June 22, 2022

Pennsylvania Educator Diversity Consortium Hosted Summit on Diversifying the Educator Workforce in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Educator Diversity Consortium Hosted Summit on Diversifying the Educator Workforce in Pennsylvania

Cheyney University co-hosted virtual event with more than 400 K-20 teachers around the state

The Pennsylvania Educator Diversity Consortium (PEDC) hosted its annual two-day virtual summit on June 21-22 that brought together more than 400 educators to discuss actions needed to increase the number of ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse educators, and culturally relevant and sustaining educators and education systems across the Commonwealth.

The event titled, “Disrupt! Reimagine! Mobilize! Strengthening Education by Diversifying the Educator Workforce in Pennsylvania” was organized by PEDC co-founders who represent Cheyney University Pennsylvania, Temple University, East Stroudsburg University, and other professions in education.

This year’s summit had several goals, including identify ways to disrupt inequitable, long-standing systems that hinder the success and access of learners and educators. In addition, the summit envisioned a system where every educator is culturally relevant and sustaining and is valued, respected, and embraced by the education system, and establish action steps to move forward.

“The teacher shortage concern in our Commonwealth is further exacerbated by the large gap in diverse educators,” said PEDC Acting Circle of Leaders Member and University Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Cheyney University. “Cheyney University has made a commitment to be a part of the solution and the changes necessary to move us forward with ensuring that we have a diverse, equitable and inclusive education system in Pennsylvania. This year’s PEDC Summit will help all of us continue to take those actionable steps as we disrupt, reimagine and mobilize!

“The PEDC 2022 Summit comes at an important historical moment. Recent Research for Action (RFA) data reminds us that there is a mass attrition of Black educators across Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Donna-Marie Cole-Malott, PEDC Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Professional and Secondary Education at East Stroudsburg University. “Over the last two decades Philadelphia specifically lost nearly 1,200 Black educators, and the crisis continues to worsen. We must educate ourselves and equip invested partners in education with the necessary tools to address the problems we face. Our summit will do just that, and we encourage everyone who cares about our students to attend and learn ways that they can support equity in our educational system.

The virtual summit included keynote speeches by Farima Pour-Khorshid, who is an Assistant Professor and Teacher Supervisor at the University of San Francisco. She is deeply committed to bridging abolition- and healing-centered engagement in education. Much of her work is rooted in grassroots organizing as she serves in leadership roles within the Teachers 4 Social Justice organization, the Abolitionist Teaching Network, and the National Education for Liberation Network, which organizes the Free Minds Free People conference.

Esther Ohito, an assistant of English Education/Literacy Education at Rutgers University, was also a keynote speaker. She focuses her work on the entangled politics of Blackness, gender, race, and knowledge production at the nexus of curriculum, pedagogy, embodiment, and emotion. Her research is as inspired by Black intellectual traditions of her lived experiences, including herstories as a multilingual, transnational, first-generation Black/African/Kenyan immigrant student in the United States, a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, and a U.S-based teacher/educator in various educational spaces across the African diaspora.

Other speakers included Acting Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education Eric Hagarty and David Lapp, Director of Policy Research for Research for Action.

“This year’s Summit offers the opportunity for everyone concerned about the education of Pennsylvania’s youth to engage, through speakers, workshops, and small-group discussions, in essential and urgent conversation about the need to diversify the educator workforce in Pennsylvania and establish school cultures that are culturally relevant and sustaining for students, families, teachers, and staff,” said Dr. Juliet Curci, PEDC Co-Director and

Assistant Dean of College Access and Persistence at Temple University. “Everyone is welcome into this work, and indeed, we need widespread support from every sector and corner of the Commonwealth in order for us to collectively create the systems change we seek.

The Pennsylvania Educators Diversity Consortium was founded as a grassroots organization of concerned and committed educators to increase and sustain teacher diversity within the Commonwealth. The virtual summit is now in its third year.

Cheyney University has played an integral role in the creation, development and growth of this statewide effort, established in 2019 to increase teacher diversity, as part of its Breaking Barriers Series initiative. The pillars of both are focused on: recruitment, retention, mentorship, and culturally relevant and sustaining education.

Participants can still register for the event at https://cheyney.edu/pedcsummit2022/ There is no cost to attend but space is limited.


NOTICE: Campus COVID Restrictions Have Been Lifted