Convocation 2020

David Kirkland

Keynote speaker: David E. Kirkland, Ph.D., J.D., Executive Director of The NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and The Transformation of Schools

Special guest: Kirsten Grant, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College

The annual Winter Convocation is an opportunity for all BMCC faculty and staff to gather to discuss teaching and learning in support of student success in and out of the classroom.

Winter Convocation will take place on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 199 Chambers Street.

The theme is Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Engagement.

According to the BMCC Designing for Success Pedagogy group (2018-19), “the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Engagement (CRSE) framework is intended to help BMCC faculty and staff create a welcoming learning environment that:

  1. affirms and values cultural diversity (i.e., race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, social class, nationality, and language), and
  2. identifies and leverages students’ experiences and background as assets and resources, and not as ‘deficiencies to overcome’ (Paris & Alim, 2014, p. 87).”

See the full document here: CRP Statement and strategies 4-12-19.

All faculty and staff are invited and welcome. Follow us on social media #BMCCWinterConvo2020.

Check back for additions and updates. More information will be posted as it develops.

RSVP by noon, January 16, 2020.


Morning: Theater One

Afternoon: various locations in the Chambers Street building

9:30 a.m. Check-in
10 a.m. Welcome from Interim President Karrin E. Wilks
Acting Provost and Senior Vice President, Erwin J. Wong
Keynote Address by David E. Kirkland, PhD, JD
Associate Professor of English and Urban Education, and
Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, New York University
Implicit Bias by Kirsten Grant, PhD
Clinical Professor of Chemistry
Hunter College
12:30 p.m. Lunch
S-430 Group Study Room
1:30 p.m. The afternoon working sessions listed below will be facilitated by faculty and staff volunteers and produce documents, plans, or activities that will be shared in a closing event and online.

