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As Diversity Grows, So Must We

Using imagery and stories from his white water rafting trips on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Gary Howard invites his audience to courageously consider how we can best transform our selves and our schools for the purpose of meeting the diverse and complex learning needs of our students. This interactive keynote is particularly aimed at schools and communities that are experiencing rapid demographic shift and seeking to move their people and their practices toward greater cultural competence and effectiveness.

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Education for Social Justice: The Heart of Real Reform

In this motivational interactive address, Gary Howard uses lively stories and engaging conversations to draw out the deep connections between educational equity and the practice of pluralistic democracy in a diverse society. He describes the “four dispositions for good teaching,” which create a challenging agenda for helping us re-think our approach to teacher training, professional development, and school reform. Gary also provides a unique perspective on what it means to be an educated person, a perspective that takes us well beyond “career and college ready” and challenges us to reclaim our full humanity.

The Next 50 Years: Can King’s Dream Be Made Real?

Using stories and images from his participation in the 50th Anniversary March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Gary Howard invites his audience to look back at where we’ve been and forward to where we need to be going. What is that “unfinished work” that Abraham Lincoln spoke of in his 1865 Second Inaugural Address and Martin Luther King, Jr. invoked in his landmark speech at the 1963 March? Will yesterday’s dream continue to be eclipsed by the nightmare scenario of increased inequality and erosion of social justice, or can we create that “beloved community” where the good of the many supersedes the greed of the few? How do we educate ourselves and learn from our students in order to carry out this cross-generational work?

Growing Good White Folks: Educating America’s Newest Minority

This interactive keynote invites participants to join in a conversation that touches the heart of our nation’s political journey. How are White Americans dealing with their coming minority status, and how will they respond over the next few decades? The healing work of dismantling White dominance must be approached both from the inside-out and from the outside-in. This means White folks and People of Color together authentically engaging in the journey toward personal, professional, and political transformation. How do we best do this in our institutions in a way that avoids the divisive rhetoric of shame and blame and the paternalistic posturing of victimhood and entitlement? Gary invites his audience to share their best practices as well as their doubts, fears, and questions about doing social justice work with White people. He also demonstrates several engagement strategies that participants can use for facilitating social change workshops and conversations about race in their own settings.

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Gary Howard partners with New Wilderness Project to deliver this dynamic keynote/playnote presentation.

Using imagery, stories, poetry, music and powerful metaphors from their outdoor adventures in wild places, Gary Howard and his sons, Benjie and Maketa, invite audiences to explore the challenges of becoming culturally competent and creating the kinds of relationships and culturally responsive teaching strategies that facilitate school success for more students. They demonstrate key ways that we as educators, parents, and school-community leaders can support both our students and our colleagues in their growth and development related to educational equity, social justice, and closing the opportunity gaps.