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Staff » CQ Corner 2022-23

CQ Corner 2022-23

March 2023

Critical & Courageous Conversations: From a Moment to a Movement


Beginning last school year, in partnership with Paul Forbes, the CQ Team has offered the Critical and Courageous Conversations series. The purpose of the Critical and Courageous Conversations is to create a space for our Rock Island-Milan staff to engage in critical and courageous conversation, encouraging introspection and reflection to widen our equity lens. The hope is that these conversations would then continue in the school and district community.


This school year started with a screening of the Defining US: Children at the Crossroads of Change documentary and we heard from a former RIMSD student, Ty Lewis. In November several of you joined us at the NEST Café where we learned about “food insecurity” and how one person took an idea and turned it into a transformative movement within the Quad Cities. During and after that time together, many folks reached out and asked, “What can I do?” or “What’s the next step?”


Building on this energy, the CQ Team wants to go from “A Moment to a Movement”! During the last quarter of the school year, the Critical and Courageous Conversations series will be a combination of words and actions. The following 4 topics will be facilitated by CQ Team members:


  • Diversifying the RIMSD Teaching Staff
  • Homelessness in the Quad Cities and in Our Schools
  • Refugees and Neighbors FlourishingTogether
  • Through My Eyes: My Identity


We are looking for Rock Island-Milan staff who are interested in learning more and possibly forming working groups based on your interest in one (or more) of those topics. We ask that you click HERE to complete a very short interest form (name, email and topics). You will be able to get more detailed information about each topic and you will be able to let us know if you are interested in learning more about one or more of the topics. There will also be a 1-hour virtual Critical and Courageous Conversations session on Monday, April 4th at 4 p.m. where you will hear more about each topic from the lead facilitator(s) if you complete the interest form.


Please note, filling out the survey and expressing interest to learn more about the topics does not lock you into any commitments. We know that there are members of the RIMSD community who want to not only engage in conversation but to also participate in tangible, actionable steps. Let’s commit to going from a moment to a movement!




Take time to review, to reflect, and to join us!



Women’s History Month

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often, the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that  of the men whose names we know so well.” This is President Jimmy Carter’s message as he designated March 2-8 as National Women’s History Week. Eventually, in the late 1980s, Women’s History Week evolved into Women’s History Month. Below are a few Women’s History resources to explore:

Honoring Women's History Month

Women's History Month -Military Firsts

14 Inspiring Quotes #Women'sHistory

National Women's History Museum: Women's History Month Resources

Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection


In recognition of Women’s History Month and in the spirit of continuing our awareness of measures for mitigating implicit bias, this month’s CQ Corner highlights a 2016 Ted Talk by ReShma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. It’s a poignant call to action in letting young ladies know that society's perception of female perfection leads to stereotypes and often places limitations on girls’ aspirations to step outside of the norm.


Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection


Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program -- two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says. "I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection,” (ReShma Saujani).


Take time to review and reflect!

February 2023

Black History Month: Education

College, Career & Life Ready


Booker T. & W.E.B.

Milestones in African American Education provides a condensed view of the pathway to equal opportunities in education for African Americans. There have been immense struggles, and through it all, two prominent African American men who fought for equality in education were W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington. Dubois introduced the Talented Tenth Talented Tenth | Educational Concept | Britannica, a movement designed to develop the leadership capacity among the most able 10 percent of Black Americans. In contrast, Washington emphasized the importance of industrial education which encouraged cultivating agricultural and industrial skills. 

The poem Booker T. and WEB by Dudley Randall | Poetry Foundation captures the essence of two powerful, yet differing perspectives on obtaining education in the Black community as obtaining quality education continued to be a struggle for African Americans.


Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established in the United States early in the 19th century, to provide undergraduate and graduate level educational opportunities to people of African descent. Black students were unwelcome at existing public and private institutions of higher education (IHEs), even after the passing of specific legislation, resulting in a lack of higher education opportunities. 

Thurgood Marshall Learning Fund Foundation

Please take time to review the following resources that provide further information about HBCUs:

HBCU History Timeline

List of HBCUs By State

Top 10 Highest Ranked HBCUs

Compiled By Jennifer Page Pierson

Grambling State University Alumnus

December 2022

Food Justice

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

author unknown

During this holiday season and beyond, there will be families who need a helping hand to provide the basic necessities for their households. Our latest Critical & Courageous Conversation was held at NEST Cafe as we talked candidly about food insecurity. What Is Food Justice and Why Is It Necessary? from provides a snapshot of the global perspective of food insecurity.

Take time to review, to reflect, and to take care of each other!

November 2022

Salute to Veterans


In honor of Veteran’s Day, Rock Island High School teacher, Paula Zigler, and her physical education students created a Sweat for a Vet Workout presentation which provides a suggested workout regiment while paying tribute to some of our local veterans.


Thank you Paula for providing this local Salute to Veterans! Keep up the EXCELLENT work!


Take time to review and reflect!


Building Relationships & Creating a Culturally Responsive Learning Environment

For this month’s CQ Corner, we continue to focus on creating a culturally responsive learning environment. In the September edition, we shared the characteristics of a Culturally Responsive Learning Environment. For this edition, check out these educators’ testimonials, summarizing their views of the correlation between building relationships and creating a culturally responsive learning environment:

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Building Relationship Strategy

Be Well Talks - Culturally Responsive Relationship Building

Be Well Talks - Culturally Responsive Relationship Building in Social Studies Curriculum

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Native American Heritage Month

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

Library of Congress et. al.

National Native American Heritage Month - For Teachers

Take time to review and reflect!

September 2022


Culturally Responsive Learning Environment

Culturally responsive classrooms specifically acknowledge the presence of culturally diverse students and the need for these students to find relevant connections among themselves and with the subject matter and the tasks teachers ask them to perform.

Winifred Montgomery

During our CQ journey, our goal continues to be embedding cultural responsiveness into our everyday practices in education. A vital focus continues to be maintaining a culturally responsive learning environment which consists of 3 main components: Classroom environment, teacher responsiveness/relationships, and responsive instruction.

For an example of what makes up a culturally responsive learning environment, please review the attached CRLE one-pager:Culturally Responsive Learning Environment.docx

CQ Sessions

During the week of September 12, Paul Forbes will be offering an Implicit Bias session (Tuesday, September 13)  as well as a kickoff session to this year’s Critical and Courageous Conversations series (Thursday, September 15). For more detailed information and to sign up for either session, please use these links:

CQ 2022-2023 Implicit Bias Overview/Review

CQ 2022-2023 C&CC Flyer_Session 1: Defining US - A Community Conversation.docx

Take time to review and reflect!