Designing an Anti-Racism Curriculum - May 13, 7pm
Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton
Denise Davis-Cotton, EdD, the Director of the Florida Center for PAInT. She is a Milken Foundation internationally recognized educator, Michiganian of the Year, and Past President of Arts Schools Network in which she made historic contributions to education and the cultural renaissance. She is the founder and served as the First Principal of Detroit School of Arts (DSA).
Dr. Davis-Cotton hails from Montgomery, Alabama and is dedicated to promoting achievement through science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) initiatives, thus providing a balanced intellectual sphere that includes divergent thinking and creativity.
She holds an earned doctorate from Wayne State University, an Education specialist certification from Wayne State University, a Master of Arts from the University of Montevallo, and a Bachelor of Science from Alabama State University.
Geri Chaffee, M. Ed.; National Radio Host Por Nuestros Niños; President, PDO.org – Pedagogy, Diversity, Optimization
A longtime educator and education activist, Geri is a former English Language Learner (ELL), and a voice for the community. Geri is president of PDO.org, where she facilitates the delivery of resources and technical assistance to school districts with rapidly growing Hispanic, SLIFE, and ELL populations. She is also the host of the national weekly radio program and podcast “Por Nuestros Niños” – bringing Spanish-speaking parents and families information, resources and tools to help support their children’s education.
Most recently Geri founded Dreamers Academy, a dual language Spanish immersion public charter school opening in Sarasota August 2021. She is also a founding member of FABE, Florida’s Association of Bilingual Educators and of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC Council 7261). Geri serves on Manatee School District’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Sarasota School District’s Equity Committee, and is a Cabinet member of Manatee Elementary’s Community Partnership School.
Tihda Vongkoth is one of the founders of Modern Marimba, an organization formed to curate concert programs featuring marimba, vibraphone, and other mallet percussion keyboard music. Modern Marimba seeks to amplify and RECLAIM the musical voices of living, formerly living, and collective people who have been muted throughout western history. It seeks to learn and partner with those who take responsibility and action in creating sustainable and equitable musical ecosystems that dismantle oppression and dismantle white supremacy.
A second-generation Lao American, Tihda Vongkoth is a percussionist, a web and marketing consultant, and a yoga practitioner. She has presented educational master classes at Kutztown University and the University of South Florida and regularly presents master classes to K-12 students in Sarasota County.