2019 Excellence Through Equity Conference

September 12-13, 2019 • 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Conference Description

The Excellence Through Equity Conference is designed to provide educators with the information and resources needed to eliminate the gaps in achievement, expectations, and opportunity for students from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The conference content focused on state priority aligned best practices that should be implemented to create equitable school environments for all learners.

Target Audience

School, district, and county level administrators and teachers.
District and school teams are encouraged.

Focus Statement

The 2019 Excellence through Equity Conference will honor and focus on student voice in our continuing efforts to achieve equitable learning environments in our schools. Being intentional about providing space for student thoughts, ideas, and insights will help transform school climates and empower administrators and teachers to reshape their equity work. By listening and valuing student voice, we acknowledge them as valued members of the education system.

Expected Outcomes


Participants will:

  • Expand and deepen their understanding of the equity issues facing Riverside County, the state of California, and the nation.
  • Learn how to address issues of equity in everyday practice, creating more equitable school cultures and climates.
  • Learn from school districts who are successfully implementing systematic approaches to achieving equity in their schools.
  • Continue to renew the passion for ensuring that every student in Riverside County will graduate from high school well prepared for college and the work force.

2019 Keynote Speakers

Remi Adeleke

Former Navy SEAL, Actor,
& Writer
Remi Adeleke


Remi Adeleke is an actor and writer, known for Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), The Last Shall Be First and 6 Underground (2019). Adeleke was born into a rich Nigerian family and experienced the best that life had to offer. All of that was ruined when at the young age of five his father died and the government seized his family’s wealth. His mother moved the now-impoverished family to the United States, where they settled in the Bronx borough of New York City. At the time, Bronx, NY was one of the toughest inner cities in America. Growing up there in the 1980s and 1990s, Adeleke said, he looked to hip-hop culture as his “father” and took to stealing, selling drugs and “running scams.” “In my mind I was successful,” he said. “That was not success. That was failure. It was the wrong thing.” Eventually a “wakeup call” led him to change his ways, he said.

In early summer of 2002, Remi enlisted in the U.S. Navy and embarked on a journey that instilled a key lesson that he teaches to this day—perseverance. Remi is the former co-founder of Acumen Performance Group, a consulting company that facilitates mental toughness, leadership and team building training for Olympians, pro athletes and corporations.

When Remi is not on the set of a project, he is speaking to men and women young and old about the support he received to overcome the odds, even when it did not make sense. His is an inspiring story of true personal transformation.

Gregory Boyle

Founder and Director
of Homeboy Industries, Speaker
Greg Boyle


Gregory Joseph Boyle is the founder and director of Homeboy Industries and former pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles. In 1988, in an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth, Boyle and community members began to develop positive opportunities for them, including establishing an alternative school and a daycare program, and seeking out legitimate employment, calling this initial effort, Jobs for a Future.

In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Jobs for a Future and Proyecto Pastoral, a community-organized project, launched their first social enterprise business, Homeboy Bakery. In the ensuing years, the success of the bakery created the groundwork for additional social enterprise businesses, leading Jobs for a Future to become an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries. Homeboy Industries is the largest and most successful gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. Homeboy offers an “exit ramp” for those stuck in a cycle of violence and incarceration. The organization’s holistic approach, with free services and programs, supports 10,000 men and women a year as they work to overcome their pasts, re-imagine their futures, and break the inter-generational cycles of gang violence.

Dr. Chris Emdin

Professor, Researcher,
Author, & Speaker
Chris Emdin


Dr. Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University; where he also serves as Director of the Science Education program and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. He is an alumni fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and served as STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Emdin is a social critic, public intellectual and science advocate whose commentary on issues of race, culture, inequality and education have appeared in dozens of influential periodicals including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science, and Technology; master’s degrees in both Natural Sciences and Education Administration, and bachelor’s degrees in Physical Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry.

Dr. Emdin is the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement, and a much sought-after public speaker on a number of topics that include hip-hop education, STEM education, politics, race, class, diversity, and youth empowerment. He is also an advisor to numerous international organizations, school districts, and schools. He is the author of the award-winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation and the New York Times bestseller For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll too.

Dr. Victor M. Rios

Professor, Author,
& Speaker
Dr. Victor M. Rios


Dr. Victor M. Rios is an award-winning professor, author, and former high school drop-out and juvenile delinquent. His research examines how racism, inequality, and class play a role in determining if a person will be successful in education. Dr. Rios grew up in a single parent household in one of the poorest neighborhoods in East Oakland, where he was surrounded by drugs and gangs. Rios dropped out of school in the eighth grade. He would later attempt to attend school a second time, but dropped out again soon after. After being a victim of gun violence multiple times he decided to resume his schooling with the help of one of his high school teachers, Flora Russ and various other mentors.

