The Equity Event

April 21, 2021 - April 23, 2021

Since the founding of The Equity Event seven years ago, we have unwrapped the many influences, characteristics and circumstances that impact our students and contribute to gaps in opportunity and outcomes, among them family income, access to food and shelter, physical and cognitive ability, gender and gender identity, immigration status, and even the location of the student’s home and the district itself.

Culture, race and ethnicity intersect with all those factors and are woven deeply into the lives of each and every student we serve. The heightened local, state and national dialogue around racial equity compels us as leaders to look at race more deeply.

At this year’s Equity Event, we’ll investigate these rich, human aspects of our students and ourselves so that we can serve every student well and justly moving forward. Featuring Arizona poet laureate Alberto Rios and a special reading of his poem “A House Called Tomorrow.”

The link to join the event and the password protected materials link will be sent to attendees April 20, 2021.


Calvin Terrell

Founder and Lead Facilitator, Social Centric Institute

For the past 25 years, Calvin Terrell has lectured trained and lead comprehensive workshops for valuing diversity, equity and justice-building in schools, corporations, and civic organizations for thousands of adults, children and youth throughout the United States. He is founder and lead facilitator of Social Centric Institute, an organization he designed to provide education and training for all ages to enhance human interactions and global progress. He is a former assistant director of the National Conference for Community Justice/Anytown USA Arizona Region, has taught for Upward Bound at Arizona State University and the Arizona National Guard's Freedom Academy, and is a past recipient of the City of Phoenix Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award. Dig Deeper – Attend Calvin’s Bonus Workshop (sponsored by the ASBA Black Alliance)!


Dr. Jennifer Harvey

Educator, Author and Activist

Dr. Jennifer Harvey is an educator, author, highly sought-after public speaker and anti-racist activist. She can often be found engaging diverse audiences and working with communities as they wrestle with real questions about the challenges to be faced and the frameworks necessary to create robust, sustainable, multi-racial solidarity for justice. Her most recent book, “Raising White Kids,” explores how white communities and leaders can more deeply support racial justice work being led by communities of color. She is also the author of “Whiteness and Morality: Pursuing Racial Justice through Reparations and Sovereignty” and a co-editor of “Disrupting White Supremacy: White People on What We Need to Do.” Join Dr. Harvey for a bonus Q&A session


Bill De La Cruz

Author, Facilitator and Former School Board Member

Bill de la Cruz is a speaker, facilitator, author and former school board member who has been guiding individuals and groups through the process of personal transformation, as a mediator and workshop leader for 30 years. His book, “Finding the Origination Point: Understanding Our Biases to Create a More Peaceful World,” is about deconstructing biases so that they do not constrict our interactions with people who fit our biased experiences, an unconscious process that controls our interactions. He developed his programs and workshops to help individuals and groups build self-awareness, enhance relationships, and to help foster positive, sustainable personal growth. Take Time for Self-Reflection – Attend Bill’s bonus workshop (sponsored by the ASBA Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus)!

Equity Event Pre-Conference – Apr. 21

8:30 am - 9:00 am

Opening Session with Special Guest

Special Guest, Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Rios

Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Rios will share his experience growing up in Arizona and recite his Poem “A House Called Tomorrow”

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9:00 am - 9:30 am

Current State of Latinx Students and Education in Arizona

Stephanie Parra, Executive Director of ALL In Education

An overview of Latino students in Arizona and a call to action for school board leaders.

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9:30 am - 10:00 am

Economic Contributions of Latinos in Arizona

Monica Villalobos, President & CEO of Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Using information from the annual DATOS report, Ms. Villalobos will share insights into Latino representation and access in the areas of the workforce, housing, healthcare and more.

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10:00 am - 10:45 am

Cultural Contributions of Latinos

Maribel L. Alvarez, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Community Engagement, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona

As an anthropologist, folklorist, curator, and community arts expert , Dr. Alvarez will share some of the many cultural contributions of Latinos and the impact these have on society.

