Through the Growing Healthy Foods initiative, more students are learning the benefits of a lifestyle focused on eating healthy foods. /Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Is it harder being the student or the teacher? Do educators need to find new models that take into consideration the diverse cultural backgrounds of their students? What are the technology applications that will benefit students in the 21st century classroom?

These are some of the questions that will be discussed during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Professional Development Series (PDS) for Educators presented on Sept. 20 during the 47th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) at the Washington Convention Center.

“I want to give educators different vantage points in how they view their students and strategies to be better, ” said Christopher Emdin Ph.D, author of “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education.” Dr. Emdin will serve as the keynote speaker at the PDS for Educators, which is sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Delta Research Educational Foundation (DREF). “I want them to feel like every day is the first day of school when you are wearing your new clothes. I want educators to walk away feeling reinvigorated, empowered and inspired about why they do the work,” he said.

CBCF began the pilot PDS for Educators in 2015 in response to attendees’ desire to acquire specific-industry training while attending the ALC. This “conference within a conference” focused exclusively on issues that impacted educators K-12. The pilot has sense grown into a franchise, targeting African Americans in specific industries.

The National Medical Association (NMA) became a PDS partner in 2016, offering a day-long session of continuing medical education certification. NMA is returning this year, along with newcomer the National Urban League (NUL), which will focus their PDS on civic engagement and advocacy. The National Bar Association’s Small Firms and Solo Practitioners will certify the continuing legal education content credits for NUL attendees.

“CBCF recognizes that we are in an era of professional development”, said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO for the CBCF. “As a convener of critical information for the African-American community, the PDS offers an intensive, collaborative experience. Attendees receive industry certification while being exposed and becoming a participant in crucial public policy conversations.”

“The century old success of the National Urban League is largely based in partnerships,” said Don Cravins Jr. NUL’s senior vice president for policy and executive director of the Washington Bureau. “That is why we are so excited about our newest partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Through policy and advocacy workshops and a distinguished panel on the State of Black America, participants can expect an impactful day,” he said.

ALC has long been acknowledged as one of the most important policy gatherings of African-American leaders in the nation. During ALC, attendees have an opportunity to interface with industry executives, community leaders, lawmakers and celebrities who are actively engaged on issues affecting diverse communities.

“By participating in the PDS series, attendees will enter these policy discussions with new skills that can put them in a position of influence as some of these policy conversations can directly or indirectly affect areas of potential growth in their perspective industries,” said Washington.

“We are grateful for our partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference, and it is our hope that this professional development series will empower and inform educators. If we want to be the best, we must always be learning and growing,” said AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson.

“The NMA is pleased to partner with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. for the second consecutive year. This opportunity allows the NMA to join together with concerned partners to build a healthier nation and African-American community. The urgency is now for creating a culture of change in health care through coalition building,” added Doris Browne, MD, the 118th NMA president.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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