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REL West Event: Creating Culturally Affirming Spaces: School and Classroom Practices
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October 13, 2021

Time: 10:00 am–12:00 pm (Pacific Time)

Location: Virtual

Registration Link:

Description: This webinar, the first in a two-part series, will expand knowledge and provide practical, evidence-based examples of systems, policies, and practices that are culturally affirming—what they are and what they are not—to inform instruction, school climate-related practices, and everyday decisions that shape the academic and social-emotional well-being of students and their families.

A presentation and panelist discussion will include lessons from research and practice about how in culturally affirming spaces, small practices have big payoffsand hold significant value for students’ academic progress. These practices include pronouncing students’ names correctly, speaking positively about families and communities in front of students, and sharing one’s own intercultural experiences.These spaces encourage meaningful engagement, communicate belonging, validate the lived and historical experiences of students and adults, center culture as a learning vehicle, and promote authentic stakeholder connection.

In this webinar, district and site leaders will:

  • Deepen understanding of culturally affirming school and classroom cultures and climates and how they shape student learning and social and emotional well-being
  • Examine practices, policies, and conditions that hinder student belonging and inhibit the academic and social well-being of culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse students
  • Learn about promising practices and behaviors that foster culturally affirming schooling experiences for students, families, and staff

Partnership or Research Alliance: The two webinars in this series relate to the coaching activities associated with the REL West non-partnership coaching project 5.2.1 Equity in Action.

Audience: The target audience for this event series is district and site leaders who are the drivers and stewards of equity-centered efforts in their district. Participants are encouraged to attend in teams of two or more and to register for both webinars if possible.

Speakers: Confirmed Panelists:

  • Marco Cenabre, Lead English Teacher, New Haven Academy, New Haven, CT
  • Ayanna Cooper, EdD, Educational consultant and advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse learners
  • Brian Knowles, MEd, Manager of the Office of African, African American, Latino, Holocaust, and Gender Studies within the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida
  • Alexis Patterson Williams, PhD, Associate Professor, University of California, Davis


  • Erin Browder, Senior Program Associate, REL West
  • David Lopez, Senior Technical Assistance Specialist, WestEd
  • Rawlin Rosario, Program Associate, WestEd
  • Lori Van Houten, Senior Program Associate, REL West
Christina Johnson
(916) 402-6744
More Information
Agenda for this event  PDF File ( 118 KB )
REL Events
Regional Educational Laboratory Program
Item will download as a vCalendar (.vcs) file, compatible with Microsoft Outlook.
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