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Reimagining Education: Teaching, Learning and Leading for a Racially Just Society

July 12 - 15, 2021

July 12, 2021 - July 15, 2021

Needed now more than ever, Reimagining Education is here to support educators who strive to be anti-racists amid a global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice.

Amid the deep frustration with the exacerbation of the racial and socio-economic inequalities and a widening opportunity gap laid bare by the pandemic, there is hope that our field may be shifting away from its over-reliance on standardized tests and toward a more student-centered focus on teaching and learning. One thing the pandemic and the shuttering of many schools has clarified is that students need academic, social and emotional support to learn and thrive. The trauma that young people are experiencing in these times makes this painfully clear. Schools that are not doing the work to become racially literate, culturally relevant and sustaining and anti-racist are not supporting their students’ academic, social and emotional well-being, nor are they addressing racial injustice in our educational system and society.

As we look forward to the 2021-22 school year, when more students return to classrooms and we will have an opportunity to start anew – to reimagine education for an anti-racist society, we need to relearn our profession and view education through a racial equity lens. Here at Teachers College, Columbia University, one of the oldest and largest schools of education in the country with a mission to address educational disparities head on, we continue to stand by and support educators and the students they serve.

Back by popular demand, our Reimagining Education: Teaching Learning and Leading for a Racially Just Society professional development Summer Institute, July 12-15, 2021 will be held virtually at an affordable price for educators who need to earn PD credits (30 CTLEs or clock hours). We are also raising money for fellowships for those who cannot afford to earn their PD credits in the wake of this disaster and massive education budget cuts.

Our committed Reimagining Education faculty, graduate students and staff stand with you this July to provide professional development that supports you in grappling with the key takeaways of the past year and think forward to 2021-22:

  • We acknowledge the many ways COVID-19 made the racial disparities in our society, health care system and schools ever-more visible and undeniable
  • We grieve the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all Black men and women unjustly killed by police and vigilantes and are aware of the impact their horrendous deaths have had on students of color’s sense of safety, self-worth and justice within the United States
  • We are committed to support educators in helping students, families and communities heal, rebuild and reimagine a brighter future in which racism and injustice are named and resisted
  • We will advocate and prepare educators for a student-centered educational system that strives to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all children.

We must Reimagine Education Post-COVID-19 to so that our schools can become a vital transformative force in creating a more just and equal society. Join us this July.

Visit our website for more program details.

Dates:  July 12-15  Additional Workshop and Post-Institute Policy Discussion* Option, July 16;
Asynchronous/Pre-Recorded Programming Available until July 31st

Format: Virtual**

Registration Options

  • Full Participation/PD Credit
    • Full Institute (4-days plus additional optional programming on the 5th day), includes plenary sessions, dialogue sessions (Pool Parties), and unlimited workshops virtually
    • One-day passes available, includes 2 plenaries, 1 dialogue session (Pool Parties) and 2 workshops
    • Eligible to receive Clock hours / CTLEs
    • Payment via Purchase Orders allowed
  • Plenary Only Participation/No PD Credit
    • Full, four-day Institute includes Keynote Address and Plenaries as well as a 4 bonus workshops on topics such as racial literacy, trauma-informed teaching, culturally relevant pedagogy, and diversity issues in higher education
    • One-day passes for plenaries each day available [1 workshop]
    • NOT eligible to receive Clock Hours / CTLEs
    • Credit Card and ACH payments ONLY (Purchase Orders NOT allowed)

* Post-Institute Policy Discussion Option will be announced in Spring 2021

** Unfortunately there will not be any In-Person options for the 2021 Institute

Registration Fee: 

For the Full Participation, Full Institute/PD Credit option:

  • General Registration: $550 - Registration Closed

For the Day Pass for Full Participation/PD Credit option:

  • General Registration: $175 - Registration Closed

For the Plenary Only Participant Full Institute/Non-credit option:

  • General Registration: $300 - Registration Closes July 12th

For the Day Pass Plenary Only/Non Credit option:

  • General Registration: $125 - Registration Closed

Please email for more details on the following discounts:

  • 10 percent Group Discount for two or more people from the same school or district
  • NYC public school discount

Discounts cannot be combined and registrants will receive the best discounted price.

TC students and other graduate students may earn 3 graduate credits by enrolling in a TC course associated with the Institute and paying TC tuition rates.


