2019 MEA conference features sessions on student mental health, racial equity in education

For more information, contact:

Chris Williams
651-292-4816 (work)
651-247-5539 (cell)

Megan Boldt
651-292-4818 (work)
651-245-9163 (cell)

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 16, 2019 – The annual conference of the Minnesota Educator Academy, or MEA, will be Thursday, Oct. 17, and feature keynote speakers and classes on mental health, racial equity in education and specific areas of academic content.

The union changed the conference from two days to one in 2018, partly in response to the Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and the national, billionaire-funded, anti-union campaign that followed it. As in 2018, the 2019 conference is for current union members and college students studying to become educators.

As of Wednesday morning, the most popular classes were on student mental health, educating students with different racial identities, and classroom management techniques. The conference returns to The Saint Paul RiverCentre and remains the largest professional development opportunity for educators in Minnesota.

The keynote speaker at 8:15 a.m. Thursday will be Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., the co-founder of The Privilege Institute and The National White Privilege Conference. He will present on why racial justice is the work of all educators. Dr. Moore will also teach a session, “The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys.”

Journalists interested in attending a session or reporting on the conference are asked to contact Chris Williams, who will escort them past the check-in stations.

Three sessions that may be of interest to education reporters:

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m. Classroom 4. Anti-Bias Education: The Foundation of Culturally Responsive Teaching. Anti-bias education is the foundation of culturally responsive teaching. Examine how ABE supports healthy identity development, respect across differences and understanding bias.
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m. Ballroom D. Combating Adverse Childhood Experiences with REACH and Trauma-Informed/Responsive Education. Students who have had adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, bring significant challenges to our classrooms. Participants will learn more about the effects of ACEs and trauma-informed education, as well as gain resources to help build resiliency through personal connections, provide character education and create a culture of giving and empathy for others. Instructor Jim Parry is the 2019 Education Minnesota Human Rights Award recipient.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. Ballroom C. Psychiatric Aspects of Student Violence: Recognition, Intervention and Prevention. This presentation focuses on student violence that is directly related to psychiatric disorders including mood, anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum and psychotic disorders, and provides practical information in recognition, intervention and prevention of potential school violence. Presented by Dr. William Dikel, child and adolescent psychiatrist.

About Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.