Research shows that culturally responsive and sustaining practices (CRSP) strengthen students’ social and academic well-being. What’s more, the impact doesn’t end there—CRSP offer similar benefits for adults’ well-being and performance when the practices are woven into the culture of the school district and school community. Although the importance of belonging and connection is widely known, there is often a disconnect in how these states of mind are actualized through practices and behaviors and how they are experienced by students and staff of color. The absence of feeling valued and heard is one of the primary reasons students feel unsupported and staff of color choose to leave the education field. Join us to learn more about CRSP. We will explore and discuss asset-based approaches—both at the individual and system levels—that contribute powerfully to a school community in which everyone feels valued, connected, and successful. Resources and tools to support CRSP implementation will be shared with attendees.
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Erin Browder (she/her) is a Senior Program Associate with WestEd’s Talent Development and Diversity content area. She provides technical assistance and project design for K–12 initiatives related to trauma-informed topics, school improvement, leadership development, social-emotional learning, and culturally responsive and equity-centered approaches that foster safe and supportive schools. Erin brings a diverse skill set to her work, helping schools, districts, and state systems create sustainable change and positive outcomes for students, families, and staff members. She has demonstrated success as an educator and nonprofit leader, creating funding and partnership opportunities among education agencies, healthcare systems, community organizations, and nonprofits across the country.
Alexis Patterson Williams, PhD, is an associate professor in science education at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, who is focused on the intersection of equity studies, social psychology, social justice, and science education. Previously, she worked as an assistant director of an after-school program, a middle school science teacher, and an intervention instructor at an elementary school in Oakland Unified School District. Alexis is passionate about supporting teachers in creating equitable and just classroom and school environments in order to eliminate the disparate experiences students have as well as to reduce the harm students experience at school.