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Thank you to all who attended, keynoted, spoke truth, keynoted,  created art, prepared food, participated, risked being open and honest in self-reflection, broke bread with us, cleaned up with us, and made a commitment to continue the work to #LevelUp this year at our 5th annual RECN Equity Conference!
- RECN Equity Core Team  


RECN Equity Core Team 2024

Our RECN Equity Conference 5.0 Gallery

#LevelUp #IamDOPE - Determined - Optimistic - Powerful - Energized

Thank you all again for
joining us for our RECN
Equity Conference 5.0 held 2-2 and 2-3-2024!
#LevelUp #IamDOPE 

- Determined
- Optimistic
- Powerful
- Energized

Thank you to those who joined us for our 

RECN Equity



RECN Equity Conference 5.0

Friday Schedule:

 Art Build Workers [ABW] 5-8 pm

Sylvia O'Stayformore - Drag Queen Story Hour 6-7 pm followed by DINNER on us!

Thank you to all who joined us  Friday, 2-2-24 for an in-person creative evening including dinner on us, food truck style!  


Saturday was virtual through our Whova site with a fantastic line-up of keynotes, speakers, and presenters!  


Let's #LevelUp together!

Thank you to those who joined us in-person on Friday 2-2- for this fun, creative portion of our conference!
Thank you to the WEA and NEA leaders for supporting our RECN work! Speakers:



Blaire Penry is an instructional specialist and electives teacher for grades six through 12 for the Auburn School District in Auburn, Washington. A true equity-driven educator, she has led in the creation of student equity groups, developed and facilitated equity and diversity professional development for faculties throughout the district and committed to working with local leaders to make sure all students are prepared for the future that they choose.


Informed by her lived experiences and inspired by her activism work, Penry’s vision and voice are integral in continually shaping policies and initiatives that intentionally cultivate a reflective, emboldened staff and student body across her district. Penry prides herself on building engaging, student-centered learning communities, providing consistent and caring guidance and elevating students’ positive sense of self.


In every learning experience she facilitates, her students drive and lead the learning. Her unconditional positivity for her students is a key reason she is so impactful. “I believe that Mrs. Penry is an outstanding teacher. The way that she shows her students how much she cares about them and the energy she brings to the classroom every day constantly making you want to be there is amazing,” says a senior student. Penry’s leadership continues to shape not only her school community, but inspires her colleagues and the student body to be reflective, informed, active citizens of Auburn.

Thank you to Blaire Penry, Washington State Teacher of the Year!

Thank You to Our Amazing Keynotes!

Keynote Schedule - Saturday 2-3-24:
Helena Lourdes Donato-Sapp - 9:45 - 10:45 am
Dr. Priya Lalvani - SESSION 3: 1:45 - 2:45 pm
Kumar Rushad - SESSION 4: 2:50 - 3:50 pm

Helena Lourdes Denato-Sapp
Keynote 9:45 - 10:45 am

"Helena Lourdes Donato-Sapp is a 14-year-old activist, scholar, artist, and speaker who believes that it is urgent for young people like her to understand and be empowered to confront critical issues like anti-Blackness, ableism, Queerphobia, misogyny, poverty, and climate change. She is keenly aware that humanity is in crisis, and that her generation stands to inherit a world still struggling with injustice, under threat of widespread authoritarianism, and on the brink of environmental collapse. Thus, she is an activist for social, economic, and environmental justice who understands that Activism is as much a fight as it is the pursuit of peace, and must always be inclusive and intersectional."

Dr. Priya Lalvanı - Session 3 - 1:45 - 2:45 pm

Guest Speaker: Undoing Ableism: Creating Communities of Belonging in Schools


Author of: "Constructing the (M)other: Narratives of Disability, Motherhood, and the Politics of Normal"-

"Dr. Priya Lalvani is Professor of disability studies and the coordinator of the graduate programs in Inclusive Education at Montclair State University. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology. Her work aims to disrupt ableism in schools and society, and to problematize the practice of ability-based segregation for many students with disabilities. She is the co-author of the book: Undoing Ableism: Teaching About Disability in K-12 Classrooms and the editor of:  Constructing the (M)other:  Narratives of Disability, Motherhood, and the Politics of Normal.


This session focuses on the ways in which ableism plays out in the context of schooling to create inequities and contribute to the marginalization of students with disabilities. Participants are invited to reflect on our own biases, language, and expectations, as we explore ways to build more inclusive classroom communities through anti-racism and anti-ableist practices. We will consider how to respond to students in ways that honor and value all identities and how to create communities of belonging."

Kumar Rashad

NEA Ethnic Minority Director of NCUEA
Motivate, Empower & Inspire

Kumar Rashad is a public high school math teacher for over 20  years and was recently named Kentucky’s 2024 High School Teacher of the Year.  He is a proud local, state, and national union leader as the Ethnic Minority Director for the National Council of Urban Education Association.  He is also a Board of Director for Jefferson County Teachers Association in Louisville KY.  

Mr. Rashad has spent over 20 years in the classroom where he specializes in mentoring minority males.  This passion for leading minority youth led him in the pursuit of recruiting minority teachers through a non-profit he and his wife Natalie Rashad created called the Minority Teacher Recruitment Movement.  


He's a staunch advocate for the eradication of systemic racism by demanding fair representation be given on all decisions that affect freedom, justice, and equity in our democracy.  Mr. Rashad believes in this so much that recently he completed serving his term as the Louisville Metro Council Member for the metropolitan area of Louisville, Kentucky.  In this role he helped pass laws that gave more flexibility to city government work hours for employees to accommodate public school schedules.  He also helped pass a law to help stop displacement and homelessness from developers who gentrify.

Thank you to
our amazing


MAY 18, 2023 4:30 - 6 PM

We include ALL of the following RUC bargaining units in our RECN team! - Renton Education Support Professionals (RESP), Renton Professional Technical Association (RPTA),  Highline Education Association (HEA), Renton Education Association (REA), Professional Support Association at Puget Sound ESD (PSA@PSESD), Bellevue College Association of Higher Education (BCAHE), and Highline College Education Association (HCEA)

RUC (Rainier UniServ Council) Rainbow Educators Monthly Meetup

We are creating an LGBTQ+ sub committee of our Equity Team (RECN) that will be working on supporting educators in creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students and staff for their schools, offices, or campuses.  This group will be presenting/co-presenting trainings, intervening when LGBTQ+ issues come up, and supporting student clubs.  This committee will meet in person at the Rainier UniServ Council Office with an option for folks to zoom in. Dinner will be provided.

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