Register Today for the Third Annual
Martin Luther King Jr. Planting the Seed Conference

Saturday, January 17, 2015
8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
P.U.S.H. Academy 4501 Way Denver, CO 80239



Registration: 7:30 a.m.
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.–8:25 a.m.
Call to Action: 8:30 a.m.–9:15 a.m.
Breakout Panel: 9:20 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
Breakout Panel: 10:55 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Lunch: 12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
Breakout Panel: 1:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Closing Charge: 2:35 p.m.

Panel Times:

Session One: 9:20 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

From Separate but Equal to Separate but Unequal (Education)
The Price of Wisdom, Anti-bias Education, Holidays, and Fairness (Education)
Understanding the School to Prison Pipeline (Social Justice)
Faith-based Perspectives on Sexual Health (Healthy Living)
The Climb: Leveraging Young Professional Service for Success (Emerging Leadership)
Taking Off the Mask: Full Disclosure (Spiritual Arena of Getting Real)

Session Two: 10:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

What’s Keeping Teachers of Color Away from America’s Classrooms? (Education)
My Brother’s Keeper: Bringing to Life the American Dream (Social Justice)
Economic Rights is Civil Rights (Social Justice)
Diabetes Prevention (Healthy Living)
Network to Increase Your Net Worth (Emerging Leadership)
Getting Rid of the Clutter (Spiritual Arena of Getting Real)

Session Three: 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Reforming Education: Is it Working? (Education)
Am I My Sister’s Keeper? Yes I am. (Social Justice)
Infant Mortality in African American Communities (Healthy Living)
Navigating the Corporate or Non-Profit Landscape Successfully (Emerging Leadership)
Turning Down the Volume (Spiritual Arena of Getting Real)

Panel Descriptions:


“From Separate but Equal to Separate and Unequal”

It’s been over 60 years since “Brown vs Board of Education,” however students of color still do not have access to high quality education. Across the United States, many of the lowest-performing schools have high concentrations of students of color. This panel will discuss the history of education in the United States and ways that we can work together to call for high quality seats for students of color.

·         Moderator: Van Schoales, A Plus Denver

·         Panelists:

o   Jennifer Bacon, Teach for America

o   Landri Taylor, Denver Public Schools’ School Board Member

o   Courtney Torres, Principal, Omar D. Blair Charter School

“What’s Keeping Teachers of Color Away from America's Classrooms?”

Teachers of color are underrepresented in schools, despite the large number of students of color. How do we ensure that students in the classrooms have teachers who look like them? All students deserve not only a high-quality education, but high quality and diverse teacher

·         Moderator: Rico Mann, Aurora Public Schools Superintendent

·         Panelists:

o   Sean Vanberschot, Executive Director, Teach for America Colorado

o   Darlene Sampson, Director of Culturally Responsive Education, Denver Public School

“Reforming Education: Is it Working?”

The challenges in urban education are well known, while the innovative ideas, investments and strategies that work in urban settings are rarely given our full attention. Join our panel of experts in building a high-quality innovation and reform agenda that moves beyond rhetoric and delivers improved outcomes for students.

·         Moderator: Happy Haynes, President, Denver Public School’s School Board Member

·         Panelists:

o   Michael Musick, Denver Summit Schools Network

o   Jarod Scott, Principal, High Tech Early College

The Price of Wisdom: Anti-bias education – Holidays and Fairness

How can we help to confront and eliminate barriers of prejudice, misinformation, and bias? What are ways staff and children respect each other, themselves and all people. During this session, we will focus on early childhood education and how culture and language, racial identity, gender identity, economic class, family structures, different abilities, and holidays affect positive growth and development.

·         Moderator: Erin Brown, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Education and Young Children

·         Panelists:

o   Lindsay Morgan Lorehn, Principal of KIPP Montbello

o   Ty Johnson, Early Learning Ventures Colorado Alliance

o   Patty Hernandez, Play and Learn Teacher, Clayton Early Learning

o   Anita Walker, Director, Jamaica Early Learning Campus, Aurora Public Schools

o   Emily Bustos, Executive Director, Denver Early Childhood Council


Social Justice

Understanding the School to Prison Pipeline and How It Impacts Our Youth

Join us for an informative dialogue about a topic that has gained an increasing amount of attention in recent months and years: The School to Prison Pipeline. What is this concept that has community members, educators, and juvenile justice folks worried about our children’s futures? This panel will (1) define the concept of the School to Prison Pipeline, (2) identify the associated problem behaviors, and (3) suggest ways to address problem behaviors that promote student success rather than failure. Steps to Success will share what its programming is doing to disrupt the School to Prison Pipeline and suggest some concrete steps that individuals and communities can take to encourage a positive course for our young people.


·         Officer Bernard Henry, Denver Police Department

·         Monique Atkinson, Padres y Jovenes Unidos

·         Sarah Park, Denver Foundation

·         Ill Seven

My Brother’s Keeper: Bringing to Life the American Dream

President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Join this important conversation as we hear from men who are doing their part to help our little brothers prepare to access more opportunities, personally and professionally. This panel will highlight the good work that is being done close to home and in the larger community. It will also inspire you to think about how you can better engage in securing a brighter future for our young men.


·         Chis Herndon, Denver City Council President

·         Courtenay Brown, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

·         Joey Pace, Mayor’s Office of Children’s Affairs/My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

·         Rich Barrows – Boys and Girls Club, Denver Broncos Branch

Am I My Sister’s Keeper? Yes, I am.

