TOCA 2019

Join us at the 2022 Annual Teachers of Color and Allies (TOCA) Summit

Sept. 7, 2022 

The 2022 Teachers of Color and Allies (TOCA) Summit will be held in-person on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022 at the University Memorial Center on the CU Boulder campus.

The theme for this year’s summit is “Heal for Real: Finding, creating, and sustaining communities that prioritize educators of color.” Our programming will focus on discussions and practices to support teachers of color and their allies in healing from the difficult last few years our communities have endured.

Registration is now closed.

Links for Participants

Map of University Memorial Center

Download PDF Agenda

2022 Schedule of Events 

  • 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. — Check-in and breakfast (UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom)
  • 9:00 - 10:15 a.m. — Keynote address, Elizabeth Mendoza (UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom)
  • 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. — Affinity group discussions (Locations vary)
  • 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. — Lunch & conversation (UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom)
  • 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. — Workshop session A (Locations vary)
  • 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. — Workshop session B (Locations vary)
  • 3:15 - 3:45 p.m. — Closing (UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom)

2022 Affinity Group Discussions

  • Latino/a/x Educator Narratives (UMC 247)
  • Black Educator Narratives (UMC 235)
  • Asian & Pacific Islander Educator Narratives (UMC 425)
  • Middle Eastern Educator Narratives (UMC 382)
  • Indigenous Educator Narratives (UMC 245)
  • White teachers striving to be anti-racist (UMC 208, West Ballroom)
  • Multi-Racia Educator Narratives (UMC 415/417)
  • Healing for Real (UMC 386)

2022 Workshop Sessions

Room: UMC 208, West Ballroom

In this session, school team members will articulate their “why” for engaging in equity work grounded in their specific school community, as well as begin to understand and prepare for the unanticipated opposition that can occur -- from within the school, the community and beyond. Through collaboration and authentic dialogue, participants will learn practical strategies for what it takes to engage in equity work. Participants will leave understanding how to create conditions to heal, process, and engage in resilience in the face of opposition to equity work, and ensure that all children experience liberatory, anti-racist education.

Facilitator(s): Laura Munro, Principal; Emily Volkert, Assistant Principal, Nicole Tembrock, Dean of Culture from Centennial, a School for Expeditionary Learning in DPS

Room: UMC 386

In this session, participants will learn about "queeruptions", formal and informal spaces in education where queer and trans of color ways of knowing and being are elevated and centered in order to build new futures. We will consider how we can leverage who we are in order to connect with or get out of the way for QTPOC [queer and trans people of color] to thrive, learn, and build in schools. Anecdotes and testimonies from queer and trans people of color will be highlighted in order to guide us toward re-thinking what “counts” as support for LGBTQ students and craft ways that we can cultivate queeruptive space in our classrooms and beyond.

Facilitator(s): Page Valentine Regan (they/them), PhD Candidate CU Boulder

Room: UMC 382
Workshop Session A only

In the spirit of accountability and action against white body supremacy in ourselves and schools, this workshop, adapted and inspired by Resmaa Menakem's work on somatic abolitionism, explores how personal histories and experiences manifest in our bodies. This workshop is not about acquiring a checklist or set of skills to become anti-racist or abolitionist, but rather provides a space to understand the role of your body in racial justice work. More specifically, you will learn about the systemic nature of racism and racial trauma and how it’s linked to oppressive tendencies.  In addition, you will learn somatic embodiment skills to integrate during racially and culturally charged situations. This evolving integration helps us slow down the emergent, ever-changing way of being with ourselves as we move towards accountability and action.  Centering the lived experiences of teachers of color requires white folks to process and explore with each other first in order to bridge relationships of solidarity and coalition.

Facilitator(s): Kachine Suzanne Kulick, PhD Candidate CU Boulder

Room: UMC 245

Implicit bias is insidious in nature; we all have biases, they operate outside our conscious control and when those biases are formed through inaccurate information (such as stereotypes and internalized oppression), these biases can be harmful barriers to equity and to our individual wellbeing. Mindfulness may help educators of all backgrounds bridge their understanding of how implicit biases affect their thoughts and actions, and often contradict a person’s conscious values. Extensive evidence suggests mindfulness deepens self-awareness and empathy, which can help people put their values for cultural responsiveness into action. This interactive workshop will cover concepts and strategies for participants to heal from bias and address systemic oppression to better live our values of equity and belonging. We will engage in various forms of mindful and contemplative practices and strategize about how to embed them into our lives to support our healing.

