The University of Montevallo College of Education and Human Development Diversity Committee hosted the 2023 Alabama National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME) chapter conference on March 10.
The theme of the conference was “The Ties that Bind: Transformative Practices for Equity.” The conference featured esteemed speakers passionate about creating a future in education that is diverse and mindful of their students’ different experiences and traditions. This NAME conference is the first Alabama chapter conference since 2019. The annual conference is being held Nov. 15-19, in Montgomery, Alabama.
The conference was filled with educators and future educators from all walks of life committed to multicultural education. These educators understood that being invested in multicultural teachings is an ever-evolving process that will challenge them and force them to evaluate their practices to ensure they are meeting the needs of their students. The conference had different sessions for participants with various topics of conversation. The topics encouraged lively conversations from multiple points of view.
There were two keynote speakers for the conference, Paul Gorski and Salam Green ’99. Gorski delivered an electric presentation that incorporated current issues that hinder multicultural education. During the opening session with Gorski, he encouraged educators to have an open conversation rather than a feel-good conversation and challenged them to review whether their practices work or if it was just an action with high optics and low impact. Green told a captivating story on how growing up in a small segregated town in Alabama prepared her for her journey in life. She explained how having a teacher who pushed her and believed in her led to her “embracing belonging beyond the minority myth.”
The conference resonated with educators in attendance with conversations flourishing throughout the day. Discussions will continue as the NAME national conference comes to Montgomery.