SXSW 2024: Vote to Uplift Voices that Matter

by | August 8, 2023

Matterlab exists to catalyze education organizations across the country. By advancing their communications, we help advance their missions. What better way to do that than through SXSW EDU?

The annual event convenes the best and brightest in education from around the world to connect, inspire, and innovate — right in Matterlab’s hometown of Austin. We’re proud to partner with the following incredible leaders — and we need your support! Cast your vote for these five sessions by August 20th.


Citywide Change Starts with Early Childhood Education | VOTE HERE

How does early childhood education set the foundation for children to thrive? Matterlab is thrilled to moderate a panel featuring three key leaders who are spearheading place-based transformation across entire cities (Oakland, Tulsa, and Dallas) — starting with our youngest learners. Hear from Pete Haviland-Eduah, Director of Communications & External Affairs at Oakland Promise; Cynthia Jasso, Program Officer at the George Kaiser Family Foundation; and Alan Cohen, Founder & CEO of the Child Poverty Action Lab.


A Texas-Sized Solution to a Thriving Teacher Workforce | VOTE HERE

What will it take to ensure the best teachers for every student in Texas? Matterlab is bringing together experts on teaching, policy, and talent to share ideas and solutions to the growing issue of attracting and retaining teachers. We’ll talk about Texas, but these learnings can be applied anywhere in the U.S. Hear from Shontee Branton, 1st Grade Teacher & K-2 Reading Interventionist at Dallas ISD and Teach Plus Fellow; Robert Carreon, Vice President of Texas Public Affairs at Teach For America; and Meredith-Leigh Pleasants, Director of Talent Pipelines at Good Reason Houston.


Learning to Lead from the Ideal: All Can Mean All Everywhere | VOTE HERE

What does it look like to truly support ALL kids in school? The team at All Means All trains school leaders to eliminate the opportunity gap for students with disabilities and other learners with intersectional identities historically marginalized in schools. In this workshop, participants will challenge assumptions of student achievement, practice the All Means All framework, and learn habits of mind and become willing to shift their own.


Reimagining Funding & Support as a Team of One | VOTE HERE

How do you make an impact without a team, without a budget for staff, and without buy-in? Mike Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Rural Schools Innovation Zone, and Searcy Morgan, Founder and CEO of Matterlab, discuss going from a team of one with little-to-no local support to becoming a national exemplar for innovative school models in rural education. The’ll talk about Mike’s unpredictable journey in the first four years of building the Zone and how his technical assistance providers served as his dedicated executives in the absence of an in-house team.


Organizational Identity: Who Is Your Organization as a Friend? | VOTE HERE

How do you talk about what you do and why it matters in 30 seconds?

If you’ve ever…

  • lamented that everyone on your team talks about your work differently,
  • written something about your program and thought, “I’m not sure this is the right tone.”,
  • felt tension in how your mission and strategy fit together, or
  • questioned whether your work reflects your org’s values

…then you’ve experienced the consequences of an unclear organizational identity. 

Facilitated by Matterlab, the nation’s leading education-focused communications agency, this workshop features Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, Superintendent of Spring ISD, and Michelle Oliva, Co-Founder of EduDream, an education research firm. Together, participants will unearth their organizational identity and develop a mission-aligned elevator pitch.


To vote, log into or create a free SXSW EDU account and click on the up arrow on a session. You can vote for multiple sessions (like all 5 above!). The Matterlab team has already learned so much from these leaders, and we can’t wait for others to experience their lessons, too.

We hope to see you at SXSW EDU in March, and until then, we appreciate your support!

Connect your work to your why.

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