The Preemptive Education Conference is Urban Word NYC’s annual mentor, teacher, educator & community activist training.

Urban Word NYC, NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research and Equity on the Transformation Schools, and Columbia University’s Teachers College present the 16th Annual Preemptive Education Conference, featuring a dynamic weekend training series that engages the best practices in arts-based pedagogy, social justice education and culturally responsive teaching. This annual conference is a 3-day experience designed for students and educators from all areas, administrators, guidance counselors, community leaders, hip hop and spoken word practitioners, and more.​ This year’s theme focuses on intergenerational dialogue. Please see the call for proposals below!

Call For Proposals Closed

Wednesday October 4th: Mentor Showcase

Opening performance followed by a dynamic talkback and panel featuring Hunter College School of Education Faculty and Urban Word NYC Poets.

Thursday October 5th: Maxine Greene Lecture

Dynamic opening lecture pairing at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Speakers drawn from diverse arts and activist spaces, and embody both the life and legacy of Dr. Maxine Greene.

Saturday October 7th: Professional Development Series Kick Off

Robust day of professional development workshops for students and educators, showcasing some of the most cutting edge practices in arts educatin and culturally responsive pedagogy.



Register Here

All We Got: Dialogue Across The Divide
Urban Word NYC’s 2017 Preemptive Education Conference
October 4 – 7, 2017 | New York University

In many ways, 2016 was a year that once again drew back the curtain on many of the cultural divides synonymous with American life. For some, the election of Donald Trump represented a startling shift in how we see ourselves, our work, and our communities, and problematized our understandings of citizenship and nation. For many others, however, the re-centering of a racist and divisive national rhetoric has been all but a surprise, and has unfolded more like a sequel to a movie that has been playing in the background throughout our entire lives—it’s only now that the rest of the body politic seems to be catching up.

Immediately following the election, a geographic map detailing millennials’ participation suggested that had their votes alone decided the presidency, Donald Trump would still be little than a mediocre reality TV star. And while that snapshot is optimistic for America’s future, it both oversimplifies the arch of history and undervalues the essential role that many non-millennials play in the larger fight for social justice

We are seeking interactive workshop sessions for Saturday’s day of professional development that will focus on what it means for communities and individuals to prioritize inter-generational dialogue in their work. We define “inter-generational dialogue” more broadly and deeply than simply adults working with youth—and vice versa—to encompass any exchange of ideas of practices that incorporate both the new and the old, history and invention, memory and innovation.

For some of us, “inter-generational” is the work itself—we build with and alongside generations above and below us—in which case we’re inviting best critical practices from folks’ day-to-day offerings in their classrooms, organizations, companies and community centers, performance spaces, and more. For others, it may take more intention to prioritize that approach. Workshops might range from story-sharing practices or mural creation to demonstrations around sampling culture in hip hop or models for structuring town hall dialogues. We’re asking for sessions that speak to one or more of the following three tracks:

Deadline for proposal submissions is June 1st. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status by July 1st. For more information regarding the conference or proposal expectations, please contact Director of Special Projects, Adam Falkner at, or Deputy Director, Sofia Snow at