2021 Midwest School Mental Health Conference

Wednesday, August 11th
In-person or Online

Theme: Creating Spaces to Thrive

Mental health has always been important but this year we see the impact schools can have more than ever.

Join the biggest and most exciting school mental health event in the Midwest.

Featuring Keynotes

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Cierra Kaler-Jones (she/her/hers) is a social justice educator, writer, scholar, and artist based in Washington, D.C. She serves as the Education Anew Fellow with Communities for Just Schools Fund and Teaching for Change, in which she works to help shift national narratives in education by centering youth, family, and educator organizers’ experiences and stories in education work. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership at University of Maryland - College Park. Through her research, she explores how Black girls use arts-based practices (e.g. movement, music, hair) as mechanisms for identity construction, social-emotional wellness, and resistance. As an educator, Cierra has worked with preschool students, K-12 students, and college students over the past 10 years. Cierra is also an arts education advocate, 200-hour trained yoga instructor, and meditation guide – she teaches dance and yoga classes for all ages, choreographs for local companies, and runs a program that offers culturally-sustaining arts-based programming and curriculum for Black girls.

H. Richard Milner IV (also known as Rich) is Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair of Education and Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. His research, teaching and policy interests concern urban education, teacher education, African American literature, and the social context of education.  Professor Milner’s research examines practices and policies that support teacher effectiveness in urban schools.   Professor Milner’s work has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published seven books. His most recent are: Start where you are but don’t stay there: Understanding diversity, opportunity gaps, and teaching in today’s classrooms (Harvard Education Press, 2010 and 2020, Second Edition), Rac(e)ing to class: Confronting poverty and race in schools and classrooms (Harvard Education Press, 2015) and These kids are out of control: Why we must reimagine classroom management for equity (Corwin Press, 2018). 

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