BRISTOL, R.I., – The local and national attention focused on the effort to transform Central Falls High School has brought the challenges facing urban education center stage – yet while educators and administrators often collaborate in attempts to strengthen urban education programs, students and families in some urban communities are only passive participants.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, students, parents, educators and community members alike are invited to join the annual Urban Education Conference hosted by Roger Williams University. In its second year, the conference serves as a platform for teachers, parents and students to share educational experiences and help drive classroom innovation to improve student success in urban schools.
“The Urban Education Conference is very different than other educational conferences, in that the majority of the speakers are actually parents of students who are served by urban schools,” says Kerri Ullucci, assistant professor of education at Roger Williams University. “Traditional conferences are usually led by professors – we wanted to flip that notion of who we should be listening to, by having parents and students from urban communities share their experiences.”
Keynote speaker Curtis Acosta will kick off the event with a screening of the documentary, “Precious Knowledge,” a film about the Mexican American studies program led by Acosta in Tucson, Ariz. Acosta has taught for Tucson’s Unified School District for more than 17 years and throughout his career, has played an instrumental role in closing the gap in graduation rates for Latinos and sending more graduates to college each year.
Adeola Oredola, executive director for Providence-based Youth in Action, will also be featured as a speaker at the conference. A youth-led nonprofit, YIA provides community outreach and educational programs that encourage critical thinking, leadership and community action for local youth. As a graduate of Providence Public Schools and Brown University, Oredola is passionate about youth and community development in Providence and has led YIA to reach more than 13,000 young people with health education, violence prevention, academic mentoring and community renovation projects. Approximately 96 percent of YIA graduates go on to college.
The Urban Education Conference will take place in the Roger Williams University School of Law Appellate Courtroom (Room 283) on the University’s Bristol campus at One Old Ferry Road. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude mid-afternoon with a networking event with representatives from Education for Liberation.
The event is open to the public and the registration fee is $25; attendees must register in advance at http://onlinecommunity.rwu.edu/UrbanEdConf. For additional information, please visit http://rwuconferenceonurbaned.wordpress.com/about/