CUAH Schools Conference - Call for Proposals

Communities United Against Hate - Montgomery County

CUAH Committee on School Policies & Programs

Fall 2017 Education Conference

September or October 2017 (Date/Location TBA soon)




Communities United Against Hate - Montgomery County (CUAH) invites students, families, school staff, education advocates, institutes of higher education, advocacy organizations, and residents to work together to build a new paradigm for inclusiveness during our first annual CUAH Education Conference, in late September or early October 2017 (date/location TBD soon). This two-day conference will include the same general schedule and content on each day, and provide presenters with the opportunity to address diverse audiences over the course of the two days.  Our goal is to be inclusive with respect to participation, and reach diverse religious and ethnic communities, students, families, residents, and staff in different parts of the county by hosting generally the same conference on both days.  Together as a community, we will collaborate on improving the school curriculum, strengthening school policies and programs, retooling our organizing skills, engaging our students, teachers and staff, and challenging ourselves to improve inclusiveness, fight discrimination, and prevent hate crimes and bias-related incidents in schools. The major themes/tracks for our conference will be:


1.      Recognizing and thwarting bullying, and addressing mental health implications for victims, perpetrators, and others

2.      Understanding today’s concerns within the broader context of history, legal precedents, and advocacy for marginalized students in American schools, taking into account racial integration, special education inclusion, school access for undocumented students and unaccompanied minors seeking refuge, LGTBQ acceptance, and religious acceptance.

3.      Addressing our legal rights in the school setting (“Courtroom in the Classroom”) to empower participants to fight hate crimes and bias-related incidents as students, employees, staff, and parents. This theme will focus on our legal rights as MCPS and private-school students, immigrants, undocumented residents, public-sector employees, and private citizens.  We invite discussion on rights under various policies like student bills of rights, labor contracts, and local, state and federal law.

4.      Instituting safe reporting and effective tracking of hate crimes and bias-related incidents.  This theme will address how individuals may go from bystanders to upstanders, how school system reporting can be improved and enforced more effectively and transparently, and best practices that administrators and schools may use to foster inclusion and to respond to bias-related incidents,

5.      Addressing the power of inclusive speech/identity development at the elementary and middle school level.  This track focuses on key questions for students at this level.  What does hate speech sound like, and how is it detrimental to a student’s social and emotional development? How do we work with young students to shape early views on multiculturalism, positive social dynamics with peers and adults, etc.? These questions are important as most reported incidents after the 2016 elections have taken place in elementary and middle school settings. This work also informs long-term efforts to improve professional learning toward prevention and implementation of restorative justice, when incidents do occur.


Our committee seeks proposals related to these five conference tracks as we collectively promote the Mission of the CUAH Committee on School Policies and Programs:


CUAH is committed to making schools welcoming, safe and inclusive environments where all children are treated with dignity, regardless of their economic status or cultural, racial, religious or sexual identity, where they learn to treat others with respect and care, and where they receive equitable opportunities to achieve their potential through an excellent education.


Conference Format

The Fall 2017 CUAH Education Conference generally will offer three types of conference sessions: concurrent, plenary, and the arts exhibit.


Concurrent sessions run for fifty (50) minutes each, and several will take place during the same time slot in order to maximize options for conference attendees. Presenters should be prepared to deliver a presentation,  answer questions from the audience, and lead a discussion on real-life applications during the fifty minute period. These sessions may vary in structure to provide a dynamic conference experience for participants in one of the formats listed below:

Individual presentations will concern research papers, case studies, or analysis related to one or more of the five conference tracks. These workshops must be presented by the researcher who produced the works.

Group presentations are similar in scope to individual presentations. However, these workshops will be facilitated by at least two persons or advocacy organizations.  In these instances, the parties may have like subject matter or look at one issue from different perspectives..

Teaching demonstrations model how to use a particular curriculum in a classroom setting to address one or more of the five conference tracks. This content may be a lesson plan that incorporates academic disciplines with strategies that foster students’ own realizations about multiculturalism,  diverse identities, positive social dynamics with peers and adults, and problem-solving.  These teaching demonstrations may address teaching in a children’s or adult education setting.