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10:45 am - 11:00 am


11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Latino Trauma in Arizona: The Impact of Anti-Immigrant Policies and Sentiment on Students

Dr. David Becerra MSW, PhD, Director, Office of Latino Projects, Arizona State University School of Social Work

Dr. Becerra has worked extensively with Latino adolescents and youth in the Southwest. He has provided culturally modified treatment of Latino migrant workers who have suffered trauma related to immigration, acculturation, stress and substance abuse. He will share his insights on the impact of anti-immigrant policy and sentiment on young Latinos.

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12:30 pm - 1:00 pm


1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Beyond Cinco De Mayo: The Importance of Culture In Curriculum

Dr. Nolan Cabrera, Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies and Practice, University of Arizona School of Education

Mr. Cabrera has spent years researching and working in the areas of race, ethnicity and education. Having previously been involved in the controversy surrounding Mexican American Studies at Tucson USD, Mr. Cabrera has insights from that experience as well as research to share that demonstrates the positive impact cultural studies can have on academics overall.

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1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Latino Representation and Engagement: Why It Matters and How to Achieve It.

Angela Florez, Chief Development Officer and former Director of Leadership Development, Valle del Sol

Ms. Florez has extensive experience promoting Latino representation, engagement and leadership. In this session she will outline some of the structures that hinder engagement efforts as well as strategies for building a more welcoming system.

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2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Latino Civic Engagement: Research and Lessons Learned From the Field

Dorian Caal, Director of Civic Engagement Research, National Association of Latino Elected/Appointed Officials (NALEO)Education Fund

NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. NALEO Educational Fund also works to build and support the capacity of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in the U.S. through information and resources on issues important to Latinos. NALEO Educational Fund was instrumental in the 2020 Census, working to get information out about the census and encouraging Latino participation. Mr. Caal has collected and analyze data from recent engagement efforts and will share some of the lessons learned in engaging a diverse Latino population.

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3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Where Do We Go From Here: What Boards Can and Should Do to Support Latinx Students

Eva Carrillo Dong, HNAIC President & Sunnyside USD Board Member; Devin Del Palacio, HNAIC Vice President-Hispanic & Tolleson UHSD Board Member; Monica Trejo, ASBA President-Elect & Tempe ESD Board Member; Tadeo De La Hoya, ASBA Yuma County Director & Gadsden ESD Board Member

Hear from several Latino board members as they discuss actions boards and individual board members can take to create more welcoming spaces for Latinos in their community.

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3:00 pm - 3:45 pm

Closing and Prize Drawing


Equity Event – Apr. 22

8:30 am - 9:50 am

Opening Session with Keynote Calvin Terrell

Evolutionary Education for Global Readiness: An Equitable Path to Justice for All
In Calvin’s opening keynote, he will address the need for school boards to take proactive approaches to equity. Via sharing of real life scenarios and effective approaches from districts he has worked with across the country.

10:00 am - 10:50 am

Breakout Sessions: Round 1 (choose from 2 sessions)

  • Breakout: Defining Equity 101- Getting Started: Making the Connection: Educational Equity and the Essential Work of Boards
    Equity has become increasing central to any conversation having to do with education and student outcomes. In this session we will discuss what educational equity is and the unique and powerful role boards play in promoting it in their district.

    Speakers: Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs, Esq. Chief Transformation Officer, National School Boards Association (NSBA) and Tracey Benson, Associate Executive Director, Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA)
  • Breakout: Defining Equity 201- Digging Deeper: From Boardroom to Classroom: How to Communicate Equity Throughout Your System
    Equity work does not live in the boardroom or even in the district office. Equity is a system change so it is important that we communicate this change throughout the entire system. In this session you will hear examples of how this work can be communicated to all stakeholders.

