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Your Diversity May Not Be My Diversity

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Your Diversity May Not Be My Diversity

Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Álvarez, Ph.D., Superintendent, Forest Park District 91 (IL); Refugio “Cuco” Gracián, Executive Director of Cultural Proficiency, Equity, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Capistrano USD (CA); Corey Brooks, School Principal, William T. Dwyer High School (FL); and David Samore, Ed.D., CEO, David Samore & Associates, LLC

Sponsored by Mindsets Learning

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation. Get a CE Certificate for this edWebinar Learn more.

Every school district focuses on ensuring DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is integral to the life-changing education they provide their many learners. DEI is extremely crucial and a worthy component to any meaningful education in the United States. While one might first think “diversity” is universally understood, the interpretation of diversity is itself diverse.

Is diversity an issue that is best addressed by race and culture? Or does diversity also encompass age, experience, and thought? How does school leadership manage the inevitable enculturation required to ensure success in diversity? This recorded edWebinar focuses on how “diversity” is understood and interpreted in the K-12 school setting and how policy and practice incorporate that definition. Watch to hear from three school leaders, representing distinct regions of the U.S., as they examine and explore the nuances and impacts of “diversity” and how it has impacted the practices, rules, policies, and laws in their states.

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to school, district, and education technology leaders of the middle and high school levels.


Dr. Elizabeth ÁlvarezAbout the Presenters

Dr. Elizabeth Álvarez was born and raised in the Southwest side of Chicago. She is a first-generation Mexican and first-generation college graduate. She received her B.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago in education and minored in psychology. She continued with her education by completing two masters and a Ph.D. through the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on narrative, race and science pedagogy. The title of her dissertation is Rabbit on the Moon: An Urban Mexican Curriculum Story. Dr. Álvarez began her career as a teacher in the Little Village neighborhood in Chicago. She taught for 13 years teaching upper-grade science. She was privileged and honored to serve as the principal for six years at John C. Dore Elementary, a pre-k through 8th-grade elementary school in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood where she led the school to level 1+ status. Prior to being an administrator, she coached district principals in math and science and was an adjunct professor at Concordia University. She is active with the Network of Hispanic Administrators in Education for Chicago Public Schools, a member of the Illinois Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (IALAS) and current president of IALAS, 2019 cohort of the Superintendent Leadership Academy of ALAS, a 2015 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and Corwin reviewer for book proposals. Dr. Álvarez is a member of the CPS DREAMERS Fundraiser supporting DACA students to achieve their college dreams, and she is one of the founders and board members of the Latino Leadership Pipeline that coaches and supports Latino leaders as they work to become future leaders in education. Her past role was serving as Network 8 Chief of Schools in Chicago Public Schools supporting 18 schools (predominantly Latino) where she moved schools from the 30% to the 70% where they achieved growth and attainment along with preparing students for college and career readiness.

Dr. Álvarez was awarded the Chicago Mayoral Award for Level 1 principal 2012 and 2013; the Independent School Principal Recognition 2015 by Chicago Mayor; Chicago’s top 23 Latina Leaders in Philanthropy and Government for 2017 and 2018; and the 2018 Latina Leader Award by Chicago Latino Network.

She is currently the proud superintendent of Forest Park District 91. She is the first female, Latina and person of color to lead the district and one of four Latina superintendents in the state of Illinois. However, her proudest title is mother of two great children, Natalia and Caleb. As a leader, she encourages staff, community and students to achieve greatness in all they do and take pride in their school climate and culture. More importantly, she aims to instill a sense of belonging with a developed understanding of social-emotional learning driven to make schools safe learning environments so that learning is at the forefront and increased student achievement is inevitable.

Refugio "Cuco" GraciánRefugio “Cuco” Gracián was born in Hawaiian Gardens, California as the oldest of two immigrant parents from Michoacan, Mexico. When he was 10, he moved to Downey, CA, and later graduated from Downey High School in 1996. He attended Long Beach State and graduated with a BA in history and Chicano studies. Cuco began teaching at a K-8 site in Paramount USD in 2000 and became an assistant principal in Central California in 2005. In 2007, he received his master’s in educational leadership from National University. He then spent 10 years as an assistant principal until he became an elementary school principal in Santa Ana USD. Then he became a middle school principal in 2017 for Placentia Yorba Linda USD, and in September of 2021, he became the executive director of cultural proficiency, equity, and social emotional learning (SEL) for Capistrano USD. Cuco is currently in the process of completing his Ed.D. in educational leadership at Cal State Fullerton.

Corey BrooksMr. Corey Brooks is a School Principal with twenty-three years of experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Corey currently works at William T. Dwyer High School, located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and loves his students and staff. He works tirelessly to make success unavoidable and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Corey is inspired daily by his mother and daughter. He enjoys working out, reading, and spending quality time with his family in his free time.



Dr. David Samore

Dr. David Samore has been a teacher and administrator of K-12 schools for 35 years in Iowa, Florida, South Carolina, Spain and Colombia, South America. Dr. Samore served as the Director of Global Leadership and Innovation in Palm Beach County, Florida and in 2015 was named the Florida Principal of the Year by the NASSP which highlighted his growth mindset for all students. As principal, Samore’s dual language immersion school was recognized twice as the School of the Year for North America by the Embassy of Spain. Dr. Samore was recently honored by King Felipe VI of Spain and conferred the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Isabel la Católica.

Dr. Samore is currently a guest lecturer at Universidad Cardenal Cisneros in Madrid, Spain and is CEO of David Samore & Associates, LLC, a private consulting practice which helps organizations fulfill their highest potential through common sense leadership and purposeful talent discovery. Dr. Samore also serves as an advisor to Mindsets Learning.


Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

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Mindsets Learning


Wednesday, February 2, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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