Strategy Session: Leveraging the Science of Learning and Development to Advance Equity and Excellence

Updated: Oct 13

Education is a cornerstone of our democracy and essential to young people’s opportunity to thrive and to our nation’s prosperity. Yet each day, young people in America, particularly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) young people, face the challenge of learning and developing within education systems that were not designed with them in mind and that perpetuate deep structural racism and other forms of oppression. How can we use the key findings from the science of learning and development to explore this context and organize our individual and collective efforts as education field leaders to dismantle racism and cultivate the relationships, environments, experiences, and cultures necessary for all young people to thrive?

The Strategy Session, powered by the SoLD Alliance, are monthly virtual “field calls” that provide leaders a regular opportunity to share information, learn about new opportunities, and explore critical topics in learning and development with a focus on applying the science and an equity lens to our individual and collective efforts to ensure thriving for all young people.


Previous Strategy Sessions Include:

The Strategy Session #7: States Leveraging ARPA funds to Advance Whole Child Policy

Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 4:30 PM-5:30PM EST

Megan Blanco, National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
Jennifer DePaoli, Learning Policy Institute (LPI)
Catherine Van Ness, National Governors Association (NGA)
Autumn Rivera, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)

Watch the Full Recording


The Strategy Session #6: Design Principles for Community-Based Learning Settings: Putting the Science of Learning and Development Into Action

Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 4:30PM-5:30PM EST

Jazzmen Anderson, Digital Divide Instructor at YouthBuild of McLean County
Karen Pittman, Co-Founder and Senior Fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment and SoLD Governing Partner
Elizabeth Santiago, Chief Program Officer at MENTOR
Kelly Reynolds, Instructional Designer at Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound

Watch the Full Recording


The Strategy Session #5: Why A Racial Equity Lens is Essential to Implementing the Science of Learning and Development

Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 4:30-5:30pm ET

Ashley Burns, Director, RALLY Communications Firm, Seattle office
Zaretta Hammond, Teacher Educator and Author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain
Francesca Lopez, PhD, Waterbury Chair in Equity Pedagogy and Professor of Education, Penn State University
Aaron C. Spence, Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Watch the Full Recording


The Strategy Session #4: Design Principles For Schools: Putting SoLD Into Action

Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 4:30-5:30pm ET

Ron Berger, Senior Advisor, Teaching & Learning, EL Education
Pamela Cantor, M.D. , Founder and Senior Science Advisor, Turnaround for Children
Margarida Celestino, Senior at Casco Bay High School in Portland Maine
Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute
Karen Pittman, Co-founder and Senior Fellow, The Forum for Youth Investment
Carolyne Quintana, Senior Director of Programs at Institute for Student Achievement for SEAD; former Bronxdale Principal

Watch the Full Recording


Session #3: American Rescue Plan Implementation through a SoLD and Equity Lens

Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 4:30pm-5:30pm ET


Jim Balfanz, Chief Executive Officer, City Year

Taryn Ishida, Executive Director, Californians for Justice

Karen Pittman, Co-founder, Senior Fellow, Forum for Youth Investment

Jonathan Travers, Managing Partner, Consulting, Education Resource Strategies

Watch the Full Recording


Session #2: New Perspectives and Trends in Philanthropy through a SoLD and Equity Lens

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Brooke Stafford-Brizard, Vice President-Research to Practice, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Kent McGuire, Program Director of Education, Hewlett Foundation

Na’ilah Suad Nasir, President, Spencer Foundation

Gisele Shorter, Program Officer-Education, Raikes Foundation

Watch the Full Recording


Session #1: The Federal Education Policy Landscape Through a SoLD Lens as President Biden Takes Office

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


Jessica Cardichon, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, US Dept. of Education

Thaddeus Ferber, Executive Vice President, The Forum for Youth Investment

Lynn Jennings, Senior Director of National and State Partnerships, The Education Trust

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