Professional News

Register for K-8 education symposium on culturally responsive teaching

aerial photo of UK's campus with W.T. Young Library in center
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2023) — Registration is open for a free symposium at the University of Kentucky designed to support K-8 teachers in sustaining culturally responsive teaching practices, taking place July 18 and 19. 

Open to all teachers, as well as community members interested in culturally responsive education, the Culturally Responsive Instruction Sustainability Symposium will feature practical, hands-on, teacher-led sessions and keynote presentations by nationally acclaimed speakers. 

Keynote speakers include: 

  • Gloria Ladson Billings, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emerita and former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education, known for her work in the field of culturally relevant pedagogy

  • Mariana Atencio, award-winning journalist, motivational speaker, best-selling author, and founder of GoLike 

  • Patricia Edwards, Ph.D., Michigan State University professor and expert in parent involvement; home, school and community partnerships, multicultural literacy, early literacy and family/intergenerational literacy. 

Other featured presenters include Mariama Lockington, an award-winning author of young adult literature and Rebecca Powell, Ph.D., who will conduct a session for school leaders on creating welcoming schools.  

The symposium is the culminating professional learning experience for Project PLACE, an initiative in the UK College of Education funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition. Project PLACE’s principal investigator is UK College of Education professor Susan Cantrell, Ph.D. and co-principal investigator is Kristen Perry, Ph.D., professor and chair, both in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. 

“In addition to including our Project PLACE participants, we are opening the symposium to all educators and community members in response to the desire many express for more opportunities to build on their expertise around culturally responsive teaching practices. Symposium participants will be able to engage in dialogue about strategies that support students’ access to content while honoring and sustaining the diversity of cultures and languages in today’s classrooms,” Cantrell said 

The symposium will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 18 and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 19 at the UK Gatton Student Center, with free parking available. 

With teacher leaders and some of the most well-known, nationally acclaimed experts in their respective fields converging at UK this July, we have an opportunity to share knowledge that will make a difference for Kentucky’s students,” Perry said.  

For more information, contact project manager Jo Davis at or visit the symposium registration page 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.