Obama Foundation board member to speak at VCU
Senegal Mabry, assistant to the chancellor of the New York State Education Department and advisory board member of the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will deliver the keynote address at an event to kick off the residencies of 50 participants in RTR, a school-based teacher preparation program of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Mabry, a master’s degree in public administration student in Binghamton University's College of Community and Public Affairs, will speak at 5 p.m. Aug. 18 at the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, 922 Park Ave. His speech will be followed by a Q&A and reception.
Mabry will discuss how to lead the process of bringing equity into classrooms and of ensuring that schools and organizations have high expectations for every young person. His speech, “Wishing You Well,” will provide teachers and administrators a greater vision of what it means to wish young people well across racial, economic and social differences.
He recently designed a tool with the Aspen Institute to help policymakers structure their interactions and engage with students on education policy. He understands the realities facing young people today because of his own experience as a young black male born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, New York. He has published on topics such as student voice, student engagement and teacher preparation.
RTR — which serves the public school systems of Chesterfield and Henrico counties and the cities of Petersburg and Richmond — is an intensive, school-based teacher prep program that integrates research with practice to equip residents with the knowledge, skills and experience to be effective in high-needs and hard-to-staff classrooms. Residents receive a VCU graduate education, a teacher’s license and a full year’s experience with a mentor teacher. It was previously called Richmond Teacher Residency.
This year’s cohort of 50 residents is RTR’s biggest since the program started nine years ago.
“The School of Education prides itself on being an urban-serving, community-engaged institution and we’re focusing very, very heavily around issues of equity and culturally responsive teaching,” said Terry Dozier, Ed.D., executive director of RTR and an associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. “We felt that Senegal Mabry’s message would resonate with that mission. Our region — as well as across the state and nation — educationally, we’re looking at: How do we better meet the needs of our underrepresented minorities, in particular in our case, black and Latinx students? That’s one reason we wanted to open [this event] up to the broader community.”
This event is open to the public, but attendees are asked to RSVP at: https://forms.gle/c4qkV1KzdEmwMoEF7.