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The Virginia Is For ALL Learners:  Education Equity Summer Institute

Virginia is for ALL Learners Education Equity Summer Institute will be held July 8-10, 2019, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The Virginia Department of Education in collaboration with Virginia’s Secretary of Education provides this two-day conference for educators and education leaders (PK-12 teachers, school leaders/principals, and superintendent teams), local education policymakers (local level school board members and school division leaders), and select invited stakeholder group representatives.  This two-day conference focuses on the public policies that influence and prepare Virginia educators to advance equitable outcomes for all students.  Join educators from across the state as we explore the implications of institutional racism in public education and raise state discourse on the policies, practices, and preparation needed to ensure that Virginia’s public education system is one that maximizes the potential of all students.  

Conference Registration

Refer to your email invitation for the registration code needed to complete the conference registration form.

decorative Digital Equity Pre-Summit: Bridging The Learning @ Home Gap

School divisions have been invited to participate in this Digital Equity Pre-Summit: Bridging the Learning Gap on July 8, 2019. This pre-summit will be an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the digital equity issues that impact students and their communities, discover potential solution pathways, and begin planning next steps towards bridging the divide.

Get Social With Us!

Use #EdEquityVA when sharing your experiences at this year’s Digital Equity Pre-Summit and Education Equity Conference. Remember to follow us on Twitter @VDOE_News and Facebook @VDOENews.


Contact with questions or for additional information.


The full agenda is available through the Attendify App:

July 9, 2019 – Agenda at a Glance

Time Topic
7:00 a.m. Conference Registration Opens
8:00 a.m.
  • Welcome: Dr. James Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Remarks: The Honorable Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Remarks: Diane Atkinson, Vice President, Virginia Board of Education
8:30 a.m. Keynote Address: Mr. Rodney Robinson, National Teacher of the Year
9:30 a.m. Virginia Equity Walk: Ms. Leah Dozier Walker, Director, Office of Equity and Community Engagement, Virginia Department of Education
10:30 a.m. Transition to Breakout Sessions
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Break Out Session A (six concurrent sessions)
11:45 a.m. Transition to Lunch – Visit Vendor Tables and Virginia is For Learners Photo Booth
12:00 p.m. Lunch is served
12:15 p.m. Remarks: The Honorable Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, The Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, U.S. House of Representatives VA-03; Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce
12:30 p.m. Luncheon Keynote: Mr. Tiyale Hayes, Sr. VP Black Entertainment Television (BET)
1:15 p.m. Remarks: The Honorable Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia
1:30 Transition to Breakout Sessions
1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Break Out Session B (six concurrent sessions)
2:45 – 3:00 p.m. Transition to Breakout Sessions
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Break Out Session C (six concurrent sessions)

July 10, 2019 – Agenda at a Glance

Time Topic
8:30 a.m. Welcome: Dr. Andrew Daire, Dean, School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Tomikia LeGrande, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management Virginia Commonwealth University
8:45 a.m. Keynote Address: Dr. Cristóbal Rodríguez, Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Education at Howard University
10:00 a.m. Virginia is for Learners Special Announcement
10:30 a.m. Transition to Breakout Sessions
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Break Out Session D (six concurrent sessions)
11:45 a.m. Transition to Lunch – Visit Vendor Tables and Virginia is For Learners Photo Booth
12:00 p.m. Lunch is served
12:15 p.m. Luncheon Keynote: Panel: Student Voice
1:30 Transition to Breakout Sessions
1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Break Out Session E (six concurrent sessions)
2:45 Transition to Breakout Sessions
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Break Out Session F (six concurrent sessions)

2018 Conference Materials

Check out the links below for a recap of last year’s Education Equity Summer Institute:

Keynote Speakers

Tiyale Hayes

Tiyale Hayes

Tiyale Hayes is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Insights & Research, for BET Networks, a division of Viacom. For over a decade, he has worked on some of the world’s biggest and best brands fueling his passion for authentic inclusion and empathy into brand building. As a graduate of Hampton University, Hayes started his career in sales at Johnson & Johnson learning the fundamentals of business from the store shelf up. After learning the fundamentals of how consumers shop in stores, he attended business school and earned an MBA in Marketing from Purdue University.

Hayes took his love for consumer understanding to the Consumer Insights and Global Innovation groups at Procter & Gamble. In his time at P&G, he helped create insights that led to business winning ideas for brands like Folgers, Pringles, Crest, Gillette and Old Spice. He then left P&G to head back to Johnson & Johnson, where he led global insight development for a variety of brands including Tylenol, Motrin, Listerine, and a number of Rx to OTC Switch initiatives.

In 2016, he was tapped to head the insights group for BET Networks where he leads a team in developing insights for the BET brand and new show development as well as working with companies looking to authentically reach the African American consumer base. He is a frequent speaker at both private and industry conferences, guiding thoughts on how to create consumer centric strategies, culture transformation using fandom, and drive value for African Americans, Millennials, and LGBTQ+ populations. Hayes also serves on the board of the National Hampton Alumni Association and the non-profit Live Out Loud based in New York City.

