Keynote Speakers

Friday, July 16th

Cecelia Jordan, MA

Founder, Love in Public, community-rooted dual-language teacher, poet, and transformative justice leader

As a community-rooted teacher, poet, and transformative justice practitioner, Love in Public’s founder and lead trainer, Cecelia Jordan, brings her background in youth work and dual-language teaching, which spans nearly a decade at every level of k-12 education, and Restorative Justice. She holds a Masters in Transformative School Leadership from University of San Francisco. Through Love In Public, she provides authentic and tailored learning experiences for justice-oriented organizations to build strong relationships, center the identities and experiences of those most pushed to the margins, and catalyze those findings to inform a path toward organizational change and sustainability. She integrates critical pedagogy, transformative justice, and healing practices into learning work which is based in theoretical understandings of Black queer feminism, Latinx Critical Theory, Tribal Crit, and more. She works with folx to engage in simulations, poetry, speech, and opinion writing workshops, gallery walks, improvisation theatre, deep listening activities, circles, and more.

Friday, July 16th

Iman Hashem MA

Arabic Language Lecturer, CSULB Program Director, Occidental College World Language Project (OCWLP)

Iman Arabi-Katbi Hashem is the 2019 California World Language Teacher of the Year. She is responsible for fostering professional growth opportunities for the region’s World Language teachers. Iman has designed courses for teaching Arabic as a world and heritage language. She is the author of published and unpublished textbooks and multimedia course materials. Iman has shared her exceptional expertise by serving as a consultant for Arabic teaching programs at public and independent institutions, developing standards-based curricula and instructional resources, supervising teacher candidates, and serving as a STARTALK Team Leader.

Friday, July 16th

Valerie Sun, EdD

Educational Technology & Information Services Teacher Specialist and Lecturer at CSU, LA

Valerie is a progressive, techy dual-immersion educator of fourteen years in private and public schools across elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education. She dedicated four years to developing and teaching a tech-infused French dual-immersion curriculum in Los Angeles. In 2017, Valerie earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at California State University, Los Angeles. She is an Apple Teacher, a certified Raspberry Pi Educator, a Discovery Education Network Star, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and a certified Nearpod Educator. She is also a certified examiner and corrector for ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL), France Education International Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française (DELF/DALF), and France Education International Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF).

Saturday, July 17th

L.J. Randolph, EdD

Associate Professor of Spanish and Education University of North Carolina, Wilmington

L.J.’s teaching career has spanned nearly 20 years, including a decade as a Spanish and ESOL teacher at the secondary level. At the university level, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Spanish language, contemporary Latinx cultures, and second language teaching methods. He has also directed study abroad programs in China, Mexico, Spain, and the Dominican Republic for secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students. L.J.’s research has focused on a variety of critical issues in language education, including the teaching of Spanish to heritage and native speakers and the incorporation of social justice-oriented pedagogies in the language classroom. He is a board member for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and founding vice-chair of ACTFL’s special interest group for Critical and Social Justice approaches.

Sunday, July 18th

Akash Patel

Founder, Happy World Foundation and National Council Member at United Nations Association

In 2018, Patel, a Spanish and Mathematics teacher in Dallas public schools, was selected as a Top 50 finalist from over 30,000 teachers for the Global Teacher Prize. Patel is the chair of the Global Engagement Summit, the largest gathering of American grassroots changemakers and global activists in the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations. He helps educators from across the United States champion the Sustainable Development Goals in their classrooms. In 2021, Patel was inducted in the International Literacy Association’s 30 Literacy Leaders Under 30 list. Patel is a recipient of several national and international honors for his work with anti-bias global education. He speaks six languages and has traveled to over 50 countries.

Monday, July 19th

Roni Habib, MA

Founder, EQ Schools, public speaker and leadership consultant

Roni Habib is an expert in helping leaders, educators, and parents become happier, more resilient, more connected to their purpose, and more playful. The founder of EQ Schools, he leads workshops and speaks in organizations nationally and abroad. Early in his career, Roni struggled with the high stresses and demands of teaching even losing touch with why he wanted to be a teacher in the first place. It was so painful that he finally discovered the power of integrating mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology in his own life as well as in his classroom and felt called to share this new approach with the world. In the first four years of establishing EQ Schools, Roni has taught and inspired thousands of Teachers, Principals, Superintendents, and Parents. Prior to earning his Masters of Education and teaching credential at Harvard University, he lived in Israel and Belgium. Most importantly though, Roni has a huge heart and loves helping people.

Tuesday, July 20th

Vicky Xiong-Lor, EdD

Lecturer at CSU, Fresno, Hmong Bilingual Authorization Program and Hmong Teacher 

Vicky Xiong-Lor was awarded the J.S. Shefelbine Leadership in Literacy Award in 2018 for creating opportunities for the Hmong children in her community for ten summers. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the California Reading & Literature Project at Fresno State, and she is also a dynamic Team Leader for the Central California World Language Project. She was appointed by the State Board of Education to serve as a committee member for the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum in 2019. Xiong-Lor recieved the CLTA Outstanding Teacher award in April 2020. In the summer of 2019, Xiong-Lor embarked on a journey with a group of Hmong teachers from across the states to create and write Hmong literacy, language and cultural standards to share with all Hmong teachers. Xiong-Lor currently leads the Hmong Ethnic Studies Curriculum Committee, which consists of teachers from California, Wisconsin and Minnesota. She has worked as an elementary school teacher, a vice prinicpal, and is currently teaching World Language and the Hmong Bilingual Authorization Program at Fresno State. Xiong-Lor aspires to become an author of Hmong children’s books.

Wednesday, July 21st

Shawn Ginwright, PhD

Associate Professor, Africana Studies Department, San Francisco State University

Shawn Ginwright, PhD is one of the nation’s leading innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders on African American youth, youth activism, and youth development. He is Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department and a Senior Research Associate at San Francisco State University. His research examines the ways in which youth in urban communities navigate through the constraints of poverty and struggle to create equality and justice in their schools and communities. Dr. Ginwright is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flourish Agenda, Inc., a national nonprofit consulting firm, whose mission is to design strategies that unlock the power of healing and engage youth of color and adult allies in transforming their schools and communities. In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Senior Specialist award from the State Department for his outstanding research and work with urban youth. Dr. Ginwright is the author of “Hope and Healing in Urban Education: How Activists and Teachers are Reclaiming Matters of the Heart”among many others.