    Speakers: Heidi Otero, Director of Communications, Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) and Adriana Parsons, Director of Communications, Glendale ESD

11:00 am - 11:50 am

Breakout Sessions: Round 2 (choose from 2 sessions)

  • Breakout: Dig Into Data 101-Getting Started: Stories Our Data Tells: What They Are and How to Use Them
    When you think of the word "data" you often think about numbers but did you know those numbers tell a story? That story can evolve and become more detailed depending on how you look at the numbers. In this session you will learn how data can be used to identify disparities and opportunities in your district.

    Speakers: Dr. Anabel Aportela, Director of Research, Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO)/ Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA)
  • Breakout: Dig Into Data 201-Digging Deeper: Lived Experiences: Bringing Data to Life
    Data can give us a snapshot of who we are as a district by way of demographics and where we are as a district in terms of outcomes. However, these numbers are just a starting point for understanding. Increased understanding comes with context and context comes when we begin to talk with the individual those numbers represent. Learn how one district provides context to data in order to better server their community.

    Speakers:Steve Holmes, Superintendent, Sunnyside USD

11:50 am - 12:20 pm


12:20 pm - 12:50 pm

General Session: Candid Conversations About Race

Featuring board members from Baboquivari USD, Casa Grande ESD, Cedar USD, Florence USD, Globe USD, Roosevelt ESD, Sunnyside USD, Tempe UHSD and Tucson USD

Listen in as pairs of board members have candid conversation about their personal experiences with race and culture. Plus, The Launch of ASBA's New Book Study on "So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo

12:50 pm - 1:50 pm

General Session: Keynote Dr. Jennifer Harvey

Professor, Drake University and Author of "Raising White Kids"

Disrupting Silence in All the White Places
From families, through communities, among neighbors and even friends, so many white U.S.-Americans have inherited and participated in legacies of communal silence about race and racism. White people have been taught to both buy into so-called “colorblindness” and to tolerate interpersonal and structural expressions of racism in order to avoid conflict. This is a potent combination, the long-term effects of which have shaped white people deeply in ways that impeded their/our meaningful participation in the multi-racial project of equity and inclusion—even when they/we want to. We’ll talk about white silence, as well as ongoing strategies and habits for disrupting it; this is vital to growing stronger multi-racial coalitions, but also to bequeathing to the next generation of white people a different way of being shaped and formed.

2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Breakout Sessions: Round 3 (choose from 2 sessions)

  • Breakout: Practice Cultural AHA 101- Getting Started: The ABCs of Equity: Anti-Racism to Xenophobia
    Like education, equity work comes with a lot of terms and acronyms that may be unfamiliar to us. This session provides an overview of many of the words and concepts that are relevant to the communities we serve and are likely to come up when discussing equity with diverse communities.

    Speakers: Devin Del Palacio, President, Tolleson UHSD Governing Board and Julie Bacon, Board Support Specialist, Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) and Board Member, Paradise Valley USD
  • Breakout: Practice Cultural AHA 101- Digging Deeper: Can You Hear Me Now? The Difference Between Involvement and Engagement
    If we really seek to build working relationships with the communities we serve, we must strive for engagement rather than inclusion. Unfortunately, many well meaning districts default to inclusion. In this session we will discuss the difference between the two approaches and give suggestions for how to build engagement with your community.

    Speakers:Nikkie Whaley, Board Support Specialist, Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) and Board Member, Washington ESD

2:50 pm - 3:00 pm

Closing and Prize Drawing

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm

Bonus Session: Q & A With Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey

Question and Answer with Keynote Jennifer Harvey with chances to win a copy of her best-selling book Raising White Kids!

