Race & Pedagogy National Conferences

Every four years, the Race & Pedagogy National Conference welcomes more than 2,000 local, regional, national, and international participants to engage issues of race and to discuss the impact of race on education. Each conference builds on the success of the last and contributes new perspectives to the conversation.


What NOW is the Work of Education and Justice?: Mapping a New Critical Conscience

In asking “What Now?” the conference challenged us to align concepts of education and justice in ways that call for conscience, critique, and change. The conference offerings included critical models of teaching of science and race; reexamination of the criminal justice system including the problem of disparities in discipline in our schools and its connection to a pipeline to prison as part of our nation’s mass incarceration that has been characterized as the “New Jim Crow;” innovations in public education including recruitment and retention of teachers of color, culturally responsive teaching, and other efforts to achieve equity; methods of documenting and researching social struggles; and explorations of institutional change processes.

We assembled an impressive roster of high profile keynote speakers for the 2014 Race & Pedagogy National Conference:

  • Angela Davis, civil rights activist, prison abolitionist, and professor
  • Winona LaDuke, indigenous and environmental rights advocate and former Green Party vice presidential candidate
  • Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research
  • Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, sociologist and Duke University professor


Teaching and Learning for Justice: Danger and Opportunity in Our Critical Moment

Presenters and participants took part in dialogue, questioning, redefining, and exploring the following: The critical moments of possibilities and pitfalls in education, the arts, and society; innovations in partnerships for educational justice; and dilemmas and new directions in pedagogy about race.

Speakers at the 2010 National Race & Pedagogy Conference included:

  • Professor Mark McPhail, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
  • Professor Lani Guiner, Harvard Law School
  • President Freeman Hrabowski III, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Professor Richard Delgado, Seattle University, School of Law
  • Professor Jean Stefancic, Seattle University, School of Law



In The Race for Education, Why Are So Many Left Behind?

The first theme of this conference—race, knowledge, and disciplinarity—sought to explore the ways in which specific academic fields or disciplines negotiate the issue of race and the ways in which race enables and constrains the production of knowledge. The second theme, racial dynamics and racial performances in the classroom (and beyond), sought to explore the ways in which students and teachers behave inside and outside the classroom, and how these behaviors embody and perform race. The third theme, race, pedagogy, and community, sought to examine the ways in which students, teachers, administrators, and the educational institutions which they collectively constitute are situated within or in relation to broader communities. 

Speakers at the 2006 Race & Pedagogy National Conference included:

  • Cornel West, philosopher and political activist
  • Ernesto Martinez, University of Oregon
  • Hannah Maria Tavares, University of Hawai`i–Manoa
  • Lucius T. Outlaw Jr., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
  • President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., Spelman College
  • Kristen Klaaren, Randolph-Macon College
  • Robert Moses, Ph.D., founder and president of Algebra Project Inc.