Public Policy Institute

Spring Symposium


11th Annual Spring Symposium

In collaboration with SMC Education/Early Childhood Department, Associated Students, SMC Associates, and the Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School.

Educating for a Flourishing Future

May 16 – 19, 2022
All events are free and open to the public.Educating for a Flourishing Future

How education at every stage of life helps achieve and is dependent upon: Community / Democracy / Social Justice

No Small Matter

Monday, May 16, 5:30 – 8 p.m. via Zoom

Alfre Woodard narrated documentary about the importance of quality early childhood education

Pre-screening Reception: Join us for early dinner and refreshments in the Humanities and Social Sciences patio area outside HSS 165, compliments of SMC Associates.

Post-screening Panel: Gary Huff, Chair, SMC Education/Early Childhood Department.

Julie Rusk, Founder, Civic Wellbeing Partners; Chair, Santa Monica Bay Human Relations Council

Dr. Susan Samarge-Powell, SMMUSD Director, Child Development Services

Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)
SMC Main Campus and via Zoom

Tour of the Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School

Tuesday, May 17, 5 – 7 p.m. RSVP for Tour

A partnership between Santa Monica College, the City of Santa Monica, and Growing Place, with special support from the RAND Corporation. Tour led by Growing Place, concluding with a creative activity led by SMC ECE students.

Immediately following – walk through Belmar History+Art; A Civic Commemoration Project. Guided by Ericka Lesley, Chair, Santa Monica Black Agenda.

1802 4th Street,
Santa Monica
Tour limited to 50 guests; RSVP required.

Valuing Culture and Confronting Racism to Advance Child Well-Being

Wednesday, May 18, 6 – 7:30 p.m. via Zoom

Keynote panel featuring a fireside chat with: Mayra E Alvarez, President, The Children’s Partnership, Giannina Perez, Early Childhood Consultant, Former Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood in the Office of Governor Newsom, Cathi Miller, SMC Education/Early Childhood Department, and Shari Davis, SMC PPI Codirector, moderators

Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)
SMC Main Campus and via Zoom
Panelists will be virtual

“LOVE-fest” — A Tribute to the Late bell hooks

Thursday, May 19, 6 – 7:30 p.m. via Zoom

SMC Faculty in Conversation: Exploring themes of educating for community and social justice. Featuring SMC Professors: Amber Katherine, Redelia Shaw, Rebecca Romo, Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, SMC PPI Co-director. Moderated by Karriann Farrell Hinds, SMC Community Liaison.

Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)
SMC Main Campus and via Zoom


If you need an accommodation due to a disability to participate in any of these events, please contact Kiersten Elliott at or 310-434-4173, at least 5 business days in advance.

About the Public Policy Institute

The Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute provides nonpartisan community programs exploring key economic, social, and political issues. The Institute—which presents informative discussions on the policy issues that affect our daily lives—proudly offers an Associate in Arts degree and a Certificate of Achievement in Public Policy.Students can choose to specialize in one of five policy areas: arts and cultural affairs, education, environment and sustainability, public health, and urban/socioeconomic affairs. Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, Co-Director, and Founding Associate Director; Shari Davis, MPP, Co-Director.To view past events, visit PPI Past Events.