Unlike a typical professional development or conference, FEELL is not designed to "teach you how to teach." Our sessions are facilitated by Black and Latina women who are devoted to teachers and have expertise in healing.
“I was adamant that our day begin with a feeling of belonging and understanding. The last thing I wanted was another PD or conference. So we’ll start with community, identity, and food! I’ll also share what brought me to hosting such a convening. How did a brown-skinned Latina and former veteran NYC teacher become a researcher when schooling and research had only ever brought me pain? Rather than being another nameless and faceless academic hiding behind her work, I want to be vulnerable with you in this affinity space and share my experiences alongside your own. We’ll no longer sit silently and serve children; our experiences matter.” ~ Vanessa
"I don’t know that I considered my education journey beginning when I entered schooling. I can look back now and realize that as a woman of Color, my learning and teaching experiences were fraught with sexism and racism. But those stories were silenced; I never heard about them as a student or a teacher. I believe mapping is a powerful tool; when we take time to map our education journeys, we can unpack the gendered and racialized experiences we have endured in the valleys along our journey, and our successes within the highest peaks." ~ Jessica
"As mental health professionals we understand the importance of resting our bodies and our minds. Yet, as two women of color raised in a system that was NOT built with us in mind, the concept of rest has felt foreign and wrong. Throughout our personal and work lives, being productive and caregiving has often been reinforced. Naturally we got the message that being exhausted was normal; stopping to recharge meant we were lazy and unmotivated. The reality is that stressors and demands will keep coming and that systems of oppression will keep us feeling we are never doing enough. Often we believe that rest is impossible —maybe even dangerous and unacceptable. But for who? We are excited to explore rest as a radical act of resistance against a white, male dominated system of oppression." ~ Rona & Denise
"As a Black woman researcher, I've worked with numerous communities and groups of people, including youth, educators, and parents. Throughout all of those relationships, I've always tried to highlight their experiences in a holistic, humanizing, and honest way. Too often the stories of Black and Latina women educators go unheard and unacknowledged despite being the most powerful and important to our society. It is my hope to authentically illuminate your experiences and co-construct their retelling." ~ Lindsey
“We’re still in awe of how Covid-19 has upended our lives. And as WOC we must also endure the exhaustive fight for racial justice and women's rights in America. We’ve seen how difficult it has especially been for educators, even more intensely than other professionals. While the public seems to support the idea of educator wellbeing, many of us have been left without true support, as the calls for "self-care" seem hollow and burdensome. We're expected to heal ourselves, though the system created our struggle. We recognize that as Black and Latina women, we heal in community; self-care alone is not enough. We will focus specifically on processing our collective trauma and learning strategies to continue heal communally.” ~ Isabel
"Have educators always been treated the way they are today? How did we get here? What does this mean for our path forward, if we hope for a more just and humane future? We will explore the history of women in education and the societal constructs that have kept conditions the same for so long. By understanding and exposing legacies of intentional oppression, we can begin to better understand how we may participate in constructive resistance and empowered change. Without an understanding of the past shaped our identities we cannot change our future for the better." ~ Vanessa