After establishing the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE) in 2001, to advocate for Black children who were being marginalized in that state, Debra Watkins envisioned providing two-day summer institutes to inform and inspire educators with proven pedagogical resources to ensure academic and cultural excellence for students of African ancestry. From the onset, these institutes were well-attended and given excellent evaluations. Over a ten-year period, held either at Stanford University or the University of California, Los Angeles, these institutes combined to serve more than 1000 educators and featured the following keynoters: Drs. Bob Moses; Beverly Daniel Tatum; Gloria Ladson-Billings; Pedro Noguera; Wade Nobles; Lisa Delpit; Sharroky Hollie; Carole Lee; and Geneva Gay.
After realizing that institute attendees were not getting traction in the field with these great practices, the CAAAE took a four-year break to focus on policy. After California's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) became law in 2013, the ground was fertile for culturally relevant pedgagogy so we held an institute in 2016 featuring Dr. Arnetha Ball as our keynote speaker, in 2017 featuring Dr. Stephen Hancock, and in 2019 our keynote speaker was Dr. Beverly Daniel-Tatum.
2018: Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum In honor of her book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, we brought back this former Spelman College president, who before her appointment was Acting President and Dean at Spelman, as well as Professor of Psychology and Education at Mount Holyoke College. An expert on race relations in the classroom and the development of racial identity, Dr. Tatum participated in Former President Clinton's "Dialogue on Race," lectures extensively throughout the country, and conducts numerous workshops with students, educators, and parents. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
2017: Dr. Stephen D. Hancock Stephen D. Hancock, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Multicultural Education in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at UNC Charlotte where he also serves as the Assistant Director of the Urban Education Collaborative. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, he received his B.A. in English with a minor in Latin and a M.A.T. in Elementary Education. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Curriculum & Instruction with cognates in Multicultural and Early Childhood Education. Dr. Hancock’s research interest supports academic relationships in urban school context, reading practices and strategies for urban students, ethnographic and autoethnographic methodologies, and White teacher effectiveness in multicultural spaces. He is the editor of two books: Autoethnography as a Lighthouse: Illuminating Race, Research, and the Politics of Schooling as well as White Women’s Work: Examining the Intersectionality of Teaching, Identity, and Race.
2016: Dr. Arnetha Ball Dr. Arnetha Ball (Ph.D., Stanford University) is Professor of Education in Curriculum Studies, Teacher Education, and Educational Linguistics at her alma mata. She is the Past-President of the American Educational Research Association, Director of the Program in African and African American Studies, and Co-Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Language at Stanford. Dr. Ball’s research focuses on literacy studies, teacher preparation, and linguistic diversity in the US and South Africa. With more than 20 years of K–12 urban teaching experience and fifteen years as Owner/Director of an inner-city private education center, she has also co-taught courses in teacher education in South Africa, published widely, and served as the visiting Barbara A. Sizemore Distinguished Professor of Urban Education.
2011: Dr. Geneva Gay, Author Geneva Gay is the author of Culturally Relevant Teaching: Theory, Research and Practice and a Professor of Education at the University of Washington-Seattle where she teaches multicultural education and general curriculum theory. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award, presented by the Committee on the Role and Status of Minorities in Educational Research and Development of the American Educational Research Association; the first Multicultural Educator Award presented by the National Association of Multicultural Education; the 2004 W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Lecturer Award presented by the Special Interest Group on Research Focus on Black Education of the American Educational Research Association; and the 2006 Mary Anne Raywid Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Field of Education, presented by the Society of Professors of Education. She is nationally and internationally known for her scholarship in multicultural education, particularly as it relates to curriculum design, staff development, classroom instruction, and intersections of culture, race, ethnicity, teaching,and learning.
Dr. Gay's writings include numerous articles and book chapters, including A Synthesis of Scholarship in Multicultural Education; the co-editorship of Expressively Black: The Cultural Basis of Ethnic Identity (Praeger, 1987); author of At the Essence of Learning: Multicultural Education (Kappa Delta Pi, 1994), and Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Practice, & Research (Teachers College Press, 2000); and editor of Becoming Multicultural Educators: Personal Journey Toward Professional Agency (Jossey-Bass, 2003). Culturally Responsive Teaching received the 2001 Outstanding Writing Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). She also is a member of the authorship team of the Scott Foresman New Elementary Social Studies Series. Her professional service includes membership on several national editorial review and advisory boards. International consultations on multicultural education have taken her to Canada, Brazil, Taiwan, Finland, Japan, England, Scotland, and Australia.
2010: Dr. Carol Lee, Immediate Past President of AERA Carol D. Lee, Professor of Learning Sciences and African American Studies at Northwestern University, has completed her term as president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She now serves as immediate past president through the concluding day of the 2011 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 12, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Carol D. Lee, Professor of Learning Sciences and African American Studies at Northwestern University, has assumed the presidency of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Her term as president started April 17, 2009 at the conclusion of the 90th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.
Professor Lee succeeds Lorraine M. McDonnell, an education policy expert who teaches political science at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Dr. McDonnell now serves as Immediate Past President of AERA through May 4th, the concluding day of the 2010 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Professor Lee has been working on Cultural Modeling, that draws on prior knowledge that underserved students, particularly African American and other students of color, bring to classrooms.
