Quality Leadership Matters Blog


2016 Keynotes

August 27th, 2016 by


UCEA is excited to announce our 2016 Keynotes! 



General Session I: Opening General Session featuring Dr. Tonya Allen

5:40-7:00 PM Thursday, 11/17/16 in the Columbus Ballroom at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

The Opening General Session will feature Dr. Tonya Allen. A serial “idea-preneur,” Allen serves as The Skillman Foundation’s president and chief executive officer. Her two decade career has centered on pursuing, executing and investing in ideas that improve her hometown of Detroit and reduce the plight of underserved people, especially children. Allen has been instrumental in many successful philanthropic, government and community initiatives and has a comprehensive understanding of philanthropic governance and strategy. In her current role, Allen aligns the complexities of education reform, urban revitalization and public policy, so that these sometimes divergent areas of work come together to improve the well-being of Detroit’s children. She serves as the architect of the 10-year, $100 million Good Neighborhoods program. She orchestrated the development of a $200-million, citywide education reform organization called Excellent Schools Detroit, and a high-school improvement strategy has resulted in 15 new college-preparatory high schools.

– Learn more here

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General Session III: Mitstifer Lecture Featuring Dr. Geoffrey Canada
1:40 PM-2:50 PM Friday, 11/18/16 in the Columbus Ballroom at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

The General Session Mitstifer Lecture will feature Geoffrey Canada. In his 25-plus years with the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), Geoffrey Canada has become recognized internationally for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform. President Barack Obama called HCZ “an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck, anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children,” and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called Mr. Canada “an extraordinary innovator and one of my heroes.” Canada grew up in the South Bronx in a poor, sometimes-violent neighborhood. Canada received a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in education from the Harvard School of Education. After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Canada decided to work to help children who, like himself, were disadvantaged by their lives in poor, embattled neighborhoods. Geoffrey Canada has received countelss honors for his years of work advocating for children and families in some of America’s most-devastated communities. Author Jonathan Kozol called Mr. Canada, “One of the few authentic heroes of New York and one of the best friends children have, or ever will have, in our nation.”

 – Learn more here

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General Session IV: UCEA Presidential Address featuring Dr. Mónica Byrne-Jiménez

9:20 AM-10:50 AM, Saturday 11/19/16 in the Columbus Ballroom at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

The UCEA Presidential Address by Mónica Byrne-Jiménez is titled “Leading in Dangerous Times: Leadership as an Act of Love.” Dr. Byrne-Jiménez is an associate professor in Educational and Policy Leadership at Hofstra University. Currently, Dr. Byrne-Jiménez is the president of UCEA and will address the consortium during the national convention in November in Detroit, Michigan. Before joining the faculty ranks, she worked in a number of urban settings, including as a K-6 bilingual teacher, coordinator, literacy instructional specialist, and trainer for the Accelerated Schools Project. Her research focuses on Latina/o identity and school leadership, the role of faculty diversity on doctoral student experiences, and effectiveness of a special education leader preparation program. Given her practitioner and research abilities, Dr. Byrne-Jiménez is coauthor of Developing Effective Principals Through Collaborative Inquiry (Teachers College Press) and has numerous publications in both research and practitioner journals. Dr. Byrne-Jiménez earned a BA in Latin American Studies/Sociology from Columbia University, an MA in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan, and an EdD in Education Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.

 – Learn more here


 General Session V: EdTalk 

The Fight for Equity, Dignity, & Public Education in Detroit: Front Line Perspectives

4:40 PM-6:10 PM, Saturday 11/19/16 in the Columbus Ballroom at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

The city of Detroit and its public schools have been deeply impacted by emergency management, massive school closures, the proliferation of charter schools, the brink of bankruptcy, and a host of neoliberal policies that have destabilized Black schools and neighborhoods in the city. Yet, despite this complex context and mainstream narratives that portray Detroit as a city of despair, Detroit is a place where advocates continue to resist and fight for equity, dignity, and public education for children. This session will engage in rich and interactive dialogue with various stakeholders engaged in advocacy work “on the ground” to right educational wrongs in Detroit.

– Learn more here

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