Week of March 18, 2024 • Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center • Long Beach, CA


General Sessions will begin promptly in the Grand Ballroom on Level 2.


Naomi Shelton

Naomi N. Shelton is the chief executive officer of the National Charter Collaborative (NCC), a nonprofit organization focused on increasing the diversity and performance of the nation’s charter school sector by supporting the success of single-site schools led by leaders of color. NCC’s network includes more than 450 charter school leaders of color representing 25 states and the District of Columbia. Naomi Shelton’s career as a leader in the education sector spans policy, advocacy, and programmatic initiatives with a deep focus on both K-12 and post- secondary education. Prior to joining NCC, Shelton was the first director of Community Engagement at the KIPP Foundation, where she defined and executed strategic partnerships supporting KIPP schools and communities across the country. Prior, she spent seven years as the Director of K-12 Advocacy with the UNCF (United Negro College Fund), where she established and raised funds to expand the UNCF’s K-12 initiative working with HBCUs and strategic partners, including civil rights and faith-based organizations. Ms. Shelton is nationally known and respected as a vocal advocate for quality choice options for Black and Brown students and families. She recently served as an esteemed volunteer board member of the DC Public Charter School Board, one of the highest quality authorizing boards in the country in a city where more than 40% of students attend charter schools.

Dr. Helen V. Griffith

Helen V. Griffith, Ed.D. is the inaugural executive director of The Preuss School UC San Diego. Most recently Griffith was the founding executive director and CEO of е3 Civic High, a public charter high school located in the San Diego Central Public Library, a role she held since 2012. Griffith has over 25 years of experience as an educator and principal, specializing in leadership development, school transformation and creating equitable educational experiences for all scholars. Prior to opening e3 Civic High, Griffith served as dean of students at Crawford High School, vice principal at Lincoln High School and founding principal of Millennial Tech Middle School. In recognition of her transformational work, Griffith has received numerous professional honors, including Outstanding Woman of the 39th Senate District in 2020, from President Pro Tem Toni Atkins,; Outstanding Woman Leader in the field of Education, 79th District, by the California State Assembly member, Dr. Shirley Weber in 2018; and Educator of the Year from the California League of Middle Schools in 2010. In addition, she was invited by Congresswoman Susan Davis to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Summit on Teacher Diversity sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education in 2016. Dr. Griffith was recently selected as a UC San Diego LEAD Fellow (Leaders for Equity Advancement and Diversity), a group tasked with advancing the university's Strategic Plan to create a more diverse and inclusive community where all members are welcomed, respected, valued and celebrated.

Dr. Edward C. Bush

Edward C. Bush Ph.D. began his career in higher education in 1995 and has worked in the California Community College System since 1998. He is well known throughout the State of California as a leader who has been able to reimagine traditional institutional practices. Dr. Bush holds a Ph.D. in Urban Educational Leadership from Claremont Graduate University, a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from California State University San Bernardino, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California Riverside. Dr. Bush currently serves as the President of Cosumnes River College in Sacramento. He is a student success-focused leader with a clear vision and expertise in leading organizations through periods of change and structural disruption. Dr. Bush is an educational visionary whose innovative approach has improved student outcomes while reducing both achievement and opportunity gaps for students of color and other historically marginalized student populations. Dr. Bush is dedicated to creating teams of Educators who are committed to working towards meeting the evolving needs of students and the communities in which they serve. As a scholar-practitioner, Dr. Bush is committed to tackling issues relating to equity, diversity, and access for all students. His leadership expertise includes his involvement in statewide, national, and international committees and initiatives. Moreover, Dr. Bush is a co-author of multiple books and book chapters and has published 14 peer-reviewed publications in a variety of scholarly journals. Dr. Bush has a history of developing programs and services that foster student success as well as creating successful targeted programs for underserved populations. He is a Co-Founder and Board Member of the African American Male Network and Development, Incorporated (A2MEND). A2MEND is a non-profit organization comprised of Community College Faculty and Administrators who volunteer their time to use their scholarly and professional expertise to foster institutional change within the Colleges they serve. A2MEND is a nationally recognized organization that has successfully improved the educational outcomes for men of color enrolled in the California Community College System. Dr. Bush also currently serves as a Board Member of four non-profit organizations and is the Chairperson for the All African Diaspora Educators Summit. Dr. Bush has presented his strategies for improving student outcomes for numerous national, statewide, and local organizations.

