Previous Keynote Speakers

J.Q. Adams

J.Q. Adams is professor emeritus at Western Illinois University (WIU). He earned a B.Ph. in 1975 from Grand Valley State University, a M.A. from Indiana University in 1977, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Illinois in 1989. Adams is a five-time recipient of the WIU's "Faculty Excellence Award." In 2008 he received Grand Valley State University College of Education's Alumni Leadership Award. In 2009 he was recognized as the National Association of Multicultural Educators, G. Pritchy Smith's Multicultural Educator of the Year Award, and in 2011 he was selected as WIU's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer.

Leslie David Burns

Leslie David Burns, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of Kentucky and a former high school English language arts teacher in rural and suburban Kansas. Burns' research interests include English language arts, adolescent literacy, curriculum studies and design, education policy, education standards, education reform, teacher professionalism and identity and techniques for responsive teaching and learning in diverse classrooms; and social justice for all.

Patrick Camangian

Patrick "Cam" Camangian is an associate professor and department chair of Teacher Education at the University of San Francisco. He earned his Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Patrick’s interdisciplinary research on humanizing education intersects critical pedagogy, critical literacy, and health science research. Camangian pursues these areas of critical qualitative research to improve teacher quality, capacity and retention, as well as to inform policies and practices impacting urban schools and communities. The focus of his presentation will juxtapose research in the health sciences with critical pedagogy to inform a new paradigm for thinking about pedagogy, complex traumas and urban education.

Marcus Croom

Marcus Croom, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Indiana University. As a race critical researcher and an experienced educator, his mission is to cultivate more human fulfillment and mitigate human suffering. Within his broader inquiries of race and literacies, he continues to document teachers’ understandings of race and examine the influence these understandings may have on teacher efficacy, student identification, pedagogical reasoning and teaching practices in literacy.

Venus Evans-Winters

Venus Evans-Winters, Ph.D. is an author, researcher, and policy scholar. She is the Black Girls & Women's Research Initiatives Coordinator at the African American Policy Forum and a Visiting Professor of Education at The Ohio State University in the Department of Educational Studies. Evans-Winters researches and teaches in the areas of Black feminist thought, critical race theory, educational policy, and qualitative inquiry.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

Fanshen Cox is the president of TruJuLo Productions. TruJuLo uplifts stories that speak truth in pursuit of justice – encompassed by LOVE. Award-winning playwright, actor, producer and educator, Fanshen toured her one-woman show: One Drop of Love across the U.S. for seven years. One Drop travels near and far, in the past and present to explore the intersections of race, class and gender in pursuit of truth, justice and love. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and education, an M.A. in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), and an M.F.A. in acting and performance in TV, film and theatre.

Sister Donna Liette

Sister Donna is a sister of the Precious Blood of Dayton Ohio. Presently she ministers at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Southside Chicago as a restorative justice practitioner. She holds an M.S. in education administration from New York University and an M.A. in pastoral counselling from Loyola University, Chicago. She served 14 years in Ohio as executive director of Mercy Manor, a transitional home for women released from Ohio prisons or drug treatment facilities. Her present work includes visiting youth in Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, training teams in restorative justice practices such as peace circles.

Gholdy Muhammad

Gholdy Muhammad

Gholdy Muhammad, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture at University of Illinois Chicago and National K-12 Literacy Consultant. Muhammad served as a middle school teacher, literacy specialist, school district administrator, and school board president. She studies Black historical excellence within educational communities with goals of reframing curriculum and instruction and is the author of the best-selling book Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy.

Nicole Nguyen

Nicole Nguyen, Ph.D., is an associate professor of criminology, law and justice and educational policy studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. As a feminist geographer, she ethnographically investigates the intersections of national security, war and U.S. public schooling. This research agenda contributes to, and draws on, grassroots struggles challenging racialized policing, war and empire, particularly in collaboration with community organizations. Nicole teaches classes on the school-prison nexus, alternatives to incarceration and qualitative writing.

Joao Salm

Joao is an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Governors State University (GSU) in Chicago, Illinois. He earned his Ph.D. from the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University. He has supported student's initiatives to implement restorative justice in the south suburbs of Chicago to address community needs. Joao has also been a consultant to the Canadian Foreign Ministry in the area of restorative justice since 2010. He has worked with the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund to introduce restorative justice to the country of Guinea Bissau, in Africa, and worked as a consultant to the Brazilian National Justice Council and Supreme Courts of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

david stovall

David Stovall

David Stovall is professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His scholarship investigates critical race theory, social justice education, housing and education, and the relationship between schools and community stakeholders. He has spent the last ten years working with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of social justice.

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