In response to an increased interest in anti-racist education in k-12 schools, there has been a backlash from the right centered on Critical Race Theory (CRT), resulting in legislation and policies aimed to: ban books that address racial realities, whitewash essential historical content, and resist racial literacy development for students. In California, districts, school leaders and even some educators have drawn divisions between CRT and Ethnic Studies as a strategy to avoid being drawn into the political resistance to CRT. In this panel, established scholars of Critical Race Theory and Ethnic Studies will explore the intersections of the two to reframe and resist dominant racist and race-evasive practices within the U.S. educational system.



Rita Kohli is a co-founder and co-director of the Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice (ITOC). She serves as an associate professor, equity advisor, and coordinator of the K-12 Ethnic Studies Pathway in the School of Education at the University of California, Riverside.  A former Oakland Unified School District teacher, teacher educator and education researcher, Kohli's research is focused on examining racism and advancing racial justice within teaching and teacher education. She is co-editor of the book, Confronting Racism in Teacher Education: Counternarratives of Critical Practice, and author of the book Teachers of Color: Resisting Racism and Reclaiming Education. Kohli was the recipient of the University of California, Riverside's Innovator for Social Change Award (2016), the Scholar Activist and Community Advocacy Award (2017) from the Critical Educators for Social Justice Special Interest Group, the Early Career Scholar of the Social Context of Education Division (2018), and the Mid Career Award from the Teaching and Teacher Education Division of the American Educational Research Association. 

Marcos Pizarro is a co-founder and co-director of ITOC. He is the associate dean of the College of Education and a Professor of Chicanx Studies at San José State University. Marcos’ work in the College of Education includes facilitating an anti-racist, anti-ableist, abolitionist Inquiry to Action Group and co-creating and co-coordinating the Ethnic Studies Residency Program that prepares future Ethnic Studies teachers. His research and community work has focused on supporting Chicanx and Latinx students and teachers to develop strategies for thriving in school and building social and racial justice in their communities. A former school teacher, Marcos coordinates MAESTRXS, a social justice teacher collective implementing a transformative education model with Latinx communities and works with schools on the development and implementation of Chicanx Studies curricula and culturally sustaining models of Latinx student engagement.


Guest Speakers

Dolores Calderón is an associate professor at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University. As a researcher who embodies the complicated subjectivities of the U.S./Mexico border—Mexican (arrivant/immigrant), Indigenous (Pueblo), and U.S. citizen—she is interested in researching and participating in work that untangles and unpacks the complicated way multiple colonialisms impact decolonial practices in education.

Subini Ancy Annama was a special education teacher in both public schools and youth prisons, prior to her doctoral studies. Currently, she is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Her research critically examines the ways students are criminalized and resist that criminalization through the mutually constitutive nature of racism and ableism, how they interlock with other marginalizing oppressions, and how these intersections impact youth education trajectories in urban schools and youth prisons. Further, she positions students as knowledge generators, exploring how their narratives can inform teachers and special education. Dr. Annamma’s book, The Pedagogy of Pathologization (Routledge, 2018) focuses on the education trajectories of incarcerated disabled girls of color and has won the 2019 AESA Critic’s Choice Book Award & 2018 NWSA Alison Piepmeier Book Prize. 

David Stovall, Ph.D. is a professor in the department of Black Studies and in the department of Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates three areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) the relationship between housing and education, and 3) the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to address issues of equity, justice and abolishing the school/prison nexus. His work led him to become a member of the design team for the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice (SOJO), which opened in the Fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, his work manifests itself in his involvement with the Peoples Education Movement, a collection of classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area who engage in collaborative community projects centered in creating relevant curriculum.


Teacher Candidates

Marla Vazquez, UCR English candidate
Valerie Lopez, UCR Social Science candidate
Ashley Leiva, UCR Social Science candidate

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