Battle Ground Academy (Franklin, TN)
Baylor School (Chattanooga, TN)
Ensworth School (Nashville, TN)
Evangelical Christian School (Cordova, TN)
Fort Worth Country Day (Ft. Worth, TX)
Harpeth Hall School (Nashville, TN)
Holy Innocents' Episcopal School  (Atlanta, GA)
Hutchison School (Memphis, TN)
The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)
McCallie School (Chattanooga, TN)
Memphis University School (Memphis, TN)
Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, TN)
The Paideia School (Atlanta, GA)
Pace Academy (Atlanta, GA)
Providence Christian Academy (Murfreesboro, TN)
St. Andrews--Sewanee School (Sewanee, TN)
St. George's Independent School (Memphis, TN)
St. Mary's Episcopal School (Memphis, TN)
Trinity Valley School (Ft. Worth, TX)
University School of Nashville (Nashville, TN)
The Walker School (Marietta, GA)
Westminster Schools (Atlanta, GA)

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see pictures from past conferences and to keep up with what our participants are doing to tear down walls in their schools and communities.

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The Tearing Down the Walls conference is organized in association with the National Center for Race Amity.



Dr. Frederick W. Gooding

Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. (PhD, Georgetown University) is an Assistant Professor within the Honors College at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. Gooding critically analyzes race within mainstream media, effectively contextualizing problematic patterns based upon their historical roots. As such, Gooding’s best-known work thus far is “You Mean, There’s RACE in My Movie? The Complete Guide to Understanding Race in Mainstream Hollywood,” which has been utilized in high schools and universities nationwide. Also the co-editor of “Stories from the Front of the Room: How Higher Education Faculty Overcome Challenges and Thrive in the Academy,” Gooding has stayed focused on the practical applications of equity with his recent work, “American Dream Deferred” (December 2018) carefully detailing the growth and struggles of black federal workers in the postwar era. His latest effort, “Black Oscar” (May 2020), will expand his reach into cultural studies by analyzing African American Academy Award winners and how their narratives reflect and reinforce larger American history. As budding public historian, Gooding through his dynamic and demonstrative presentations seeks to underscore that history is very much alive, especially since we share the power to create new histories together.

Dr. Joy DeGruy

Ms. Joy Angela DeGruy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW), a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology, and a PhD in Social Work Research. Ms. DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher and educator.  For over two decades, she served as an Assistant Professor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and now serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Joy DeGruy Publications Inc. 


Ms. DeGruy’s research focuses on the intersection of racism, trauma, violence and American chattel slavery. She has over thirty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work. She conducts workshops and trainings in the areas of intergenerational/historical trauma, mental health, social justice, improvement strategies and evidence based model development. 


Ms. DeGruy has published numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters and authored her seminal book entitled “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing.” She has also developed an assessment scale for measuring respect with regard to African American male youth

Andrew Maraniss

Andrew Maraniss is a New York Times-bestselling author of narrative nonfiction. His first book, STRONG INSIDE, was the recipient of the 2015 Lillian Smith Book Award and the lone Special Recognition honor at the 2015 RFK Book Awards. The Young Reader edition was named one of the Top 10 Biographies and Top 10 Sports Books of 2017 by the American Library Association and was selected as a Notable Social Studies Book for 2019 by the National Council for the Social Studies. His second book, GAMES OF DECEPTION, is the story of the first U.S. Olympic basketball team, which competed at the 1936 Summer Games in  Nazi Germany.

Andrew is a Visiting Author at Vanderbilt University Athletics and a contributor to ESPN’s He has appeared on several national media programs, including NPR’s All Things Considered and Only A Game, NBC’s Meet The Press, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, ESPN’s Keith Olbermann Show, ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life, and the SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum Show.

The son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author David Maraniss and trailblazing environmentalist Linda Maraniss, Andrew was born in Madison, Wis., grew up in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas and now lives in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife Alison, and their two young children. Follow Andrew on Twitter @trublu24 and visit his website at

Dr. Linda Meccouri

With over 30 years of teaching and leadership experience at the community college, undergraduate, and graduate level, Dr. Meccouri is the recipient of two Endowed Chairs for Teaching Excellence and is highly respected for her creative approaches to leadership and positive change.

Linda's inspiring keynotes, Nationally and Internationally, are consistently praised as “motivational”, “engaging”, “entertaining” and “transforming”. A dynamic, energetic approach connects with her audiences and appreciatively speaks to the heart of what helps people transform. Dr. Meccouri is a scholar, a storyteller, and an entertainer with extensive experience in face to face, accelerated, online, and hybrid formats.

Her ongoing research “Making It: Resilience Against the Odds” examines the factors involved in resilience and success for low-income, first-generation college students with the social indicators associated with failure. Linda continues this work facilitating leadership workshops, and courses. Dr. Meccouri is passionate about her work with healthcare organizations to improve patient and staff experience, leading retreats, workshops and coaching professionals to improve experience, leadership and career satisfaction.


As a facilitator, her watchword is “Presume Goodwill” working with diverse professionals to design and deliver programs that transform organizations.



Schedule Coming Soon!

Southeastern Conference on Race and Leadership

in Independent Schools. June 19-21, 2020

Ensworth School, Frist Campus

Nashville, TN





Each school bringing students and adults pays a flat registration fee of $1200.00; this fee covers registration, lodging, and food costs for all students and chaperones. 

A $400.00 deposit is due before February 15, 2020 in order to reserve

your school's spot at the conference. 

The entire $1,200.00 must be paid by June 1, 2020.

Register Your School and Pay for the Conference

Chaperones: Registration Form


Student Participants: Registration Form

Packing List (Coming Soon)