Take a deeper look at the new teaching and learning strategies that are transforming our nation.
Hear from the nation’s leading voices in education and from students whose lives have been transformed through new culturally responsive programs and practices that focus on improving students’ social and emotional well-being.
Learn how to adapt successful solutions in schools to create positive change in your home and community. To learn more about our full video, lesson, and resource offerings, please access the contact form here.
Episode 8: United In Our Experiences
Molly Henricks is the Coordinator of School Safety and Risk Prevention at the San Mateo County Office of Education. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 17 years of experience working with youth, has been a Case Manager for youth with issues surrounding substance use and the foster care system, and was a high school crisis counselor. Molly has managed countywide homeless youth programs, crisis services and an early psychosis program. In her current role, she provides professional development and support to educators on topics of trauma, mental health, crisis response, student violence and school safety. Join Stacey DeWitt as she and Molly take a deep dive into the trauma and stress that is prevalent in so many of our students today. With years of experience and a personal obligation to get the work done, Molly knows that we must address issues holistically, including supports for the whole family, if we want to achieve lasting positive change.
Episode 7: Bringing Voice to the Frontline
Defining Us is centered around change for the good and we welcome the voices of Cindy Simpson and Chris Purdy, both of whom work diligently for positive change. Cindy has more than 35-years of experience working in social welfare, youth homelessness, and mental health systems. She is a published author with articles on subjects such as adolescent substance abuse and behavior management and has helped develop guidelines that enable LBGTQ youth to feel valued and accepted. Currently, Cindy serves as the Deputy Director for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.
Chris, who has worked as a teacher and district-level student support professional, is the Director of Veterans for American Ideals and Outreach at Human Rights First. He is a member of the Truman National Security Project and serves on the Welcome Council for Welcome.US.
Through their varied experiences, Chris and Cindy can provide a unique perspective into issues that affect youth and families today, including immigration, the needs for our refugee population, and the escalated mental health challenges that affect so many in our world today.
Episode 6: The Critical Nature of Us
Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is an award-winning associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Developing her passion for education at an early age in the South Bronx, Dr. Sealey-Ruiz’s current research focuses on racial literacy in teacher education, Black girl literacies, and Black and Latinx male high school students. Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is now one of the most sought after voices in professional development focused on race and culturally responsive education. We invite you to join the conversation as she and Stacey DeWitt hold little back when discussing the current debates that are playing out in our schools and communities. Can we learn from past mistakes on behalf of current and future generations of students? As Dr. Sealey-Ruiz says, “It goes beyond our own children, it’s the children that come after us.”
To learn more about the body of work by Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, we invite you to visit her DU page here .
Episode 5: The Narratives of Us
For several years, Paul Forbes was at the forefront of providing support for students, especially students of color, in our nation’s largest school system, New York City Public Schools. He is the former Executive Director for the NYC Department of Education Office of Equity and Access and today continues his service to students and educators as the founder of Leading with Hearts and Minds, an entity dedicated to the necessary inner “work behind the work”. As a native New Yorker who still lives in Brooklyn, Paul has dedicated his professional life to serving students and families from historically underrepresented neighborhood communities. With nearly three decades of experience as an educator, he understands how schools are a key place where a lasting and positive difference can be made in a young person’s life. Listen in as Paul discusses his journey and how he sees the state of education today. We invite you to listen and learn more about The Narratives of Us. You won’t want to miss it!
Episode 4: Breaking the Mold
Listen in as Dr. Tim Gadson, Superintendent of Salt Lake City Schools, shares his thoughts on the school system issues that prevent students from realizing their fullest potential. Dr. Gadson, first Black Superintendent in the state of Utah, brings a wisdom and drive that help him avoid the many distractions currently facing American public-school educators. With a decades-spanning career in education, Tim has served at both the school and district levels and was most recently the Associate Superintendent of High Schools with Anoka-Hennepin Schools in Anoka, Minnesota. Holding nothing back, Dr. Gadson breaks down “how he sees it” and highlights the work that needs to happen on behalf of every child.
Episode 3: Creating a Better World for Everyone
We are thrilled to be joined by Terra Tadlock-Smith, creator and host of the podcast Normal with Autism. Terra works with children, adolescents and adults presenting with a range of emotional and behavioral problems. Terra’s areas of counseling and treatment include but are not limited to anxiety, depression, relational issues, communication, and ADHD. Terra is also a special needs mom and understands the unique challenges faced by special needs families. Terra gives a very personal, in-depth look into children with autism and how we, as a society, can be the driving force behind the necessary change our world must undergo to ensure everyone is accepted and understood. WIth over 15 years of professional experience and a lifetime of personal experience, Terra knows what needs to be done and how we can create a better world for everyone.
Episode 2: A Crisis of US
Tim Shriver is a social leader, educator, activist, film producer, and business entrepreneur. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a master’s degree from Catholic University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Connecticut. As chairman of the Special Olympics, he serves more than four million athletes in over 180 countries and is focused on inclusion and acceptance around the world. He also co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading research organization in the United States in the field of social and emotional learning.
Episode 1: Pain, Power and Joy of Young Men of Color
Students of color are now the majority of our nation’s youth. George Patterson provides an up close and personal look into what it means to be a young person of color in America today. He describes the pain these young people often feel, the trauma they experience, and school programs that are helping them transform the pain into power and leadership. As Senior Director of New York City Department of Education’s My Brother’s Keeper, Patterson brings a deep understanding of our nation’s largest school system coupled with a compassionate connection to the students he supports in order to teach us all how we can advance equity for the next generation and help these students as they prepare to lead us into the future.
Learn more at nycmbk.com
“For the future of our great country we can all live without anger, without evil, without being spirit killers.”
– George Patterson, Senior Director My Brother’s Keeper