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November 3-5, 2017
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Our recent election and the devastating aftermath has created a surge of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. The current political climate has summoned artists and arts educators around the world to respond in meaningful and powerful ways. CtC is no different, and we join the fight against oppression and fear via the arts in education. We hope to confront these issues with compassion and fierce regard for the rights of those who have been unjustly targeted.

We at CtC will utilize this summit to unite both our shared concerns and hopes for a better future. We will collectively grapple with these questions: How does the union of the arts and education help us envision a future that celebrates difference, creates equity and includes all voices? Can deep conversation through the arts build bridges and break down walls?

We will provide a safe space for art, activism and liberating educational practices. Please join us as we come together to RESIST fear and hate while learning in and through the arts.

Check out the program here!


The Delving into Difference Summit will engage participants in conversation, interactive exploration, and action planning through four core formats:

Plenaries: Plenaries will engage the entire corps of summit participants in activities and discussions. These full group sessions will occur throughout the summit.

Brave Conversations: These breakout sessions will be led by a prestigious group of facilitators and will engage small groups of participants in conversations of critical topics relating to Delving into Difference. Brave Conversations will be interactive and discussion-based.

Praxis Sessions: Praxis is the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. These small group sessions will be a time to practice the ideas of the summit and apply them to the participants own work. Paulo Freire said, “Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it.” Participants will meet with a consistent group throughout the summit in these sessions.

Keynote Speakers: The summit will feature two keynote speakers who are leaders in the field to catalyze conversation, offer insight, inspire action, and provoke conversation.



Friday, November 3, 2017

  • 3:00 Arrival & Registration
  • 4:00-4:15 Welcome 
    • Steve Seidel, Faculty Director, Arts in Education; Carissa White, Co-Chair, Continuing the Conversation

  • 4:15-5:45 Opening Plenary:  “Lovers of the Oppressed”: Investigating Asset-Based and Deficit-Based Approaches When Learning Through the Arts   
    • Alyssa Liles-Amponsah and Aaric Doyle-Wright, University of Missouri, Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

  • 6:00-7:00 Praxis Group Sessions

Saturday, November 4, 2017

  • 9:00 Breakfast
  • 9:30-9:45 Welcome 
    • Aliza Greenberg, Co-Chair, Continuing the Conversation
  • 9:45-10:30 Keynote: Artivism and Arts Ed:  Are You Ready to be Radical? 
    • Robyne Walker Murphy, Executive Director, Groundswell
  • 10:45-12:15 Brave Conversations #1
  • 12:15-1:15 Lunch
  • 1:30-3:00 Brave Conversations #2
  • 3:15-5:00 Praxis Group Session
  • 5:15-6:00 Group Reflection Plenary 
    • Carissa White, Continuing the Conversation Co-Chair

Sunday, November 5, 2017

  • 9:00 Breakfast
  • 9:30-10:30 Keynote: Welcome to Bonnerville! 
    • Michael Bonner, 2nd Grade Teacher, South Greenville Elementary
  • 11:00-12:15 Praxis Group Session
  • 12:30-1:00 Closing Plenary 
    • Continuing the Conversation Steering Committee

Robyne Walker Murphy

Activism and Arts Ed: Are you Ready to be Radical?

Saturday, November 4th

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Robyne is a nationally recognized art and social justice educator and administrator. In November, she began her appointment as executive director at Groundswell New York City's premiere organization dedicated to advancing the public practice of public artmaking.

Previous to her position at Groundswell, Robyne served as director of membership development and engagement at the National Guild for Community Arts education, working closely with a national network of Community Arts organizations. Robin created the Guild's first Network for leaders of color in the arts, ALAANA (African, Latin, Asian, Arabic, Native American) To raise the profile of work being led by people of color (POC) in the Arts, increase POC access to sustain resources, and invest in the growth and leadership of people of color in the field of community arts education.

This row was deeply rooted in her work serving for seven years as the Director of this DreamYard Art Center located on the ground floor of an affordable housing unit In the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Under her leadership, DreamYard Art Center’s offerings expanded from three programs serving high school students to 16 multi-disciplinary are in college readiness programs for young people in grades Pre-K to 12. In 2012, DreamYard Art Center was recognized by the White House as one of the top 12 out of school programs in the nation.

