2020 Conference Keynote Speakers
Diane Ravitch is a co-founder of the Network for Public Education. She is a historian of education and Research Professor of Education at New York University. She has written ten books and edited another 14. She is a graduate of the Houston public schools, Wellesley College (BA), Columbia University (Ph.D. in history of American education), and holds ten honorary doctorates.
She blogs at dianeravitch.net. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
An interdisciplinary scholar, Noliwe Rooks’ work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by popular culture, social history and political life in the United States. Specifically, Rooks works on the cultural and racial implications of beauty, fashion and adornment; educational inequality; race, food and the politics of the city, and Black women’s studies.
Rooks’ most current book is Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education, published by The New Press in 2017.
Nikhil Goyal is a sociologist who has taught as an adjunct professor in New York University’s Prison Education program. He is also the author of Schools on Trial (Doubleday, 2016). He has appeared on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC and written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, TIME, The Nation, and other publications.
Goyal is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, where he holds a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Education. He lives in New York.
Jitu Brown is the national director for the Journey for Justice Alliance, a network of 30 grassroots community based organizations in 23 cities across the country organizing for community driven school improvement.
Born and raised in the Rosemoor neighborhood on the far south side of Chicago, Jitu Brown also teaches African-American history at St. Leonard’s Adult High School, the only accredited high school in the nation that exclusively serves people who have been formerly incarcerated.
STEVIE VAN ZANDT
In January of 2019, musician, actor and activist Little Steven was on the picket line in Los Angeles with striking teachers and Diane Ravitch. The two became fast friends – and Little Steven included Diane in his music video “Solidarity,” a video he created to bring attention to the teacher strikes across the world.
Little Steven is also shining a light on the dangers of privatization. In a Rolling Stone interview about his participation in the L.A. teachers’ strike, he said “The big-picture philosophical thing is privatization. It’s happening in every single town.”