He is Me Staff Attend the 2022 Education Summit in Orlando

He is Me staff recently joined educators from across the country for three days of presentations, workshops, and networking focused on the future of education during a time when student attendance rates are lower than ever, and teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate.

He is Me Institute was well represented at the recent Pegasus Education Summit 2022 in Orlando, FL. Founder and CEO Robert Hendricks attended, along with Chief Impact Officer Janelle Engerman, Chief Operations Officer Tomica MacDonald, and Fellowship Program Director Joanathan Long.

CEO Robert Hendricks and Chief Impact Officer Janelle Engerman

The conference sponsor, Pegasus Springs Education Collective, is a national collaborative of educators, students, parents, and school communities, based in the Boston area. Its mission is to transform education to more equitably engage all students in learning and to better align education with 21st century expectations of today’s students and educators.

Conference attendees heard from leading experts on student-centered instruction, education equity, culturally responsive education, teacher leadership, family engagement, social emotional learning and other topics critical in today’s education space. Coming together for three days in Orlando to participate in workshops, networking and other activities renewed spirits and that attendees dedication the future of education!  

Several acclaimed authors and educators were keynote speakers, including Dr. Gouldy Muhammed, associate professor at Georgia State University in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education. Her book,  Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy, presents a framework for equity that she calls Historically Responsive Literacy. It relies on:      

  1. Identity Development—to help youth make sense of themselves and others, 
  2. Skill Development—to develop proficiencies across the academic disciplines, 
  3. Intellectual Development—gaining knowledge and becoming smarter,
  4. Criticality—learn and develop ability to read texts (including print and social contexts) to understand power, equity, and anti-oppression, and 
  5. Joy–helping youth to see the joy in themselves and others. 

Dr. Muhammed’s work is derived from her study of literacy development within 19th-century Black literacy societies and her experience as a middle school teacher in Illinois.     

HIM’s Janelle Engerman & Dr. Gouldy Muhammed

While Dr. Muhammed and other keynote speakers delivered instructive and inspiring messages, one keynote speaker’s message on the first night was widely perceived to have a racist tone–to the point that many stood up and left in the middle of his speech, and he was asked to stop speaking. In response,  He is Me’s CEO Robert Hendricks agreed to facilitate a session the next morning entitled Processing Racial Harm to provide a structured space for folks to reflect and begin to process the previous night.   

There was time in Orlando to visit with some other well-known figures, too.  

L to R:  Mickey, Tomica MacDonald, Jonathan Long, Janelle Engerman, Minnie

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