February 16 - 19, 2017
Pre-Meeting Institute: Thursday, February 16, 2017, 9AM - 3PM EST
Garrison Institute, New York
We will convene in Garrison, NY this year to work as “solutionaries” addressing racism. We will critically examine structures validated in the education system as well as those denied. We will explore and create actions, practices and pathways to equity, justice and community. Never have we felt our work was more urgent.
For the past four annual meetings North Dakota Study Group used site based practices to explore the qualities of Detroit and South Texas that distinguish them from other places. We visited schools where we met with students and teachers. We met with education, community and labor leaders. We spoke with families, went to cultural centers, and attended local cultural events. We witnessed the landscape, both political and emotional. At each site we observed inspiring efforts of grassroots organizing, strong community building and identity affirmation that offered us hope and insight to bring to our own settings.
We have much to think about as we address the divide racism causes in our society that is perpetuated in and by our educational systems. By design and tradition, The Garrison Institute is a place for deep reflection. It affords us the opportunity to collaborate with one another and create plans of action for change.
And don't miss this year's Pre-Meeting Institute, focusing on restorative justice! The Pre-Meeting Institute is Thursday, February 16, 2017, beginning at 8AM EST. Check the link above for more information and sign-up when you register for NDSG 2017.
In the early years, Vito Perrone organized the meetings and they took basic shape under his leadership -- arising out of his choices of who to bring together and the opening talk he gave each year. In the last several years, the group has generated the planning. Vito was the Dean of the School of Education at the University of North Dakota, where it first met. Hence the name.
The group meets annually, every President's Day weekend. For the past few years, the group has been meeting in selected locations around the country for the purposes of place-based education.
The tone is serious, intense -- we often address a particular text or question -- and yet informal. The network of friendships and professional connections is strong and growing stronger each year for those who attend regularly. Through the years many participants have collaborated on work outside NDSG, and many have built lasting friendships and working partnerships. During the conference home groups welcome and create a place for newcomers, often, young teachers.
The meetings began in the early 70's with about a handful of attendees, then grew to about 30 when the group met at Wingspread in Wisconsin. Now, well over 100 people attend. Not only the size changed, but the composition of the group. Classroom teachers were few until the early 80's, when invited teacher panels became a feature each year. Until the early 80's, the group was primarily White. The group challenges itself with continued efforts to deepen understanding of race and ethnicity and to solidify the connections with attendees of color. Those who participate currently include new teachers, veteran teachers, university professors, community activists, independent scholars, undergraduates, deans, foundation program officers, and principals. Shared rooms (optional) and cafeteria-style meals add to the experience of informal mixing.
Planning and logistics for each year’s meeting is done entirely by a committee of volunteers. In mid-summer the Planning Committee convenes and reviews the previous meeting and plans the next conference. The summer meeting is open to anyone who wants to attend who has participated in past general NDSG meetings. Those summer plans are refined over e-mail and via conference calls right up until the February meeting, often shifting to accommodate last minute changes and new opportunities. Three co-chairs, who revolve through three-year terms, lead this work. A 'nitty-gritty' committee works to ensure the logistical details including the website and online registration system, while other volunteers work on the scholarships we provide to enhance diversity and other conference needs.Past NDSG Meetings: Media Gallery