Conference Speakers

Christopher EmdinAssociate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Columbia University

Christopher Emdin is a tenured professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. He is the author of the award-winning book Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation and the New York Times Best Seller, For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll Too. Emdin has been named one of the The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans and one of the 27 people bridging divides across America by Times magazine. His newest books Ratchetdemic and STEM, STEAM, MAKE, DREAM will be released in 2021.

Christopher EmdinAssociate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Columbia University

Christopher Emdin is a tenured professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. He is the author of the award-winning book Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation and the New York Times Best Seller, For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll Too. Emdin has been named one of the The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans and one of the 27 people bridging divides across America by Times magazine. His newest books Ratchetdemic and STEM, STEAM, MAKE, DREAM will be released in 2021.

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Dr. Janiece MackeyCEO of Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA)

Dr. Janiece Mackey created an organization entitled Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA).YAASPA endeavors to build the self-efficacy of youth to reclaim academic, civic and career spaces through race conscious leadership and transformative organizing. Due to her converging interests in education and policy, she is an Equitable Futures Postdoctoral Research Fellow, co-edited a book entitled Black Girl Civics, has been an Ethnic Studies and Political Science Adjunct Faculty, and earned her PhD in Higher Education with a Public Policy and Curriculum and Instruction emphasis at the University of Denver. She desires to deepen, further develop, and expand “healing praxis” (hooks, 1994) for more youth and professionals of color within the public administration spaces. She believes that those who commit to transformational justice and racial equity must validate and innovate academic, career, and civic experiences that sustain, retain, and rejuvenate minoritized youth and young professionals.

Dr. Janiece MackeyCEO of Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA)

Dr. Janiece Mackey created an organization entitled Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA).YAASPA endeavors to build the self-efficacy of youth to reclaim academic, civic and career spaces through race conscious leadership and transformative organizing. Due to her converging interests in education and policy, she is an Equitable Futures Postdoctoral Research Fellow, co-edited a book entitled Black Girl Civics, has been an Ethnic Studies and Political Science Adjunct Faculty, and earned her PhD in Higher Education with a Public Policy and Curriculum and Instruction emphasis at the University of Denver. She desires to deepen, further develop, and expand “healing praxis” (hooks, 1994) for more youth and professionals of color within the public administration spaces. She believes that those who commit to transformational justice and racial equity must validate and innovate academic, career, and civic experiences that sustain, retain, and rejuvenate minoritized youth and young professionals.

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Jeffery KassAward-winning author, lawyer, speaker, and diversity trainer

Jeffrey Kass is an award-winning author, lawyer, speaker, diversity trainer, and thought leader on race and society.

His organizational training focuses on eradicating unconscious bias through what he calls End Racial Distancing.

His stories and essays have engaged readers on issues of race, religion, politics, society and relationships, some of which have won multiple writing awards. One of his works was recently nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize literary award.

His newest book, The Rona Diaries. One World. Two Pandemics is one of publisher Adelaide Books' best sellers since its release in late 2020. It journals through the last year of the COVID and racism events. He is also author of the book, Oreos and a Pack of Marlboro Lights.

For over two decades, Jeffrey has actively combated racism and its impact on communities. He was a founding member of the Urban League Young Professionals in St. Louis and its third president. He was a long-standing board member of the civil rights organization, The Anti-Defamation League of Missouri, and he regularly volunteers in communities assisting at-risk children. Jeffrey also was a board member of Camp Mak-A-Dream, which is a camp in Montana for children impacted by cancer.

Today, Jeffrey is on the executive board of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado, an organization providing important leadership skills to emerging Black professionals.

He serves as treasurer on the board of Denver Delta, Inc., an offshoot foundation of the Black sorority Delta Sigma Theta, which assists Black and other underserved communities in the areas of health, economics and education.

Jeffrey is also a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP of Aurora, Colorado. Jeffrey is on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Denver where he works on outreach to other communities.

Jeffrey also has done amateur standup comedy since his college days, so he always brings a dose of humor to help us navigate these challenging times.

Jeffery KassAward-winning author, lawyer, speaker, and diversity trainer

Jeffrey Kass is an award-winning author, lawyer, speaker, diversity trainer, and thought leader on race and society.

His organizational training focuses on eradicating unconscious bias through what he calls End Racial Distancing.

His stories and essays have engaged readers on issues of race, religion, politics, society and relationships, some of which have won multiple writing awards. One of his works was recently nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize literary award.

