Join the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition as we come together and look ahead to 2018 and the key races and forthcoming legislation and policies that will affect K-12 education across the state. We will hear from local, state and national leaders about the role of civic engagement in furthering educational equity and excellence and we will examine ways that each of us can Lead the Change that we seek for students in Tennessee. Together we will learn about the local and state levers that impact education in Tennessee, and offer ways for you to lend your expertise and voice to the critical conversations that will take place in 2018. We can’t afford to sit this one out.
When: Monday, October 23rd | 1pm-4:30pm
Where: Music City Center, 201 5th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203
The Politics of Participation: Leading the Change for every Student
Join us for a special conversation about the essential role of advocates to engage in the civic arena on the most pressing issue of our time — the education of children in our country. Our featured speakers bring a national perspective and wealth of experience from service in the White House and work in Congress; often using their voice as a catalyst to create change and inspire leadership in others.
David Johns, Keynote Speaker
Executive Director, Black Justice Coalition
David Johns is the Executive Director of the Black Justice Coalition, and is the former Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Prior to serving in the White House, Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) under the leadership of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Before working for the Senate HELP committee, under Chairman Harkin, Johns served under the leadership of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.. Johns has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority students, neglected youth and early childhood education, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His research as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow served as a catalyst to identify, disrupt and supplant negative perceptions of black males, both within academia and society. Johns obtained a master’s degree in sociology and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, and he graduated with honors from Columbia University in 2004 with a triple major in English, creative writing and African American studies.
Layla Avila, Keynote Speaker
founder and CEO/executive director, Education leaders of color
Layla Avila serves as a Founder and CEO/Executive Director of Education Leaders of Color. EdLoC is a national membership organization dedicated to elevating the leadership, voices and influence of people of color in education and to leading more inclusive efforts to improve education.
Previously, Layla worked at TNTP is a variety of roles, starting as as Vice President and Partner for TNTP’s Teaching Fellows programs, then as Chief of Staff for CEO Dan Weisberg, and finally becoming Executive Vice President before leaving to form EdLoc. Layla started her career with Teach For America in 1997, working as a bilingual and ESL teacher at August A. Mayo Elementary School in Compton, CA, and serving on the school’s Leadership Team. She also served as an analyst for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence For Hispanic Americans, an interagency working group to increase educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans.
Layla holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University and an MA in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Layla was elected to the South Whittier School District Board of Trustees in 2005.
Tennessee Roundtable Panelists
Shaping Education Policy: Power and Process in Tennessee
Have you ever wondered how the State Board of Education, or the State Department of Education, or the Tennessee State Legislature differ in their authority to enact change in education? Or the role of local city government in improving the odds for success for students in their local schools? Our panelists are local and state leaders who will share their vision for education in Tennessee, and the role that they and their office play in improving outcomes for students in our state.