Annual Conference

Through our annual conference, you can gain access to timely, essential information on bullying, victimization and related issues that can be utilized in school and community settings.


Contact us at or call us at 716-645-1532 with any questions or concerns.

2019 Conference

Event/registration details will be available soon. Thank you for your interest.

Event registration will open soon. Thank you for your interest.

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“Inclusive Schools and Communities:
Identifying and Intervening with Microaggressions”

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Our conference program includes a morning keynote presentation and a choice of afternoon breakout sessions. Your registration fee includes a continental breakfast and a buffet-style lunch. 

  • Professionals: $75 per person or $550 per table of eight
  • Students: $35 per person
Online Registration is Now Closed

If you are interested in attending, we will accept registrations through the morning of the conference. Contact us with any questions at

CPD Credits and NYSED Contact Hours

Continuing professional development (CPD) credits are available, approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Contact hours are also available for New York State Education Department (NYSED) licensed master/clinical health care workers and licensed mental health counselors.

NYSED LMSW, LCSW and LMHC Contact Hours

New York Social Workers: University at Buffalo School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (#SW-0001). Full attendance is required for the morning keynote; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance. Three live in-person contact hours are approved.

New York Mental Health Counselors: University at Buffalo School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0008). Full attendance is required for the morning keynote; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance. Three live in-person contact hours are approved.

Keynote Presentation

The Everyday Bullying of Microaggressions: Recognizing and Intervening

In this interactive presentation, Niemann will define and provide examples of microaggressions — beginning with her video Microaggressions in the Classroom — and will describe psychological consequences of this type of bullying.  With conference participants, she will discuss additional examples of, and potential responses to, everyday microaggressions.

In this session, participants will:

  • learn to recognize microaggressions
  • understand how microaggressions are part of everyday bullying
  • gain knowledge of the psychological consequences of microaggressions
  • practice responding to microaggressions
Yolanda Flores Niemann.

Yolanda Flores Niemann, PhD
Professor of Psychology, University of North Texas

More About Yolanda Flores Niemann

Yolanda Flores Niemann is professor of psychology at the University of North Texas (UNT). Previously, she served as senior vice provost for academic affairs at UNT; vice provost and dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Utah State University; and held numerous administrative and faculty positions at Washington State University. She was also an American Council on Education (ACE) fellow at Penn State.

Most recently, Niemann was an invited panelist at the White House for the Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics — Fulfilling America’s Future: Latinas in the U.S. She has been principal investigator of over $42 million in federal outreach grants to prepare low socioeconomic status students for entry into and success in higher education. She has recently developed a faculty training video to help prevent faculty to student microaggressions.

Her research interests include the psychological effects and social ecological contexts of tokenism — to the individual faculty member and to the tokenizing institution. Current research includes examination of stereotypes in superhero portrayals, and effective mentoring across demographic groups. Niemann has authored many journal articles and books including “Surviving and Thriving in Academia: A Guide for Members of Marginalized Groups” (third edition, 2017, published by the American Psychological Association) and “Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia” (coedited), which was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Challenge2Change: Engaging high school youth in racial/ethnic development and intergroup communication

Dr. Annahita Ball, Assistant Professor in School of Social Work, University at Buffalo
    Susan Paul-Saladino, Chair, Special Education Department, Amherst Central High School
    Gregory Pigeon, Principal, Amherst Central High School
    Candra Skrzypek, Doctoral Student, School of Social Work, University at Buffalo

Youth and adults are often ill-prepared to thrive within our increasingly diverse schools and communities. Moreover, youths’ developmental focus on identity and relationships make them excellent candidates for programs focused on intergroup communication. This presentation will share the model and lessons learned from Challenge2Change, a university–school initiative designed to enhance racial/ethnic understanding and intergroup communication for high school students. You will learn about intergroup dialogue pedagogy, specific activities that may be used with youth, and details to assist schools in developing their own programs. Perspectives from multiple stakeholders will be shared, including the university faculty researcher, school administrator, lead teacher and graduate student group facilitator. Presenters will also share next steps, such as plans to incorporate social action into Challenge2Change and the process of evaluating intergroup dialogue in K–12 schools.

Dr. Annahita Ball is an assistant professor within the School of Social Work at University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on advancing educational justice for vulnerable children and youth through meaningful family engagement in schools and effective school-based social service delivery. Her recent projects include exploring various aspects of family engagement and empowerment in schools, including parent organizing for educational reform and the development of a framework for family engagement practice. Ball also has research and practice experience related to strengthening mental health services in schools and creating inclusive school climates to support marginalized students. She has collaborated with schools and districts to implement student-driven programs and teacher professional development focused on school climate, disciplinary procedures and student mental health. Her publications have been featured in scholarly journals, such as Children & Youth Services Review, Teaching & Teacher Education, and Youth & Society. She is on the editorial review board for Children & Schools and Research on Social Work Practice. Ball teaches courses on diversity and oppression, social work in public schools and intergroup dialogue.