2009: Dr. Sharroky Hollie, co-founder (CLAS) Dr. Sharroky Hollie, Co-Founder of the Culture and Language Academy of Success (CLAS) charter school. Sharroky Hollie is a tenured, assistant professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Working in the Teacher Education Department for the past 11 years, Professor Hollie teaches reading for secondary teachers, classroom management, and methodology. Dr. Hollie is the co-founder of the nationally acclaimed laboratory school, Culture and Language Academy of Success (CLAS) in Los Angeles. CLAS is a K-8 independent charter school that espouses culturally responsive pedagogy as its primary approach. At CLAS, Sharroky directs and develops the curriculum, professional development, and teacher development.
Dr. Hollie is also the executive director of the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing stellar professional development for educators desiring to become culturally responsive. With the Center, Sharroky serves as a national expert, traveling around the country training thousands of teachers. Sharroky has been acknowledged by several groups as one of the top professional developers in the country.
2002 & 2008: Dr. Bob Moses, creator of The Algebra Project Robert P. Moses '56, President and Founder of the Algebra Project, presented a lecture titled "Quality Public School Education as a Constitutional Right" on October 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel. In his young adult life, Moses was a pivotal organizer for the civil rights movement as field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and was director of SNCC's Mississippi Project. He was a driving force behind the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964 in organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), which challenged the Mississippi regulars at the 1964 Democratic Convention. From 1969-1976, he worked for the Ministry of Education in Tanzania, East Africa, where he was chairperson of the math department at the Sam school. A MacArthur Foundation Fellow from 1982-87, Moses used his fellowship to develop the concept for the Algebra Project, wherein mathematics literacy in today's information age is as important to educational access and citizenship for inner city and rural poor middle and high school students as the right to vote was to political access and citizenship for sharecroppers and day laborers in Mississippi in the 1960s. As founder and president of the Algebra Project Inc., Moses also serves as director of the project's materials development program. Together with Algebra Project Inc. board member Danny Glover, Moses and others recently launched a national discussion calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution for Quality Public School Education as a Civil Right.
2007: Dr. Lisa Delpit, author of Other People's Children Dr. Lisa Delpit, author of Other People's Children, has won accolades for her work on teaching and learning in urban schools and in diverse cultural settings. She has studied education in both Alaska and New Guinea, published several books, and is a sought-after speaker. Delpit's placement as one of the foremost educators and writers on the subject of culturally-relevant approaches to educating students of color began with a series of eloquent, plain-spoken essays in the Harvard Educational Review.
These essays questioned the validity of some popular teaching strategies for African-American students and were eventually spun off into a book titled, Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom. The book, published in 1995, has been cited for the ongoing debate surrounding what she describes as "finding ways and means to best educate urban students, particularly African-American, and other students of color." Dr. Lisa Delpit received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in 1993 from Harvard Graduate School of Education, which hailed her as a “visionary scholar and woman of courage.”
2006: Dr. Wade Nobles, Author Dr. Wade Nobles is the author of Seeking the Sakhu: Foundational Writings in African Psychology. Dr. Wade Nobles attained a P.h.D from Stanford University in California and is a renowned psychologist in the field of African Psychology. Dr. Nobles is a professor at San Francisco State University and is also Executive Director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture Inc. This particular institute remains the only independent organization dedicated solely to the improvement of Black family life and culture. Under Nobles' leadership the Institute has flourished and become active in the transformation of the African American community through social work and scientific research. Dr. Nobles was a key figure in the creation of a national federation of programs dedicated to the training and development of Black manhood. Through the work of Dr. Nobles, the Institute of the Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture has affected prominent changes, such as the empowerment of Black Psychology and social change within African American communities. African Psychology is a historical concept, being connected to ancient African thought. Dr. Wade Nobles argues throughout the book that the semantics of Western Psychology have distorted the essence of Ancient African thought and in turn misconstrued the field of African Psychology. Western Psychology focuses on the human being as an object, rather than an entity that is comprised of spiritual, physical and biological attributes.
2004: Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Author Gloria Ladson-Billings (PhD Stanford '84) is the Chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction where she holds the Kellner Family Endowed Professorship in Urban Education and is Faculty Affiliate in the Departments of Educational Policy Studies and Afro American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was the 2005--2006 president of the American Educational Research Association. Ladson-Billings' research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. She also investigates Critical Race Theory applications to education.
Ladson-Billings is the author of the critically acclaimed books, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children, Crossing over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms, and Beyond the Big House: African American Educators on Teacher Education. She is editor of five other books and author of more than 50 journal articles and book chapters. She is the former editor of the American Educational Research Journal and a member of several editorial boards. Her work has won numerous scholarly awards, including the H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Palmer O. Johnson outstanding research award. In spring 2005 she was elected to the National Academy of Education and the National Society for the Study of Education.
2003: Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Author Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? is President of Spelman College. Prior to her appointment at Spelman she was Acting President and Dean, as well as Professor of Psychology and Education, at Mount Holyoke College. An expert on race relations in the classroom and the development of racial identity, Dr. Tatum participated in President Clinton's "Dialogue on Race," lectures extensively throughout the country, and conducts numerous workshops with students, educators, and parents. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.