“Justin and Kristen Campbell with The Urban Connection Project were instrumental to the continued success of our students and schools! From the moment we met them, their warm and approachable personalities put us and staff at ease. Teachers have been receptive to their teachings, specifically taking a look at our own cultures and backgrounds and how that impacts our relationships with students. Their professional development opportunities around culturally responsive teaching practices are spot on, relevant, and critical to the work we do. We have seen changes in systems, reductions in discipline referrals, and a move toward rigorous teaching which is what all of our students need and deserve. This is a valued partnership that we hope continues for a long time to come!”

Alexis Wilson, Assistant Superintendent

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Hi! We are Justin and Kristen Campbell, founders of The Urban Connection Project. We decided to launch this organization in 2014 after realizing the need for increased teacher support and teacher retention in urban schools. As passionate former teachers in inner-city schools in both Detroit, MI and Phoenix, AZ, we recognized that there were specific practices that successful teachers had in common, so we began to cultivate professional development opportunities around what we now call, Culturally Responsive Teaching. Using our B.S. in Elementary Education, B.S. in Secondary Education, and M.Ed. in Education Administration, along with additional research, trial and error, observation and application, we are proud to say that we have successfully mentored schools, school districts and college of education programs to becoming more culturally responsive educators who raise the odds of success for the students that they service.

Rather than ramble on about ourselves, we like to let our work do the talking. See what our partners and the media have to say about us...

"We felt a sense of comfort with The Urban Connection Project after just one session. The tone and personalities of the presenters allowed and supported collaboration amongst the staff. From what I experienced, I really feel like our partnership will add value and improvement to the teachers’ craft and promote growth!" 

Melissa Barnett, School Leader 

“I wanted to thank you for sharing your ideas with us this past Friday.  As mentioned, I was a little skeptical about our planned session but after spending time with you, I am now enlightened.  The old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, is certainly not true in this case.  I am excited about learning new strategies then implementing them.  Thank you for your refreshing insight and knowledge of not only specific content areas but education as a whole.  Your dedication to education and to our youth is very apparent.” 

David Casso, Teacher 

​Raising the Odds of Success through Culturally Responsive Teaching

Meet the Founders

Media Sightings


"The discussion was relevant and very on point with the issues regarding teachers and students in today's classrooms. The pre-service teachers were very engaged and eager to participate in a rich discussion on classroom management and the impact teachers have on student behavior. Videos, graphic organizers and structured dialogue were just some of the different approaches used in the presentation. I look forward to attending other presentations The Urban Connection Project has to offer!

Kat Valdivia, College of Education Professor 

“The Urban Connection Project is helping the Campbell Elementary school community support our goal/focus to improve student-staff relationships.  We recognized that we were suspending too many students who were challenging our teachers. We knew that we should be doing better and recognized the importance of supporting a restorative justice ideology when revising our continuous improvement plan.  The Urban Connection Project has been supporting our teachers by first exploring/recognizing established counter productive patterns of student-teacher interaction for the purpose of generating ideas/strategies for moving to an improved relationship.  This relationship is then supported with curriculum review/purposeful development as another means for making "connections" with all learners to make curriculum more relevant, particularly for those most at risk.  With the support of The Urban Connection Project, our teachers are better supporting students at risk, exploring and refining practices and curriculum, and ultimately reducing disciplinary referrals/lost instructional time.  It's a win-win process that is building community.”

William Collins, Principal