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Past Dean's Diversity Lectures

Na'ilah Suad Nasir, President of the Spender Foundation |  PEDAGOGIES OF LOVE: SUPPORTING IDENTITIES FOR LEARNING IN AN UNJUST WORLD In this talk, Dr. Nasir will theorize the connections between identity and learning, and consider what it means to support healthy racial identities for students in a world marked by widespread and pervasive inequality and racism. Dr. Nasir will share findings from a study of an approach to teaching Black male students that puts love at the center, prioritizes young people’s socio-emotional needs, and disrupts their experience of racialization in schools. Dr. Nasir will conclude by examining the notion of love in teaching, and its relation to creating classrooms which fully honor the humanity of all students.
Livestream Dr. Nasir's Lecture  HerePlease note that due to recording difficulties, the audio for the video does not begin until 16:40. Additionally, closed-captioned video is available. 

Dr. Nasir and Student

Pictured above Dr. Nasir (left) chats with a student during Coffee and Cookies with Dr. Na'ilah Nasir on February 10.


Bettina Love, Associate Professor, Educational Theory & Practice, University of Georgia.  WE WANT TO DO MORE THAN SURVIVE: ABOLITIONIST TEACHING Dr. Love’s talk will discuss the struggles and the possibilities of committing ourselves to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom and intersectional justice, so we all can move beyond what she calls the educational survival complex. Abolitionist Teaching is built on the creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists to demand and fight for an educational system and world where all students are thriving, not simply surviving.

Abolitionist Slide w/ Dr. Bettina Love

 Pictured above, Dr. Bettina Love stands in front of slide labeled Abolitionist during her lecture on February 20.


Dr. Robert Bullard is an award-winning author of 18 books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, climate justice, and more. He was named one of Newsweek’s 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century, and in 2019, Apolitical named him one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy.

Dr. Bullard and MarTaze

Pictured above Peabody student MárTáze Gaines (left) waits for an autographed book from Dr. Robert Bullard (right).

Dr. Arun Gandhi is a socio-political activist, journalist, author, philanthropist and motivational speaker. Arun Manilal Gandhi,  the fifth grandson of the venerable "Mahatma" Gandhi, has propogated his grandfather's principles of nonviolence (ahimsa) throughout his career. Arun's grandfather was foundational in teaching him the transformational power of channeling one's anger into an agent for doing good. Arun espouses and promotes "being the change we wish to see in the world," and challenges each of us to do the same. In recognizing and eliminating violence perpetuated mentally, verbally, and physically against ourselves and others, we too can plant seeds of peace and cultivate a life and global community enshrined in love. Watch video of Arun's lecture  Here

Shafiqa Ahmadi is an Associate Professor of Clinical Education at the Rossier School of Education and the Co-Director for the Center for Education, Identity, and Social Justice. She is an expert on diversity and legal protection of underrepresented students, including female Muslims, bias and hate crimes, and sexual assault survivors. Shafiqa Ahmadi will speak to the intersection of law, politics & religion. 

Jay Van Bavel is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University, an affiliate at the Stern School of Business in Management and Organizations, and a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. His research examines how collective concerns- group identities, moral values, and political beliefs- shape the mind and brain. This work addresses issues of group identity, social motivation, cooperation, implicit bias, moral judgement and decision-making, and group regulation from a social neuroscience perspective. 

Jeffrey F. Milem, dean and professor at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California–Santa Barbara, April 2, 2018 at 4 p.m.

Monique Morris, author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools(The New Press, 2016). “Schools for the Soul: Bringing Healing to Our Children’s Learning,” February 1, 2018 at 4 p.m. 

Dismantling Ableism October 26 2017 at 4 p.m.

Moderator:Anjali Forber-Pratt, assistant professor of human and organizational development at Peabody and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator

Panelists included:  

  • Claudia Gordon, the first Black female Deaf attorney in the United States who was the public engagement adviser to the disability community under the Obama administration, now senior management at Sprint 
  • Jill Houghton, disability activist, president/CEO of U.S. Business Leadership Network, which provides guidance on global disability inclusion in the workforce
  • Alice Wong, disability activist and founder of the Disability Visibility Project and former appointee to the National Council on Disability.

Phil Yu, blogger and editor of “The Angry Asian Man,” a conversation about the blog and its objectives. March 30, 2017, 7 p.m.

Laura Rendon, University of Texas at San Antonio, a workshop on college preparation and success. Feb. 2, 2017, at 1 p.m.

E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University, a performance of the one-man show “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales.” Jan. 24, 2017, 7 p.m. 

Rochelle Gutiérrez, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, a lecture on social justice, mathematics and society. Nov. 3, 2016, 4 p.m. 

Shaun R. Harper, University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, a lecture on race and equity in education. Sept. 15, 2016, 4 p.m.