Panel Speaker and Breakout Presenter Information

Dr. Sandra McGee will be a member of our guest panel and is also leading a breakout session on eliminating bias in social work and law enforcement relations.

Sandra L. McGee, PhD, LMSW is an Assistant Clinical Professor with the University Of Iowa School Of Social Work where she teaches a variety of coursework for both BASW and MSW students, advises students, and administers the field placement program for Des Moines BASW students.  Sandra is part of a university-wide leadership team trained in the National Coalition SandraMcGee.jpgBuilding Institute (NCBI) model of diversity. NCBI works through a coalition-building model to provide inclusion and equity while eliminating all forms of prejudice. Sandra was instrumental in creating Enhancing Relationships Forums: People and Law Enforcement Moving Change Forward. These forums focus on enhancing the relationship between law enforcement and/or other service provision entities and the African American community.  Sandra has expertise in trauma as it relates to individuals victimized by violent crime and the resilience of African American women experiencing the education system. She is the recipient of several awards including 2013 NASW Iowa Social Worker of the Year and the 2013 Dr. James Derham Health Practitioner of the Year Award.

Teresa Hobson will be presenting with Dr. Sandra McGee.

Teresa Hobson is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work degree at Widener University and earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Upper Iowa University.  Teresa is an unnamedenthusiastic and talented professional with a passion for helping individuals attain their personal and professional dreams. Whether it is in the professional realm or her work in the community, her mission is to equip others with the assets they need to write their success story.  In the professional arena, Teresa has put her 15 years of human resources experience to good use partnering with institutions and organizations such as Valley High School, Perry School District, Des Moines Area Community College, Evelyn Davis Center for Working Families, and Camp Dodge to provide mock interviews, resume writing and career development sessions to students, job seekers and transitioning soldiers.  Teresa has served in an administrative capacity to two different social services agencies – one a small niche agency and one an agency that served over fifteen cities in Iowa – aiding leadership in building the foundation of their organizations as well as their learning and career development pathways in order to enhance their services to their clients.

Teresa is equally committed to providing her community with the right “tools for their tool belts” so they can achieve success.  She currently serves as a facilitator and committee member of the Enhancing Relationship Forums which is the brain child of Dr. Sandra McGee, a professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work.  These forums allow community members to come together for the purpose of building and repairing relationships with the societal institutions that they interact with daily. These forums are inclusive, intergenerational, and are meant to enhance the well-being of the community. These forums have brought together the African American community and societal institutions such as The Department of Human Services, Des Moines Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Teresa is a member of the board of directors’ for LifeServe Blood Center as well as the Young Women’s Resource Center. She is a Community Representative for the Youth Justice Initiative Restorative Justice Circles and she volunteers with a youth program for young women and men ages 12-18 years of age organized by local chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Sorority.  In addition to her community activities, Teresa is active in her church – she is a member of the Voter’s Registration and Veteran’s and Fallen Soldiers Ministries at Corinthian Baptist Church.

Dr. Ain Grooms will be a member of our guest panel and will also bain-groomse leading a breakout session on eliminating bias in the field of education.

Ain Grooms is an Assistant Professor in the University of Iowa’s Educational Leadership Program. Her research focuses on educational policy, access and opportunity, school choice, and racial and residential segregation.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Iowa, she was a policy analyst with the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta, GA, served as the college advisor at a youth leadership and development program in East Harlem, New York City, and was one of the founding administrators of a college preparatory charter high school in Boston, MA

Description of her presentation:

While equal educational opportunity manifests in various ways in districts throughout the nation, most scholars agree that equal educational opportunity considers inputs and outputs as related to students’ schooling experiences. Inputs, for example, might refer to teacher quality, curricular options, and student assignment patterns, whereas outputs might refer to college attendance and job attainment by recent graduates. One reason the debate concerning equal educational opportunity continues is that “equal educational opportunity” can not be standardized, and the phrase varies depending on who receives which inputs. Oftentimes students who are of a higher socio-economic status receive “better” educational opportunities than students from lower socio-economic status. That same claim manifests along racial lines, meaning, White students are often afforded “better” educational opportunities than their non-White peers in U.S. public schools. Galster and Killen (1995) contend that geography is not typically included in the definition of “equal educational opportunity,” and further argue that inequalities based on geographic location can affect individual opportunities.  Thus, rural places, and especially Black students in rural places, are more routinely affected by place stratification.

The purpose of this research is to examine how school leaders in the rural U.S. South allocate Title I dollars in their schools. More specifically, this proposal will juxtapose the allocation of Title I dollars against the academic achievement of Black students enrolled in segregated schools in the rural South. The ultimate purpose of this proposal is to contribute to the literature on resource allocation, placism, and race as these concepts relate to the academic achievement of Black students in rural contexts.

Dave Kuker will be a member of our guest panel and is also leading a breakout session on eliminating racial bias in juvenile court.

Dave Kuker iphoto-dave-1s an Executive Officer for the Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning, Department of Human Rights.  He has been involved in various capacities in juvenile justice issues (grants administration, staff to committees, research, program and policy development, compliance monitoring of secure juvenile facilities, etc.) for 25 years.  He is the lead staff for Iowa’s Disproportionate Minority
Confinement Subcommittee; a sub-Committee of Iowa’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Council.  He also staffed Iowa’s Community and Strategic Planning initiative, an effort to develop state and local strategies to reduce disproportionate minority contact.  Dave has a BA from the University of Northern Iowa.

Sarah Bruch will be a member of our guest panel.

Sarah K. Bruch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Directorbruch_sarah_headshot_72dpi of the Social and Education Policy Research Program at the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on social inequality broadly, focusing on educational, racial and citizenship inequalities in particular. She is also the principle investigator leading a research-practice partnership with the Iowa City Community School District. Using a research-practice model, this partnership leverages social science and education policy research and practitioner knowledge to more effectively address persistent problems of policy and practice and improve students’ educational opportunities and outcomes. The partnership provides a structure for long-term collaboration and provides an avenue to develop a research agenda together so that the questions asked are of direct interest to district decision-makers.

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Introducing the Spring Conference Keynote: Jane Elliott

 The Johnson County Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee is thrilled to announce that Jane Elliott will be the keynote speaker for our spring conference: Accomplices in Eliminating Racial Bias.

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In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s  Jane Elliott gained national attention for a classroom experiment she conducted with her 3rd grade students in Riceville, Iowa.  This experiment inspired several books and documentaries, and is still referenced and taught today.
Her experiment, a simple lesson is discrimination, power, and privilege, forces people to experience a hint of what it is like to belong to a marginalized group in society. The experiment labels blue-eyed individuals as superior to brown-eyed individuals and in her classroom, Elliott encouraged blue-eyed children to treat brown-eyed children as their inferiors.  The groups are then reversed, and the blue-eyes belong to the marginalized group and the brown-eyes are the privileged group.
The blue-eyes/brown-eyes experiment eventually outgrew the classroom and Elliott began traveling around training groups, corporations, and individuals on diversity.  In fact, Elliott is often named as the pioneer of workplace diversity training.  She has been a long-time anti-racist activist and was the recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education.