The 10th anniversary celebration of the Excellence Through Equity Conference is scheduled for Sept. 21-22 in Indian Wells, and the popular conference has reached capacity with nearly 1,000 educators expected to attend, the Riverside Office of Education announced Tuesday.
What started as a one-day event for 200 local educators at the Riverside Convention Center in 2014 has since blossomed into an in-demand multiday conference featuring internationally known keynote speakers and more than 7,000 professionals from public schools throughout California and neighboring states. The venue for this year’s event is the Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells.
The conference’s theme will be “Building Bridges to Cultivate Excellence,” according to the Office of Education. The conference will provide attendees “with specific tools to support systems, structures, and practices, that will strengthen county, districts, and school sites” with common strategies and courses of action toward achieving more equitable educational experiences for students.
“As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Excellence Through Equity Conference, the importance and the passion for equity continues to deepen and expand with each passing year,” Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Edwin Gomez said in a statement. “When we take bold, deliberate, courageous, and consistent strides as individual educators in the journey towards equity, the entire educational system will transform from the inside — resulting in a brighter future for our scholars and our communities.”
The conference agenda will showcase student spoken-word performances and honor “equity champions” and speakers from a decade of past Excellence Through Equity events, officials said. Also, Gomez will present the first Community Equity Champion Award to Vision To Learn, a nonprofit organization that for the last two years has provided more than 41,000 vision screenings and nearly 9,000 free pairs of glasses to students in 13 Riverside County school districts.
The 2023 Excellence Through Equity Conference schedule features dozens of breakout sessions and keynote speakers, highlighted by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, author and professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Shane Safir, leadership coach, author and former teacher; Louie F. Rodriguez, professor, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education at the University of California, Riverside; Alycia Anderson, author, speaker, podcaster and inclusion consultant; and Capt. Barrington Irving, world-record aviator and founder of The Flying Classroom.
Previous keynote speakers have included Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Pedro Noguera, Tavis Smiley, Alan Blankenstein, Chris Emdin, Shaun Harper, Bernard Kinsey, Kati Haycock, Michael Bonner, Alberto Carvalho, Gregory Boyle, Remi Adeleke, Steve Perry, Ron Clark, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, Talithia Williams and Jeremy Anderson.
Attendees at this year’s conference include educators from 31 school districts statewide, seven county offices of education, several universities and representatives from the California Department of Education.
More information is available on the Excellence Through Equity Conference website.