Engineering Conflict
Changing Perspectives and Altering Perceptions: Understanding Mental Health

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Keynote Speakers

Keynote Address: Engineering Conflict: Distractions, Conflict and the Future of Black Life

The focus of this talk will be on concrete examples of the challenges and contradictions of dealing with conflict and distractions central to education.

Keynote Presenter: Dr. David Stovall Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) 

Image of Davud Stovall

David Stovall, Ph.D. is a professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His research interests include critical race theory, the relationship between housing and education, the intersection of race, place and school, and the relationship between schools and community stakeholders.

In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of equity and justice.  His work led him to become a member of the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School of Social Justice High School design team, which opened in the fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, his work manifests itself in his involvement with the Peoples Education Movement, a collection of classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area who engage in collaborative community projects centered in creating relevant curriculum. In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he also serves as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice.

Moderator: Michael C. Williams

Michael C. Williams has a B.S. in Education and African-American Studies from Northern Illinois University. He has a M.S. in Special Education and a M.A. in Educational Administration from Chicago State University. His educational credentials include Superintendent of Schools, Director of Special Education, General Administration, as well as Standard and Special Education teaching certificates.

Mr. Williams retired after serving 35 years in the field of education. He worked in several South Suburban schools districts as a high school history teacher, special education teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, Director of Special Education and Director of Student Services. He is a past President of the Library Board of University Park. He also served as an adjunct instructor for Governor State University teaching Special Education Law.

Mr. Williams has served as an Educational Consultant for various school districts in the south suburbs of Chicago. Mr. Williams also serves on the board for Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburbs and is the immediate President of the board of directors. He sits on the Executive Board of Theta Mu Lambda Charitable Foundation and is the current President of the Chicago Area of College and Alumni Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha (CACAC).

Panelist: Cynthia Cornejo, PsyD

Dr Cornejo’s area of expertise is working with at-risk teens and their families. She was the Coordinator of Partial Hospital Program/Intensive Outpatient Program for Adolescents and Children at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health (AMITA) in Hoffman Estates, organized socio-emotional group programs for youth in high violence areas within the Chicago Public School system, worked with youth gang members and male adolescent sex offenders in the Illinois Youth Center – Department of Corrections system, among other clinical consultation and facilities. Her private practice clientele span a variety of clinical populations from adolescence through adulthood, and also includes consulting for and with many middle and high schools in suburban DuPage and Cook counties.

Dr Cornejo teaches multiple courses at Prairie State College, is very involved with student success as faculty advisor to the Psi Beta Honor Society, chairs the Institutional Review Board, and moderates several annual conferences, including the Prairie State College Mental Health Conference and the Prairie State College Veteran’s Center PTS Conference. Dr Cornejo has been involved with The Black Star Project in Chicago, IL since 2009 volunteering with the Student Motivation and Mentoring Program. Dr Cornejo is currently mentoring and involved with the Kalon Sisterhood, which is being developed by a PSC student under Dr Cornejo’s mentorship, empowering girls to have a voice in society.  

Panelist: Dr. Jason D. Streeter

Dr. Jason D. Streeter has worked as an educator for 20 years and has served in many capacities during his distinguished career. His success as an educator, mentor and administrator has garnered much acclaim. Among the many awards and distinctions, Dr. Streeter has received over the years, the most notable are: the 2003 “Who’s Who Among the Nation’s Top Teachers Award”; the 2004 “Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart Good Works Teacher of the Year Award”; and the 2006 RAY of Hope Outstanding Humanitarian Award. In 2015, Dr. Streeter also was asked to speak as a panelist on a live recording (The Socio-Racial Roundtable) with his mentor, friend and colleague, the late Dr. Cyrus Marcellus Ellis.

Dr. Streeter is currently Lead Advisor & Trainer with The Center for Teacher Effectiveness (Time to Teach). He also is the founder of I.M.P.A.C.T. (Interactive Mental Physical and Character Training), a mentor program for the at-risk male students, designed to empower young men with core foundational principles of academic achievement, moral behavior, model citizenship, health and hygiene, and spiritual awareness. After receiving favorable reviews, the program was then expanded to The J.A.Y. Foundation (Just About Youth) – a highly effective and researched based life-skills program which provides support for both young men and women. The program also provides professional development training for teachers, administrators and parents.

Dr. Streeter believes he has an ethical responsibility to promote effective learning environments rather than teach individuals to tolerate ineffective ones. He is anchored by the love and endless support from his family and attributes everything good that has come from his life to his faith in God.

After he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University, Dr. Streeter went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration from Concordia University Chicago, and obtained his Ph. D. in Teaching and Learning from Walden University.


Engineering Conflict:
Distractions, Conflict and the Future of Black Life

Please join us for this opportunity to hear Dr. David Stovall professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He will be speaking on the topic Engineering Conflict: Distractions, Conflict and the Future of Black Life.  The focus of this talk will be on concrete examples of the challenges and contradictions of dealing with conflict and distractions central to education. The discussion to follow will explore the relevance of these lessons for students, community, and families, as well as educational leaders & classroom teachers of all subjects & grade levels.

To request additional information, email William Berkley@ wberkley@prairiestate.edu or call (708) 709-2946.


The event is held in the PSC Noble College Auditorium, 202 S. Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411.

This event is free and open to the public.


12:00 – 12:10 p.m. Welcome/Introduction of Keynote Speaker 
William Berkley, Coordinator, Male Success Initiative
12:10 – 1:30 p.m. Keynote Address – Engineering Conflict: Distractions, Conflict and the Future of Black Life
David Stovall, Ph.D. Professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American   Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Panel Discussion
2:30 – 2:50 p.m. Questions & Answers

Black History Month