Rodney Robinson        

Rodney Robinson

Rodney Robinson is a 19-year teaching veteran that became a teacher to honor his mother, who struggled to receive an education after being denied as a child due to segregation and poverty in rural Virginia. In 2015, Robinson started teaching at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, in an effort to better understand the school-to-prison pipeline.  

Robinson earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia State University and a Master of Education in educational administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been published three times by Yale University and has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in and out of the classroom, most notably the R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence.

Rodney is a member of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s Education Compact Team, which includes politicians, educators, business leaders, and community leaders, and is working with city leaders and local colleges to recruit underrepresented male teachers into the field of education. He has also worked with Pulitzer Award winning author James Foreman on developing curriculum units on race, class, and punishment as part of the Yale Teacher’s Institute.

Dr. Cristóbal Rodríguez

Dr. Cristóbal Rodríguez

Dr. Cristóbal Rodríguez, is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and is the Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Education at Howard University in Washington DC. Being born and raised in the Texas Borderlands of El Paso under hard-working immigrant parents from Mexico, and studying in Germany as a U.S. Congress-German Bundestag scholar has shaped the world views and research of Dr. Rodríguez.

As such Dr. Rodríguez’ recent works and collaborations have been published in the Journal of Latinos and EducationHarvard Journal of African American PolicyJournal of Hispanic Higher Education, and most recently in Equity & Excellence in Education and the International Journal for Qualitative Studies in Education; and Dr. Rodriguez recently provided an expert report and testimony on achievement in New Mexico in the school finance case Martinez v. New Mexico, which was decided on July 20, 2018 for under served families and childrenDr. Rodríguez also has various book chapters, including in Linguistic Minority Immigrants Go to College: Preparation, Access, and Persistence (Kanno, Y & Harklau, L., Eds., 2012), and a book published in 2018 in Information Age Publishing with co-editors Melissa A. Martinez and Fernando Valle on Latino Educational Leadership: Serving Latino Communities and Preparing Latina/o Leaders Across the P-20 Pipeline.

Dr. Rodríguez was in 2016 recognized with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Faculty Honors by the U.S. Dept. of Education program recognizing scholars across disciplines. Most recently Dr. Rodríguez was designated as the 2019 José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellow with the Intercultural Development Research Association to collaborate on research focused on the relationship of school finance policies and practices and their influence on college readiness course access inequities by under served populations.    

Plenary Speakers

Dr. James Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commonwealth of Virginia

Dr. James Lane

Dr. James F. Lane was appointed Virginia’s 25th Superintendent of Public Instruction by Governor Ralph S. Northam, effective June 1, 2018. As state superintendent, Lane serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, leading the external functions of the agency and managing its internal operations. He also serves as secretary of the state Board of Education. Prior to his appointment as state superintendent, Lane served as a division superintendent in Chesterfield County, Goochland County, and Middlesex County. He was recognized as the 2017 Virginia Superintendent of the Year for his leadership in Goochland County. Lane holds a doctorate in education from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in school administration from North Carolina State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lane and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two elementary school students in Chesterfield County.

The Honorable Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia

Atif Qarni

Prior to his appointment as Governor Northam’s Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni taught courses in civics, economics, U.S History, and mathematics at Beville Middle School in Prince William County. He also served as a GED Night School Instructor. In 2016, Qarni was recognized as the Dale City Teacher of the Year. In addition to his work as an educator, Qarni is a former Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps, and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also served at the state level, having been appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to the Small Business Commission in 2013. Secretary Qarni holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology from George Washington University as well as a Master’s in History and teaching license from George Mason University.

Diane T. Atkinson, Vice President, Virginia Board of Education

Diane Atkinson

Diane T. Atkinson was first appointed by Governor James S. Gilmore in 2001 to fill an unexpired term on the Board of Education; she was again appointed to the Board of Education in 2012 for a four year term by Governor Robert F. McDonnell, and reappointed to a second four year term by Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2016. Mrs. Atkinson was elected by the Board to serve as its vice president in July 2017. She serves as chairman of the Board’s Committee on School and Division Accountability. Before joining the Board, she was a special education teacher, and worked at the Virginia Department of Education in special education and then policy and public affairs. Mrs. Atkinson is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Education, and the University of Richmond’s School of Law. She resides in Hanover County with her husband and two children.

