Friday Schedule

Design-Thinking Session for Innovation Fund Lab Application

Led by Accenture, this session will support educators in developing their project proposals for the Innovation Fund Lab. Educators will have the opportunity to receive up to $10,000 for projects that promote educator sustainability and stronger student academic and social emotional outcomes.

This session is designed for TeachMichigan Detroit Fellows

TeachMichigan Network Mixer

Come network, mix and mingle with the entire TeachMichigan community. Heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served!

Designed for all TeachMichigan community members, including school partners, educators, champions and staff. All are welcome!

Saturday Schedule


Join us as we enjoy breakfast and build community.


We will kick off our day of learning with a charge from our keynote speaker.

District Leader/Fellow Cohort Time

Educators and leaders will spend time building community and learning alongside each other in their specific cohorts.


Grab lunch and get to know other fellows in TeachMichigan!

Choice Sessions - Round 1

Choice sessions are offered for all participants covering a range of topics to choose from aligned to participants’ area of interest and focused on these four pillars:

  1. Adaptive Skills
  2. Authentic and Impactful Leadership
  3. Systems Change
  4. Culturally Responsive Leadership/Critical Race Theory

Choice session details and topics can be found later in your program booklet.

Choice Sessions - Round 2

Choice sessions are offered for all participants covering a range of topics to choose from aligned to participants’ area of interest and focused on these four pillars:

  1. Adaptive Skills
  2. Authentic and Impactful Leadership
  3. Systems Change
  4. Culturally Responsive Leadership/Critical Race Theory

Choice session details and topics can be found later in your program booklet.

Closing Session: The Moment

We will celebrate, reflect, and say goodbye during our EmpowerEd Weekend closing with a charge delivered by TFA Detroit Executive Director Armen Hratchian.

Choice Session Facilitator Bios, Topics and Description

In the afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to engage in a round of choice sessions where they will attend one hour development sessions with key experts in fields ranging from design-thinking to best practices in DEI. All sessions are aligned to what we believe are four key pillars in development for educators/educational leaders:

  1. Adaptive Skills
  2. Authentic and Impactful Leadership
  3. Systems Change
  4. Culturally Responsive Leadership/Critical Race Theory

Adaptive Skills Facilitators

portrait of John Ray

John Ray

Leaning Into Your Community

In this session you will explore and discuss how to leverage your professional and personal networks to support ideation, problem-solving, and self.

Intended Audience: This session is for hyper-independent educators who tend to do everything themselves or struggle asking for help.

John Ray has thirteen years of experience in consulting, education, and nonprofit management. He is a native Detroiter who loves his city, supporting local businesses, and traveling.

portrait of Peter Van Dyke

Peter Van Dyke

portrait of Jamie Kaye Walters

Jamie Kaye Walters

Your Story, Your Impact

During the session, we will discuss how to brand your story and it's impact. Using the public narrative model, we'll learn how to use your story to become a changemaker in your community.

Intended Audience: This session is for the person looking to understand the power of a personal brand and how to make an impact.

Peter Van Dyke is the CEO of VVK and a founding partner.

Jamie Kaye Walters is the COO and a founding partner of VVK PR + Creative. Together, they are committed to improving their communities and Detroit.

portrait of Dr. Christina Costa

Dr. Christina Costa

Beyond Bubble Baths: Research Based Strategies for Teacher Wellness

“Teacher self-care” is a buzzword that is of interest to teachers, administrators, and policy makers, but what does teacher wellness actually mean? This session will explore wellness and review strategies that have been proven to protect and improve wellness.

Intended Audience: This session is for the person who wants to know what the science says about teacher wellness and ways to bolster their own well-being.

Dr. Christina Costa is a Psychology Professor at Wayne State University. Before moving to higher education, she taught middle school science in southwest Detroit. Her work focuses broadly on teacher well-being among K-12 educators and inclusive education in higher education.

Authentic and Impactful Leadership Facilitators

portrait of Darlisha Barnes

Darlisha Barnes

Paint the Picture of Your Org' Culture

The goal of this session is not to help diagnose your organization’s culture. Instead, this session is to help you think about key moments where you and your staff paint a picture of what it’s like to work at your organization, and consider if you’re actually painting the picture you intend.

