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Sneak Peek at the 2022 Equity Conference

There are just three weeks until the annual San Diego County Office of Education Equity Conference on May 12-13 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Registration is open until April 29 with details at

Here’s a sneak peek of what attendees can expect during the first day of the in-person event.

The event kicks off with San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold and morning keynote presenter Dr. Pedro Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. The renowned sociologist has researched and written on topics such as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race and ethnic relations in American society. 

Featured speakers the first day include Martin Odima Jr., special education teacher coach in Saint Paul Public School District in Minnesota; Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle, founder and CEO of Orenda Education and author of Shattering Inequities: Real World Wisdom for School and District Leaders; and Dr. Jessica Jamese Williams, educator and contributing author to the best-selling anthology You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience. There are also dozens of local and national practitioners presenting on socially conscious leadership, mental health and wellness, asset-based systems, and more.  

Young poets will also be spotlighted with performances of their poetry and spoken word art throughout the event, and the annual Lighthouse Awards will be presented during the awards luncheon both days.  

The midday keynote is Dr. Ivory Toldson, president and CEO of the Quality Education for Minorities Network, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University, and author of No BS (Bad Stats). Described as a leader, problem-solver, scholar, and myth-buster, Toldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to devise national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs) as the executive director of the White House Initiative on HCBUs. 

The afternoon keynote will be presented by Angeline Boulley, former director of the Office of Indian Education in the U.S. Department of Education. Boulley is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and author of Firekeeper’s Daughter. The day will close with the screening of Home from School: The Children of Carlisle and a question and answer panel with the documentary filmmakers.  

Nationally recognized author, speaker, and social justice advocate Julissa Arce will lead day two of the Equity Conference, sharing her inspirational story of immigrating to American as a child. Arce's bestselling memoir, My (Underground) American Dream (Entre Las Sombras del Sueño Americano), is being developed into a television series and her young adult memoir, Someone Like Me (Alguien Como Yo), is used in classrooms across the country. 

Breakout sessions include a discussion panel with equity leaders across San Diego County and a panel with students that will focus on lifting up student voice in education.   

Former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Richard Carranza will close the conference. He has been a staunch advocate of educational equity and currently leads strategy and global development for IXL Learning. He formerly served as superintendent in the Houston Independent School District and San Francisco Unified School District. 

The annual, statewide conference brings together district and school leaders, teachers, parents, students, and community members committed to educational equity as a way to collectively grow the knowledge and work for students. 

Educational equity means all students have access, opportunities, and supports to thrive in school. Social or cultural factors should not predict whether students are prepared for college and career.

The 2022 Equity Conference event theme is Equity Is Love in Action, and the event is designed to safely connect attendees with each other and with equity learning and practices that can be implemented immediately.  

Educational equity is a priority of the San Diego County Office of Education, and it is one of the lead agencies for equity within the California system of support for districts and schools. To deliver on the promise of educational equity for all students, the San Diego County Board of Education is committed to providing educational opportunities and support to district and school leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders so that all students, including our historically underserved students, are served well and are successful.  

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Students pose for a picture after presenting to peers about tuberculosis.

For students at San Diego High School, a campaign to educate their peers about tuberculosis became a powerful lesson in advocacy and empowerment. The project was part of a collaboration between the San Diego County Office of Education’s (SDCOE) Work-Based Learning team and the county Health and Human Services Agency Public Health Services Tuberculosis Control and Refugee Health Branch.