Radical Professional Development

Radical Professional Development, or RadPD, began at the 2011 FMFP conference and was organized this year by Bree Picower, Carolina Valdez, Liza Gesuden, and Nuhu Sims. The goal of Rad PD is to provide educators with a space to sharpen their political clarity and add tools to their repertoire to take action for educational justice.

The remainder of this page includes information about the theme of this year’s RadPD, as well as more information on the sessions offered.

Please note that Rad PD requires a separate $30 registration, separate from the main conference. You can register and pay the fee on-site on Thursday, via cash, check, or credit card.

2019 Rad PD Location

The 2019 Rad PD will be held at Creative Arts Secondary School, in Downtown Saint Paul. Rooms for specific sessions will be assigned the day of the event.

Creative Arts Secondary School
65 Kellogg Boulevard East
Saint Paul, MN 55101

2019 Theme: Confronting the Oppressor from the Inside Out

RadPD 2019 highlights the efforts of educators across the country to teach from spaces of resistance in order to thrive and survive in our current political climate.  Through interactive workshops, attendees will examine issues facing K-12 students, educators and communities. Participants will have the opportunity to grow and build with educators across geographic regions and grade levels in order to develop specific skills to take back to their local areas.

This year’s RadPD theme is “Confronting the Oppressor from the Inside Out.”  Our first round of workshops will look at how we as educators have internalized oppression based on our identities. There will be workshops on whiteness, toxic masculinity, classism, internalized racism, heteronormativity among others. The 2nd round of workshops focuses on taking action.  Workshop topics include healing and trauma, critical curriculum, collective activism etc. The $30 fee for RadPD includes a free copy of the 2019-2020 edition of Planning to Change the World: A Lesson Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers, published by the Education for Liberation Network.

2019 Rad PD Sessions:

Black Appetite. White Food.
Jamila Lyiscott, Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Lyiscott's new book, Black Appetite. White Food. is rooted in the tension of excellence and erasure. Of access and assimilation. Of classrooms that too often demand that Black and Brown students shed their magic at the threshold of schooling in order to be palatable to whiteness. This talk will address what it looks like to fight against the trauma of internalized racial oppression in a world that is steeped in the logic of white supremacy.
Growing Roses in Concrete: Teaching & Healing with our K-3 Babies
Marylin Zuniga and Emily Angulo, 3rd Grade Teachers at Roses in Concrete Community School
In this workshop Emily and Marylin will use Dr. Bree Picower's 6 Elements of Social Justice Framework to provide real life examples of pedagogy and student work. They will share routines & rituals that allow them to center the healing of K-3 learners and how they are able to lead with heart and soul in this sacred work.
Teaching for Liberation or Privilege? Examining Gatekeeper Culture From Within: A Workshop for POC Educators and Families
Akiea Gross, Progressive Educator, Founder, Equitable Schools, Inc., Creator Black Teachers Matter
Through examining racial disparities in school climate and culture, participants will share and reflect on their own personalized experiences with internalized racism and classism, identify how these internalized oppressive ideals directly and indirectly impact the educational experiences of Black and Brown students, and work collaboratively to dismantle oppressive gatekeeper culture by developing actionable ways to improve intra-community accountability.
Deconstructing classrooms: Youth Participatory Action Research as a process of radical space-making, empowerment, and imagination
Ryan Oto, Teacher at Brooklyn Center Community Schools and PhD student at University of Minnesota
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the impact of a youth action research project alongside two youth researchers of color and adult advocate. We argue for an expansion of education beyond the classroom to empower youths’ civic engagement and affirm their humanity. This process demands sharing power, a critical aspect of combating oppression in schooling spaces. We will explore how this power-sharing offers an opportunity for honest conversations about the role identity plays in the politics of our world.
#SmashThePatriarchyOnThePlayGround or Smashing The Patriarchy On the Playground
Amreen Karmali, The RealTalk Project
We will take a look at how patriarchy is institutionalized in our schooling systems, reflect on ways we have internalized it, and figure out ways to not only stop doing the same old same old, but create a new framework. Using gallery walks, reflection time, group conversations, media and role playing this workshop will be a combination of really real tough conversations with fun sillies and take-aways you can use in your classroom and life in general.
Radical Healing
Farima Pour-Khorshid, PhD, University of San Francisco; Christina "V" Villarreal, PhD, Director of the Teacher Education Program & Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Efforts to promote personal and collective liberation require a self-conscious process that allow individuals to challenge personal and structural barriers by drawing upon the strengths of one’s history, relationships and cultural connection. This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about and actively engage in activities based on the Radical Healing framework’s five principles: Culture, Identity, Agency, Relationships, Meaning, and Aspirations (Ginwright, 2015). Activities will integrate issues of power, history, identity and collective agency as personal, educational and political strategies toward healing from intersecting forms of oppression and building healthy outcomes for youth and adult allies alike.
This is what an antiracist school would look like. How do we get there?
Rosie Frascella, New York Collective of Radical Educators; Ashia Troiano, New York Collective of Radical Educators
In a perfect world, an anti-racist curriculum would be at the heart of our school culture and practices. But our world - and our schools - are far from perfect. So how do we hold ourselves accountable to teaching resistance and anti-racism while being expected to implement a white supremacist pedagogy? In this workshop, which is inspired by Ibram X. Kendi's "Antiracism and America" series with The Guardian, we will explore concrete actions we can take to implement an anti-racist curriculum in our classrooms and push for radical change at the state and local levels. This workshop will be an opportunity for a multiracial group of educators to engage in deep discussion and problem-solving so that we can build a united front and “confront the oppressor from the inside out.”
Restorative Practices in Schools
Virak Saroeun, People's Education Movement, Richmond Cal Prep
This workshop will provide participants with a broad overview of a Restorative Practices framework. It will specifically highlight the successes and challenges of how a public charter school in Richmond, CA implements the Restorative Practices model adapted from IIRP (International Institute of Restorative Practices). We will also participate in activities that explore the social discipline window, compass of shame, and restorative circles.
Building Community: People's Education Movement
Carolina Valdez, California State University, Fullerton; Patrick Camangian, University of San Francisco; David Stovall, University of Illinois at Chicago
Drawing on our work as organizers in People’s Education Movement in Los Angeles, the SF Bay Area, and Chicago, we will facilitate activities for workshop participants to identify and address student, teacher, and community concerns in their local context. This workshop will help participants discuss ways they can collectivize their agency to create cultural, policy, and/or programmatic change; 2) maintain and and wellness when addressing the socially toxic stress of schooling; and 3) leverage their relationships and resources to effectively serve the academic and holistic needs of students, communities, and educators.
Embracing Basic Principles of Equity Literacy in Ourselves and Our Work
Paul Gorski, Founder, Equity Literacy Institute
Common approaches to equity and justice focus on trendy practical strategies. In reality, no social justice movement is sustainable if not grounded in transformative justice-based principles and values. In this interactive workshop we will explore six such principles and values, each calling on us to shift our own beliefs and lenses in order to shift our practice. For example, we will discuss the "Fix Injustice, Not Kids" principle, challenging us to let go of deficit views, and the “Prioritization Principle,” challenging us to shift from an equality approach to actively prioritizing the interests of students who are marginalized school.