2022 My Brother's Keeper Symposium
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) hosted the 2022 New York State My Brother’s Keeper (NYSMBK) Symposium on April 28-29, 2022. Hundreds of students, parents, educational leaders, advocates, and experts from across the nation came together virtually for the fifth symposium on My Brother’s Keeper, the initiative to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential. The event featured nationally renowned guest speakers and student and educator panels.
NYSED also named the fifth class of the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Fellows. Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor from a NYSMBK Community Network partner and given a fellowship opportunity.
Breakout Room #1
MBK Student Panel
Moderator: Mr. Rashaun Banjo
Over the last year, our NYS MBK Fellows have been provided opportunities to develop themselves and their communities. Our discussion will highlight their journey while giving the general audience a glimpse of what it takes to be a NYS MBK Fellow.
Breakout Room #2
Motivating, Engaging, and Empowering African American and Latino Males
Presenter: Dr. Pedro A. Noguera
While much of the focus of policy for the last several years has been on standards and assessment, relatively little attention has been paid to what can be done to motivate students to learn. For large numbers of students, especially males of color, strategies that rely on fear of failure, have not worked, and in many cases, they have contributed to alienation from school and learning. In this presentation, Dr. Noguera will draw on research carried out in secondary schools in NY, LA, and Boston to describe what we are learning about the motivation of young men of color and how these lessons can be applied in a greater number of schools to increase student engagement and achievement.
Breakout Room #3
Call for Love Warriors: Support Staff Take the Lead
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt
This interactive workshop is designed to nurture, train, and encourage school support staff engaged in fostering hope, respect, discipline, and resilience in young people. Hate and callousness are running rampant in the streets as well as roaming the halls of schools. This reality calls for specially trained, focused, and committed Love Warriors called to serve young people to step up and step out.
Breakout Room #4
MBK After Graduation: Options to Consider
Presenters: Jolene DiBrango (NYSUT), Michael DeJesus (HEOP), Jorge F. Alguera (CUNY BMI), & Richard Diaz (TOC II)
This session includes distinct opportunities for the college-bound student who needs additional support and has a desire to be a leader and role model. Whether interested in becoming a teacher or entering any other profession, the New York State United Teachers’ Take a Look at Teaching, the Higher Education Opportunity Program, the 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 and Joy in Education through Culturally and Historically Responsive Pedagogies
Presenter: Dr. Gholdy Muhammad
This session offers a unique culturally and historically responsive approach toward the goal of cultivating genius and joy in education. This approach is essential for accelerating the growth of all students and uniquely youth of color, who have been traditionally underserved in learning standards, policies, and school practices. Dr. Muhammad will present her equity framework, called the HILL Model, to help educators teach toward developing students’ histories, identities, literacies, and liberation. The HILL Model consists of five pursuits in teaching and learning: identity development, skill development, intellectual development, criticality, and joy.
Breakout Room #6
School and Afterschool Partnerships: The Potential for Maximum Impact
Presenters: Dr. Eddie Fergus, Harry Sherman, Rigaud Noel
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on students' academic and social-emotional growth. Students' experiences with interrupted schooling, financial and housing instability, trauma, isolation, and loss have often compounded to exacerbate existing disparities amongst New York City students. The needs we're seeing today, now more than ever, require a coordinated effort amongst all stakeholders: schools, communities, and afterschool programs. Join us to hear from a panel focusing on school-afterschool partnerships in Community School District 9 in the Bronx, NYC. Hear from a researcher, a superintendent, and a community-based organization executive director on how they center students and how they have built a strategic and intentional school-CBO partnership to address needs and help students maximize their potential as learners and leaders.
Breakout Room #1
Inspiring the Genius and High Intellectual Performances from Our Students
Presenter: Dr. Yvette Jackson
Student success is directly related to our belief in the innate potential of ALL students for high intellectual performances, as well as belief and confidence in our ability to elicit and nurture that potential. Dr. Jackson will share the cognitive and neuroscience research from her book, Pedagogy of Confidence, that substantiates her theory that when ALL children (especially underperforming children) are provided with a “gifted education approach” through teacher/parent belief and confidence, links to cultural frames of reference, and application of High Operational Practices™, they are inspired for engagement, self-directed learning, and demonstration of high intellectual performances.
