2022 Keynote Addresses and Featured Speakers

2022 keynote speakers

      Dr. J. Luke Wood

Friday, February 25 | 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

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Luke Wood, Ph.D., is Vice President of Student Affairs & Campus Diversity and Dean's Distinguished Professor of Education at San Diego State University. He is the Co-Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL), a national research and practice center that partners with community colleges to support their capacity in advancing outcomes for students of color.

Wood's research focuses on factors affecting the success of boys and men of color education, with a specific focus on early childhood education and community colleges. In particular, his research examines contributors (e.g., social, psychological, academic, environmental, institutional) to positive outcomes. Dr. Wood has delivered over 1,000 scholarly professional and conference presentations. His research has been featured by NBC, New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, Fortune Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, C-SPAN, and National Press Club. Dr. Wood has authored over 160 publications, including more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and 15 books.


2022 featured speakers

Andriel_Dees.png      Andriel Dees, JD

Thursday, February 24 | 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

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Andriel Dees, JD, currently serves as the Vice-Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion for Minnesota State, providing oversight responsibilities for the system-wide strategy to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dees has a Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hampton University. She practiced employment law for ten years, then transitioned into higher education as the Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs at William Mitchell College of Law. Also, she was a Director for the 2009 CLEO Program, which elevated pipeline programs for students of color. Previously served as Director of Learner Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Engagement at Capella University and Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Dees is a transformational leader in higher education with her scholarly commitment to social justice and advancing excellence through diversity.


Brown_McNair.png      Dr. Tia Brown McNair

Thursday, February 24 | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC. She oversees both funded projects and AAC&U's continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact practices, and student success. McNair directs AAC&U's Summer Institutes on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, and TRHT Campus Centers and serves as the project director for several AAC&U initiatives. She is the lead author of From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education (January 2020) and Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success (July 2016). In March 2020, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education named McNair one of thirty-five outstanding women who have tackled some of higher education's toughest challenges and made a positive difference in their communities.


Justice Alan Page.png        Justice Alan C. Page

Thursday, February 24 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.


Justice Alan Page is co-founder of the Page Education Foundation, established with his wife Diane to support Minnesota students of color in pursuing post-secondary education. The Foundation's goal is to encourage, motivate, and assist Minnesota's students of color in pursuing post-secondary education and, in the process, change the future. The Foundation achieves that goal by doing two things. First, by providing financial assistance to students pursuing post-secondary education. Second, and most important, by requiring its Page Scholars to work with young children, kindergarten through eighth grade, specifically in the area of education. The Foundation has awarded over $16 million in grants to more than 8,000 Page Scholars.

Before his work with the Foundation, Justice Page sought election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992 and won, becoming the first African American on the court and one of the few associate justices ever to join the court initially through an election rather than appointment by the governor. He served as an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for 22 years until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2015.


      Dr. Stephanie Burrage

Friday, February 25 | 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

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As Minnesota's Education Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Stephanie Burrage leads an agency with more than 450 employees serving over 890,000 students in 554 school districts. Dr. Burrage works closely with Commissioner Mueller to promote education policies and initiatives focused on closing the achievement gap, supporting high-quality teaching, using innovative strategies to improve educational outcomes, and ensuring all scholars graduate from high school well-prepared for college, career, and life. 

Dr. Burrage previously served as the Interim Superintendent of the Robbinsdale Area Schools -- which serves 1,900 staff and more than 12,000 students in seven cities. She believes in providing all students with equitable access to high-quality programming immersed in academic rigor, supports the social-emotional development of the whole child, and provides students with multiple pathways to success.

Dr. Burrage is a published author. Her most recent article is published through the Journal of the Center for Policy, Analysis and Research, "Expanding Early Childhood Resources to Address Racial Disparities in Education, Employment and Incarceration." Her most rewarding work remains her connections with students through informal discussions to amplify student's voice.


Andratesha_fitzgerald.png      Andratesha Fritzgerald

Friday, February 25 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

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Andratesha Fritzgerald is the author of Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning: Building Expressways to Success (CAST, 2020), winner of a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association. She has worked as a teacher, curriculum specialist, administrator, and director. As an international speaker, presenter, and facilitator, Fritzgerald exhibits an audacious perseverance that calls organizations to evolve into inclusive antiracist safe zones for all learners. Andratesha is a book nerd, Jeopardy enthusiast and imagination expert who loves writing and dreaming out loud with her husband, two children and committed educators who believe in academic success for all. She is the founder of Building Blocks of Brilliance Educational Consulting Firm. For more information, go to www.buildingblocksofbrilliance.com and @FritzTesha on Twitter