Leah Dozier Walker, Director of the Office of Equity and Community Engagement, VDOE

Leah Dozier Walker

Leah Dozier Walker currently serves as the Director for Equity and Community Engagement at the Virginia Department of Education, where she leads statewide efforts aimed at advancing education equity, closing the achievement gap, and decreasing disproportionality in student outcomes. With a focus on modernizing the Department’s external communications, public relations, and outreach strategies, she continues to galvanize support for public education and education equity in Virginia. Walker has twenty years of public sector experience, having worked for Mayor Jones’ Administration in the City of Richmond, Governor Kaine at the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, the Virginia Democratic Caucus in the House of Delegates, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and its Foundation, Richmond City Council, and Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott.  Walker earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from Hampton University, and a Masters of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, U.S. House of Representatives VA-03; Chairman, Committee
on Education and the Workforce

Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott

Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott has represented Virginia’s third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. Prior to his service in Congress, he served 15 years in the Virginia General Assembly. Congressman Scott is currently the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. In this capacity, he is advancing an agenda that improves equity in education, frees students from the burdens of crippling debt, protects and expands access to affordable health care, ensures workers have a safe workplace where they can earn a living wage free from discrimination, and guarantees seniors have a secure and dignified retirement. In 2015, he was one of the four primary authors of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the first time in 13 years and replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. Congressman Scott also serves on the Committee on the Budget, where he is a leading voice on fiscal policy and reducing the deficit. As a former member of the Committee on the Judiciary, he is an outspoken advocate for reforming our nation’s broken criminal justice system. He has successfully worked to pass bipartisan legislation to reduce mandatory minimum sentences, reform the juvenile justice system, and require reporting and federal data collection of deaths that occur in police custody, jails, and prisons. Congressman Scott resides in Newport News, Virginia. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School. He also served in the Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.

The Honorable Ralph Northam, Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia

Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam

Before his inauguration as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator and Lieutenant Governor. A native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Governor Northam was educated at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), and after graduation, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army; he served eight years of active duty and rose to the rank of major. Governor Northam attended Eastern Virginia Medical and did his residencies at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He served as chief neurological resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and as an Army doctor, served in Germany where he treated soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm. The Governor and his wife Pamela chose to build their life in Hampton Roads, where he began practicing pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service.  He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.

Dr. Andrew Daire, Dean, VCU School of Education

Andrew Daire

A driven and enthusiastic leader, Andrew Daire joined the VCU School of Education as its new dean in June 2016. Daire comes to VCU from the University of Houston, where he served as the College of Education’s associate dean for research for two years and Professor. His resume also includes more than twenty-five years in higher education, thirteen of which were spent at the University of Central Florida, where he was a professor in the College of Education’s counselor education program and associate dean for research. Additionally, Daire is an accomplished researcher who co-founded the UCF Marriage and Family Research Institute and has brought in over $16M in external research dollars along with an extensive list of refereed publications and presentation. A big believer in the value of community engagement and impact, Daire maintains that research, scholarship, instruction, and service are at their best (and most innovative) when focused on serving the public.

Dr. Tomikia LeGrande, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management at VCU

Dr. Tomikia LeGrande

Dr. Tomikia Pickett LeGrande serves as Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management at VCU, where she is responsible for fostering the university’s commitment to student access and success by actively leading, developing, and implementing strategies that enrich college access, affordability, and student success. Prior to arriving at VCU, Dr. LeGrande served in various senior leadership positions at the University of Houston-Downtown and Winston-Salem State University, and has over fifteen years of higher education experience in strategic planning, new technology implementation, change management, and policy and business process redesign to improve college access, retention, student satisfaction, and graduation rates for institutions with a strong commitment to serving underrepresented groups. Because of her experience as a woman of color and low-income, first generation college student, Dr. LeGrande is passionate about (1) ensuring college access and success opportunities to students from underrepresented groups, first generation families, and economically disadvantaged backgrounds and (2) the support, advancement, and empowerment of women. Dr. LeGrande earned a Doctorate of Education from Texas Tech University, Master of Science from North Carolina A&T University and Bachelor of Science from Savannah State University.

Recommendations for Hotels in the Richmond Area

**Attendees must request the applicable state rate at time of booking hotel reservations.

Downtown Richmond: ($147/night + taxes & fees)

  • Richmond Marriott
    500 East Broad Street; 804-643-3400
    Attached access to the Greater Richmond Convention Center
    Parking: $20/night (self) $27/night (valet)      
  • Hilton Richmond Downtown
    501 East Broad Street; 804-344-4300
    Two (2) block walk to Greater Richmond Convention Center             
    Parking: $27/night
  • Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton
    700 East Main Street; 804-643-5400
    Eight (8) block walk to Greater Richmond Convention Center
    Parking: $15/night
  • Quirk Hotel
    201 West Broad Street; Front Desk: 844-757-8475
    Seven (7) block walk to Greater Richmond Convention Center
    Parking: $24/day unlimited in & out
  • Omni
    100 South 12th Street; Front Desk: 1 804-344-7000
    Thirteen (13) block walk to Greater Richmond Convention Center
    Shuttle available by request

Near West End (Henrico County: state rate = $94/night + taxes & fees)

[Pro: suburban setting, on “main drag” of restaurants and shops with lots of free parking; 10-15 minute drive on interstate to downtown]

  • T-mobile-Education 
  • Comcast
  • AWS
  • Kajeet
  • VCU School of Education
  • Microsoft
  • Virginia Lottery

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