Conference Keynote

Dwayne D. Williams provides keynote talks on exactly what practitioners and educators must do in order to create culturally meaningful supports for culturally diverse learners. Using stories, he describes the process of developing culturally sustaining practices. He addresses MTSS from a culturally sustaining lens and shares that SEL must not only help students understand emotions and the emotions of others, but SEL must be a tool that students use to develop racial and cultural identities. He says that students must love themselves and embrace their racial and cultural groups in order to engage at their highest potential. He believes that SEL activities and curricula should lead to such awareness.


  • Culturally sustaining
  • Problem solving
  • MTSS
  • SEL
  • Trauma-informed supports



“If practitioners are creating groups and classroom activities apart from “student voice,” then chances are that such practices are not student centered and not culturally meaningful to students. One challenge that I see when working with practitioners and administrators on creating culturally sustaining practices is that they do not tap into the greatest resource in the building: the students.”

~Dwayne D. Williams

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