Making Connections 2018 Featured Workshop:
Let's talk about race
How do we talk about race without being racist? What is implicit bias and what can we do about it? How can we have what are sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race? This thought-provoking and challenging discussion explored the issues of race and equity, and their impact on public education and society.
Mante Molepo is a parent, advocate, and lawyer. She is a founding member of Parents for Diversity, a collective of parents committed to achieving inclusive and non-discriminatory learning environments. As the mother of two young children who have experienced racism in school, Mante wants to change the conversation on race and equity in the education system to enable a more constructive dialogue that fosters diversity and inclusive learning environments. Parents for Diversity develops workshops that explore how educators and parents can take meaningful steps to address and eradicate discrimination and bias. Mante has been honoured as one of Canada’s 100 Accomplished Black Women for her contributions to advocating for diversity in the education system.
Mante on public education:
“Public education has had a tremendous impact on who I am today. From my elementary teachers to university professors, who have taught me to see the world through a critical lens, I have learned to dissect information from an informed and objective perspective. A public education system is one that celebrates diversity and inclusion, by instilling in students a desire for truth and an awareness of humanity that is focused on informed dialogue and engagement.”
Naeem currently works as consultant with the Ontario Principals’ Council, where he is part of a team that supports principals and vice-principals in both the elementary and secondary panels in the public education system throughout the province. Previously, Naeem served as a secondary school principal in the Toronto District School Board, and as the president of the Ontario Principals’ Council in 2011/12. Naeem has always been an advocate for students in our system, particularly those who are disadvantaged. He served a term on the Minister’s Reference group, as well as a other committees, both provincially and at the district level. When not working, he is actively involved with community baseball and hockey serving as a coach and as an organizer.
Naeem on public education:
“My parents choose this country because of their respect for its public education system. They believed that while they would potentially struggle to make their way in a new country, they were comforted in knowing that the quality of their children’s education would not suffer.”
Aakriti Kapoor is the Administrative and Research Coordinator at People for Education. She is an educator and researcher interested in twenty-first century learning, social justice, and global citizenship. She formerly worked as an education technology researcher and brings experience working in a variety of education settings ranging from K-12 to post-secondary. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Sciences and a Master of Teaching from the University of Toronto. Aakriti believes People for Education’s work in evidence-based research is vital in supporting young people develop competencies needed to contribute to a more critical, compassionate, and equitable society.
Aakriti on public education:
“Public education is a driving force behind the person I am today…public education allowed me to think of the world differently, critically question all aspects of both myself and our society, while becoming an informed global citizen. But public education also creates inequitable structures where these opportunities are not available to all students. I want to champion for a system where public education becomes a driving force of positive change in the lives of all young people.”
Patrick Case, LSM, LL.B., LL.M. is the Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Equity Officer in the Education Equity Secretariat of the Ministry of Education. Case was most recently an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph. He is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and director of the Osgoode Hall Law School Certificate Program in Human Rights Theory and Practice.