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Conference Opening

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
2-5:30 pm
Grand Ballroom and Williford ABC

PUSHOUT FILM: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
2-3:30 pm

A feature length documentary which takes a close look at the educational, judicial, and societal disparities facing black girls. Inspired by the groundbreaking book of the same name by renowned scholar Monique W. Morris, EdD, the documentary confronts the ways in which the misunderstanding of black girlhood has led to excessive punitive discipline which in turn disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives, their education.

Dr. Monique Morris

Author and social justice scholar

Monique W. Morris, EdD, is an award-winning author and social justice scholar with three decades of experience in the areas of education, civil rights, and juvenile and social justice. Dr. Morris is the author of Sing A Rhythm, Dance A Blues (The New Press, 2019), which proposes a pedagogy to counter the criminalization of black and brown girls in schools. She is also the author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (The New Press, 2016), Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2014), Too Beautiful for Words (MWM Books, 2012), and worked with Kemba Smith on her book Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story (IBJ Book Publishing, 2011). Dr. Morris has written dozens of articles, anthologized essays, and publications on social justice issues. She has also lectured widely on practices associated with improving juvenile justice, and educational and socioeconomic conditions for black girls, women, and their families. Dr. Morris was a 2018 TEDWomen speaker and is an executive producer and co-writer of the documentary PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

Dr. Morris is the founder and president of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI), an organization that works against the school-to-confinement pathways for girls, reduces the barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated women, and increases the capacity of organizations working to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence in African American communities.

PUSHOUT: The Conversation
3:30-4:00 pm
Join Dr. Monique Morris as she explores the harsh and harmful experiences confronting Black girls in schools.

Our Girls Are Sacred and Loved Panel
4-4:30 pm
Join us for a conversation with Dr. Monique Morris and a panel of young women from Chicago Public Schools to discuss their experiences, hopes, and dreams. Administrators, educators, and those from higher education will find value in listening to our students speak about their daily lives in school. The Pushout conversation with students will offer an opportunity to hear from girls firsthand and reassess our interactions with them in school settings. As Dr. Morris often expresses, “our girls are sacred and loved.”

World Cafe Networking Event
Williford ABC
4:30-5:30 pm
Join us for a fun, engaging and interactive group event focused on topics in education.

Evidence Matters: A Discussion of Opportunity, Policies, and Programs

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Grand Ballroom
9–10 am

Dr. Janice K. Jackson
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools


As a former student, teacher, principal, network chief, and now as chief executive officer, Dr. Janice K. Jackson has been immersed in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) her entire life. As CEO of the third largest school district in the country, Jackson is a forward-thinking educator who is focused on improving excellence, equity, and access to high-quality education in all CPS schools. Her efforts, along with those of Chicago’s dedicated teachers and principals, have propelled CPS students to record-breaking academic gains, and education experts across the country regard Chicago as a national leader in urban education. A lifelong educator, Jackson is committed to providing all schools with a clear framework for excellence. She holds a master’s degree in leadership and administration and a doctorate in urban school leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children, both CPS students.

Ronné Patrick Turner
Vice Provost of Admissions and Financial Aid
Washington University, St. Louis


Ronné Patrick Turner was appointed vice provost for Admissions and Financial Aid at Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. She oversees the offices of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Services. Turner spent 15 years at Northeastern, where she led and directed undergraduate admission and enrollment for the university’s seven colleges and oversaw the development and implementation of recruitment and enrollment strategies to meet objectives for freshman, transfer, and international students. She also served on the university’s Enrollment Strategy Committee, which is focused on scholarship and financial aid, and oversaw the Opportunity Scholarship unit, which admits and supports approximately 75 first-generation students receiving a range of scholarship aid each year. Among her professional associations, Turner serves as vice chair on the Board of Trustees of the College Board.

Kyle P. Westbrook
Founding Executive Director
Partnership for College Completion


Kyle Westbrook is the founding executive director of the Partnership for College Completion (PCC). Prior to his present position at PCC, he served as the executive director of Education Policy in the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, focusing primarily on City Colleges of Chicago and higher education. Westbrook has extensive experience in public education having spent 25 years as a teacher, teacher leader, leadership consultant, and district-level administrator, including five years leading the Office of Magnet, Gifted, and International Baccalaureate programs in the Chicago Public Schools.