Intended Audience: This session is for vision-setters and leaders at the team, school and district levels.

Darlisha Barnes centers her practice on compassion. With nearly a decade of experience leading high impact projects, designing strategic planning processes, and coaching team members, Darlisha's vision is to support organizations as they create cultures that allow people to do their best work. Darlisha has led in both non-profit and for-profit spaces and found new ways to put people first in policy and practice.

Systems Change Facilitators

portrait of Sunil Joy

Sunil Joy

Breaking Down Barriers for Equitable Gifted and Talented Programs

Discover how Kentwood Public Schools successfully broke down barriers to access in their Gifted and Talented program. Participants will delve into actionable strategies and best practices for ensuring equitable access and championing equity in their own institutions.

Intended Audience: Educators and administrators exploring policy solutions for student equity.

Sunil Joy is the Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation Kentwood Public Schools

portrait of George Hardy

George Hardy

Shifting Perspectives: Unpacking Traditionally Held Beliefs in Education

During this hour long session, participants will engage in a conversation rooted in their experiences to unpack the root causes of traditionally held beliefs in education. We will then collectively reimagine what it would look like and mean to shift these perspectives, and take meaningful actions to change outcomes for students and communities.

Intended Audience: The target audience is any educator who is willing to collaborate and believes in finding ways to disrupt the status quo.

George Hardy is a native Detroiter and considers himself a lifelong learner and educator. He served as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools district from 2012 - 2014, and has since worked as an instructional coach in Philadelphia and served as an executive coach for school leaders. Currently, he is a consultant at Deloitte Consulting, where supports Fortune 500 companies with solving their toughest challenges, particularly in the DEI space.

portrait of Patrick Harris

Patrick Harris II

Teaching in 360 Degrees: The Key to Longevity

In this highly interactive session, participants will work together to use stories, not just strategies, to help us unpack what it means for teaching to be human work.

Intended Audience: This session is for the person trying to decide how to not lose themselves in the demands of the education system.

Patrick Harris II is the author of award-winning book The First Five: A Love Letter to Teachers. Hailing from Detroit, Patrick has taught nearly a decade across the world. When Patrick isn't teaching, he' riding his bike downtown or writing horror stories.

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy/Critical Race Theory Facilitators

portrait of Haben Ghebregergish

Haben Ghebregergish

Amplifying Youth Voice in Schools

In this session, participants will engage with concepts and materials to promote student voices in classrooms and schools. We will discuss how to move from teacher-centered classrooms classrooms to learner-driven classrooms.

Intended Audience: This session is for teachers and school leaders who want to make student opinions, perspectives, and approaches a more critical factor in how classrooms and schools run.

Haben Ghebregergish is a Professional Learning Facilitator at World Savvy. Haben has taught high school mathematics for nearly a decade and has a passion for social justice mathematics. Outside of teaching, she is a mentor at Bridgemakers, a nonprofit, youth-led organization that works on issues such as education reform and economic justice for marginalized Minnesotans ages 14-25.

portrait of Silver Moore

Silver Moore

Tenacious Joy: Clapback Pedagogy in SS/ELA Education

“Tenacious Joy: Clapback Pedagogy in SS/ELA Education” delves into innovative teaching techniques emphasizing joy, wellness, and resistance against traditional educational norms. This transformative session offers practical ways to merge Social Studies and English Language Arts, prioritizing curriculums aligned with students' cultural backgrounds and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Intended Audience: 6th-12th grade ELA and SS teachers

Silver Moore, an indigenous Detroiter, is an educational leader and instructional coach who founded Classroom Clapback to promote culturally responsive pedagogy. Honored with multiple awards, including the Mari Matsuda Award For DEI In Education from Color of Change and a spot in the 2021 Crain’s 20 in Their 20’s, she has significantly impacted curriculum development and teacher training. Committed to challenging systemic oppression against Black children in traditional schools, Silver is a vocal advocate for their complete educational and personal liberation.

Thank You to our Sponsors

  • Accenture
  • Henry Ford Health
  • Masco
  • Shinola Detroit