Logo for the Culturally Responsive Campus Community (CRCC) Fall Conference with the test Building Solidarity Across Movements, November 18-19, 2019, Bone Student Center

Under the theme “Building Solidarity Across Movements,” the annual Culturally Responsive Campus Community (CRCC) Conference will be November 18-19 at the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University. Registration is open.

CRCC allows us to unpack what it means to be in true solidarity as an institution,” said Assistant Dean for Diversity Advocacy Christa Platt. “If one of us is oppressed, then all of us are oppressed—at least, that’s the way it should be. Solidarity means reaching beyond our personal passions, intentionally standing alongside marginalized people, understanding the impact of oppressive systems, and creating intentional action that dismantles these systems.”

Nationally known speakers Estela Mara Bensimon and Kelly Hurst will be the keynote speakers of the conference which aims to enlighten, educate, and ignite conversation around creating a more equitable and just campus environment for all.

The event is free, but registration is required. Both keynote speakers will offer a lunchtime presentation. Lunch is included, but participants must register online by November 8. Those who need help registering, or require special accommodations to fully participate in this event can email CRCC@ilstu.edu.

“The focus of this year’s conference is to build momentum towards solidarity across critical issues but to also be clear and honest about what is still standing in the way of reaching solidarity,” said CRCC Chair April Mustian. The two-day event will also feature workshops, speakers, presentations, and performances surrounding challenging systems of oppression. A full schedule will be available soon at the CRCC website.

headshot of Kelly Hurst

Kelly Hurst

Kelly Hurst, noon, Monday, November 18

Hurst is a national organizer and trainer for Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, where she facilitates conversations and learning about anti-racism, critical cultural competency, and anti-bias education.

Hurst has been an organizer and trainer for Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training since 2017 and has been involved in antiracism efforts in Springfield, Illinois, since 2014.

The work of Crossroads is to dismantle systemic racism and build anti-racist, multicultural diversity within institutions and communities implemented primarily by training institutional transformation teams.

Hurst is also the founder and executive director of Being Black at School. After spending 23 years in the public education system as a teacher, literacy coach, guidance dean, and assistant principal, Hurst witnessed first-hand how the system helped white students thrive while continuing to marginalize black students. She left the education system and started Being Black at School, which provides training and curriculum for teachers, school boards, and students to navigate tough conversations in the classroom. The organization combines research, policy development, and advocacy to influence public debate and catalyze change regarding race and education in America.

Author of the award-winning blog Mocha Momma, Hurst chronicles her life as a former teen parent, a birth mom, and a single mother who took her then 3-year old daughter to college with her. She has appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More.

headshot of Estela Bensimon

Estela Bensimon

Estela Mara Bensimon, noon, Tuesday, November 19

Bensimon is a professor of higher education at the USC Rossier School of Education and the director and founder of the Center for Urban Education.

The Center for Urban Education, known as CUE, has worked with thousands of college professionals—from presidents to faculty to academic counselors, helping them take steps in their daily work to reverse the impact of the historical and structural disadvantages that prevent many students of color from excelling in higher education with the help of a process Bensimon developed called the “Equity Scorecard.” With a focus on increasing racial equity in higher education outcomes for students of color, the Equity Scorecard is a process for using inquiry to drive changes in institutional practice and culture.

In 2017, Bensimon was elected to the National Academy of Education and she was presented with the 2017 Social Justice in Education Award by the American Educational Research Association. She is also a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and in January 2018, California’s Governor Jerry Brown appointed Bensimon to the Education Commission of the States. She also serves on the Campaign for College Opportunity Board of Directors.

Bensimon has published extensively about equity, organizational learning, practitioner inquiry, and change; and her articles have appeared in journals such as the Review of Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Liberal Education, and Harvard Educational Review. Her most recent books include Critical Approaches to the Study of Higher Education, Division of Postsecondary Education; Engaging the Race Question: Accountability and Equity in U.S. Higher Education, and Confronting Equity Issues on Campus: Implementing the Equity Scorecard in Theory and Practice.

More information on the conference can be found at the CRCC website. Those with questions can email  CRCC@ilstu.edu.