His newest book, The Rona Diaries. One World. Two Pandemics is one of publisher Adelaide Books' best sellers since its release in late 2020. It journals through the last year of the COVID and racism events. He is also author of the book, Oreos and a Pack of Marlboro Lights.

For over two decades, Jeffrey has actively combated racism and its impact on communities. He was a founding member of the Urban League Young Professionals in St. Louis and its third president. He was a long-standing board member of the civil rights organization, The Anti-Defamation League of Missouri, and he regularly volunteers in communities assisting at-risk children. Jeffrey also was a board member of Camp Mak-A-Dream, which is a camp in Montana for children impacted by cancer.

Today, Jeffrey is on the executive board of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado, an organization providing important leadership skills to emerging Black professionals.

He serves as treasurer on the board of Denver Delta, Inc., an offshoot foundation of the Black sorority Delta Sigma Theta, which assists Black and other underserved communities in the areas of health, economics and education.

Jeffrey is also a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP of Aurora, Colorado. Jeffrey is on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Denver where he works on outreach to other communities.

Jeffrey also has done amateur standup comedy since his college days, so he always brings a dose of humor to help us navigate these challenging times.

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Cynthia GoochAssociate Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Metropolitan Community College

A first-generation graduate and TRIO program alumna, Dr. Cynthia Gooch-Grayson's academic interests include equity, mentoring, retention, and access in postsecondary education for groups that have been historically discriminated against, disenfranchised, and marginalized.
Earning her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Gooch-Grayson is passionate about doing the work to provide motivation and opportunity for all to gain access to and thrive in higher education environments. Dr. Cynthia K. Gooch-Grayson has served in the helping professions for all her professional career.
She received her master's degree in Family and Mental Health Counseling at the University of the District of Columbia, a small, public HBCU in our nation's capital, and a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Gooch-Grayson currently serves Metropolitan Community College in the capacity of Associate Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and provides departmental oversight of three federally funded TRIO programs that serve first-generation, low-income participants.
A Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Cynthia is proud of her consistent, active involvement where she has served locally, regionally, and nationally.
Having served on many local boards, Cynthia is an active member of her church and a Habitat for Humanity Omaha Board member; board member of the Omaha Star, Nebraska's only African American newspaper; and is a Girl Scout Leader. Married to Mr. Meredith O. Grayson, her favorite pastimes are spending time with her husband and family, traveling, volunteering and genealogy. Her most loved scripture is Matthew 17:20.

Cynthia GoochAssociate Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Metropolitan Community College

A first-generation graduate and TRIO program alumna, Dr. Cynthia Gooch-Grayson's academic interests include equity, mentoring, retention, and access in postsecondary education for groups that have been historically discriminated against, disenfranchised, and marginalized.
Earning her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Gooch-Grayson is passionate about doing the work to provide motivation and opportunity for all to gain access to and thrive in higher education environments. Dr. Cynthia K. Gooch-Grayson has served in the helping professions for all her professional career.
She received her master's degree in Family and Mental Health Counseling at the University of the District of Columbia, a small, public HBCU in our nation's capital, and a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Gooch-Grayson currently serves Metropolitan Community College in the capacity of Associate Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and provides departmental oversight of three federally funded TRIO programs that serve first-generation, low-income participants.
A Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Cynthia is proud of her consistent, active involvement where she has served locally, regionally, and nationally.
Having served on many local boards, Cynthia is an active member of her church and a Habitat for Humanity Omaha Board member; board member of the Omaha Star, Nebraska's only African American newspaper; and is a Girl Scout Leader. Married to Mr. Meredith O. Grayson, her favorite pastimes are spending time with her husband and family, traveling, volunteering and genealogy. Her most loved scripture is Matthew 17:20.

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Paul WeinrauchRRCC Department Chair, Multigraphic Media, Photography, Journalism

Paul D. Weinrauch is a passionate corporate and portrait photographer based in Colorado since 2005. Paul’s passion became a purpose back in 1999 when he sold everything, traveled across the country for years and captured his entire journey through a lens. Although he continues to operate his photography business, his primary mission in life is to be of service to others. Currently, he is the Department Chair of the Visual, Audio, & Media Arts Department at Red Rocks Community College. When he is not working, you will find him hiking 14ers and other peaks throughout Colorado with his family.

Paul WeinrauchRRCC Department Chair, Multigraphic Media, Photography, Journalism

Paul D. Weinrauch is a passionate corporate and portrait photographer based in Colorado since 2005. Paul’s passion became a purpose back in 1999 when he sold everything, traveled across the country for years and captured his entire journey through a lens. Although he continues to operate his photography business, his primary mission in life is to be of service to others. Currently, he is the Department Chair of the Visual, Audio, & Media Arts Department at Red Rocks Community College. When he is not working, you will find him hiking 14ers and other peaks throughout Colorado with his family.