  • Using CRP to Engage Students on the First Day of Class • S-738
    Vincent Cheng and Maureen Keenan. Substantial research has affirmed the importance of first impressions while exploring a variety of factors that contribute to their formation; similarly, what we do on the first day of our classes will have long-lasting impacts on our students’ relationships to the course, their classmates, the instructor, and the college. By sharing individual practices and through brainstorming, this session’s participants will work together to create culturally responsive pedagogical strategies for the first day of class (e.g., ice-breakers, introduction exercises, as well as syllabus and student learning outcomes reviews) that will help us facilitate a safe, inclusive, and affirmative learning community for the rest of the semester and beyond.
  • Identity Mapping • N-780
    Argenis A. Rodriguez and Mayulie Luciano. This exercise will allow faculty and staff to discuss identity and how it may influence our thinking and those around us. Through a group activity in which the audience will be instructed to react to a series of statements based on different identities, will allow for ongoing discussions on what components make up a student’s identity and how it may impact their learning in and outside of the classroom environment. The purpose of this session is to allow the audience to develop a better sense of self and others.
  • Revising a Whole Course with CRP • S-732
    Cara Kronen and Orlando Justo. Interested in learning more about using CRP practices in your classroom? CRP does not have to be intimidating or overwhelming. Together we will discuss CRP techniques that you can quickly adopt into your syllabus and courses. We will explore creating assignments that develop social skills and problem-solving, and highlight the knowledge and experiences of the students in your classroom. We will discuss ways to encourage social interactions, make room for similarities and differences among students,  and meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • CRP in Hiring and Appointments • N-786
    Lesley Rennis and Greer McPhaden. How can we ensure that incoming, reappointed, and promoted faculty ascribe to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Engagement practices? What steps can we take during the recruiting, hiring, evaluation, reappointment, and promotion processes to ensure these practices are maintained throughout a faculty member’s career? Can we change the processes, guidelines, and goals of Departmental P&B Committees? Should we? What about the College-wide P&B?
  • Understanding and Responding to Student Resistance to Culturally Responsive/Relevant/Sustaining Practice • S-739
    Leslie Craigo, Cecilia Scott Croff. As faculty, staff and administrators practice and promote CRP with students, how might our position of power influence student reaction? What role does student agency play in the power dynamic and how might this lead to student resistance/discomfort? What other factors might influence student resistance/discomfort? In this session we will examine the causes of student resistance and explore ways to  create safe and welcoming spaces as we engage in CRP.
  • Universal Design for Learning • N-778
    Jen Longley and Jen Gilken. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a way of thinking about teaching and learning that helps give all students an opportunity to succeed. UDL allows for flexibility when accessing and engaging with materials, as well as demonstrating knowledge.  Workshop participants will discuss how UDL supports CRP and explore strategies for implementing UDL into courses.
  • Creating a CRP-informed Assignment or Activity • S-736
    Margaret Carson and Jonathan Cabrera. We may be new to Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) and not quite ready to rework our syllabus completely, but we can still use CRP in trying out a new class activity, an assignment, a collaborative task, and more. In the belief that our students’ experiences and expertise matter, we will brainstorm ideas and consider how we can begin to incorporate CRP into our subject areas and classrooms incrementally, in creative and transformative ways (spoken word, rap, role plays, Jeopardy, social media + your ideas).
  • Incorporating CRP in grading • S-789
    Hollis Glaser, Ewa Barnes, and Yolanda Medina.
    In this session we will examine our assumptions about grading and its purposes, discuss grading’s relationship to student learning and the larger cultural and social forces that impact this kind of assessment.  Finally, we will explore a variety of ways to grade our students.
  • Using CRP to Destigmatize Support  • S-724
    Ashtian Holmes and Robert Cortez. This working session is intended to frame a productive discussion centered on culturally responsive pedagogy to inform students’ use of support services. Participants will explore and discuss topics such as building trust with students, recognizing and harnessing students’ cultural wealth, and creative approaches to engaging students with support services. Participants will develop/share strategies to leverage student support services in a culturally responsive way.
  • Facilitating Difficult Conversations In and Out of Class • S-722
    Ian Wentworth and Amy Ojerholm. In this interactive session we will share examples and discuss strategies from our experiences of creating a respectful classroom environment, handling difficult situations in the moment, and reestablishing harmonious relationships after having difficult conversations with students, from a CRP perspective.
  • Transforming the College • N-783
    Benjamin Haas and Maureen Matarese. This workshop proposes to build a “practical utopia” here at BMCC. The workshop will ask participants to think deeply about their dreams and visions for the college, and then will work together to develop a concrete plan of action to make those visions a reality at whatever time scales are required. Some possible topics covered (this could never be an exhaustive list) include: Culturally sustaining pedagogy in every class; Equity/Equality/Liberation/Justice; Cost reduction or elimination; Mission Statements and goals; Becoming ready for our students; Rethinking campus security; LGBTQAI+ justice/liberation and access; Immigration and borders; Racial justice and liberation; Childcare; Maintaining open admissions; Challenging the school-prison juxtaposition; Implementing pedagogical approaches/theories/philosophies faculty find inspiring. We hope that you will join us for this opportunity to think big and make change in the college.
  • Incorporating CRP into Your Syllabus • S-737
    Edna Asknes and Judith Anderson. How is the culture of care reflected in your syllabus? What does your syllabus say to your students? Does your syllabus tell students they matter? The syllabus is often overlooked in faculty conversations about equity and inclusion; however, syllabus revision is an important step towards acknowledging the diverse experiences of our students. During this session, we will examine the structural elements of syllabi through the lens of equity and inclusion. Participants will leave this session with action items for their Spring 2020 syllabi.
  • Cultivating a Multi-lingual Classroom • S-740
    Rifat Salam and Jules Salomone. Many BMCC students speak (at least!) another language besides English. During this session, we will think collectively about how we can help multilingual students succeed in our courses. The session will start by covering useful terminology (e.g. ELL, MLL, Generation 1.5, etc.) that highlights students’ diverse linguistic trajectories. In so doing, we will get a clearer sense of the different obstacles that different multilingual students face. We will then explore Writing Across the Curriculum-inspired techniques and strategies that can deepen multilingual students’ learning, as well as invite them to feel welcome and seen in our classes.
  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Science, Technology and Math • S-720
    Siddarth Ramakrishnan. Many STEM faculty struggle with the tension between having time to cover scientific fundamentals and concepts, while still having room for creating inclusive, culturally sustainable/responsive classes. How can we better integrate CRP/CSP within our curricula, to make STEM spaces more welcoming and relatable? This session hopes to produce actionable items that STEM faculty can take to their classrooms and assignments.
3:30 p.m. Idea Sharing and Reception

Faculty-Staff Dining Room

updated 1/17/2020

Planning committee
Faculty: Edna Asknes, Margaret Carson, Vincent Cheng, Leslie Craigo, Janet Esquirole, Jen Gilken, Benjamin Haas, Maureen Keenan. Staff: Maketa Barber, Gina Cherry, Christopher Medellin, Greer McPhaden, Siddharth Ramakrishnan, Sharon Reid. Admin: Jim Berg.