Amani Roberts (aka DJ AmRo) is a DJ / Emcee, professional speaker, author, podcaster, and professor who loves to push the boundaries of creativity on a daily basis. Amani is the Chief Musical Curator for his company, The Amani Experience. This company specializes in providing music for corporate events, social events, virtual events, team-building experiences, and teaches students of all ages how to DJ. Amani has worked with brands such as Marriott, 7-Eleven, ClifBar, Capital Group, Calendly, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and more. Amani’s first book, “DJs Mean Business”, was released in April 2020, and takes readers (and listeners) through the journey of how a DJ set at a popular nightclub is similar to growing a business or career. Amani is the creator of the award-winning podcast, “The Amani Experience” as well as the co-host of the Adventures In Business podcast with co-host Mandi Graziano. Amani is the Executive Director of the Center for Entertainment & Hospitality Management (EHM) and a professor at California State University - Fullerton (CSUF). He has been active on the board of Meeting Professionals International - Southern California for over eight years. In July 2021, Amani became the first African-American President of MPI Southern California in 44 years. Amani graduated from the world-renowned Berklee College of Music (Boston) with his Masters in Music Business in December 2021.

Wednesday Keynote Speaker - 11:05am - 12:25pm

Myrna Castrejón
President & CEO, CCSA

As the leader of CCSA, Myrna manages the membership organization representing California’s public charter schools, since January 2019. Prior to assuming the role of President and CEO, she served for nearly three years as the Founding Executive Director of Great Public Schools Now, an organization created in winter 2015. As the Executive Director, Myrna led Great Public Schools Now's strategy in transforming education in Los Angeles by expanding high-quality public schools of diverse governance models in the areas most in need of support. Prior to Great Public Schools Now Myrna worked at the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) in various key leadership roles since its founding in late 2003, most recently as the Acting Chief Executive Officer and prior to that heading the government affairs, local advocacy, quality, school development, and research and evaluation portfolios at various times. Her work with CCSA was preceded by a decade in school reform efforts in Texas and Los Angeles. In the late 1990s-early 2000s, Myrna served as a consultant to the state-funded Urban Education Partnership/LAUSD where she helped to develop eight innovative early education service centers in the most high-need areas of Los Angeles; she served as VP of School and Family Networks for the Los Angeles Alliance for Student Achievement and the director for family engagement for the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project. In Texas, Myrna spearheaded parent and community engagement efforts at the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, a K-16 systemic reform initiative and piloted a model for pre-service teachers to work organically with parents and community during their clinical assignments, which was adopted as a program requirement for all teachers at the University of Texas at El Paso. She served for nearly a decade as a key education leader, supporting organizing strategies for the Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation and its statewide Alliance Schools Initiative to develop parent, teacher and community capacity to transform low-performing schools into high achieving centers for community-wide change. An experienced trainer and public speaker, Myrna receives frequent invitations to lead professional development seminars, deliver keynote presentations and make media appearances, particularly on matters of Latino student achievement and effective parent and civic engagement in transforming public education. She served as Vice President and then a term as President of the National Board of Parents for Public Schools, a network of twenty-four local organizations that support public education reform across the United States. In these positions, Myrna saw parents' deep desire to give their children real high-quality education opportunities when faced with so few choices. Her passion for this critical work comes from her background as a mother and an immigrant, and what she has seen is possible when commitment, opportunity and urgency meet to help families carve out better futures. In 2013, Myrna was named "Education Reformer to Watch" by the Walton Family Foundation. She is also a fellow of the Aspen Pahara Education Fellowship's eighth class and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.



Sal Khan is the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a nonprofit educational organization that offers free lessons in math, science and humanities, as well as tools for parents, teachers and districts to track student progress. Khan Academy is piloting an AI guide called Khanmigo that is a tutor and teaching assistant. The organization partners with more than 500 public school districts and schools across the United States. Worldwide, Khan Academy has more than 150 million registered users in 190 countries, with free lessons available in more than 50 languages.



Alejandra Campoverdi is a nationally-recognized women’s health advocate, bestselling author, founder, producer, and former White House aide to President Obama. Alejandra's memoir, FIRST GEN, examines the emotional toll of social mobility on those she refers to as "First and Onlys." A national bestseller, FIRST GEN is the winner of the California Independent Booksellers Alliance (CALIBA) Golden Poppy Martin Cruz Smith Award, and was longlisted for the Outstanding Works of Literature Award for the First Year Experience. FIRST GEN is also the 2024 Opportunity Matters Book Club selection for the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), a national book club for first- generation and low-income students at colleges and universities across the country. Previously, Alejandra served in the Obama White House as the first White House Deputy Director of Hispanic Media. She produced and appeared in the groundbreaking PBS documentary Inheritance, and founded the LATINOS & BRCA awareness initiative in partnership with Penn Medicine’s Basser Center for BRCA. Alejandra holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and graduated cum laude from USC. She currently sits on the boards of the California Community Foundation and Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy.