Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools Announce Keynote Speaker for Superintendent’s Conference Day
August 02, 2017

Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools Announce Keynote Speaker for Superintendent’s Conference Day

Kick off gathering and liturgy for 500+ educators Tuesday, September 5

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is a lifelong activist, educator, and student of life. A native of the Bronx, New York, Dena grew up in a one-bedroom apartment with her two sisters and immigrant mother. There, Dena learned and lived the violence of injustice and inequity and decided to dedicate her life to educating and empowering others. As the Director of Education at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, she works with schools to use the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. Prior to her work at the Center, Dena served as an educator, teacher educator, diversity facilitator, and curriculum developer. She has been a leading voice on teacher education and has written and spoken across the country about social justice pedagogy, diversity, education reform, emotional intelligence, and bullying in K-12 school settings, including the United Nations, two TEDx talks, and a TED talk on Broadway. Dena has been profiled in the Huffington Post, the AOL/PBS project, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and a Beacon Press Book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists.  Dena is a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a J. William Fulbright Fellowship, an Education Pioneers Fellowship, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, a Phillips Exeter Academy Dissertation Fellowship, and an Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellowship among others. She earned her doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dena’s research interests include teacher preparedness to address bullying in the K-12 school setting, culturally responsive pedagogy, and social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions—all in an effort to ensure and foster justice and safe spaces for all.

Session Title: Leveraging emotional intelligence and culturally responsive practices for thriving students

Session Description: For students to thrive at school, they must feel safe to be who they are; they must love themselves. As a result, our leadership and instruction must foster psychological and emotional safety through emotional intelligence and culturally responsive pedagogy. Therefore, during this session, participants will receive an overview of the five key skills of emotional intelligence—recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions—as well as explore opportunities to connect emotional intelligence to culturally relevant practices.