Sanctuary Education Conference

Great range of topics. Very approachable and yet applicable and critical. This
was awesome! I loved the student panel! — Teacher

Responding to requests from teachers, MECA joined collaborated with AROC, Teachers 4 Social
Justice, People’s Education Movement and Alliance of South Asians Taking Action to hold a one-
day workshop on “Sanctuary Education: A conference for k-12 teachers, staff and youth
workers on meeting the needs of Arab and Muslim youth in the Trump era.”

Conference Details

The event began with a plenary and youth panel: six Arab and Muslim teenagers talked about their experiences at school and in their communities, and what they need from teachers and schools to feel safe and able to learn.
This was followed by workshops:
-Know your rights for youth and educators
-Talking with children about racism, sexism, Islamophobia xenophobia (grades k-5)
=Talking with middle and high school kids about racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia (grades 6-12)
-Transformative justice in the face of hate speech and violence
-K-5 picture books on Arab and Muslim cultures—and critical literacy
-Curriculum building (grades 6-12) on Arab and Muslim cultures and history
-Supporting youth organizing and resistance to racism in classrooms and beyond

The conference ended with a closing plenary: “Making sanctuary real in schools and communities.” The panelists included community leaders and high school and teacher organizers.

Attendance was capped at 250 because we wanted to have meaningful participation in the workshops. More than 250 additional teachers were on the waiting list.

Location: Oakland, California

The conference was held at the Islamic Cultural Center in Oakland, California.