We are working to raise foundation funding to provide more educators fellowships to the Institute. If you are unable to afford the Institute and your school or district has no professional development funding, please submit an inquiry here.

For More Information, Please Contact:, or Continuing Professional Studies, at


Who Should Attend?

The Reimagining Education Summer Institute is designed to help all educators – in public, private, charter schools and higher education – learn how to address the racial hierarchies and antiblackness that have shaped our educational system and strive to create truly integrated schools and classrooms that tap into the educational benefits of racial and ethnic diversity. This professional development Institute is designed primarily for teachers, school administrators, district officials, parents, and graduate students in education and all others who are interested in addressing the deep-seated racial inequalities and injustices in our educational system that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For individuals who attended last summer’s Institute, we have consciously designed a program to give you the opportunity to take your learning on critical topics to a deeper level, and to continue your work on a plan to implement your new insights in your schools and communities.

Demand for the Institute

Demographic, geographic, and attitudinal shifts call out for new and innovative ways of providing novice and veteran educators with the tools necessary to educate and empower a more diverse student body to engage with a global economy and society. We provide a place to reimagine and replace old practices and curricula that reinforces racial inequalities, segregation and antiblackness.

This Institute combines the expertise of Teachers College faculty, other faculty from around the country, and P-12 public and private school teachers, administrators, parents and students from the New York City metro region and across the US. Together, we will explore innovative ways to better prepare educators for a more racially and ethnically diverse student population.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

Summer Institute participants will grapple with the many ways in which race and ethnicity matter in the teaching and learning and how to design racial and culturally diverse educational settings in which all students can learn from each other. Challenging issues and topics to be covered include racial identity, racial and cultural literacy, multicultural education, culturally relevant pedagogy, addressing racial politics, and how implicit biases affect leadership and teaching in diverse schools.

Key Takeaways:

Participants will:

  • witness examples of rigorous, joyful learning and development that engages all students and fosters the educational benefits of diversity for all students
  • develop strategies to tap into the insights and knowledge of diverse groups of students
  • facilitate dialogues among students, staff and parents about issues of race
  • understand racial identities within racially diverse contexts
  • develop culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogy
  • improve achievement outcomes for all students
  • learn to build community and engage parents
  • center the knowledge and understandings of racially, ethnically and culturally diverse learners, including those not measured on standardized tests
  • promote the educational and social advantages of racially, ethnically and culturally diverse schools
  • learn to connect with social service and health care providers to foster a more racially and socio-economically just educational system
  • work towards a plan to bring this knowledge back to your own schools and communities

Attendee Participation:

The Institute includes several plenary sessions that foster greater understanding of issues related to race and ethnicity in the U.S.; racial and cultural literacy; multicultural education; culturally sustaining leadership; and student critiques.

Participants will also engage in daily small-group dialogue sessions with attendees from different educational roles and professional positions, as well as different locations, to connect these macro themes to their context. Time will be spent each day on how to take back new learning to apply in participants’ schools, classrooms and communities.

They will also participate in hands-on professional development workshops led by Teachers College faculty and other noted education leaders. Participants will sign up for workshops ahead of time.

Plenaries and Pool Party small-group dialogue sessions will be live streamed and can be watched in real time (synchronized) remotely. Afternoon plenaries will be offered either live streamed or taped (asynchronous). Some workshops will be available live streamed the weeks of July 12 and July 19; most workshops will be pre-recorded and available any time July 15-23.

After the Institute, participants can continue to dialogue via a private online forum designed to foster thoughtful exchanges on difficult topics.


Teachers College, Columbia University faculty will be speaking and leading workshops, including: (list in development)

  • Christopher Emdin, Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology
  • Mark Gooden, Department of Organization & Leadership
  • Sonya Douglass Horsford, Department of Organization & Leadership
  • Felicia Moore Mensah, Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology
  • Detra Price-Dennis, Department of Curriculum and Teaching
  • Carolyn Riehl, Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis
  • Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Department of Arts and Humanities
  • Laura Smith, Counseling and Clinical Psychology
  • Mariana Souto-Manning, Department of Curriculum and Teaching
  • Erica Walker, Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology
  • Amy Stuart Wells, Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis
  • Jeffrey Young, Department of Organization & Leadership


Below is the schedule for the 2021 Reimagining Education Summer Institute. Please click on the image below to view our interactive schedule with more details.

Please note the schedule is tentative and subject to change.

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