In 1995, Dr. Rios began attending California State University, East Bay, with the condition that he take part in a summer program that would teach him basic college academic skills. He graduated from East Bay in 2000. In 2005, Dr. Rios earned a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Rios is currently employed by University of California, Santa Barbara, where he works as Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology. He is the winner of the 2013 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for his book Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys, and is the creator of the sociological theories, “The Youth Control Complex”, “Racialized Punitive Social Control”, and “Cultural Misframing.”

Also Featuring

Dr. Abdul-Malik Muhammad

Educator, Entrepreneur,
Transformation Leader at
Akoben LLC & Transforming Lives Inc.
Abdul-Malik Muhammad


Dr. Abdul-Malik Muhammad has been a grassroots organizer and activist for marginalized people for nearly 25 years. As an educator, Dr. Muhammad has over 20 years serving both youth and adults as a teacher, principal and campus president, always working with the underserved in urban and rural areas, he has focused on the development of Black boys to men, establishing a progressive pedagogy for oppressed youth. As a leader and executive, he most recently oversaw several educational, mental health, and human services operations in seven states across the U.S. Through this work, he focused on “transforming lives, one community at a time.” He is also actively involved in several national and international organizations, championing an emphasis on restorative leadership, cultural relevancy and building progressive organizations.

He has a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Franklin & Marshall College, an master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and an doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware.

Dr. Jacqueline Perez

Assistant Superintendent,
Instructional Support, Riverside
Unified School District,
President, California Association
of Latino Superintendents
and Administrators
Jacqueline Perez


Dr. Jacqueline Perez is the Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Support for Riverside Unified School District. Riverside USD serves 42,000 students and 50 schools. She supports schools and the district through the use of data, research and educational technology and the implementation of systemic equity approaches. She also serves as the current president of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA), advocating for the leaders of the growing number of Latino students in the state of California.

As a veteran educator and practitioner for the last 20 years, her roles have spanned from high school science teacher, high school principal to district office administrator. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s in Education from UC, Santa Barbara, a master’s in Educational Administration from CSU, Los Angeles and doctorate from the University of Southern California (USC).

Dr. Jacqueline Perez is a passionate leader, focused on the systemic and district-wide improvement process to ensure access and equity for all students. She has presented the work of implementing equity practices and supporting women leaders at EdTrust West: Education Equity Forum, iNACOL, Leadership Institute of Riverside County: Excellence through Equity Conference, CALSA, ACSA, and Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS).

2019 Featured Sessions

Amir Alavi


Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Crime Prevention Unit

Breaking the “Dropout of School to Prison Pipeline”
This presentation explores the myth of the “School to Prison Pipeline” and the true cause of students dropping out of school: chronic absenteeism. You will see how effective use of multi-tiered systems of support, alternatives to discipline, and proper use of the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) process can help break the “Dropout of School to Prison Pipeline.” Increasing student attendance paves the road to advancing equity.

Rashad Anderson


Asst. Professor of Teacher Education
South Carolina State University

A Guide to Building a High-Impact, School-Based Mentoring Program
Research shows that young black males’ involvement in a quality mentoring program has positive implications for their academic outcomes, disposition, motivation, social/relational skills, and even physical health. This seminar will engage participants in a step-by-step guide to creating a high impact, school-based mentoring program with a focus on social, academic, and behavioral objectives involving students, parents, and a cohort of teachers within the school.

Kevin Carrington


Founder/Executive Director

The Power of Scenario-Based Learning in Tech
The C3 Protocol is a program whose mission is to teach 1 Million minorities how to code. C3 stands for Carrington Coding Camps. Through the power of scenario- based learning we are able to train, engage and prepare minority children (ages 8-18) to excel in careers that require the skillset and culture of coding / programming. In addition to our highly popular community events, we will be sharing our plans to expand to help school districts and teachers integrate coding into their curriculum.

Cherilynne Hollowell


Riverside Unified School District/John W. North High School

Culturally Responsive School Leadership: DOING the Work in the IE!
This presenter will share and describe culturally responsive leadership practices and strategies employed to develop inclusive, culturally responsive, and equitable school environments that emerged through a qualitative research study of multiple Title 1 comprehensive high school principals in the Inland Empire. The major findings of the study will be presented as well as the implications and recommendations for future research.

David Horton


Director of Learning Networks
The Core Collaborative

Leading School Teams – Building Trust to Improve Learning
Leading School Teams is a structured process that builds the capacity of principals and teacher team leaders to facilitate deep conversations with colleagues to build relational trust. Learn why teams of teachers and the work they do matters and how to strengthen team dynamics to improve student outcomes. Leading School Teams builds capacity through dialogue driven relational trust to increase teacher collective efficacy. The outcomes of teacher collective efficacy drive to the heart of equity because teams are able to provide learning support for all levels of learners to give them what they need most to move up to the next level of performance.