Robyne accepted the award from First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony. During her tenure at DreamYard, Robin also led the organization through the development of several arts and social justice programming and community engagement initiatives. She created and co-developed DreamYard’s Social Justice Pedagogy Team, a professional development series aimed at establishing important tenets of social justice education; creating common language across program; exploring best practices; and learning from veteran social justice educators. Some of the guest lecturers have included: Professor Noam Chomsky (MIT); Dr. Susan Wilcox and Khary Lazarre-White from Brotherhood Sister Sol (Harlem, New York), Dr. William Ayers (University of Illinois at Chicago), Linda Christensen (Lewis and Clark College), Dr. Ernest Morrell (Teachers College, Columbia University), and Dr. Michelle Fine (CUNY Graduate Center).

Robyne has conducted workshops about art and social justice at conferences and institutions across the country including: New York University, City College, the Bronx Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, and the National Guild’s Conference for Community Arts Education (Chicago/Los Angeles). She served as chair of the social justice cohort at the National Creative Youth Development Summit in Boston in 2014. She was a practitioner faculty member at the Community Arts Education Leadership Institution in summer, 2015. Her writing on social justice education has been featured in Teachers and Writers and Teaching Artist Guild magazines. Robyne is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she majored in English with an emphasis in African American literature. She has delivered keynote addresses on liberatory education at the University of Chicago and the Seattle Museum of Art.

Robyne obtained her MFA in acting from the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program. She resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Tarik Murphy and her son, Ras.

Michael Bonner

Welcome to Bonnerville

Sunday, November 5th


“I wish I could go back to second grade, so Mr. Bonner could be my teacher,” were the words Ellen DeGeneres released on her social media accounts in early January 2017.  this is when she learned of how Mr. Bonner's unique, rap-filled teaching methods encourage students to go above and beyond on a reading test.

Mr. Bonner is an inspiring second grade teacher at North Carolina's South Greenville Elementary, where the majority of students have strenuous familial dynamics and many are homeless. The school Is 100% FRL (free and reduced lunch) and is located in an impoverished neighborhood in Eastern North Carolina.

His efforts to change the proficiency learning culture have also captured attention from other national news outlets. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Flocabulary, the Ashton Kutcher Foundation, and Remind all released stories on how Mr. Bonner is utilizing music as a tool to help counter the negative statistical data concerning students living in poverty. He's had the privilege of speaking at NC State University, the American Association for Blacks in Higher Education, and various other institutions, delivering powerful messages on improving student performance and resilience.

With only 4 years in K-12 education, Mr. Bonner is consistently seen as a visionary leader who strives to create a positive mindset among all of his students. He understands that his students come to class each day with diverse backgrounds, strength, needs, and challenges, and seeks to identify strategies to ensure the growth of their social, emotional, academic, and psychological needs. Because of his approach to education, students leave feeling a little more hopeful, challenge, inspired, and forever a part of Bonneville! The song and video his class made about their love of reading, entitled “Who, What, Where, and Why,” recently went viral and Mr. Bonner’s practice has come and inspiration for how arts can successfully be integrated into a variety of classroom settings.

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THE I-NEED PROJECT, a celebration of Public Voices and Public Art!

Participate in the I-NEED project, developed and curated by Jennifer Ifil-Ryan, Deputy Director & Director of Creative Engagement at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling.

The I–NEED Project grew out of the work of The Forum for Social Action, an initiative of Urban Soul Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to using the arts as a tool for social justice, in direct response to racially fueled violence carried out by police forces in various locations throughout this country.

The goal of the I-NEED project is to activate and bring together the voices of the public in communicating what people need in the current political and social landscape.

Aiming to get to 1,000 voices, we are asking individuals from all walks of life to share their needs with the global world by completing the simple sentence, “I Need…”

The I-NEED project will develop into public art interventions, disrupting generalized thinking around those places and building a dialogue between place and people.


Our Partner


CtC is proud to partner with the The University of Missouri's Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity for this summit. The University of Missouri strives to be a 21st century learning community defined by excellence through the affirmation of difference in the composition of its leadership, faculty, staff and students. As a result, the MU Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity was created in 2016 to foster an inclusive living, learning, and working community where everyone is valued and inspired to reach their full potential. The division achieves this overarching goal through a number of programming efforts and support services including the Diversity Peer Educators, the LGBTQ Resource Center, Citizenship@Mizzou, CitizenshipToo, the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX, the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, the Multicultural Center, the LGBTQ Resource Center, Diversity101, Workplace Diversity trainings, and a comprehensive faculty recruitment and retention plan. Thanks to these efforts and many others, the MU Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity is in position to become a national exemplar where the campus, local communities, and the state embody inclusive excellence.