Just last month, KIPP Chicago brought 21 staff members, including all of our McNair Fellows, to the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego. As our attendance and participation at each summit grows, we continue to come away with new perspectives, ideas, and tangible skills. At this year’s summit, Ed on the Edge, KIPP Chicago was honored to moderate and participate in several panels, a fire-side chat with Stedman Graham, and present an installation from our Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice.
The ASU+GSV Summit started in 2010 with a collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU) and Global Silicon Valley (GSV). The annual ASU+GSV Summit connects leading minds focused on transforming society and business around learning and work so that ALL people have equal access to the future.
KIPP Chicago alumn, Brenda Gilbert, better known as Windy Indie, was hired by ASU+GSV to perform in various locations throughout the conference. Whether during check-in or outside during happy hour, her beautiful violin performances with unmistakable beats set the background music for the entire summit.
April Montgomery Goble, Executive Director, introduced Stedman Graham by telling the story of how identity actualization plays a role in our educational philosophy at KIPP Chicago, tying into Stedman Graham’s identity leadership work. Jennifer Hodges, Vice President of Whole Child Fund & Community Impact, led a conversation with Mr. Graham around his Identity Learning Program, which is based on the philosophy that individuals hold the power to their educational, career, and personal success or failure.The goal of the curriculum is to help people self-actualize their own potential. “I get to help people and turn them into identity leaders. They are able to understand authenticity, how to create a vision for themselves, how to build a plan and a dream team for themselves, and make up a lot of their own rules.”
As children make sense of the world around them, books, social media, pictures, videos, and games are all available at their fingertips, telling them stories about where they come from and who they should be. Kids are constant consumers of implicit and explicit messages that influence their identity development. April Montgomery Goble moderated a conversation with leaders across the field, including Brittany Jones, KIPP Chicago’s Managing Director of Justice Initiatives, who are developing tools and practices to help adults raise their own awareness about what’s shared with kids and to help kids build the skills to engage with media consciously.
Through the development of the Whole Child Initiative, KIPP Chicago has made a strategic commitment to evolve in order to better support students’, families’, and communities’ ability to thrive in the classroom and beyond; from food pantries to building a pathway for parents to secure their high school diplomas. This conversation with partners and fellow leaders highlighted how each has adapted their approach to addressing critical community challenges; recognizing this evolution as a form of innovation. Panelists discussed the need for recalibrating and refocusing standard practices to better support the needs of communities.
We were honored to exhibit our work for the second time at an ASU+GSV Summit in order to share our mission, vision, and resources with a larger education community. Showcasing images from our Springtime on Neptune exhibition on Afrofuturism, we tapped into the conversation on radically reimagining a future that de-centers whiteness and utilizes advanced technology to create a more just world. We asked participants to listen to Sun Ra, father of Afrofurisim, in order to write or draw about their own radically imaginative hopes for the future.
We also featured work from our Food for Thought exhibition in order to highlight the work we are doing around Food Justice. Proceeds that were raised from donations will go toward our first school-based food pantry opening at KIPP Academy Chicago this May.