Thursday | October 20, 2022
Do these headlines seem to be competing with each other: The increased attention to limiting access to books and the increased focus on high-quality, evidence-based literacy instruction? Join the Albert Shanker Institute and Share My Lesson for this helpful discussion on how to promote high-quality literacy instruction while not limiting access to books for students.
This session is part of the series: A More United America: Teaching Democratic Principles and Protected Freedoms.
Available for 1.5 hours of PD credit. A certificate of completion will be available for download at the end of your session that you can submit for your school's or district's approval.
Nadine Farid Johnson serves as PEN America’s Washington director. An attorney and advocate with a focus in democracy, human rights, and governance, she has a breadth of experience across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, she served as executive director of the ACLU of Kansas, where she led the expansion of the affiliate’s advocacy, reach, and impact. She is a former United States diplomat whose work spanned the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and multilateral affairs. Prior to entering public service, she was a professor of constitutional, international, and intellectual property law at Gonzaga University and a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. In the private sector, Johnson worked as a patent litigator and later oversaw operations and supported community engagement at Google in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of DePauw University and Tulane Law School, and studied at the U.S. Naval War College. She is vice president and treasurer on the Board of Directors of CalSAC, an education-focused nonprofit, and serves as an advisor to Jimiri, a racial justice and youth development organization.
Frederick Joeseph is a two-time New York Times bestselling author of The Black Friend (2020) and Patriarchy Blues (2022), and the author of Better Than We Found It (2022) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - The Courage to Dream (2022). He was recognized for the International Literacy Association’s 2021 Children’s & Young Adults’ Book Award, is a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list-maker for marketing and advertising, an activist, and philanthropist with over 10 years of marketing experience. He was also honored with the 2018 Comic-Con Humanitarian of the Year award and is a member of the 2018 “The Root 100" list of Most Influential African Americans. Frederick consistently writes about marketing, culture, and politics for the Huffington Post, USA Today, NowThisNews, The Independent, and Cosmopolitan amongst others.
Sari Beth Rosenberg has been teaching U.S. History and AP U.S. History at a New York City public high school, the High School for Environmental Studies, for the past 20 years and she currently hosts the PBS NewsHour Classroom Educator Zoom Series. Rosenberg has been featured in various publications and multimedia platforms, including USA Today, NBC News, CNN, The TODAY Show, The Washington Post, Reuters, Chalkbeat, Parents Magazine, The Progressive, A+E/Lifetime, Travel Channel, AFT Voices, Share My Lesson, TheSkimm, Pix11, and PBS NewsHour. Rosenberg is the co-founder (along with co-founders Abbey Clements and Sarah Lerner) of Teachers Unify To End Gun Violence. Rosenberg also serves as a Senior Advisor for Voters of Tomorrow.
Mary Cathryn Ricker is a National Board Certified middle school English/language arts teacher who has served as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Education, as Executive vice-president of the American Federation of Teachers, and as president of the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, Local 28. Prior to her leadership outside of the classroom, Ricker was a classroom teacher for 13 years in Minnesota, Washington State, and South Korea. As Minnesota’s Commissioner of Education, Mary Cathryn Ricker lead a school finance working group examining Minnesota’s school finance systems and recommending reforms. She advocated for a more student and family facing department of education, resulting in increased, direct outreach including translated materials and translation services. Additionally, Ricker worked alongside advocates in the effort for legislation for Indigenous Education for All, ethnic studies, credit attainment for students experiencing housing instability or homelessness, expanding social/emotional learning, strengthening teacher diversity efforts, including cultural competency in teacher and principal evaluations and non-exclusionary discipline policies—winning a prohibition on public preschool suspensions and dismissals in a special legislative session. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ricker lead an effort to act on the science, create safe and healthy learning conditions, and prioritize in-person learning by establishing localized learning models, listening and responding to the community—including building MDE’s most ambitious and diverse family-facing communication work—providing statewide professional development in meeting the needs of students with special needs, students experiencing housing instability, students learning English as a new language, and Black, Indigenous, and students of color, and investing in necessary health and safety items like technology, protective equipment, and COVID testing.
When Mary Cathryn was executive vice-president of the AFT, under the leadership of AFT President Randi Weingarten, she created and lead the AFT Professionalism Task Force and organized the AFT Gun Violence Prevention Advisory Committee. Ricker also lead the AFT Innovation Fund, focusing on expanding and supporting career and technical education and full-service community schools. Additionally, she coordinated local, state and national unions support for refugee children at the border, lead involvement in ethnic studies movement, advocated and organized for comprehensive immigration reform and for strengthening education for English language learners. She organized a member/staff working group for Native American advocacy and represented AFT in professional membership work, including as Program and Policy Council division liaison.
As president of the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, Ricker pioneered the concept of bargaining for the common good, an approach to negotiating where union members share the power they have at the negotiating table with students, families, and community members to negotiate around a set of demands that benefit members, students, and the broader community. She lead the effort to win contract language such as citizenship leave and a school nurse for every child, and she championed innovative, teacher-built solutions that improve teaching and learning as well as strengthen public education. These include the union's alternative teacher recruitment and licensure program, CareerTeacher; a full-spectrum peer assistance and review program; site-based school redesign and governance; a parent-teacher home visit project; comprehensive professional development; paraprofessional pathways to teaching, dedicated paraprofessional professional development; and meaningful community engagement as the union's work.
Ricker also serves on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards board of directors. Her teaching and leadership have been recognized with a number of other honors, including receiving the Education Minnesota Peterson-Schaubach Outstanding Leadership Award, qualifying as a semifinalist for the NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, and serving as a featured contributor in the Annenberg Foundation's national professional development series "Write in the Middle." She has spoken and written extensively about teaching and learning, professionalism, and human rights issues and her work has appeared in local and national publications. She has traveled to speak, teach, or study public education, the labor movement, and democracy, including in Europe, North and South America, and Western Asia/the Arabian peninsula.
A native of Hibbing, Minnesota, she earned her undergraduate degree in English with a mathematics minor at the University of Saint Thomas, and completed graduate work in Teacher Leadership at the University of Minnesota.