that he could make a difference in the lives of those who have the greatest needs in the state of Iowa and in turn it would improve the condition for all Iowan’s.

In addition to serving on state boards and commissions he volunteers on the following organizations boards within the Cedar Valley: Waterloo Community Development, Culture Fest, University of Northern Iowa Student Activity Fee Committee, Waterloo Community School Mentoring Program, Teen Trust Advisory, Black Hawk Leadership Board, University of Northern Iowa Enrollment Council, University of Northern Iowa Multicultural Recruitment Team, and the Waterloo Enterprise Zone Commission, just to mention a few.

Dr. Johnson earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science with an emphasis in Pre-Law and a minor in Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa. He continued his education and earned a Master’s of Education in College Student Personnel Services and Counseling. Mr. Johnson received his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Northern Iowa in 2016.

Dr. Johnson feels that the best way to reach true diversity is to stay focused on education. He believes that through education and only through education we will be able to level the playing field for all students.

Education: 

Education Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration

Dr. Gail Thompson holding copies of three of her books


Specialized Keynoter and Community Forum Leader

Dr. Gail Thompson

Dr. Gail L. Thompson is Illuminate Education’s Executive Director of Equity and editor of Spotlight on Equity, an online newsletter. She has authored many articles and books, including the award nominated The Power of One: How You Can Help or Harm African American Students, and the critically acclaimed Through Ebony Eyes: What Teachers Need to Know but are Afraid to Ask About African American Students. Dr. Thompson has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, and served as Fayetteville State University’s “Wells Fargo Endowed Professor of Education,” creator and Director of the “Black Men Teaching Program,” and member of the California State Board of Education's “African American Advisory Committee.” Her latest book, Dear Beautiful! A Self-Empowerment Book for Black Women, was published in 2018.


Black Family Considerations Presenter

Dr. Tiffany Flowers

Dr. Tiffany Flowers

Dr. Tiffany Flowers is a  children’s author, literacy advocate, and an assistant professor of education in the department of cultural and behavioral science at Georgia State University Perimeter College. professor. She was awarded the Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award from the National Council of the Teachers of English and currently serves as a reviewer for the American Library Association Booklist. 

Her academic work can be found in many professional journals. She is a children’s author and titles include: 

For Those Who Stare at the Moon, Patterns are Everwhere: An Upside Down Pattern Book, The Rooftop Club Book Series

The Guardians of History Book Series and Nandi: Time Traveler.

She has led many projects such as The Buddy Reading, Kindergarten Readiness, Kindergarten Multi-ethnic Literature and Tolerance  Projects.

You can follow her work on the following social networking sites:

Faculty Blog: 

http://sites.gsu.edu/tflowers/#.W6losHtKjIU

Author Blog:

https://authortiffanyaflowers.wordpress.com/


Specialized Mindfulness Presenter

Dr. Sarah Montgomery

Dr. Sarah Montgomery

Dr. Sarah Montgomery is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at UNI and leader in Mindfulness Education. She has given national and local presentations on Mindfulness, taught Mindfulness at UNI and in K-12 schools, and given professional development workshops on Mindfulness for area educators. Currently she is researching the positive impacts of Mindfulness in early childhood classrooms, teacher education, and higher education. We welcome Dr. Montgomery to the African American Read-in/AAFC Conference Task Force and her second year as a Mindfulness Presenter.