Breakout Room #2
Critical Issues Today and the Link to Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D.
Presenter: Marlon Rice
Music, environment, popular culture, and one's ability to think and do are all interconnected. But is the current state of affairs good for communities of color? Is there a connection between these issues and the recent debacle at the Oscars? This workshop examines the connection between some of the music that we ingest, popular culture, and the environment that encompasses our communities and how we may collectively do better using the wisdom of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Finally, we will give instructions on how youth can balance the programming we are receiving to one of more empowerment and productivity.
Breakout Room #3
The Basics Strategy, Why It Matters, How Your Community Can Participate
Presenter: Dr. Ronald Ferguson
You have probably heard that what infants, toddlers, and preschoolers experience during the first five years of life are fundamentally important for learning and brain development—brain architecture takes shape during this period. The talk will review how local coalitions can support learning and brain development during the first five years of life using The Basics Principles and Strategy. Dr. Ferguson will briefly review the science behind The Basics Principles and discuss how multiple types of institutions can provide parents and other caregivers with key information, relational support, and reminders.
Breakout Room #4
Personal Branding for the MBK Scholar: Now More Than Ever
Presenter: Kel Spencer
Names like Pepsi, Apple, and Nike are known as Corporate Brands. They have a signature way of adding value to our lives. But what many don't realize, is that we as humans also add value to each other's lives, we add value to society, and we add value to these companies in return. You will make a living based on the value that your personal brand brings to the table of society. This workshop will help us to understand our gifts, talents, abilities, and unique traits and how they will not only help with earning a living but with adding value to our homes, to our peers, and to society at large.
Breakout Room #5
Building Systems to Support Our Scholars and their Families
Presenter: Dr. Ray Sanchez
The Ossining Union Free School District is committed to empowering its scholars and their families. By implementing Raising a Reader, the district is able to engage caregivers and its students in a routine of book sharing. The process helps to foster healthy brain development, healthy relationships, a love of reading, and the literacy skills critical for school success. In addition, the district has adopted an Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT) model to support family engagement. In this session, attendees will learn more about the models and how they are positively impacting the district’s efforts to support the Ossining Community.
Breakout Room #6
Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Educational Opportunities and Outcomes for Black and Brown Boys
Presenter: Dr. Adriana Villavicencio
While many communities across the country have launched educational interventions focused on boys of color, we rarely get the opportunity to learn what worked, what didn't, and why. This session presents lessons from a study of the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), a four-year model designed to increase college and career readiness among fifteen thousand Black and Latino males in New York City. Drawing from her book Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Educational Opportunities and Outcomes for Black and Brown Boys (Harvard Education Press), Dr. Villavicencio will highlight how school districts, principals, and teachers can embed educational equity into policy and practice versus launching short-lived interventions that come and go. She will also chronicle some of the challenges of implementing large-scale educational change, while offering insights into how these challenges may be addressed to achieve more robust results. Through the voices of students, teachers, and administrators, this session provides concrete recommendations to inform the next generation of work with boys of color.
Breakout Room #7
Decide Your Destiny: Using Your Gifts To Add Value and Build Wealth
Presenter: Attika J. Torrence
This workshop is designed to inform and inspire attendees to "live your best life using sound intelligent advice." Mr. Torrence, an award-winning filmmaker, and entrepreneur will share insights into life, business, growing up in Brooklyn in the historic Pan-African organization called The East, and the six years of his childhood growing up in Monrovia, Liberia - West Africa. He will share his knowledge on making "Your First Million Without Being a Rapper or an Athlete" and defying the odds by following his vision to become an actor and award-winning filmmaker. This workshop is intended for students and adults who work with students.