About the 2021 Theme
For many of us, the intended purpose of education is to serve the human endeavor of becoming by engaging us as cultural, emotional, spiritual, historical, intellectual, social, and transformative beings. However, for many, education via public schools serves to dehumanize and leave students disconnected from their identities, histories, communities, and inherent worth as human beings. Educators, scholars, and other stakeholders have widely acknowledged that there is a difference between education and what we do to children in public schools today. For example, efforts to standardize public schooling or eliminate truth-telling in the curriculum have limited our opportunities to engage the whole child and have instead supported the systemic dehumanization of children; particularly historically marginalized students (i.e., Black, Indigenous, Latinx, impoverished, LGBTQ+, and others).
This year, the Sources conference invites us to shift our gaze from seeing the dehumanized versions of our children, our communities, and ourselves and towards education as the practice of healing and liberation. By working to see ourselves and our communities in authentic ways, we will develop the consciousness required to imagine new possibilities and transform our world for the better. This is representative of a humanizing education.
This year’s Sources conference will present ideas, scholarship, and models aimed at deepening our community’s understanding of a humanizing urban education. Specifically, the conference will explore questions such as:
- What strategies can we employ as school leaders, teachers, community stakeholders, scholars, and leaders to nurture humanizing educational systems, practices, policies, and structures?
- What current models exist which effectively demonstrate humanizing education in action; particularly for children of color and children living in poor communities?
- How do we do this work within a context where conversations about freedom, equity and education are politicized?
- How do we support, encourage, and shift the focus to joy in each other as we do this work?
We invite you to attend the 16th Annual Sources of Urban Education Virtual Conference and take a moment to reflect on your relationship with and role in (re)humanizing urban education so that all of our students can have excellent educational experiences.