Press Release

The Education Trust-Midwest’s virtual conference “Building a Movement, Building Hope” set for Nov. 10, 11 and 13

The Education Trust-Midwest will hold its inaugural Education Summit 2021: Building a Movement, Building Hope on Nov. 10, 11 and 13, bringing a diverse group of Michigan and national experts from the business, education, civic and philanthropic sectors together to share and discuss actions that have proven successful in improving outcomes for students from low-income families, students of color and students who are learning English as an additional language.

The virtual conference will also recognize four first-ever “Building the Hope” schools in Michigan that have consistently demonstrated exceptional academic progress and growth for underserved students.

The conference goal seeks to inspire, build knowledge, and showcase best practices from across the country around what works to improve outcomes for underserved students. Cost for the conference is $75. The Nov. 13 session is designed for Michigan educators, in particular, including teachers, school leaders, administrators, school counselors and others.  The conference is free for educators though registration is required.

For more information and to register go to

Among the speakers scheduled are:

  • Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Education Trust President John B. King Jr.
  • Denise Forte, Interim CEO, The Education Trust
  • Richard R. Buery, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Robin Hood foundation, New York City’s largest anti-poverty organization and former Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives for the City of New York
  • Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan and former lieutenant governor of the State of Michigan.
  • Richard L. DeVore, executive vice president and regional president, Detroit & Southeast Michigan, PNC Bank
  • Alice Thompson, Chair of the Education Committee, NAACP Detroit Branch
  • Rita Raichoudhuri, superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools
  • Nikolai Vitti, superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Kymyona Burk, policy director, early literacy at ExcelinEd
  • Mike Jandernoa, founder and chairman of 42 North Partners
  • Rodney Robinson, 2019 National Teacher of the Year, and Sr. Advisor, Richmond, VA, Public Schools
  • Daniel Williams, president & CEO, Steelcase Foundation
  • Tina Kerr, executive director, Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators
  • Shamoyia Gardiner, Executive Director, Strong Schools Maryland
  • Tai Maria Basurto, Principal, John C. Dore Elementary School
  • Tabitha Bentley, Director of Policy and Research, The Education Trust-Midwest
  • Karin Chenoweth, Author and Writer-in-Residence, The Education Trust
  • John Daniel, Superintendent, Cottonwood Public School
  • Lynnett M. Gorman, Principal, Pugliese West Elementary School
  • Mary Grech, Chief of Staff, The Education Trust – Midwest
  • Sarah Lillis, Executive Director, Teach Plus California
  • David E. Meador, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, DTE Energy
  • Robert Simmons, Scholar in Residence and Scholar of Antiracist Praxis, American University
  • Adnoris “Bo” Torres, Project Supervisor, Strong Beginnings – Healthy Start
  • Natasha Ushomirsky, State Director for Massachusetts, The Education Trust
  • Nicole Wells Stallworth, Board President, MacDowell Preparatory Academy

The Education Trust-Midwest is a nonpartisan, data-driven education policy, research and advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for all children, particularly those from low-income families and students of color.

Also featured in the event are educators from the new Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative. The collaborative is a partnership by The Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering excellent, experienced and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity and student success. The Collaborative provides educators with consistent opportunities and training around policy, advocacy and communications on major equity policy decisions in Lansing, as well as a community of practice to share and celebrate best strategies around racial equity.

“Together, we will learn, strategize and build the hope on what’s possible for Michigan’s schools and districts to make real progress to improve student achievement and access to opportunity for all students,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest.

This transformative event seeks to:

  • Promote best practices from across the nation to inform Michigan’s collective efforts to become a Top 10 education state for all groups of students.
  • Identify, elevate and celebrate promising strategies for policy and practice in Michigan, and provide a friendly and supportive space for sharing, learning and collaborating among policymakers, business leaders, civil rights leaders, grassroots advocates and other stakeholders from across Michigan.
  • Inspire action to address gaps in opportunity and achievement through research-based learning and solutions to address the challenges Michigan faces to close opportunity and achievement gaps for all students, especially students of color and students from low-income families.

The Education Trust-Midwest is thankful for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, PNC Bank and the DTE Energy Foundation for their commitment to all Michigan students and their support for the summit and the 2021 Building the Hope Schools awards.