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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


OCM BOCES presents its
First Annual Equity Summit
at LeMoyne College

This two-day event will feature a variety of workshops, nationally renowned speakers, and opportunities for educators and leaders to focus on creating welcoming & affirming environments, high expectations, and rigorous instruction

Equity Summit Registration is NOW OPEN.

This is an amazing value for a two-day conference with renowned national speakers. Breakfast and lunch will be served each day.


Keynote Speakers

  • José Luis Vilson: educator activist, and best-selling author of This is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education.
  • Huda Essa: national consultant. TEDx speaker, educator, and author of culturally-responsive children's books, including Teach Us Your Name and Common Threads: Adam's Day at the Market.
  • Matthew R. Kay: public school teacher and author of Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom.

Featured Presenters

And More

  • Educational Vendors
  • Independent Bookstore
  • Continental Breakfast & Lunch Served DAILY
  • Close of day one Networking Event


Ashley Cuthbertson

Music EdQuity Chat Show

A nationally board certified teacher, Ashley holds a master’s degree in education, as well as certifications in the Kodály approach and arts integration. Ashley has more than thirteen years of experience in education as a general music and choral educator, band educator, a K-12 musicianship instructor, a private lessons instructor, adjunct professor, speaker, clinician, and curriculum writer.

A passionate advocate for music education, Ashley currently serves the National Association for Music Education as a member of the Repertoire Diversity Task Force and the Virginia Music Educators Association as chair of the DEI Council.

A regular coach and consultant for schools, districts, and organizations across the U.S., Ashley supports music educators with professional learning, coaching, curriculum development, and music program design strategy to ensure all learners have access to the high quality music education they deserve.

Check out her show Music EdQuity Chat Show to learn more about her.


Huda Essa

Huda Essa is a TEDx Speaker and the Author of the culturally authentic and responsive children’s books, Teach Us Your Name and Common Threads: Adam’s Day at the Market. Huda has positively influenced countless communities around the nation through her thought-provoking learning opportunities. She utilizes her extensive experience as a Cultural Competency Consultant, former Teacher and English Language Development Specialist to support organizations in successfully meeting their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. In her Keynote presentations and interactive learning opportunities, she works closely with teachers, school site leaders, school district officials and higher education professionals to help them develop practices and cultures that promote cultural competence, engagement, unity, and academic achievement. Huda also works with students, parents and community members in order to engage the entire village so as to reach maximum current and future growth and success. She is currently writing a book to support education professionals in overcoming the limitations of unconscious bias. This text is designed to provide the knowledge necessary to best allow for staff, students, and families to attain their greatest potential for success in our ever-changing world.


Dr. Bernadine Futrell

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Equity & Discretionary Grants & Support Services for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Elementary & Secondary Education

“Dr. Futrell will lead and provide executive oversight for our equity development and placements, as well as the discretionary grant policy and programs. Dr. Futrell was most recently the Director for the Office of Head Start, in the Administration for Children and Families, at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Futrell actually began her career as an Assistant Head Start Teacher in Richmond, Virginia. She later became the Senior Director for Effective Practice at the National Head Start Association (NHSA), and also led the superintendent certification programs at the American Association of School Administrators before her time at NHSA. Dr. Futrell is an author, serves on university advisory committees, and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), and Harvard University.”

- Office of Elementary & Secondary Education Senior Leadership Biographies

Check out this video of Dr. Futrell’s education journey


Kesha James & Shane Wiegand

The Antiracist Curriculum Project

The Antiracist Curriculum Project team has worked with students, educators, and community members in the co-creation, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum and instructional resources about Rochester’s local history of racism and civil rights. These resources allow learners to explore and interpret their local history through rich primary sources. The goal is to equip learners to be critical consumers of information, share their unique perspectives, and work collaboratively to make claims supported by evidence. Ultimately, the project works to cultivate more informed and engaged community members to build a more just and equitable society.

As the Co-Executive Directors of the Antiracist Curriculum Project, CCSI’s Kesha James and Shane Wiegand have been building and leading this project since 2020. They develop and deliver antiracist curricula to school districts, nonprofit agencies, for-profit agencies, government agencies, academic organizations, and other business sectors.

Visit their website at to view the curriculum materials by grade level. You will also find additional resources for other locations including Elmira/Corning, Syracuse, Binghamton, and the Wayne Finger Lakes Region.

To learn more about The Antiracist Curriculum Project watch this brief video


Matthew Kay

Matthew R. Kay is a proud product of Philadelphia’s public schools and a founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy (SLA). He is a graduate of West Chester University and holds a Masters in Educational Leadership with a Principals’ Certificate from California University of Pennsylvania.

At SLA, he teaches an innovative inquiry-driven, project-based curriculum. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Philly Slam League (PSL), a non-profit organization that shows young people the power of their voices through weekly spoken word competitions. The PSL is the only season-long, school-based slam poetry league in the United States.

He deeply believes in the importance of earnest and mindful classroom conversations about race. Furthermore, he believes that any teacher who is willing to put in the hard work of reflection can, through the practice of discrete skills, become a better discussion leader. Driven by these convictions, he is passionate about designing professional development that teachers find valuable.

Matthew lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Cait, and his daughter, Adia Sherrill & Bennu Jane.


Jose’ Vilson

“Education has been a core part of my identity since I was young, teaching myself how to read in Spanish so I could keep up with my catechism classes while attending public school in the LES. I read books not to escape poverty, but to embrace my culture and help lift us up. I sang in the choir and picked up acting in high school while getting on the honor roll through middle school and high school. I was also a spelling bee champ somewhere, too. I learned from civil rights greats in my student activism at Syracuse University while helping to elevate voices through multiple organizations, including as education chair of La LUCHA. As I was coming up on senior year in 2004, I had a choice to make about my future: to get into computer science or get into teaching by any means.”

I chose to teach.


“You Are Here” Author Panel


Linda Sue Park

Linda Sue Park is the author of many books for young readers, including the 2002 Newbery Medal winner A Single Shard and the NYTimes bestseller A Long Walk to Water. Her most recent title is The One Thing You’d Save, a collection of linked poems.


Grace Lin

Grace Lin grew up in Upstate New York with her parents and two sisters. While the other sisters became scientists, Grace became an artist. Surprisingly enough, being an artist was not Grace’s first choice. She first dreamed of being a champion ice skater, and drew many pictures of herself twirling and dancing on the ice. Unfortunately, Grace had neither the talent nor coordination to make it to skating stardom. However, the pictures she drew of herself held much promise and quickly became Grace’s career focus.


Susan Tan

I’ve wanted to be a children’s author since eighth grade when I was named “most likely to be a children’s book writer” in the middle school yearbook. In high school, I worked in the Children’s Room of my local public library, and in college I sketched picture book outlines in the margins of my school notes.


Ellen Oh

Ellen Oh is a writer of children’s books. Some of her books have won awards from organizations and people who are not related to her. She used to be a lawyer and an adjunct college instructor before realizing that it was all very boring and she enjoyed writing books much more.


See the Event Flyers