Steve Bumbaugh

Senior Vice President, College and Career Access
College Board


Steve Bumbaugh leads work to ensure students access and maximize college and career opportunities. As head of the College and Career Access division, Bumbaugh oversees enrollment and financial aid programs including CSS PROFILE™, Student Search Service®, the Access to Opportunity™ initiative, and scholarship programs. He oversees the partnership with Khan Academy® to provide free, high-quality SAT® preparation for students, as well as the partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. A former classroom teacher, he led the CityBridge Foundation’s Breakthrough Schools: D.C. competition, which works with public schools to increase achievement through challenging, personalized learning.

Plenary: The Fierce Urgency of Now

Friday, March 13, 2020
9-10:00 am
Grand Ballroom

A panel of distinguished college presidents discuss running institutions of higher education and share their views on ways to cultivate the K–12 to higher education pipeline for African American students. What can be done to improve admission, retention, and graduation rates for African American students, and how can educators better prepare students for the workplace of the future? Hear about initiatives that have created positive change for African American students. This conversation is critical for both secondary and higher education professionals. As MLK said, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today…. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

Plenary Panelists

Dr. Michael A. Baston

President, Rockland Community College

Dr. Michael A. Baston is the seventh president of Rockland Community College. A national leader who develops comprehensive supports that foster college completion, Baston’s work has been featured on MSNBC and in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, The Community College Times, and Black Enterprise. Additionally, he is a contributing author of Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens.

Baston was a member of the inaugural class of Aspen Institute Presidential Fellows where he explored systemic issues affecting the educational access pipeline and student success. As a national Guided Pathways coach for American Association of Community Colleges, he is noted for his work with college leadership teams around the nation, helping them integrate student success initiatives to advance college completion. He began his career as a public interest lawyer representing various educational institutions and social justice organizations.

Dr. Reynold Verret

President, Xavier University of Louisiana

Dr. Reynold Verret was unanimously elected Xavier University of Louisiana’s president by the Board of Trustees, taking office on July 1, 2015. Prior to his appointment as president, he served as provost and chief administrative officer at Savannah State, Georgia’s first public historically black university. Immigrating from Haiti in 1963, Dr. Verret went on to complete his undergraduate degree with honors from Columbia University, a doctorate in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Howard Hughes Institute for Immunology at Yale University and the Center for Cancer Research at MIT.

In addition to his role at Savannah State, Dr. Verret served as provost at Wilkes University in Northern Pennsylvania and as dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He also served as the chair of chemistry at Clark Atlanta University and on the chemistry faculty at Tulane University.

Dr. Tonjua Williams

President, St. Petersburg College

Dr. Tonjua Williams became the seventh president of St. Petersburg College in 2017. Her most deeply held values involve enhancing students’ access and the quality of their educational experiences.

Nationally recognized as an expert in transforming institutions through student development and strategic planning, she has received numerous awards and honors throughout her 31-year career as a leader in postsecondary education. Most recently, she won the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s International Leadership Award and was named one of the top 25 women in higher education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Under her leadership, U.S. News and World Report ranked St. Petersburg College at number 17 among the top 84 public schools in the southern region, which is comprised of 12 states.

Yvette Gullatt

Vice Provost for Diversity and Engagement and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs University of California System
Oakland, Calif.


Yvette Gullatt has more than 20 years of experience in diversity and institutional equity leadership. She currently serves as vice provost for diversity and engagement and interim vice president for student affairs for the University of California system. In these roles, she provides strategic leadership and advice for translating UC’s vision of inclusive excellence into sustainable policies, practices, and programs. Gullatt leads UC-wide efforts to foster equitable campus climates for faculty, students, and staff. She oversees programs and services that enhance the accessibility of college degrees, including precollege academic preparation and teacher professional development programs. Gullatt is responsible for systemwide policy and practice related to freshman and transfer admissions, undergraduate and graduate campus life, and student financial support.