As developer of the Deep Equity model for systemic equity reform, Gary Howard utilizes a wide range of personal experiences in exploring diversity and social justice issues in his work leading equity leadership institutes and training. He has more than 40 years of experience working with issues of civil rights, social justice, equity, education, and diversity, including 25 years as the founder of the REACH Center for Multicultural Education. Through the Deep Equity program, he aims to provide educational organizations with the internal capacity to develop professionally for social justice and systemic change.
Benjie is the co-founder and executive director of New Wilderness Project, a musical performance group and an arts based experiential outdoor education program focusing on developing youth leadership for equity, environmental sustainability, and social justice. He is the co-architect of Youth Equity Stewardship (YES), an inter-generational process for growing soulful, inspired, brave, and inclusive educational spaces and inspiring authentic community transformation. Benjie is a Deep Equity consultant with Corwin Press. He is a touring singer-songwriter with 4 albums, including his collaborative 2015 release, BORDERLESS with Wade Colwell-Sandoval. Benjie is a river guide and wilderness educator on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon where he has been designing and leading educational expeditions for teachers, leaders and youth since 1995. Watch video
Wade is the co-founder of Youth Equity Stewardship (YES), an arts-based, experiential and inter-generational process of transformational stewardship of our school communities. As an educator engaging the creative/cultural modalities of song, spoken-word, movement, ceremony and restorative circle keeping, Wade is a rising national voice for deepening relations across generation and difference. His touring multi-media performance Borderless, with musical partner Benjie Howard, is a folk & hip hop fused journey examining the intersections of race, class, identity, immigration, sexual orientation, gender and environmental & indigenous justice. He is co-founder/MC of pioneering academic hip hip duo Funkamentalz, lead facilitator/consultant with Corwin Press (Deep Equity and Student Aspirations) and lead restorative practices educator with NYC-based Counseling in Schools. Wade is also a founding poet laureate of Tucson Unified School District's Mexican-American / Raza Studies Department. Watch video
Recently honored by the California Association of School Counselors as the 2016 Counselor Advocate of the Year, Diana Stephens has been recognized for her enthusiastic advocacy for diversity, inclusion, and equity in educational organizations. With more than 25 years of experience in clinical counseling, mental health, supervision, and administration, she is dedicated to mindful practices that honor diverse perspectives as assets in co-creating a just society. She is the co-author of Culturally Proficient Collaboration.
Founder of Teaching Equity Network, Patricia McDonald, or “Tmac,” utilizes her passion for teaching in her efforts to encourage culturally responsive practices as she supports future educators in their journey to the classroom. As a cultural competency trainer for the Washington Education Association, she coordinates a yearly conference in support of equity in education and works alongside state education organizations to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color. Patricia strives to facilitate learning communities and support participants in working toward cultural competency by challenging educators to engage in critical conversations.
As a coordinator for cultural proficiency for a large school district and author of Culturally Proficient Facilitation, John Krownapple brings years of experience as the developer and implementer of one of the first and most comprehensive cultural proficiency programs in North America. John specializes in raising the cross-cultural effectiveness of educators and delivers services ranging from inspirational keynote speeches to seminar facilitation, workshop presentations, and advanced facilitator trainings. Under his guidance, schools and districts have reported increased cultural competency amongst staff and school systems, and community leaders have used his rubrics and mentoring to shift the practices and standards of cultural competence.
Long-time educator Victoria Romero has spent the past ten years coaching administrators, directors, principals, vice principals, and school leadership teams for sustainable school improvement and, while working alongside Gary Howard, has facilitated a series of equity workshops for administrators as well as co-authored the content for the REACH initiative. Victoria applies her passion for education as she works with educators, reminding them that they are preparing today’s children for a future we cannot see.
New London High School principal Tommy Thompson has been nationally recognized for turning around a high school that was once labeled a “failing school.” He has since shared his success strategies and, with his 20 years of experience working in schools, Tommy works to bridge the gap between theory and practice. As a consultant, Tommy puts into practice what he advocates, from such topics as assessment, Common Core, cultural competency, and leadership.
With over 30 years of experience as a public school teacher, principal, central office administrator and consultant, Cathy Lassiter is recognized for her ability to successfully reach students from all backgrounds and supports large and small school districts in the areas of leadership development, school culture, principal and teacher evaluation, collaboration, instruction, assessment, and closing achievement gaps. She was named Virginia’s Middle School Principal of the Year for the success of her school. As a nationally recognized teacher, Cathy proved her ability to successfully reach students from all backgrounds.