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Schedule

Highly configurable block with optional auditoriums and threads

  • Day 1 23 June 2021
  • Day 2 24 June 2021
  • Keynote Sessions
  • Session A
  • Session B
09:00 AM - 10:00 AMJaniece Mackey By Janiece MackeyYAASPA
On Pedagogy, Liberation and High Expectations: Pursuing Passion, Purpose and Possibility
01:05 PM - 02:05 PMOn Pedagogy, Liberation and High Expectations: Pursuing Passion, Purpose and Possibility By Christopher EmdinAssociate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Columbia University

In this address Dr. Emdin highlights the present state of education and pushes us to imagine and then move towards a pedagogy that offers new possibilities. In an equal parts philosophical and practical talk, he merges theory and practice on the rights that each student has to move educators to examine where our passions lie, what our purpose should be and how teaching and learning can become a vehicle for societal transformation. 

Changing Your Legal Name: A Colorado Perspective
10:05 AM - 10:50 AMChanging Your Legal Name: A Colorado Perspective By Miori GidleyAssociate Registrar

Have you ever wondered what students may be required to do in order to change their legal name?  It’s more complicated than you would think.   Based on personal experience, hear about the process in Colorado, along with the hurdles and associate expenses.   You’ll also learn about local resources available to help in the process.   We’ll also touch on how to update a gender marker on both state and federal documents. 

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Gain knowledge of the legal process for name and gender changes in Colorado
  2. Identify resources to guide students in the process
  3. Understand the barriers and complications our students may face
Assessment for Co-Curricular Programs
10:55 AM - 11:40 AMAssessment for Co-Curricular Programs By Ann McCalley, PhD & Neecee Matthews-BradshawCCD EXCEL! Zone

The Community College of Denver’s EXCEL! Zone (tutoring and student learning support) provides services in multiple disciplines. We are uniquely able to contribute to institution-level assessment of Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs) at CCD. EXCEL! Zone Director Ann McCalley, PhD, and Writing Coordinator Neecee Matthews-Bradshaw, PhD, will discuss a model of assessment for cocurricular programs. EXCEL Zone tutoring has collected assessment artifacts that demonstrate alignment with the CCD ISLOs.

In preparation for accreditation review from HLC, curricular departments are often the primary focus of the review. Oftentimes, it may be understated the role co-curricular programs have in institutional assessment and HLC accreditation. HLC defines this role as follows:

1.The institution provides opportunities for civic engagement in a diverse, multicultural society and globally connected world, as appropriate within its mission and for the constituencies it serves.

2.The institution encourages curricular or cocurricular activities that prepare students for informed citizenship and workplace success.  (HLC, “What Does HLC Mean by Cocurricular?” 2020)

The presenters will demonstrate how they have designed and implemented co-curricular assessment around student engagement with tutoring services.

During the presentation, participants will be able to think about, discuss, and practice with potential approaches to conducting assessment outside the classroom. Participants will leave the workshop with an illustration of one methodology for co-curricular assessment.

Join the Movement: Inclusive  Higher Education
12:15 PM - 01:00 PMJoin the Movement: Inclusive Higher Education By Jennifer WoegensElevate, ACC

In 2016 the Legislature designated funding to establish three Inclusive Higher Education (IHE) programs in Colorado: Arapahoe Community College, the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and the University of Northern Colorado. Although there were nearly 300 programs across the nation, Colorado was one of only five states that did not offer opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to attend college. The Inclusive Higher Education experience encompasses access to fully inclusive academic courses, independent living supports, work‐based learning experiences, and social engagement with the broader campus community.
Representatives from ACC, UCCS, UNC, and IN!, Colorado’s Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education formed a Consortium early on to share best practices and collaborate with the intention of enhancing services and potentially expanding access across the state. Join our session to learn about inclusive higher education, the benefits that come with access to college, and the contributions that individuals with IDD bring to our workforce.