Susan Paul-Saladino has enjoyed a 20+ year career as a teacher working with both middle and high school students in urban and suburban settings. Recognizing the challenge many minority students face in suburban settings, she helped establish meaningful professional development for the staff and faculty of the Amherst School District, beginning in 2004. Around that same time, she worked with students and interested teachers to develop a student-led after school club to promote their leadership skills, as well as to problem solve student-identified issues that impact their feelings of inclusion and self-care. Challenge2Change is part of Paul-Saladino's big-picture vision for student empowerment and leadership development as high school students are prepared to be active and engaged citizens.

Gregory Pigeon has worked in public education for three decades. He is currently in his twelfth year as principal at Amherst Central High School. He has been an adjunct instructor at Buffalo State College and has a background in entrepreneurship as well as a long career in the classroom as a computer science and business teacher. Pigeon has extensive experience in program development and community/collegiate partnerships for secondary public school students.

Candra Skrzypek is a PhD student in the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo. Her research interests include the impact of policy and organizational structures on student outcomes and the promotion of educational justice. Skrzypek has experience working in schools in a variety of capacities, including middle school science teacher, after-school teacher, university-school program coordinator and school social work intern.

“I didn’t mean anything by it” — Microaggressions toward people with disabilities

F. Paul Lounsbury, Training Coordinator, People Inc.

How to recognize everyday verbal, nonverbal and environmental slights, whether intentional or not, which communicate hostile and derogatory or negative messages to persons with disabilities. We will also explore how subtle remarks, actions and even intended compliments can often be just as harmful as outright discrimination or ableism.

F. Paul Lounsbury has worked in human services with people with disabilities in both New York State and California. Currently, Lounsbury is a training coordinator with People Inc.'s training and employee development — including management/supervisory training, person-centered focus, diversity and cultural competency and disability etiquette.

Respectful communication in the face of LGBTQ+ resistance

Kayden Miller, Education Coordinator, LGBTQ Academy at the Out Alliance

In this highly-interactive workshop, you will examine techniques for managing LGBTQ+ pushback and microaggressions that engage individuals in meaningful dialogue, rather than shut people down. Best practice tips for respectfully communicating with individuals will be shared. You will also take part in a highly-interactive activity where you can practice your responses to common LGBTQ+ microaggressions. Take away handouts will be offered to all participants.

Kayden Miller (pronoun: he) came onboard as the Out Alliance’s LGBTQ Academy Education Coordinator in August of 2017. He graduated from the State University of New York at Potsdam with a BA in Archaeological Studies and a minor in Museum Studies. Through his academic work, he focused on interactive and experiential educational techniques, as his passion is making learning fun, relevant and memorable. In his current role as Education Coordinator he works towards creating safe and respectful environments for the LGBTQ+ communities. Kayden is a certified SafeZone Trainer and he facilitates an average of 150 LGBTQ+ trainings and presentations per year.

Speak up at school: How to respond to everyday prejudice, bias and stereotypes

Session is Full — Please select a different session when registering.

Emily Chiariello, Diversity and Educational Equity Consultant, Chiariello Consulting

Modeling the kind of behavior we want from students is one of the most effective ways of teaching it. So, what should we do when we witness or experience microaggressions at work and school? Educators frequently seek advice about how to respond when someone — a student, a colleague or parent — uses biased language or stereotypes in school. This training develops the skills for educators to respond to biased language or stereotypes in school and to help students speak up to prejudice. Participants will also receive tools to develop a response plan for more serious bias incidents and hate crimes at school.

Emily Chiariello is an independent consultant specializing in diversity and equity in K-12 education. She has two decades of experience as a classroom teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum designer, content developer and writer. A former middle and high school teacher, Emily has worked with non-profit organizations such as One World Education, the Children’s Defense Fund's Freedom Schools program and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project. While at Teaching Tolerance, she developed a number of resources and helped lead several projects, including the award-winning K-12 literacy-based, anti-bias Teaching Tolerance Curriculum. She is the principle author of the Social Justice Standards, a first-ever set of benchmarks for anti-bias education, and has designed instructional tools such as Civil Rights Done Right and Reading Diversity.  Emily has authored articles about the school to prison pipeline, culturally competent instructional coachingwhite racial identity and diverse literature. Today, she works with schools, districts, universities, non-profits, publishers, museums and media companies to build their capacity to promote equity and support diversity, whether in the work they do directly with students and communities or through the products and services they provide to educators.


8:00 a.m. Check-In | Continental Breakfast | Exhibit Tables
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation (Part 1)
The Everyday Bullying of Microaggressions: Recognizing and Intervening
Yolanda Flores Niemann, PhD
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Keynote Presentation (Part 2)
The Everyday Bullying of Microaggressions: Recognizing and Intervening
Yolanda Flores Niemann, PhD
12:00 p.m. Break
12:15 p.m. Lunch and Networking
1:15 p.m.


Breakout Sessions

  • Challenge to change: Facilitating conversations with high school students
  • “I didn’t mean anything by it” — Microaggressions toward people with disabilities
  • Respectful communication in the face of LGBTQ+ resistance
  • Speak up at school: How to respond to everyday prejudice, bias and stereotypes


2:45 p.m. Closing Remarks


Thank you to our sponsors!