EDTalks: Ableism in Education + Youth Art and Social Change

Join us for this multi-topic EDTalks featuring Maren Christenson Hofer and Frank Gardner. Our program will feature two dynamic presentations followed by time for audience Q & A with our presenters. Pre-registration encouraged; walk-ins welcome!

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Event details

Wed. April 19 2023
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. | Program begins at 6 p.m. | Appetizers and beverages served
Icehouse Minneapolis
2528 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Register today
Walk-ins welcome.


Join us to learn more about ability and artistic expression for social change!

Addressing Ableism in Education

In education, nonprofit and government spheres there is much discussion today about diversity, equity, and inclusion – but relatively few conversations that address disability or its intersections with race. Maren Christenson Hofer will identify how ableist ideas inform our educational systems and discuss the profound impact educational practices and policies have on students with disabilities. She will offer a new vision of education that replaces ableist ideas with models of true inclusion, and will offer concrete steps we can take towards realizing that vision.

Presenter: Maren Christenson Hofer’s path to advocacy began when her son was diagnosed as autistic at age three. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Multicultural Autism Action Network which provides services and supports to children with disabilities and their families in the Somali and Oromo communities. Maren's commitment to disability justice has been largely informed by autistic adults and by the families of autistic children in immigrant communities her organization serves. 

Youth Artistic Expression and Social Change

As a spoken word artist and educator, Frank Gardner has seen first-hand the power of young people who are harnessing artistic expression as a tool for social change, interpersonal reflection and community building. In his EDTalk he will explore how young people are processing the tumultuous years of COVID quarantine and the murder of George Floyd through Spoken Word, poetry, theater, songwriting and activism, such as school walkouts. He’ll share how he utilizes youth voice and Spoken Word to support young people in tapping into honesty and authenticity and will also suggest some tools for teachers as they navigate our current challenging teaching environment. He argues that young people are already deciding what’s next for our world – adults just need to listen!

Presenter: Frank Sentwali Gardner has spent many years in the education system as a teacher, tutor and mentor. He is the creator of Edu-Poetic Enterbrainment, a Twin Cities’ spoken word and music ensemble and currently co-facilitates S.E.E.D. (Sentwali Entertainment Education Division), presenting programs in schools and community centers.

For more information on this event, contact Heidi Draskoci-Fricke. We look forward to seeing you there!

EDTalks is co-presented by Achieve Twin Cities and Graves Ventures (a project of The Graves Foundation)

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