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LMS Teachers Win Grant to Attend International Conference on Racism

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LMS Teachers Win Grant to Attend International Conference on Racism
Posted on 04/17/2015
This is the image for the news article titled LMS Teachers Win Grant to Attend International Conference on Racism

Four Lincoln Middle School teachers have won a Fund for Teachers grant of nearly $10,000 to attend an international conference on race and education hosted at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland this summer.

The four are the only Maine educators among approximately 500 teachers nationwide to win such “golden ticket” fellowships for summer learning odysseys. The awards are given out by the Houston-based Fund for Teachers, one of the one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country.

The four LMS teachers are Jennifer Dorval, ELL teacher; Antona Briley, eighth grade ELA teacher; Alexis Lyon, sixth grade ELA teacher; and Robin Lea, seventh grade science teacher. The $9,728 grant will enable them to participate as a delegation in the CERES (Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland) 2015 International Conference on Racism, hosted by the University of Edinburgh. Their attendance is part of a teacher-led strategy to build both the teachers’ capacity and the school’s capacity to initiate conversations about race and recognize and respond to systemic racial bias impacting their teaching and learning community.

The conference is titled: “The stubborn persistence of racism: confronting racial inequality through education and action.” The teachers will be participants in the stream titled: “Teachers, schools and the future of anti-racist education.”

“We are very excited about this work,” Lea said.

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk praised the teachers for their initiative in applying for and securing the grant to attend the conference on racism.

“Congratulations to Robin, Jennifer, Antona, and Alexis for tackling this important issue that is a barrier for many of our students,” Caulk said. “I'm excited and I hope that we can connect this work to that of the district as we continue to work to foster greater racial harmony. As a learning organization, it is imperative that we are leaders in this area and work together to increase our knowledge and understanding of others so we can ensure that our students’ demography will not equal their destiny.”

[Photo: Pictured from left to right are LMS teachers Jen Dorval, Alexis Lyon, Antona Briley and Robin Lea.]