Red state conference teaches education students about ‘leveraging racial affinity,’ ‘queer theory’

Daily Caller News Foundation

A Utah diversity and equity conference for education students features lessons on “leveraging racial affinity groups” and “queer theory,” according to a conference agenda obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Utah National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME), an organization focused on promoting inclusive multicultural education, is putting on its “Connections, Celebrations and Community” conference for preservice educators at Utah Valley University to empower “teachers through diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” according to the organization website. Attendees can attend several breakout group sessions, including “LGBTQ 101” and “leveraging racial affinity groups to nourish and empower Utah’s black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) educators,” according to a conference agenda obtained by the DCNF. 

“Preservice teachers, in-service teachers, scholars and practitioners in Multicultural Education have made great progress in helping students become aware of, understand the importance of and develop the skills related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” a conference description read. “This year Utah NAME would like to give specific attention to the ways diverse identities, communities and families are recognized and celebrated in the ecology of student learning and empowerment.”

Conference round table sessions include the topics “LGBTQI+ matters” and “race/ethnicity matters,” the conference agenda stated. Preservice educators can attend breakout sessions on topics such as “gender roles in children’s literature,” “bringing diversity, equity and inclusion into science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” and “queering multicultural education: queer theory, pedagogy and resistance.”

Other breakout sessions included “no paper bag vests: using Native American art and pedagogy in your teaching” and “walking the walk: recognizing and owning privilege bias,” which includes an “interactive activity with participants,” the conference agenda showed. Following breakout sessions, conference attendees are given a “wellness break.”

The conference agenda also features several panelists including Michelle Love-Day, a Utah educator who recently came under fire after being recorded saying the school district has “gone around” the state board of education measures that give “loopholes” for educators to discuss tenets of CRT such as “microaggressions.”

Utah NAME did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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