The National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) annual conference has been called the “gold standard” by one educational leader, and this year’s conference was no exception! On April 27-29, more than 375 educators from across the country convened in Baltimore to network, share best practices, and learn from each other at NPEA’s 8th annual conference, Connecting the Dots: Engaging Communities to Support Educational Access and Success. Attendees from organizations and schools focused on increasing educational access and success for underrepresented students had the opportunity to choose from 40 workshop sessions, learn about some of the latest trends and research in the field from seasoned practitioners and leading researchers, and network with other organizations and schools.
This year’s NPEA conference keynotes included: Dr. Shaun Harper, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, and an expert on black and Latino male student achievement; Dr. Karen Mapp, Senior Lecturer on Education, Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a well-known and highly-respected researcher on family and community engagement; and Liz Murray, author of Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard.
NPEA kicked off the conference with a surprise visit from former NPEA keynote speaker and Baltimore youth advocate Wes Moore. Co-producer of an upcoming PBS documentary (along with his mother, Joy Moore), Wes participated in the screening of All the Difference and answered questions about the film.
(all photos by Danielle Visco, Luv Lens)
- NPEA released the Summary of Initial Findings for the NPEA Data Counts project and held two workshop panels featuring the project consultant and NPEA members who submitted their organization’s data
- LINK Unlimited Scholars won the NPEA 2016 Award for Excellence in Educational Access, sponsored by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, in recognition of their success in making a difference in the lives of underrepresented students
- NPEA awarded two 529 College Savings Plan Scholarship Awards to middle school and high school students from NPEA members KIPP Endeavor Academy and Rainier Scholars
- 22 individuals attended the conference on fee waivers made possible by 3 generous sponsors: Baltimore Community Foundation, College Board, and Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
- Based on the initial evaluation results, 95% indicated they found the conference overall to be valuable or very valuable
- Nearly 40 individuals traveled to the conference from the Houston Independent School District
- More than 100 individuals representing a range of backgrounds and roles at organizations and schools across the country participated as workshop presenters
- Conference planning committee members and NPEA members helped to fill more than 100 volunteer roles throughout the conference to support NPEA Staff and Interns in ensuring everything runs smoothly.
- More than 20 gallons of coffee were consumed by attendees, staff, and volunteers!
Next year, NPEA will celebrate its 10th anniversary and its 9th annual conference in Boston, MA on April 5-7, 2017. Please mark your calendars and be sure to visit NPEA online to learn more about the conference in the coming months.