Lybroan James


Chief Education Officer
STEMulate Learning

Equity in Action: From the Hood to Harvard
In this session, we explore equity in education through a new lens—through the eyes and experiences of the most disenfranchised student we strive to serve- young Black males. Suspending traditional research methods and prescribed best practices, we will unpack Lybroan’s equity journey ‘from the hood to Harvard.’ The presenter will also engage participants in the Black Box Technique, an exercise to create an equitable school system by the year 2040. Participants will share their Black Box stories and develop a new lens for creating equitable learning outcomes for students of color.

Edwin Javius


CEO of EDEquity, Inc.

“If I tell you, will you do something?” Valuing the voice of our students to implement Equity
California schools are inundated with data and information to make school decisions to implement Educational Equity. The least used is the qualitative data of student voice and student observation data. The attendees of the workshop will show the impact of student voice in transforming school climate and improving Tier I instruction. Attendees will be provided Instructional tools to capture student voice through the use of Empathy Interview protocol to craft questions to support school climate, teacher perception and student engagement strategies. Also, the session will provide a student voice video to examine how educators can provide a racially/culturally safe learning environment. Case study vignettes will allow the participants to develop coaching strategies to support students and strategies to coach teachers to be culturally conscious in supporting the academic and behavior needs of student of color.

Yvette Cormier Latunde


Professor of Education
University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

Building Capacity to Value Family, School, and Community Partnerships
As we center the voice of students, literature that suggests students value the involvement of their families, their faith-based organizations, and desire to engage more with their communities. For schools to be relevant, schools must demonstrate they care about the same things, students care about. Participants attending this session will learn: 1) How the Dual Capacity Building Framework for family engagement works, 2) High impact areas for family and community engagement, and 3) Evidenced-based strategies for building trust and demonstrating respect for diverse communities

Greta Miller Peay


Chief Executive Officer
Greta Miller-Peay Infinity: Diversity Matters, LLC

Expanding Opportunities: # CST and # CRT Matters!
This session will review and examine current research on Culturally Sensitive and Culturally Responsive practices. Participants will leave with practical culturally responsive and sensitive teaching strategies that will meet the needs of a diverse student population. Conditions for student learners with a focus on students of color will be discussed in order to enhance a culturally responsive learning environment. Participants will complete a culturally responsive self-reflection assessment to validate the practices they currently use. Lastly, participants will hear from students the description of an effective culturally responsive and sensitive educator.

Yuridia Nava


School Counselor
Riverside Unified School District

Closing Achievement & Equity Gaps Through Comprehensive Counseling Programs
In this session, teachers, administrators, and district personnel will understand the components of a comprehensive counseling model that addressed equity barriers. Teachers, Principals, and other support staff will know how to partner with their School Counselor to 1) use data to identify gaps in achievement, opportunity, and attainment, 2) help advocate for rigorous courses and higher education for underrepresented groups, 3) promote and develop school wide multi-tiered interventions that lead to equitable outcomes and treatment for all students, 4) create an environment that encourages any student or group to feel comfortable, and 5) increased collaboration with families and community.

Jacinto Ramos


Board President
Fort Worth Independent School District

Racial Identity and Consciousness as an Education Leader
We realize the importance of being a culturally responsible education leader who ensures that children around the country are not only prepared academically but are prepared to be a productive citizen in a global society that has a diverse backdrop. As school board leaders and education stakeholders we must challenge our own cultural awareness as we explore our Racial Identity and gauge our level of Racial Consciousness. Racial identities will be brought to the forefront so participants can confront their implicit biases and Mental Models that may inhibit making the best decisions for your student population. You will learn why and how children of color struggle to adjust to American educational settings. A culturally responsive person can better navigate and lead in systems when they are racially aware. This session will take an emic approach that explores a much deeper understanding of how a board member’s racial identity can impact their daily decision making.

Seth Yelorda


Founder and Director
Bridge Solutions LLC

Action Figures Needed for This Work
The world needs more Action Figures. The Avengers are great for the movies, but we need teams of everyday men and women who are on the ground fighting for the future. Teams who will not allow the fear of failure, lack of resources, or office politics prevent them from working together to accomplish their goals. If your team is stuck in a cycle of inaction, don’t worry. In this workshop, you will learn how to answer the call and become a team of Action Figures.

Jose Lalas

Sam Buenrostro

Lisa Simon


Professor, University of Redlands & Board Member CNUSD;


Deputy Superintendent CNUSD; and


Associate Superintendent CNUSD

How Governing Boards Lead and Support the Work of Equity in a District
This session on Equity will guide Governing Boards on how a district can work intentionally to develop an Equity Guide, Framework, Policy, and Action Plan to support the work of equity in your district. Session will focus on the development of a Board Policy on Equity, while also addressing the policy-making role of board members and how equity is intentionally implemented in various divisions and treatment of all its students, employees, parents, teachers, administrators, and staff. (This session is for Governing Boards and Superintendents/Designees only)