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Living Legacies and Freedom Dreaming of Critical Multicultural Education

The 30th Multicultural Education Conference

Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6

Sacramento State's College of Education is excited to host the 30th Annual Multicultural Education Conference.

2024 MCE Conference Program

Conference Theme

Multicultural education is rooted in the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s. The legacy of Brown v. Board of Education is one of the pivotal moments in modern-day history that challenged segregation in education. In 1968, not far from the capital city of Sacramento, students at San Francisco State University mobilized a series of protests against systematic discrimination of historically underprivileged Americans in higher education. This kind of social and political activisms fomented new educational ideals that promote critical pedagogy (Freire,1968), inclusive education (IDEA, 1975), cultural diversity (Banks, 1981), racial equity (Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995), and culturally sustaining pedagogies (Paris & Alim, 2017).

As we celebrate the 30th year of the College of Education’s Multicultural Education Conference, we honor these living legacies and continue our freedom dreaming for educational justice (Love, 2019) and the promise of critical multicultural change (hooks, 1994). We carry the dream of a beloved community that Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned. This beloved community of multicultural educators believes, in the words of Hanh, that “true enemies are not people, but ignorance, fear, and hatred. Even the oppressor could be healed and take a place back in the Beloved Community” (as cited in Andrus, 2021, p. 104).

Welcome from the Conference Co-Chairs

We welcome you to the 30th Annual College of Education Multicultural Education (MCE) Conference. As new co-chairs, we are excited to carry the torch passed on to us and continue the vision of transformative and socially just education for all. Last year’s theme—Beyond the Single Narrative: Fugitive Pedagogies and Educational Resistance—allowed us to critically reflect on how education can emancipate us from a single narrative. In a multi-racial democracy, diversity of ideas and multiple frames of thinking benefit the community and the world. Moving beyond the single narrative is imperative in education to develop instructional strategies and creative solutions that resist and dismantle hegemonic ideals. Jarvis Givens (2021) calls these fugitive pedagogies.

The dramatic change in the U.S. demographic profile will continue and it reverberates in today’s classrooms. As we resist a single narrative, People of Color will continue to thrive and be visible as part of this multi-racial tapestry of U.S. society. As we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, the 2024 MCE conference aspires to address the power of multiple narratives, fugitive pedagogies, and educational resistance against a dominant White ideology. We provide a space to help us understand how these narratives, pedagogies, and resistance can challenge the current system and structure of education.

We welcome our keynote speakers, Dr. Farima Pour-Khorshid (April 5) and Dr. Leigh Patel (April 6), and our diverse panelists— Dr. Angel Jones, Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, Dr. Charles H.F. Davis III, and Kaliyah Vernon presenting their scholarly work in social justice and community development!

We appreciate your commitment to making this conference a success.

En la solidaridad and pakikipag-kapwa!
Drs. Alma Flores, Eric Claravall, & Lorena Camargo Gonzalez, Conference Co-Chairs

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Conference Schedule

Friday (April 5th)  Event (Student Union Ballroom)
3:00–4:00 p.m. Welcome
4:00-5:00 p.m. 30th Annual MCE Commemorative Panel
5:00-6:30 p.m.  Student & keynote Speaker
6:30-7:00 p.m. Poster Presentations
7:00-8:00 p.m.  Social with DJ
Saturday (April 6th)  Event
9:00-9:15 am. Welcome
9:20-10:50 am. Keynote Speaker & Q&A
11:05-1:10 pm. Panel Presentation & Q&A
1:10-1:30 pm. Closing

Awards Nomination Call

The Multicultural Education Conference (MCE) recognizes the exceptional achievements of two members who advance equity and inclusion. These award recipients have an outstanding track record of fostering inclusive environments and addressing equity throughout their professional endeavors. The award recipients will receive a plaque and a $150 gift card.

Please use the link below to make a nomination(s) for the following awards:

Community Award

This honor is awarded to an individual or an organization in the Sacramento or greater Sacramento region who does the daily hard/heart-work of leaving this world better than they found it. This person is a warrior of love and justice and is unapologetic in their quest to improve the world through their commitment to community work. This person may be engaged in scholar activism but can also be someone outside the academy who aligns with our conference theme: Living Legacies and Freedom Dreaming of Critical Multicultural Education.

Alumni Award

This honor is awarded to a Sacramento State alumnus for their recognized achievements in the areas of equity and inclusion by championing policies and practices to make environments just and accessible. This person consistently and courageously demonstrates leadership, activism, organizing, and self-determination for themselves and their communities.

Any questions can be directed to the Awards and Fundraising committee leads:

Sheeva Sabati

The deadline to submit nominations is March 1, 2024.

