UnConference: Race Equity in Practice

Registration is now open for Trying Together’s “UnConference: Race Equity in Practice,” which will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at The Frick Pittsburgh.

From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., participants will attend sessions and workshops that focus on race equity in practice in the early childhood education (ECE) field. This Unconference will include a variety of ways that ECE staff can support and advocate for more racially equitable programs through play, literacy, environment, and more. Tickets have been reduced to $25 per person.

In order for programs to create inclusive and welcoming environments for all children, early care and education professionals must be knowledgeable about the importance of racial identity. However, understanding the development of racial identity is just the beginning; early educators must be equipped with strategies to support racial identity in children. Through practical approaches, early childhood education staff can not only make programs more racially equitable, but can encourage the healthy development of the whole child.

Space is limited. Register by February 9, 2023.

Keynote – Aware is Only Halfway There: Concrete Strategies for Supporting Children’s Racial Identity Development. Are you Ready?

Keynote speaker Dr. Rosemarie Allen will be presenting “Aware is Only Halfway There: Concrete Strategies for Supporting Children’s Racial Identity Development. Are you Ready?” Dr. Allen will discuss how awareness of racial equity is important, but not enough.

This presentation will deepen the participants’ equity journey moving them from theory to practice, from awareness to implementation. Participants will engage in activities that support the racial identity development of young children including strategies and techniques that can be implemented at the classroom level. This presentation will help participants assess their readiness to create an anti-racist/anti-bias classroom, identify culturally responsive and culturally sustaining practices, identify stages of racial awareness for young children and develop concrete strategies for promoting racial identity development in children.


Following the keynote, there will be two workshop rounds. Sessions will focus on race equity in practice in the early childhood education (ECE) field. This Unconference will include a variety of ways that ECE staff can support and advocate for more racially equitable programs through play, literacy, environment, and more.

Sessions are:

Creating an Anti-Racist Early Childhood Environment
Speaker: Dr. Rosemarie Allen

Participants will identify factors that promote an equitable, anti-bias/antiracist educational environment. They will identify critical factors related to equitable practices, including the importance of discussing race, recognizing messages and actions that ensure a sense of belonging and inclusion, and developing a positive racial identity in all children. Participants will identify the seven principles of culturally responsive practices.

Becoming Culturally AWARE
Speaker: Dr. Tammi McMillan

Understanding Oppression; Breaking Down the Terms – This session will engage learners in courageous conversations regarding race, culture, socio-economic status, and bias. Following this session, participants will have a thorough understanding of the “isms” and, historically, how we got to this point.

Reading and Representation: Black Children’s Literature and Storytelling
Speaker: Cynthia Battle

The history of representation of Black Children in children’s literature is long and complex. However, recognizing what real representation is and the inclusion of books that aim at representation is crucial for a child’s identity development. In this workshop, participants will explore the history of storytelling that reflects African American people and culture, the authors that wrote these books, and how books with poor and positive representation impact children in the ECE setting. 

Inquiry, Identity, and Art: The Practice of Using Art to Celebrate Identities
Speaker: Stacey McSorley and Amanda Awanjo

What does it mean to see ourselves in the art that we make and the art that surrounds us? In this workshop, instructors will discuss how art is crucial to understanding and expressing diverse identities. Educators will not only participate in their own art-making but will learn the developmental appropriateness of identity-focused art as well as its impact on children. 

From Habitual Reactions to Genuine Responses: Relational Practices for Racial Justice Conversations
Speaker: Hanna du Plessis

In the work of racial justice, we can feel disappointed in or frustrated with ourselves when we don’t show up as we hope. We might react to situations with silence or over-reactions, which often harms relationships. In this workshop, participants are invited to reflect on their reactions through a trauma-informed lens, gain insight into why individuals overreact or freeze, and imagine how a framework of supportive practices can lead to better responses and relationships.

What do I receive?

  • PQAS and Act 48 credit hours
  • Lunch
  • Networking with colleagues
  • Hands-on, interactive workshop sessions


Registration is now open. The cost to attend UnConference: Race Equity in Practice is $25. There will be two rounds of workshops, and participants will be able to choose workshops during the registration process. Please register by no later than Thursday, February 9, 2023.


For bus information, please visit www.portauthority.org for specific route information. If you need assistance with transportation to the UnConference location, please email us at info@tryingtogether.org and we will do our best to help.


For questions, please contact Allison Hritz at allison@tryingtogether.org.

Please share this flyer with your networks (PDF).

Please note: Trying Together will be monitoring COVID-19 recommendations from Allegheny County closer to the event. Please continue to monitor your email for updates. 

About Dr. Rosemarie Allen

Dr. Rosemarie Allen is a national expert on implicit bias and culturally responsive practices, speaking at conferences across the country. She is a respected keynote speaker, presenting on Implicit Bias, Racial Equity, Inclusive Practices, Culturally Responsive Practices, Cultural Competence, Micro-Aggressions, Disproportionality, Privilege, Power, Intersectionality, etc.  She also has the distinct honor of being appointed as a “Global Leader” connecting with world leaders in early childhood across the globe. Rosemarie earned her B. A. from California State University, Long Beach, Master’s of Education from Lesley University, and Doctorate in Equity and Leadership in Education at the University of Colorado, Denver.

About UnConference

The UnConference is an innovative, hands-on professional development training format where a deeper experience is provided around a particular theme. Local and national speakers are invited to present and participants are encouraged to engage hands-on in the workshops.

The day concludes with a roundtable discussion on how to apply these experiences and ideas in the early childhood environment as well as share ideas on how to partner with new colleagues.

Thank You To Our Sponsors and Partners

A huge thank you to our series sponsor PNC Grow Up Great, sponsor Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC), and our workshop partners.


PNC Grow Up Great logo


About Trying Together

Trying Together supports high-quality care and education for young children by providing advocacy, community resources, and professional growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, their families, and the individuals who interact with them. Trying Together works regionally (in Southwestern Pennsylvania) and takes its expertise and models to statewide and national audiences.

An African American woman stands in front of a crowd, presenting information on personal development.