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Keynote Panelists

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Dr. Ana Maria Araújo Freire (Nita Freire)

Brazilian Educator, doctorate from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.  Nita Freire is dedicated to perpetuate her husband's true political-ethical-educational efforts.  Recipient of various honors, including Doctor honoris causa (Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul); Honorary Professor (Universidad Nacional de Lanús / Argentina); A Chave da Sabedoria (Secretariat of Education of Brazil); UNESCO's 60th Anniversary Medal.  Author/editor of several books; her book Paulo Freire: Uma História de Vida won 2nd Place of Prêmio Jabuti (Category Biography, 2007).

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Dr. Antonia Darder

A public intellectual, educator, writer, activist, cultural worker, and artist.  Antonia Darder has distinguished herself as an international Freirean scholar. She holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She is a recipient of the American Educational Research Association Scholars of Color Lifetime Contribution Award.

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Dr. Gustavo Fischman

Professor of Educational Policy and Comparative Education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. The overall goal of Dr. Fischman’s scholarship is to contribute to understanding and improving the processes of knowledge-production, recognition, and exchange between researchers, educators, activists, practitioners, administrators, media workers, policymakers, and the broader public.


Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Senior Advisor to the President on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence, Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity & Education, and Professor of Education, University of British Columbia. He is also co-editor of the book series African and Diasporic Cultural Studies (University of Toronto Press) and Associate Editor of the journal Critical Arts.


Dr. Marta Soler-Gallart

Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, University of Barcelona, with a doctorate from Harvard. President of the European Sociological Association (2019-21) and Board member of the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities (2016-19). Editor of the ISA journal International Sociology. She coordinated the EU-funded research SOLIDUS studying solidarity in Europe, and has recently published the book Achieving Social Impact: Sociology in the Public Sphere.


Dr. Martha Montero-Sieburth

A Lecturer in Social Sciences at Amsterdam University College and Professor Emerita in the Leadership in Urban Schools Doctoral Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. During 2007-2016, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She uses Paulo Freire’s teachings in conducting community ethnographies with migrant groups in Amsterdam.

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Dr. Lisete Regina Gomes Arelaro

Professor emerita, Faculty of Education at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (USP). She was part of Paulo Freire's team in the Municipal Secretariat of Education, São Paulo; Secretary of Education, Culture, Sport & Leisure in Diadema / SP; and Director of the Faculty of Education at USP. Her research focuses on Educational Policy, Basic Education Financing, and Popular Education.

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Dr. Donaldo Macedo

Professor Emeritus and a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. A critical theorist, linguist, and expert on literacy and education studies, he has been a central figure in the field of critical pedagogy for more than 30 years. Macedo’s and Freire’s co-authored book, Literacy: Reading the Word and the World, redefines the very nature and terrain of literacy and Critical Pedagogy.


Dr. Peter McLaren

Distinguished Professor of Critical Studies, Co-Director of The Paulo Freire Democratic Project, and International Ambassador for Global Ethics and Social Justice, Chapman University.  A scholar and activist whose written work and educational activism attempt to reflect the goals and educational practices developed by Paulo Freire.  Peter is the author/editor of nearly 50 books and his writings have been translated into over 25 languages.

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Dr. Sandy Grande

Professor of Political Science and Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Connecticut, with affiliations in American Studies, Philosophy, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.  Her work focuses on producing more nuanced analyses of the colonial present.  Her book, Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought is forthcoming in a Portuguese translation.  She was awarded a Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship (2019-2020) and is a founding member of New York Stands for Standing Rock.

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Dr. Heinz-Peter Gerhardt

Doctor of Philosophy from Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.  Heinz Peter Gerhardt wrote the “Paulo Freire” Biography for UNESCO.  Taught in the USA (SUNY/ Albany), Brazil (UFRN/Natal), China (USJ/Macau - China), Germany (FH Bund/Brühl). Areas of research: Liberatory Education, Teacher Training and Organisational Psychology:

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Dr. Christopher Emdin

Christopher Emdin is a scholar-practitioner and educator who is author of the award-winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation and the New York Times bestseller For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll too. His newest book Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Success has been described as “one of the most important education books of the last decade.”

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Dr. Peter Mayo

Professor and UNESCO Chair in Global Adult Education at the University of Malta. He has been studying Freire's works for the last thirty years and his publications include Gramsci, Freire and Adult Education (1999), Liberating Praxis (2004; 2008), Echoes from Freire for a Critically Engaged Pedagogy (2013), and most recently Critical Education in International Perspective (with Paolo Vittoria, 2021).


Dr. Gloria J. Ladson-Billings

Professor Emerita and former Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and Faculty Affiliate in the Departments of Educational Policy Studies, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, and Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  President of the National Academy of Education (2017-2021) and President of the American Educational Research Association (2005-2006). A Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Ladson-Billings is known for her pioneering work on "culturally relevant pedagogy" and critical race theory applications to education.

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