Neurodiversity in College: Voices from the Students on the Autism Spectrum
10:05 AM - 10:50 AMNeurodiversity in College: Voices from the Students on the Autism Spectrum By Megan Wolfe & Sara FreemanDisability Support Services

The rates of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum are increasing each year, and with that increasing numbers of transition-age young adults on the autism spectrum are attending college. However, these students still often experience discrimination in their college courses and are frequently the victims of implicit bias and misunderstandings. In this previously recorded panel presentation, professionals from Disability Support Services provide background information of students on the autism spectrum, including the importance of treating each person on the autism spectrum as an individual, discussing commonly co-occurring diagnoses, and reviewing the college statistics of autistic students. They then dive into implicit bias, ableism, and myths and misconceptions of students on the autism spectrum and provide a brief overview of intersectionality and the way other identities can impact/interact with their autism. Finally, the presentation concludes by hearing from four current college students who are on the autism spectrum about their lived experiences, what inclusion means, what they love about being on the spectrum, and more. The facilitators/presenters of this video-recording will be available following the presentation to answer questions from the audience.

Using Cultural Humility to Better Understand and Meet the Needs of Students
12:15 PM - 01:00 PMUsing Cultural Humility to Better Understand and Meet the Needs of Students By Brandon FoxDirector of student Success, FRCC

In our work, we may come across topics that to us may seem perfectly reasonable but to others may present a serious obstacle. Why won’t my students just get vaccinated? Why would my student refuse to take the census? Why don’t we just encourage this student to take a break and return when they can secure housing? To help our students we need to understand where they are coming from to move forward. It can be easy to rely on our educational background or assumptions when confronted with these dilemmas. Many of us have worked to develop our cultural competency to better understand the students and community members we serve who may come from backgrounds that are different than our own. While expanding our knowledge is important, focusing on cultural competency has its limits and if not checked can lead to developing bias, stereotyping and the perception that most people can be put in specific categories. This also can lead to the perception of an endpoint to our understanding of a person’s experiences and background.


In this presentation, we will focus on using cultural humility to better understand the students we work with by demonstrating that, while we don’t pretend to act like we know or can ever fully understand their experience, we want to in good faith to learn from them and better understand. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines cultural humility as “a lifelong process of self-reflection and self-critique whereby the individual not only learns about another’s culture, but one starts with an examination of her/his own beliefs and cultural identities.” In this presentation, we will look at why cultural humility is an important tool for working with diverse, minoritized students with intersecting identities and how and when we can incorporate it into our work. Some of the points we will be focusing on include:


• Cultural humility is a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique
• Requires a desire to fix power imbalances
• Includes aspiring to develop partnerships with people and groups who advocate for others
• Cultural humility is distinct from cultural competency and reflexivity
• Cultural humility requires historical awareness

  • Keynote Sessions
  • Session A
Eradicating Unconscious Bias
09:00 AM - 10:00 AMEradicating Unconscious Bias By Jeffery KassAuthor, Lawyer and Community Activist

Author, Lawyer and Community Activist Jeffrey Kass will explore one of the more difficult topics when it comes to equity and diversity. Unconscious bias. That part of our brains that controls most of our actions and about which we are largely unaware. This session will unravel that bias and provide real life solutions on how to address it, ultimately to move towards a more inclusive world. Questions and honest exchange of ideas are welcome.

Education as Liberation: Undoing the Harm of Traditional Pedagogy
10:05 AM - 10:50 AMEducation as Liberation: Undoing the Harm of Traditional Pedagogy By Jasmine YapTitle V Inclusive Pedagogy Instructional Coach, CCA

Community College of Aurora has recently received Title V grant funding as a developing Hispanic-Serving Institution to democratize the classroom through the use of inclusive and culturally responsive pedagogical practices in gateway courses. Our Title V grant work led to a reimagined vision of what an introductory composition class (i.e., ENG 121) can and should be in order to center students and engage their strengths, passions, and lived experiences. Drawing on tenets of Critical Race Theory and community cultural wealth (Yosso 2005), we developed a menu (i.e., a curated collection of culturally sustaining composition projects) and a “create your own path” curriculum in partnership with ENG 121 faculty and instructors. We use student-led writing groups and labor contracts to emphasize process over product, and we disrupt dominant norms by allowing projects to be submitted in a variety of creative genres. Students are encouraged to choose the assignment prompt and the genre in which they communicate and compose. Choice allows students to develop more autonomy, become more independent learners, better understand the role of process in composition, and better recognize the transferability of skills learned in the composition class. Rather than requiring “traditional academic essays,” students are encouraged to lean on their cultural wealths and celebrate the variety of skills, talents, and knowledges they already possess in the process of invention, creation, and revision. During our presentation we will share and explore the ways we developed our composition menu with the goal of supporting and sustaining students of color in our reimagined liberatory classrooms.

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