Facilitator(s): Dr. Rana Tasnin Razzaque

Room: UMC 425

During this session, we will be sharing Trauma-Informed Practices as a tool for your social-emotional health and your trauma-informed teaching. We will provide a framework and teaching examples on how to be trauma-informed educators in (higher) education. Generally, you may not know what students have experienced prior to being in your class. Have you ever had a student completely break down over a video you’ve shown? Worked with a student who engaged in significant self-doubt about what they can accomplish? Taught a student who is always on time but deeply unengaged? These can be the effects of trauma. Have you constantly questioned your skills and readiness for teaching or tenure? Do you struggle to negotiate addressing microaggressions as you progress as a teacher or on the tenure ladder? These can be the effects of trauma, too. This session will engage participants to share trauma-informed practices with each other.

Facilitator(s): Dr. Kathryn Young, Dr. Ofelia Castro Schepers

Room: UMC 415/417

Co-designing curriculum can be a difficult and often contentious task, our session considers what it means to center a school and community as we work through co-designing curriculum that resonates with us as teachers and researchers of color. We will introduce our own process of co-design as a teacher/researcher pair and facilitate a list of considerations teachers may want to use as they work through their own curriculum and co-design process across different stakeholders. Our session is designed to speak to what can be tricky with curriculum co-design but also what can be beautiful and nourishing throughout the process.

Facilitator(s): Kate Baca, PhD Candidate (she/her) & Daniel Delgado, High School Science Teacher and District Administrator (he/him)

Room: UMC 247

Diversifying the teaching workforce has been a strategy area for many school districts and universities throughout the state of Colorado for the past several years. This is messy work, and we have and will continue to make mistakes; we will also continue to learn.  This session is an opportunity to bring together various stakeholders into one space to tell their stories. We are relying on your stories to inform and create opportunities for collaboration and strong and sustaining partnerships in this area.  Participants will be asked to share their experiences and expertise in one or more of the following areas: policy, recruitment, hiring, and/or retention efforts that prioritize educators of color. In doing so, we hope to heal and deepen connections, insights and relational understanding across diverse experiences, while creating a much more complete picture of our collective reality as educators of color and allies.


  • Cris Lasser, Ph.D. Instructional Coordinator of Secondary Bilingual Programs, Denver Public Schools
  • Tania Hogan, Executive Director, BUENO Center, University of Colorado Boulder (
  • Lindsay Armstrong, Bilingual Programs Manager, Denver Public Schools (
  • Leticia Levi, Talent Acquisition Program Initiatives Manager, Denver Public Schools (
  • Nathalie Gomez, College View Elementary School, Denver Public Schools (
  • Sheldon Reynolds, Executive Principal of Center for Talent Development and Denver Montessori, Denver Public Schools (

Room: UMC 235

Participants will engage in a brief lecture on nervous system care tools and how to use them for themselves and with others. Participants will then practice and embody these tools and journal and reflect. Some light movement will be included alongside the ancestral lineages of the movement and breath practices.

Facilitator(s): Soraya Latiff (she/her/ella) - Public Achievement Director and Instructor, Co-Founder and Facilitator of BVSD Youth Equity Council, Yoga and Meditation Teacher at Urban Sanctuary and Empathy Grown

2022 Keynote Speaker

Guided by a desire to design educational spaces that center healing and learning, Elizabeth Mendoza, Ph.D., has focused her research on the intersection of sociocultural theories of learning, critical theories of race, participatory action research, and Curanderismo, a traditional Mexican healing art. With this aim, she co-founded the Healing, Empowerment, and Love (HEAL) Program for women-of-color graduate students, which completed its second cohort in the spring of 2021 and seeks to foster academic and racial healing by deepening participants’ connection to their inner wisdom, relations to each other, and to mother earth. Dr. Mendoza is currently a Project Scientist at the University of California, Irvine, where she supports efforts to integrate youth voice and inquiry in career development and equity for racialized youth.

What is TOCA?

The Teachers of Color and Allies (TOCA) Summit is traditionally a daylong event that gathers education students, local educators of color, and allies to provide collegial support, opportunities for networking and mentoring, and insights into best practices in education. Hosted by the School of Education in partnership with local school districts, the summit is held every fall.

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