Sonoma County Office of Education

Leadership Initiatives

Equity at the Core

CoreThe second annual Equity at the Core Conference is designed to continue a county-wide conversation about one of the most pressing issues in education today: Equity. In an effort to ensure that all Sonoma County students have the access and opportunity to develop to their full potential, SCOE is offering this conference as part of a long-term commitment to addressing this issue in our schools and districts. SCOE's goal for attendees is to leave the conference inspired by exposure to schools that are experiencing success with historically underserved students and empowered to take up an equity challenge of their own.

Event Details

When: November 1, 2016 | 8:00am-3:00pm
Location: Flamingo Conference Center, 2777 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Cost: $50 per person
Registration: Click Here
Questions: Karen McGahey, (707) 522-3330,

Keynote Speakers

Melba BealsMelba Beals: Dr. Melba Beals’ life is defined by her commitment to equality and determination to see that all voices of humanity are heard. She holds this country’s highest honor for bravery; The Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. It was awarded by a vote of the U.S. Congress to commend her for risking her life to achieve equality in education. Along with eight other African American Teenagers, she helped to integrate Central High School, Little Rock Arkansas in 1957. Dr. Beals holds more than 100 awards for courage and recognition of her work in achieving civil rights. In 2006, The United States Post Office issued a stamp in honor of the nine, while at the same time a life-sized statue was erected on the lawn of the Arkansas state capitol. This same year the US mint also issued a silver coin in honor of the Nine.

KinseyBernard Kinsey: Bernard Kinsey is a successful businessman and co-owner of the Kinsey Collection art exhibit. The Kinsey Collection is considered one of the premier collections of African American History and Art and has traveled to 21 cities and was on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History where over 2.5 million people have seen it. In March 2013, Walt Disney World Resort at Epcot opened “Rediscovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection “ where over twenty million people from all over the world will experience the exhibit a celebration of African American Achievement & Accomplishments.

Presenter Materials

Materials for each session will be placed here as they become available.

Dr. Melba Beals—Keynote |

National Equity Project—Breakout |

Story Project—Breakout | Informational Flier

Jessica Progulske—Restorative Culture | Packet

Kellie Noe, Leah Murphy, Angie Dillon-Shore—Panel on Preschool as Equity Issue |

Positive Images—LGBTQ Issues | Packet

Story Project—Breakout | Informational Flier

Michele Cortez, Aspire Charter School—Breakout | Packet

Jessica Progulske—Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) | Packet

HolLynn D'Lil—Americans with Disabilities | Website

Bernard Kinsey—Keynote |

A Long-term Commitment: Related Initiatives

The conference is just part of a long-term commitment to addressing equity in Sonoma County schools and communities. The county Office of Education is also organizing trips to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angelesin 2016-17 for any Sonoma County educators who wish to attend. As well, the Sonoma Leadership Network, a group of school leaders from around the county coordinated by Office of Education’s Educational Support Services department, has made Equity at the Core the subject of its work for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.

Prior Events

Equity at the Core: February 9-10, 2016

This first-ever conference, for educators and community members alike, drew more than 200 participants and focused on developing and implementing best practices to eliminate gaps in achievement and improve access for students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In an effort to respond to the Portrait of Sonoma County, commissioned by the Board of Supervisors in 2014, the conference hosted a variety of workshops on the second day that highlighted local and regional organizations and agencies that are already engaged in the work of equity in our communities and schools. SCOE's goal was for attendees to leave the conference having been challenged to commit to the courageous work of addressing equity issues in our schools and communities and with the knowledge that they have resources to support this work.

Event Resources

Portrait of Sonoma Portrait of Sonoma
Event Agenda
Empathy Prompts
Participant Survey

Presenter Materials

Jeff Duncan Andrade | Presentation Slides
Shawn Ginwright | Presentation Slides
Francisco Reveles | Presentation Slides
Zaretta Hammond | Presentation Slides
Phyllis Rosenfield (LfaC) | Overview of Listening for a Change
Listening for a Change (LfaC) | Restorative Practice Sheet
Brian Farragher | Presentation Slides
Stephen Jackson | Integrated Instruction Materials

Other Resources


"An old saying goes, 'We do better when we all do better.' If schools and community agencies in Sonoma County were to embrace this notion, it would demand the acknowledgment that we have much work to do to improve educational outcomes and secure bright futures for all of our students."
—This is an excerpt from a commentary on equity in our schools by SCOE's Director of Leadership Development Karen McGahey. Get inspired by reading this call to action.


Karen McGahey, SCOE Director, Leadership Development | (707) 522-3330,