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2012 Emerging Minority Leaders Conference

Stay tuned for more details on the 2015 Emerging Minority Leadership Conference!

2nd Annual Emerging Minority Leadership Conference Highlights

PTA encourages the development of leaders who can succeed in building bridges for ethnically diverse families to engage with PTA.  The 2nd Annual Colorado Emerging Minority Leadership Conference provides opportunities for 2013 participants to network with friends from last year and enhance their leadership and advocacy skills with new experiences.  First time participants have a unique experience in store, sharing a series of life changing experiences with others who are equally passionate about every child reaching their full potential by building the capacity of minority leaders and reinforcing the importance of increasing ethnic diversity to enrich educational opportunities for all.


Through this experience, emerging minority leaders and traditionally underserved populations will learn about resources, strengthen their leadership skills, enhance their commitment to parents’ engagement in their child’s education and connect with a network of peers throughout Colorado for long-term information sharing and learning.

Mauricio Velasquez, nationally recognized author and President of The Diversity Training Group.  Mr. Velasquez returns to the 2nd Annual EMLC to share his talents as a trainer, mentor and coach. While an accomplished trainer and scholar, Mr. Velasquez is, also, an energetic, entertaining presenter.


Tamara White, Director of Admission and Remediation Policy, Colorado Department of Higher Education.

This workshop oulined the policies being developed to address student’s “remediation” needs and a “seamless” pathway to college admissions, and how these policies are intended to close the achievement, attainment and opportunity gaps between student populations in Colorado.

Colorado laws have been enacted addressing the education of Special Needs, Gifted and Talented and English Second Language Students as well as Bullying and Parent Engagement.  Learn about these laws and others related to the education of students, and how to use these laws to advocate for children and youth.

Zurkowski, Director of Assessment, Colorado Department of Education. Parent Respondent: Arturo Jimenez, DPS Board of Education.

Testing and assessment at every level of education in Colorado affects quality and quantity of instruction and is frequently stressful for students.  Learn what testing/assessment is required in Colorado, discuss biases and learn how to help your student.

Panel Moderator: Tamara White; Panel: Middle and High School Remediation—Scott Mendelsberg Ph.D., Director, Colorado GEAR UP, Ryan Ross, Dean of Student Development and Retention, Community College of Denver, Andrea Reeve, former Director of CSU’s Academic Advancement Center, a CDE Representative

Dr. Mendelsberg is a former principal in DPS, serving minority, low-income students. He created a program which allowed high school students to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.  In conjunction with a local university, he, also, developed Colorado GEAR UP to enroll middle school and high school students in online “remedial” courses before they graduate. Upon completion, students receive university transcripts, allowing them to immediately begin to take credit-bearing classes.

Panel discussed the programs/strategies that are closing the achievement gap for each level followed by a Question and Answer session.

Richard Fair and Jeff Kirk, Jeffco PTA Male Involvement Chair

Does your school want higher test scores, fewer bullies and more kids with healthy self images? Do you want to learn about programs to involve Dads like All Pro DadsWatch Dogs and others?  If so, this workshop is for you. Jeff and Richard talked about why you want Dad’s in your school and how to get them there.

Michelle Winzent, Karen Hobson, Jo Ann Fujioka, Ph.D.

Learn how Colorado PTA involves diverse parent populations through programs, community PTA’s, the Colorado PTA Diversity Policy and Strategic Plan and local Diversity and Inclusivity Committees.