We are in an age where personal responsibility is an important trait. It is equally as important to emphasize the idea of collective responsibility. Kevin Spacey once said, “If you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” Join us for a dialogue involving empowered women who are succeeding in their fields and doing their part to “send the elevator back down” for our girls. Hear what individuals are doing in Far Northeast Denver and across the metro area to support our girls in reaching their goals. Be prepared to also offer your own suggestions about guiding our little sisters towards a bright future.


·         Vanecia Kerr, City Year

·         Shaunte Timmons, resident and Boys and Girls Club Volunteer

·         Malcinia Conley

·         Cherish, Boys and Girls Club Participant

·         Jalonia Walker, PUSH Academy Counselor

Jasmine Marsh, DPS AmeriCorps Coordinator

Economic Rights is Civil Rights

Join Paul Washington and the Office of Economic Development to dialogue about the strategies and opportunities concerning economic development in the Far Northeast Community. Topics include: retail strategy, DIA Airport City, and Commercial Development.

Presented By: Paul Washington, Executive Director, Office of Economic Development

Emerging Leadership

The Climb: Leveraging Young Professional Service for Success

Do you envision a future in politics or being a social advocate of change? Learn how to transition your service as a Young Professional into a successful career in helping others. Discover what it takes to be a persuasive political leader and sharpen your skills to become an influential voice amongst your generation and the next.

Moderator: Djuana Harvell, President, Delta Sigma Theta Denver


·         Monica Brown, Founder, Africa Development Promise

Makisha Boothe, Denver Public Schools Director of Strategic School Design

Network to Increase Your Net Worth

You don’t need to be a celebrity or be connected to a CEO to get noticed. Join our professional panel to discover how to make your network increase your earning potential. Turn new contacts into long-term connections, keep your online profile fresh and your resume up-to-date to enhance chances of recognition and attract recruiters.

Moderator: Fran Jefferson


·         Greg Anderson, Chief Investment Officer, GRAnderson Wealth Management Group, Inc.

·         Myra Donavan, CFP, Eagle Strategies Financial Services

·         Edward L. Wingfield II, Executive Director, Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Navigating the Corporate or Non-Profit Landscape Successfully

How do you decide whether the public or private sector is right for you? Join this insightful panel to explore how to combine your social interests with your future financial goals. Learn about the philanthropy industry from corporate foundations to global citizenship initiatives and how to contribute to this rewarding work.

Moderator: Lauren Casteel, Vice President, Philanthropic Partnerships


·         Joette Bailey Keown, Ball Corporation

·         Ayesha Khan, The Denver Foundation, Philanthropic Partnerships Intern

·         Angela Cobian, Together Colorado Community Organizer

Healthy Living

Faith-based Perspectives on Sexual Health

Join this faith-based panel as we discuss strategies and tools to support healthy sexual behavior in sexually active teens and young adults. 

Moderator: Pamela Richard, Family Advocate, Families Forward Resource Center


Pastor Louis Ray

Diabetes Prevention

What strategies of diabetes prevention have been effective in various communities? In this session, we will discuss the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP): DPP and depression, DPP and communities of color, and the effectiveness of the DPP for the conference audience, as well as next steps individuals can take to improve their health.

Moderator: Julissa Soto, Latino Initiatives Director, American Diabetes Association


·         Glenda Mitchell, Center for African American Health

·         Kelly McCracken, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Infant Mortality in African American Communities

Learn about the infant mortality rates in African American communities and the work of the Healthy Start Program in order to reverse this alarming trend.

Moderator: Kellie Teter, Maternal Child Health Program Manager, Denver Public Health


·         Felicia Allen, Families Forward Resource Center

·         Demetrious Jenkins, Families Forward Resource Center

·         Kaylynn Aiona, Denver Public Health

Gloria DeLoach, Denver Public Health

Spiritual Arena of Getting Real

Taking Off the Mask – Full Disclosure

Obstacles are a familiar scenario in everyone’s life, but it may not seem that way.  Some of us have been taught to “mask” the scenarios in our lives, however, when are we taught to take it off?  The workshop “Taking Off the Mask- Full Disclosure” provides a valuable opportunity within a confidential environment for attendees to reveal what is behind the “mask” and an action plan to tackle the root of the issues.

Moderator: Angela Robertson, Fruits of His Laborers Ministry


·         Rev. Kay Farley, Faith Community Baptist Church.

·         Minister Angela Faison, Landmark Ministries

Cenece Dixon

Getting Rid of the Clutter

Clutter accumulates easily and subtly, yet blatantly stands in the way of a sounder mind and newer opportunities.  “Getting Rid of the Clutter” challenges us to examine the different types of clutter in our lives and provides us strategies to create routines to reduce the clutter and remain successful in keeping a lifestyle of clarity.

Moderator: Rev. Mary Tellis, Solomon Temple Missionary Baptist Church


·         Pastor Bill Faison, Landmark Ministries

·         Rev. Doug Farley, Faith Community Baptist Church

Joanna Walker, PUSH Academy

Turning Down the Volume

In life we wake-up to noise, we go through the with noise and we end the day with noise; all the while God is speaking through us, but are we intentionally "Turning Down the Volume" to hear Him?  the session will discuss how to settle into silence in a world that is ceaseless in sounds.

Moderator: Rev. Kay Farley, Faith Community Baptist Church


·         Rev. John Tellis, Solomon Temple Missionary Baptist Church

·         Larron Jackson, American Baptist Churches USA

·         Minister Felicia Smith, Landmark Ministries