Roundtable discussions facilitate participatory conversation on concerns, challenges, and solutions for addressing one or more of the five conference tracks.  The workshop room will be configured in an informal circle of chairs or group of tables. The workshop facilitator poses a series of questions, prompts deeper connection, and leads the participants in conversation. Discussions will draw heavily on the experiences of workshop participants and produce solutions as next steps during the conference.

Panel presentations involve several presenters who describe their perspectives, experiences or leadership on a common topic. Each panelist will have equal time to share, followed by audience Q&A. Panel presentations must have facilitators chosen in advance to expedite planning with panelists prior to the conference.


Plenary sessions are an hour and fifteen minutes long, designed to convene all conference attendees during our conference opening and networking lunch. Plenary sessions will be determined by the CUAH Committee on School Policies & Programs, but individuals and groups are welcome to submit an abstract of ideas and volunteer to support plenaries in a way that benefits this shared time.


The Arts Exhibit will allow individuals and groups to present artwork, poetry, digital video musical performances, or mixed media related to one or more of the five conference tracks. This will be done in an informal setting comparable to an exhibit hall or fair. Exhibitors should prepare a display or digital video that: 1) engages viewers and stimulates discussion; 2) displays legible printed text or images on a board no larger than 30” x 40”; and 3) and includes a three-sentence description about the submission to be provided alongside.


Proposal Requirements

Concurrent, plenary and art exhibit proposals are required to include the following:

1)      Description of presentation format (individual presentation, group presentation, teaching demonstration, roundtable discussion, or panel). We will seek to have a balance of all formats;

2)      Presentation title;

3)      Contact information for each presenter/facilitator

a.      Name

b.      Pertinent Organization/Affiliation

c.       Mailing address

d.      E-mail address

e.      Phone number;

4)      Availability on Sept. 23, 24 and 30, and October 1, 7 and 8, 2017

5)      Proposal (200-300 words) describing topic, presenter expertise, and presentation format

6)      Synopsis or abstract (75 words or less) to be included in our conference program book.

7)      Description of any special considerations that are needed (e.g. language interpretation, sound/visual projection system, room setup, etc.)


Proposal Selection Criteria

A subcommittee of the CUAH Committee on School Policies and Programs will review concurrent, plenary, and arts exhibit proposals for our Fall 2017 CUAH Education Conference, and notify submitters of our decisions.  The criteria for selection will include:

1)      Relevance of proposals to the five conference tracks and the CUAH Schools Committee Mission;

2)      Ensuring an assortment of content from various perspectives, including student, families, school staff, labor unions, advocacy organizations, community members, and institutes of higher education;

3)      Demographic inclusivity and background of those presenting (race, gender identity, orientation, religion, county region, age, pertinent grade level, immigration status, indication of able status, etc.), as we seek to focus on equity and inclusion while addressing the experience of marginalized learning communities with hate crimes and bias-related incidents in schools;

4)      Coherence of ideas (arts exhibit) and plans (concurrent/plenary) for sessions;

5)      A balance between the number of proposals and needs for a vibrant conference;  this may cause us to ask individuals or groups to combine like proposals;

6)      A balance of the kinds of presentation formats we offer participants; and

7)      Proposals that are unique, timely, and enriching to the overall conference.


Submission and Notification Deadlines:

1)      Workshop proposals for an individual presentation, group presentation, teaching demonstration, roundtable discussion, or panel must be submitted by Monday August 28, 2017.


2)      Submission proposals of artwork, poetry, digital videos of musical performances, or mixed media related to our conference themes must be submitted by Monday August 28, 2017. Accepted submissions will be displayed at our conference arts exhibit.


3)      Timely submissions are vital. Please send all proposals to the CUAH Committee on School Policies & Programs at Late proposals will not be considered.


4)      We will notify submitters about our decisions on accepted proposals on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.