Equity Event - Apr. 23

8:00 am - 9:30 am

Bonus Session: Workshop with Keynote Calvin Terrell (Sponsored by the ASBA Black Alliance)

Calvin Terrell, Founder & Lead Facilitator, Social Centric Institute

Continuing the conversation from his keynote, Calvin will engage participants to be agents of evolutionary education, not “schooling." The days of reacting to a racial incident or tense issues around identity due to passive “business as usual approaches” are “old school.” Calvin will masterfully share how school boards can establish a culture of justice for all by addressing social challenges proactively in order to invite all colors of people to build educational environments that prepare scholars of any / all backgrounds to thrive in anywhere on the planet; this is global readiness. Sponsored by the ASBA Black Alliance

9:40 am - 10:50 am

Opening Session with Keynote Bill De La Cruz

Stronger Together: Strengthening Practices for Equitable Outcomes In this Session , Mr. De La Cruz will discuss how boards can use bias awareness and relational leadership practices to create systems of belonging and inclusion.

11:00 am - 11:50 am

Breakout Sessions: Round 4 (choose from 2 sessions)

  • Breakout: Embedding Equity System-Wide 101- Getting Started: Making Equity Part of Your Strategic Plan: The Importance of Goal Setting: A strategic plan is essential when it comes to outlining your priorities and establishing your goals. Without strategic goals, the entire system struggles, collectively, to meet the target. If equity is a priority for your district, how do you ensure you hit your mark? Hear how one district has worked to embed equity by establishing goals and metrics of success.

    Speakers: Dr. Michael Garcia, Director of Opportunity & Achievement, Mesa Public Schools; Lisa McCray Cannon, Principal/ Equity Task Force Co-Chair, Mesa Public Schools; Patrick Bass, Student Activities Assistant Principal/ Equity Task Force Co-Chair, Mesa Public Schools.
  • Breakout: Embedding Equity System-Wide 201-- Digging Deeper: Growing in Equity: The Importance of Professional Development Growing in Equity: The Importance of Professional Development: Professional development has long be thought of as an "extra". When we do offer professional development, it tends to be on "hard skills" or the nuts and bolts of the job and not on "soft skills" which focus on relationships and attitudes. However, when it comes to equity, these soft skills are essential to creating more equitable environments. Learn how one district has prioritized professional development around equity and the results that have followed.

    Speakers: Dr. Jen Cruz, Superintendent, Prendergast ESD

11:55 am - 12:45 pm

Breakout Sessions: Round 5 (choose from 2 sessions)

  • Breakout: Demonstrating Commitment 101-Getting Started: What Does Accountability Look Like when It Comes to Equity?
    Whether you are just getting started on your journey or you are years into the process, demonstrating your commitment to equity is a necessary component of this work. Creating opportunities to assess progress, gather feedback, report outcomes and communicate next steps is key to building accountability and trust. Hear how one district has worked to build ongoing dialogue into their structures as a way to demonstrated their commitment to equity.

    Speakers: Larry Rother, Senior Executive Director, PreK-12 Educational Services, Chandler USD; Dr. Adama Sallu, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Chandler USD
  • Breakout: Demonstrating Commitment 201-Digging Deeper: Accountability Starts at the Top: Equity and Your Superintendent Evaluation:
    The evaluation of the superintendent is one on the most important tasks the board is called to do. We are responsible for holding the superintendent accountable for the commitments we make as a district. Equity is one of these commitments. How can boards adjust their superintendent evaluation tool to demonstrate commitment to an equitable education system? Join us as we welcome two superintendents and two board presidents who will share how this is done in their districts.

    Speakers: Dr. Joetta Gonzales. Superintendent, Casa Grande ESD and Member of the ASA/ ASBA Superintendent Evaluation Committee; Gilbert Mendez, President, CGESD Governing Board; Dr. Jim Lee, Acting Superintendent, Paradise Valley USD: Anne Greenberg, President PVUSD Governing Board

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm

Closing and Prize Drawing

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm


1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Bonus Session: Workshop with Keynote Bill De La Cruz (Sponsored by the ASBA Hispanic Native American Indian Caucus)

Normalizing the Bias Conversation In this session you will learn skills to talk about biases and practices that support a sustainable culture of belonging and inclusion. Sponsored by the ASBA Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus

Additional Information


Virtual Event

Event Registration

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