• The Path Forward

    UP Education Network in partnership with BU School of Education is excited to present the fifth annual UP Educators of Color Leadership Convening on March 18th, 2017

  • About ECLC

    The Educators of Color Leadership Convening (ECLC) brings together educators of color to engage in leadership development and meaningful dialogue.

    Leadership Development

    Leadership development workshops featuring practical strategies to build capacity and effectiveness in your role.


    A platform to dialogue about identity and learn how to facilitate equity conversations in your work communities.

  • The Schedule

    March 18, 2017


    09:00AM-09:30AM - Registration and Breakfast

    09:30AM-10:00AM - Keynote - Dr. Aaliyah El-Amin

    10:00AM-11:00AM - Learn to Facilitate LIKE A BOSS

    11:00AM-12:30PM - Educational Justice in a Divided America

    12:30PM-12:45 PM - Closing - Dr. Raul Fernandez

    12:45PM-1:30 PM - Lunch and Networking


    A light breakfast and full lunch will be provided. Vegetarian options will be available.

  • Featured Speakers

    More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks!

    Mekka Smith

    Chief of Staff, KIPP - Massachusetts

    Mekka Smith is originally from Atlanta, GA, and started teaching in 2007 through Teach For America, where she worked with brilliant first and second grade students in Miami, Florida for five years. In 2012 she joined the Teach For America-Massachusetts regional team and spent the next few years coaching teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools and supporting alumni to find high impact, school-based roles in local district and charter schools. Mekka also serves as the chair of The Collective-Massachusetts, a board that supports alumni of color in the Commonwealth. She is a graduate of Amherst College and has a Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

    Jen Salvador

    Managing Director of Teacher Preparation, Teach For America - Massachusetts

    Growing up poor in Worcester, Massachusetts as the oldest of five children, Jen quickly learned the value of a great school and nurturing teachers. In high school, Jen had the privilege of attending Blair Academy, an elite, college-preparatory boarding school in New Jersey. After graduating from Dickinson College, Jen joined Teach For America - Baltimore and earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Johns Hopkins University. She taught for five years in Baltimore, Hartford, and most recently, Springfield at Veritas Prep. Starting in the fall of 2014, Jen has led groups of incoming corps members as the Managing Director of Teacher Preparation for TFA - Massachusetts.

    Anjali Nirmalan

    6th Grade ELA Teacher, UP Academy Boston

    Anjali Nirmalan is a currently a Master's degree student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Anjali began her career as a political intern at the Embassy of Colombo and teaching intern with Breakthrough Cambridge. After graduating from Tufts University with a BA in Sociology and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with a BFA, Anjali joined the Match Corps as a Teaching Resident. When she completed her residency in 2011, Anjali joined the founding UP Academy Boston team and has been an integral part of the community ever since. After she completes her Master's degree, Anjali is planning to return to UP Academy Boston next year.

    Elena Milius

    Dean of Students, UP Academy Boston

    Elena Milius is a Boston native, graduating from Boston Latin School. After high school, Elena attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. In 2011, Elena joined the UP family as an ELA teacher at UP Academy Boston. After two years, Elena became a Dean of Students at UP Academy Dorchester supporting elementary school students. Elena now serves as a Dean of Students at UP Academy Boston where she supports sixth through eighth graders through some of their most formative years. Her former co-teacher Allison Oduaran says, "Elena is an fantastic Dean of Students because she holds an incredibly high bar for her students and knows exactly what they need to help them meet that bar."

    Edverette Brewster

    7th and 8th Grade Humanities Teacher, Lila G. Ferderick Pilot School

    Edverette is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and the first male in his family to graduate from college. Earning a Bachelors of Arts from Vanderbilt University, Edverette became a Teach for America Corps Member and relocated to Boston to teach middle school English Language Arts at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School where he now teaches 7th & 8th grade Humanities and serves as the Lead Teacher. Last year, Edverette earned his Masters in Instructional Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His passion is to provide culturally relevant instruction and quality support for students in public school settings.

    Dr. Aaliyah El-Amin

    Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

    Aaliyah El-Amin is a practitioner and researcher committed to ensuring that educators have the knowledge and tools they need to disrupt systems of oppression. Her specific interest areas include liberatory education models, social justice schooling, critical pedagogy and youth participatory action research. She is currently conducting an ethnographic inquiry of three emancipatory schools in the United States to better understand what it looks like to operate a school with a focus on preparing young people to work towards a more just society.

    Dr. Raul Fernandez

    Lecturer, Boston University School of Education

    Dr. Raul Fernandez has more than a decade of diverse experience in higher education. He is a well-recognized leader and accomplished speaker on issues of diversity and inclusion, with hundreds of faculty, staff and students at numerous campuses and conferences having attended his workshops. Raul’s signature workshop, Blind Spots, challenges participants to examine their background, beliefs and biases while identifying areas where they can do the work and grow. He’s facilitated versions of Blind Spots for deans, faculty and administrators, high school teachers and tutors, resident assistants, campus activities boards, and orientation leaders.

  • This year's sessions

    This year's conference will feature two whole group sessions.

    Learn to Facilitate LIKE A BOSS

    Facilitated by Mekka Smith and Jen Salvador

    As POC, we are often called on to facilitate social justice conversations within our respective organizations. While we may have a passion for or understand the material, it can still be difficult to get to our end goals once we dive into the nuances of facilitation, whether in same-group or mixed-group settings.


    In this session, participants will understand the fundamentals of facilitation by: utilizing tools to prepare for facilitating social justice-related sessions; learning how to do a self-analysis prior to facilitation (and understanding its importance as a first step); and analyzing group dynamics in order to further group thought and response.

    Educational Justice in a Divided America

    Facilitated by Anjali Nirmalan, Elena Milius, and Edverette Brewster

    In the 2016 Teaching Tolerance survey, teachers across the country reported an increase in the bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions, or nationalities had been verbal targets in the presidential campaigns. In today's reality of a new administration, educators are perplexed and conflicted about what to do. They report being stymied by the need to remain nonpartisan but disturbed by the anxiety and provocations in their classrooms.


    In this session, we will use the case study method to grapple with real classroom situations faced by teaching teams. Under challenging conditions, how do we work together to foster a classroom culture that is both safe and critical? How can we engage with coworkers about complex ethical judgments across lines of difference, and then teach our students to do the same?

  • Registration

    Registration is now closed. If you are interested in attending the convening, please email Jeremy Scheiner at jscheiner@upeducationnetwork.org or submit a message below.

  • Boston University

    This year's event will be held at the George Sherman Union at Boston University in the 2nd floor Terrace lounge.

  • Parking and Transportation

    There was free parking in BU "Lot H," adjacent to the George Sherman Union. You could also take the green line to the Boston University central T stop.

    If you have any concerns about transportation, please reach out to Jeremy Scheiner at jscheiner@upeducationnetwork.org.

  • Dress is casual.

    Please come in comfortable clothing.

  • Thank you BU School of Education!