Introducing National Symposium’s Keynote Speakers…


March 5, 2024 — NCTR and our collaborators [American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Deans for Impact, Teacher-Powered Schools, The Hunt Institute, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards] are excited to introduce the two keynote speakers for our sold-out National Symposium for Educator Preparation, Policy, and Leadership in April.

Gloria Ladson-Billings and Leslie T. Fenwick
Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., and Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D.

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., and Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., are both established leaders in the field who are sure to bring thoughtful and powerful messages that will set the tone for National Symposium.

On Wednesday, April 17, at the launch of National Symposium, Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., dean emerita and a tenured professor of education policy at Howard University, will inform and inspire guests during her keynote address. During her tenure as dean, the Howard University School of Education attained first-time ranking by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top-100 schools/colleges of education and is currently dean in residence at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). A former Harvard University visiting fellow and visiting scholar, Dr. Fenwick is a lifelong educator who has served in every sector of American education. In 2020, Dr. Fenwick was one of two fully vetted finalists for the U.S. Secretary of Education position.

Dr. Fenwick has made a sustained contribution to scholarly literature about equal educational opportunity, equity, and educator workforce development and diversity. Her best-selling book, Jim Crow’s Pink Slip (Harvard Education Press, 2022), presents a history of the quest for racial equality and educational equity in the U.S. Dr. Fenwick’s book Jim Crow’s Pink Slip reclaims history and shines a light on the resistance that Black educators faced as a result of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling and how that resistance is present in today’s educational system as evidenced by the underrepresentation of Black educators. Please visit Dr. Fenwick’s website to learn more about her distinguished career and  scholarship. As a teaser for Dr. Fenwick’s keynote address, you can watch her lecture at the 20th Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research recorded in October 2023.

On Thursday, April 18, our featured keynote speaker will be Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., who has had a profound influence on teaching and teacher education, bringing her wisdom to National Symposium. 

Dr. Ladson-Billings is professor emerita and former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and was faculty affiliate in the Departments of Educational Policy Studies, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis and Afro American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the immediate past president of the National Academy of Education. She was the 2005–2006 president of the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Ladson-Billings’s research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. She also investigates Critical Race Theory applications to education. 

Dr. Ladson-Billings is the author of the critically acclaimed books, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children, Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms, and Beyond the Big House: African American Educators on Teacher Education. She is editor of eight other books and author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. She is the former editor of the American Educational Research Journal and a member of several editorial boards. Her work has won numerous scholarly awards, including the H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Palmer O. Johnson outstanding research award. She is the 2015 winner of the Social Justice in Education Award given by the American Educational Research Association. In April 2018, she received the American Educational Research Association’s Distinguished Research Award and the Division B (Curriculum Studies) Lifetime Achievement Award.  

We are thankful to have Dr. Fenwick and Dr. Ladson-Billings join us as our keynote speakers for our first-ever National Symposium for Educator Preparation, Policy, and Leadership.