The Equity Event, in its seventh year, is drawing members of the Arizona School Board Association from across the state. The Equity Event’s keynote speakers include Calvin Terrell, Dr. Jennifer Harvey, and Bill de la Cruz.
As the primary source for policies adopted by public school governing boards across the state, the Arizona School Board Association’s (ASBA) influence is incalculable. Its role in the development of policies addressing issues ranging from dress codes to superintendent hiring protocols was not commonly known until recently.
Its promotion of Critical Race Theory-based curriculum has raised awareness and eyebrows among school board members of late. Conservative school board members say The Equity Event is just one of the many opportunities for their colleagues to absorb the Grievance Studies narratives which are then pushed out through curriculum adoption to K-12 students.
The Association says on its website that The Equity Event is more important than ever before. “The heightened local, state and national dialogue around racial equity compels us as leaders to look at race more deeply. At this year’s The 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.”
The Equity Event
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)!
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
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)!
As part of “moving forward,” attendees will hear from Dr. Nolan Cabrera. Cabrera is best known for his shoddy work on the effectiveness of Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies classes. Cabrera was roundly criticized, and his work was debunked. Still, his work was used to gin up outrage.
Cabrera, who appears to have a knack for ginning up outrage based on lies, appeared in the public spotlight once again in 2019. In that case, he was part of the group defending students who stalked and harassed Border Patrol agents visiting campus during a career fair. The students claimed the agents’ presence was threatening. Despite the fact that video footage clearly showed the Border Patrol agents acting professionally, Cabrera’s group attacked University of Arizona President Dr. Robert Robbins, telling him he “needed lessons in White Supremacy.”
DID YOU KNOW?
In December 2020, the Litchfield School District governing board adopted an “Equity Statement” in which they proclaim that the District “subscribes to author Ibram X. Kendi’s definition: “One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in between safe space of “not racist.”
It is unclear just what new information The Equity Event will provide to school boards members, or if more training is actually needed to ensure it fills every nook and cranny in our school system. Critical Race Theory-based curriculum and its racist “anti-racist” theology has already been adopted by many schools across the state.
According to the ASBA website, the “Arizona School Boards Association is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides training, leadership and essential services to public school governing boards statewide.” Training should include areas such as education statutes, school finance, Open Meeting Law and public records. Leadership as in the roles, responsibilities and governance as an elected official. Its essential services include crafting policy language and executive search services. While it “advocates” for legislation and regulation,” critics say pushing a curricula agenda upon elected governing board representatives is a bridge too far – especially when this “private, non-profit is funded by taxpayer dollars.