Episcopalians leading a movement for public education equity

National Conference set for January 2018; Presiding Bishop Curry to keynote

[All Our Children, National Network] Registration is open for All Our Children: The Church’s Role in Education Equity, a national conference co-sponsored by the All Our Children National Network and The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. The event will take place January 16-18, 2018 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

The conference, which was called for in a resolution passed at the 78th General Convention in 2015, is an invitation to the Episcopal Church and all Christians to address the urgency of quality public education for all children. “This conference will mark the boldest action yet taken to undergird the Episcopal Church’s resolutions in support of public education, and it will provide an opportunity for our impact to ripple out exponentially,” says All Our Children Director Lallie Lloyd. “Today, more than 16 million children in the United States live in poverty. It is not news to say that they are not being well-served at school. They need more, and we can do better. We can serve students with acts of charity and we can join with others for collective action that brings systemic change,” she says.

The mission of the event is to equip and inspire lay and ordained church leaders, seminarians, and volunteers to take effective action for education equity in their communities, through local partnerships, and in the broader public arena through advocacy. The conference will feature keynote addresses from the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., a classroom teacher, school leader, and associate professor of education at San Francisco State University. Other programming will include informative, interactive workshops and plenaries led by practicing educators, experienced community leaders, and hands-on researchers and highlight specific steps congregations and their members can take to build Beloved Community through local partnerships, action, and service.

Participants can expect to:

  • Develop a deep understanding of Christian faith foundations for public education support, engagement, and advocacy;
  • Build awareness of necessary conditions for and barriers to quality public education for all, specifically the correlations between race, income, and education opportunity;
  • Understand policies, practices, and principles of successful church-school community partnerships;
  • Develop specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed action plans, coordinated by city, diocese, or state, when possible; and
  • Generate a list of the skills, support, and training participants desire to strengthen their partnerships.

When asked why Episcopalians should join the movement for education equity, Don Cowles, a member of the conference planning committee and a founding member of the All Our Children leadership team answered, “Faith communities that follow Jesus into neighborhood schools offer the caring, personal relationships that can remind students that they are loved while simultaneously confronting the social justice implications of concentrated poverty and other inequities.”

To learn more or to register for All Our Children: The Church’s Role in Education Equity visit aoc2018.org.

About All Our Children, National Network
All Our Children believes partnering with public schools is an urgent mission for people of faith. We know partnerships between congregations and schools are an effective path to address racism and economic inequity; serve communities; and revitalize congregations. We are part of the movement to improve the quality of public education for all children. For congregations with active partnerships we connect leaders and volunteers to form a community of hope, encouragement, and relationships. By fostering this community, creating materials and hosting events we shorten the learning curve for those starting the journey. Learn more at allourchildren.org

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