Spring Symposium had hearts dancing and souls signing

Dr. Travis Bristol and Black Teacher Panel

By Brenden Anderson | Photos Josh Egel

4/27/24 Oakland, CA — The Spring Symposium 2024 concluded with a flourish on its final Saturday, marking an inspirational climax with Dr. Shawn Ginwright’s keynote on the nurturing aspect of self-care. A professor from Harvard Education, Dr. Ginwright explored how self-care intertwines with love, providing a powerful message that resonated deeply among the attendees.

Keynote Dr. Shawn GinwrightAdding to the symposium’s vibrancy, a compelling panel featuring UC Education Professor Dr. Travis Bristol and Kingmakers’ Dr. KO Wilson highlighted the crucial role and impact of Black teachers. They discussed the unique challenges Black educators face in predominantly non-Black environments, emphasizing the need for robust support systems to sustain them in what often feels like isolated settings.

The event also included a series of in-depth breakout sessions, focusing on five pivotal systems change drivers: culturally responsive pedagogy and curriculum, youth voice and leadership, Black male teachers, narrative change, and family and community engagement. These discussions were not only informative but also interactive, fostering an environment where educators could exchange best practices, network, and discover how Kingmakers’ services could support their efforts.

Samba Funk and Spring Symposium 2024The grand finale was a dynamic student showcase, where young learners from over 25 schools across Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Antelope Valley (CA), St. Louis, and Washington D.C. presented their project-based learning achievements. Their presentations were a testament to the knowledge and skills honed over the school year.

Energizing the closing ceremony, the Samba Funk crew ignited the crowd with exhilarating African drums and samba dance moves, encapsulating the symposium’s theme, “Black Love is Liberation.” This kinetic conclusion not only uplifted spirits but also perfectly encapsulated the essence of the event, leaving a lasting impression of unity and empowerment on all who attended.

Spring Symposium 2024 group photo“We thank everyone who took the time and energy to make Spring Symposium 2024 a huge success,” stated CEO Chris ‘Baba C’ Chatmon. “The love exhibited and shared amongst the multiracial, intergeneration, cross-functional attendees was evident of the power we possess when we come together to advance the liberation that our ancestors lost their life to ensure for future generations.”

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