Join us for a day dedicated to advancing social justice work in your classroom by engaging in an inspirational keynote address, thoughtful discussions and interactive workshops led by experts in the field. 

Keynote Description:
​​​​​​​Reclaiming Our Birthright: Freedom Dreams of Joy and Healing

In this keynote presentation, Dr. Durell Cooper encourages us to dream from the depths of our souls. This presentation offers meditations on the topics of joy, hope, healing and liberation. Dr. Cooper’s presentation will serve as a reminder that in this time of urgency we must handle the world, each other and ourselves with care.

Keynote Speaker: Durell Cooper

Dr. Durell Cooper is one the nation’s leading cultural strategists and is the founder and CEO of Cultural Innovation Group, a boutique consulting agency specializing in systems change and collaborative thought leadership. He is also the creator and host of the web series, Flow and the podcast Fluency w/ Dr. Durell Cooper;  an adjunct instructor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, New York University and The City College of New York. Durell completed the Impact Program for Arts Leaders (IPAL) at Stanford University in 2018. He is a member of the Diversity Scholars Network at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan. Durell earned a BFA from Southern Methodist University, and both an MA and Doctorate of Education from New York University.

Breakout Workshop Descriptions:

Expanding Our Pedagogical Practice by Cultivating Strategic Partnerships with Co-teachers and Students
Presenter: Ashley Lipscomb, Co-Founder & CEO Institute for Anti-Racist Education

This session will explore the importance of cultivating strategic partnerships and co-teaching relationships as an anti-racist practice. Attending community members will receive multiple modes of learning and engagement, applicable steps for building relationships, and frameworks for developing their teaching practice.

Exploring Issues of Justice through Theater
Presenter: Emily Schorr-Lesnick, Theater Maker, Educator and Facilitator

This workshop explores and utilizes theater practices and techniques to facilitate embodied, liberating learning. Even over Zoom, this workshop is meant to be experiential and engaging as participants gain applicable and adaptable takeaways for their work. This workshop is not just for theater educators; in fact, teachers in other disciplines are encouraged to take this mini-course to reflect on meaningful integration.

Modeling Environmental Justice through Movement: What does it Teach Us about the Future?
Presenter: Lynn Neuman, Director of Artichoke Dance Company

This experiential workshop will use individual movement and collective activities to model environmental justice principles at work. The activities are derived from creative process approaches used in making the performance Overflow, which investigates the nature and impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the landmass and people of New York City. Activities utilize Artichoke Dance Company’s unique approach to contemporary dance partnering, requiring a balance of grounding and sensitivity. These experiences, both in doing and viewing, serve as content for examining interconnected systems, effective collaboration in action, and environmental justice principles.

Empowering Students: Creativity for Climate Justice
Presenter: Edin Cook, Artist, Educator, Climate Justice Organizer

In this workshop, we will be exploring ways to empower our students to stand up for climate justice using creative tactics. We will learn from the successes and lessons of climate justice-oriented projects taught in K-8 visual arts classrooms in Portland, Oregon public schools. Participants will gain ideas about how to incorporate art and action into projects they can explore to empower their students. We will brainstorm local climate justice campaigns that the participants can connect their students to and identify concrete next steps for educators to feel confident in creating an artistic, action-based climate justice curriculum that suits their students.


This program is part of NJPAC’s Colton Institute for Training and Research in the Arts