Skip to main content

2021 My Brother's Keeper Symposium

The 2021 New York State My Brother’s Keeper Symposium will be held virtually April 29-30, 2021.

Before you register, be sure to review the Four Steps to an Amazing 2021 Virtual MBK Symposium!

Please become familiar with each of the six breakout sessions for each day and know which ONE breakout room session (or room number) you want to attend for each day of the symposium. Descriptions of each breakout session are available below.

The MBK Symposium is exclusively for NYSED invited guests, and district appointees of MBK Communities and grant funded programs across New York State. Each district has a limited number of seats so, unauthorized registrants may be dropped or denied access to the event.


Registration deadline: April 26, 2021

Breakout Sessions for April 29th

Day 1

Breakout Room #1
Student Panel – Selected MBK Fellows
Moderator: Mr. Rashaun Banjo

In this session, participants will hear firsthand the power of partnership, brotherhood, mentorship, and community service directly from the students who have been deeply involved in the My Brother’s Keeper movement.

Breakout Room #2
The Pedagogy of Confidence in a Virtual Classroom
Dr. Yvette Jackson

In this session, Dr. Jackson shows educators how to focus on students’ strengths to inspire learning and high intellectual performance. She addresses myths regarding student achievement and provides practical approaches to revitalize educators’ belief in their ability to inspire the vast capacity of their students in a virtual classroom setting.

Breakout Room #3
Beware of the Mind Hustler During Trying Times
Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt

In this session, Dr. Wyatt uses powerful lessons, imagery, and insights from his latest book, Beware the Mind Hustler: Identifying Self-Destructive Thoughts and Distractions, combined with stories from over three decades of youth and adult development to empower and inspire participants to use positive thoughts and will power to drive their success.

Breakout Room #4
MBK After Graduation: Three of Many Options - SUNY EOP, Teacher Opportunity Corps II and City University of New York’s Black Male Initiative
Ms. Nichole Brown, Dr. Jerrell Robinson, and Dr. Shawn Best

This session includes three distinct opportunities for the college bound student who needs additional support, has a desire to be a leader and role model, and/or wants to become a teacher. From Brooklyn to Buffalo, SUNY EOP, Teacher Opportunity Corps II, and the City University of New York’s Black Male Initiative have a message of opportunity that young people need to hear.

Breakout Room #5
Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Young Men
Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

In this session, Dr. Muhammad will clearly define culture, equity, anti-racism, and Culturally and Historically Responsive Education (CHRE). By the end of this session, the educators will understand the concept of culture more deeply and will be charged to engage in self-identity work. The facilitator will also introduce educators to the CHRE model of culturally and historically responsive education and the power of education among communities of color in the United States. The session will end with practical considerations for writing equitable lesson and unit plans and engaging others.

Breakout Room #6
Am I Living My Best Life? Key Questions to Consider
Baruti Kafele

Oftentimes, the difference between the desire to live one’s best life and living one’s best life is understanding and mastery of the strategies to get “from Point A to Point B” in life. In this session, Principal Kafele will provide participants with several critical self-reflective questions to consider toward developing a plan of action for living.

Breakout Sessions for April 30th

Day 2

Breakout Room #1
Self-Care, No Longer A Luxury, Crucial for Success
Dr. Yolonda Sealy-Ruiz

In this workshop, Dr. Sealy-Ruiz will discuss with participants the important role of self-care throughout their lives. Participants will engage in a brief mindfulness practice exercise, get ideas on how to engage in self-care, and make a realistic plan for themselves during this school semester, and/or the workplace.

Breakout Room #2
Teaching in the Pursuit of Justice: Interrupting Microaggressions, and Fostering Microaffirmation
Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning

In this workshop, participants will explore the following with Dr. Souto-Manning: the whys and how’s of interrupting microaggressions (a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority), and fostering microaffirmations, (providing opportunity, acts of inclusion and acceptance, and intentional acts of active listening), and teaching in the pursuit of justice in early childhood and elementary settings.

Breakout Room #3
Teaching for Impact in a Virtual Classroom
Dr. Detra Price-Dennis

Over the past few years, we have seen a global uptick of engagement in online spaces that has informed how the field of education approaches teaching and learning. Due to COVID-19, more educators are now expanding their instructional strategies to engage in online learning. Given this context, Dr. Price -Dennis’s presentation will explore perspectives, tools, and practices that can inform culturally responsive and equity-oriented approaches to online teaching and learning.

Breakout Room #4
The History and Necessity of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Dr. Shawn Rux

In this workshop, Dr. Rux will provide participants with first-hand experience regarding the benefits of attending an HBCU. Additionally, participants will gain a further understanding of the importance and significance of the HBCU experience and how that experience has prepared and shaped the identity of some of our nation’s most influential leaders.

Breakout Room #5
Message to a Young Man
Baruti Kafele

In this message to MBK students, Principal Baruti Kafele will share his personal definition of success – “The ability to live one’s own life on one’s own terms.” He will share strategies toward turning this definition into their reality while simultaneously discussing the young men’s responsibilities for pulling up others along their journey.

Breakout Room #6
How to Leverage MBK to Improve Student Outcomes
Dr. Edwin Quezada and Dr. Jim Bostic

In this session nationally recognized Dr. Edwin Quezada and Dr. Jim Bostic of Yonkers MBK will share the key partnerships, strategies, and systems they have worked on over the years to create a culture of growth, development, and student success in the Yonkers community. They will also share the key structure, the Yonkers MBK Umbrella, which serves as the driving force to leverage community assets.