Domari Dickinson is a mom to four children.

Domari Dickinson is a third-grade teacher.

Domari Dickinson is a parent engagement coach.

Domari Dickinson is a conference organizer.

Domari Dickinson, like other parents across the country, is taking on multiple roles during the pandemic to help expand opportunities for every learner.

A teacher and instructional coach for over 15 years, Dickinson became a parenting coach in 2017 with a focus on “helping black parents grow into more positive, purposeful, and peaceful parents.”

Then, amidst the chaos created by the pandemic, Dickinson called on her education experience to serve even more children and families.

Dickinson is co-organizing the Parenting Decolonized Conference, which will take place January 15-17. Supported by a VELA Meet the Moment grant, the free virtual conference will focus on developing more authentic experiences for children and helping parents learn how to be more intentional and conscious in order “to raise liberated children.” More than 20 speakers and 500 attendees have already signed up.

“Our goal is to support parents with this pandemic, with virtual schooling, with more positive parenting strategies, to help them not lose their minds,” Dickinson said.

The conference will include more than two dozen live and pre-recorded sessions, including “Digital Parenting During a Pandemic” and a workshop led by Dickinson entitled, “All My Life I Had to Fight: Identifying Ways your Ego and Trauma Responses Impact Your Parenting.”

While co-organizing the conference, Dickinson has also been directly serving students and families. She filled in for a teacher on maternity leave by providing remote instruction to 3rd-grade students in Baltimore City Public Schools. In addition, Dickinson has been virtually coaching a group of parents in Indianapolis as well as clients of her small business.

Closer to home, she is overseeing the education of her own four children, ages 5-19. The eldest is in college, and the three youngest children are unschooling, which involves self-guided learning outside of the traditional education system.

Dickinson turned to this approach after working in schools for more than a decade. She started her career as a high school teacher, then moved to middle school after seeing how unprepared high school students were. She later moved to elementary school after seeing how unprepared her middle school students were. Then she started coaching parents.

“I started my own consulting business specifically to work with parents to get their kids ready for school,” Dickinson said. “The fundamental thing I realized is that parents don’t have the tools to support their children, not just with the content but with the social-emotional learning piece.”

Now Dickinson, in a multitude of ways, is doing everything she can to help.

Register for the conference, or learn more about Domari. Contact hello@velaedfund.org to share your own out-of-system innovation.