School of Education News

2019 MSAN Student Conference Oct. 23-26

October 07, 2019

More than 200 high school students and their chaperones from 19 U.S. school districts will be at the Madison Concourse Hotel Oct. 23-26 for the Minority Student Achievement Network Student Conference, an annual event aimed at developing student leaders dedicated to ending racial disparities in achievement and opportunity.

Sponsored this year by the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, where students helped plan conference events, the gathering will feature guided tours of schools and colleges at UW-Madison on the morning of Oct. 24. Students also will take part in a full day of action planning on Oct. 25, when they brainstorm and develop projects designed to address disparities back home at their own schools.

MSAN 20th anniversary logoOther highlights include an opening keynote address from Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Barnes, a Milwaukee native, became the first African-American to serve as lieutenant governor when he was elected in November 2018, and the second African-American ever to hold statewide office in Wisconsin.

Other keynote speakers will be José González, a teacher in the Tucson district and Xicanx Institute for Teaching and Organizing, on Oct. 24, and Bettina Love, an award-winning author and associate professor of educational theory and practice from the University of Georgia, on Oct. 25. Love is regarded as one of the field’s most esteemed educational researchers in the areas of how anti-blackness operates in schools, hip-hop education and urban education. Her work also covers how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged schools rooted in intersectional social justice toward the goal of equitable classrooms.

González is in his 28th year of teaching, with a current focus on culturally relevant American history: Mexican American perspective and a social justice perspectives class at Tucson High Magnet School. His teaching, in part, seeks to foster and facilitate within his students a strong sense of identity and student voice, while infusing a self-discipline approach to life.

This year’s conference also marks the 20th anniversary of MSAN, which is headquartered at UW-Madison and organized as a national coalition of 28 multiracial school districts focused on understanding and eliminating gaps in opportunity and achievement that persist within their own schools.

Launched in 1999, MSAN is a project of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, a part of UW-Madison's School of Education. In addition to engaging in collaborative research, it organizes two conferences annually: the student conference in the fall and an MSAN Institute for educators each spring.

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