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6:00 - 7:00 PM - Cocktail Reception | 7:00 - 10:00 Program
As parents, we all know how important providing a sound education is to our child. Ideally, a school is a nurturing environment where our children learn from teachers, coaches and classmates and start to imagine their futures. But sometimes things can get in the way of that dream. Societal biases as well as spoken and unspoken prejudices fuel expectations, and our Black children feel the impact.
Nijole Yutkowitz, The Cradle’s VP of Diversity and Inclusion, chose to explore The Color of Education as our next Roundtable discussion after hearing many stories from Cradle families struggling with how to best advocate for their child in the face of biases in the school setting.
We have assembled an esteemed panel of educators from various backgrounds and perspectives to explore the topic with us. Join us for an honest and open dialogue about the challenges your Black children may face at school and what we as parents, teachers and administrators can do to help our children thrive.
Following the roundtable, there will be a question and answer session and an opportunity to talk one-on-one with our experts.
Panelists for the evening will be:
Darryl Hobson is a twenty year veteran of education, serving as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator. He is currently a school counselor and college advisor at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Darryl has devoted his career to student advocacy and student development, and has led countless families through the college admissions process. Darryl resides in Chicago with wife Sharlene and 2 children.
Heather Freer Kurut is the Middle School Principal at Morgan Park Academy, an independent school on Chicago's South Side. Previously, Heather taught as an adjunct professor at Siena College and the State University at Albany. She earned her BA from SUNY Potsdam, an MA at the University at Albany and her MFA from Illinois State. She and her husband Ray are the proud parents of twins Anastasia and Ashley, who were adopted transracially through The Cradle.
Dr. Evisha Ford-Sills, LCSW is the founder and Executive Director of the iCanDream Center, designed to address the recreational, emotional, and post-secondary needs of youth with disabilities along with their families. Her doctoral research focused on outcomes for secondary students with special needs, youth resiliency, and critical race theory. She also currently serves in the role of Assistant Superintendent in the Posen-Robbins School District.
Brecon Riley is an instructional coach at the Academy for Urban School Leadership on the south side of Chicago and a PhD candidate in Education with a concentration in Language, Literacy and Culture at the University of Illinois, Chicago. In the past, Brecon has worked as a reading interventionist and literacy coach in east Oakland, and as a 3rd and 4th grade mentor teacher at an elementary school in Chicago.
Chad Weiden is principal of Edgebrook Elementary School in Chicago and also an adjunct faculty member at National Louis University in the Educational Leadership Department. He previously worked as an Assistant Principal at Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview and as a teacher, assistant principal and then principal of Social Justice High School in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood.
Miranda Johnson is a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the associate director of Loyola’s Education Law and Policy Institute. She teaches experiential learning classes in education law and supervises law students in the representation of parents and students in school discipline and special education cases. She has also presented in various settings on prevention-oriented approaches to school discipline and organized training programs for school administrators on school discipline issues.