Keynote Speaker

Rasheed Cromwell

Welcome to the 6th Annual African American Children and Families Conference, 2017. We at the University of Northern Iowa are proud and privileged to offer many interesting, engaging and culturally competent speakers, workshops, dialogue and professional sharing of ideas and experiences. We strive to provide positive, educational, cultural and current information relative to the well-being of African American children and families.

Our theme this year is "Imagine the Impact: Creating a Caring Community through Vision, Voice and Victory!"


As we embark upon the 6th year of the UNiversity of Northern Iowa's Conference on African American Children and Families, we are proud to be a part of cutting edge research by bringing in some of the world's renowned researchers and experts on African American children and families. This conference has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, educators, administrators, law enforcement, social workers, psychologists, parents and people of all walks of life to have their voices heard and their opinions matter. Our keynote speaker this year is one of the national experts who will share the realities behind why "All Lives Matter", and then share how historically the issue of "Black Lives Matter" surfaced as a critical need in America. has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and their families. We are a trusted supporters  in delivering culturally relevant information, providing resources that are indicative of the need to respond to the unique strengths and needs of Black children. We are focusing on a strengths-based model decrying the popular deficit-focused model used all too often when it comes to Black children and their families. This year's speakers such as Dr. Iheoma U. Iruka, who is internationally recognized for her ingenuity around issues including early childhood education, health, child welfare, literacy, and family engagement. With the support of the University of Northern Iowa's administration, faculty, students and representatives of our local and statewide communities, we must forge ahead! We must be more determined now than ever that our graduates who leave the university be prepared to make unbiased and supportive decisions as they venture out into the world working with diverse populations. We too are apart of the mission of the National Black Child Development's message of improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and their families through education, support and advocacy.

11th African American Read-in

Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 9:30am-1:30pm, Maucker Union

Pre-Conference Institute of African-American Children and Families

Thursday, February 23, 2017, 5:00-9:00pm, Maucker Union

6th Annual Conference on African-American Children and Families

Friday, February 24, 2017, 8:00am-4:00pm, Maucker Union

Designed for educators, administrators, childcare providers, law enforcement, policy makers, social workers, health professionals, business leaders and anyone committed to improving the lives of children!

This conference will promote a better understanding of culture, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status and the needs of African-American children and families. Spend the day networking, sharing and meeting new colleagues to help improve the quality of lives of children and families.

The first ten UNI students to register for the Conference will receive a free copy of Effective Strategies and Approaches to Use with African Americans and Students of Diverse Backgrounds.

A Student's Reflection on Conference, 2016

I really enjoyed listening to keynote speaker Dr. Tim King. I really like how he shared that when he was planning to open the Urban Prep Schools the proposal was rejected two times and after the third proposal it was approved. After Dr. King opened the first school they were asked to open a 2nd and 3rd school in the district. Dr. King stressed a lot that Urban Prep’s motto is: “We Believe.” He talked about how 90-95% of students who attend Urban Prep come from low income schools. With Chicago’s 60% dropout rate and 25% are college graduates, the prep schools put students in a position to achieve success. One thing that really stood out to me is 100% of Urban Prep students get accepted to a 4 year college. I find this shocking because Dr. King also shared that not a single incoming freshman can read above a 5th grade reading level... Read More


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