In-Person Presentations, April 5th

Dr. Farima Pour-Khorshid (Keynote Speaker

Dr. Farima Pour-Khorshid PhotoDr. Farima Pour-Khorshid is a Bay Area educator, organizer, and scholar. She taught at the elementary grade levels in her community for over a decade and spent the latter half of her teaching career also supporting educators locally, nationally, and internationally through her roles as a university professor, teacher supervisor, educational consultant, and community organizer. She is now an assistant professor and teacher supervisor at the University of San Francisco in California. Much of her work in teacher education is shaped by her organizing with the Teachers 4 Social Justice organization, the Abolitionist Teaching Network, and the Education for Liberation Network which organizes the Free Minds Free People conference. She is committed to abolitionist and healing centered approaches to education within and outside of schools. As such, she is one of the editors, authors, and organizers of, "Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Toolkit for Educators", a collaboration between the Education for Liberation, Critical Resistance, and several other grassroots abolitionist and justice-centered collectives.

Kaliyah Vernon (Student Speaker)
Kaliyah Vernon uses she/her pronouns and is originally from Hayward, California. She is an undergraduate student double majoring in Ethnic Studies and Women's & Gender Studies at Sacramento State University. She also works as a College Corps member and as a program assistant at the Serna Center Division of Student Affairs. Kaliyah hopes to attain her Master's degree in Public Health in the future with the hope of being of service in ways that center wellness and social justice for marginalized communities.

Synchronous Presentations, April 6th

Dr. Leigh Patel (Keynote Speaker)

Dr. Leigh Patel is a writer, educator, and cultural worker. Dr. Leigh Patel Photo
Her work is based in the knowledge that as long as oppression has existed so have freedom struggles. She is a community-based researcher as well as an eldercare provider. Professor Patel is a Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, where she also served as the inaugural associate dean for equity and justice. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Education and co-directs the mentoring program, Cultivating New Voices. Prior to being employed as a professor, she was a middle school language arts teacher, a journalist, and a state-level policymaker. She is also a proud national board member of Education for Liberation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on supporting low-income people, particularly youth of color, to understand and challenge the injustices their communities face. She has received awards for the impact of her writing and her mentoring of graduate students and early career scholars.

Professor Patel has written articles and books for academic outlets as well as being interviewed for or writing for wider outlets including: Truthout, Beacon Broadside, The Conversation, The Feminist Wire, Racialicious, and The Atlantic. Her books have recognized for altering fields of migration studies and decolonial higher education studies. Her latest book, There is No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education, from Beacon Press, contends with the distinct yet deeply connected forms of oppression while also shedding light on the history of political education for social transformation. Her walk-on song is “Can I Kick It” by A Tribe Called Quest.

Panelist: Dr. Angel Jones

Dr. Angel Jones PhotoDr. Angel Jones is an educator, activist, and critical race scholar who uses creative methods such as hip-hop and poetry to center the voices and experiences of the Black community. Her research explores the impact of racism on mental health with a focus on microaggressions and Racial Battle Fatigue. Dr. Jones is also a public scholar who uses social media as an educational tool to increase access to academic scholarship. She is the author of Street Scholar: Using Public Scholarship to Educate, Advocate, and Liberate which is an unapologetic call-to-action that challenges academia to thoughtfully and intentionally engage in public scholarship. Dr. Jones has been interviewed by multiple media outlets including Forbes, USA Today, and Insider for her expertise on racism in the United States. Dr. Jones is also a proud first-generation college student who received a Ph.D. in Education from George Washington University with a focus on inequality in Higher Education. She also has an M.Ed. and Ed.S. in School Counseling from Georgia State University, as well as a B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University. She is also a Brooklyn native and proud Afro Latina.

Panelist: Dr. Noreen Naseem Rodríguez

Noreen Naseem Rodríguez is an Assistant Professor of Dr. Noreen Naseem Rodríguez  Photo
Elementary Education and Educational Justice in the Department of Teacher Education and core faculty in the Asian Pacific American Studies program at Michigan State University. Her research engages critical race frameworks to explore the pedagogical practices of teachers of color and the teaching of so-called difficult histories through children's literature and primary sources. She has published over three dozen peer-reviewed book chapters and articles in scholarly and practitioner journals such as Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Children's Literature, Social Studies and the Young Learner, and Literacy Today and is co-author of Social Studies for a Better World: An Anti-Oppressive Approach for Elementary Educators with Katy Swalwell and Teaching Asian America in Elementary Classrooms with Sohyun An and Esther Kim. Before becoming a teacher educator, Noreen was a bilingual elementary teacher in Austin, Texas for nine years.

Noreen Naseem Rodríguez is an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education and Educational Justice in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. She researches teachers of color, elementary social studies, diverse children's literature, and the teaching of Asian American histories in K-12 classrooms. Before becoming a teacher educator, Noreen was a bilingual elementary teacher in Texas for nine years.

Panelist: Dr. Charles H.F. Davis III

Dr. Charles H.F. Davis III PhotoDr. Charles H.F. Davis III is a third-generation educator, organizer, and artist committed to the lives, love, and liberation of everyday Black people. He is currently a faculty member in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and director of the Campus Abolition Research Lab at the University of Michigan where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, advises graduate students, and supervises graduate research. Dr. Davis has more than a decade of professional experience and expertise on issues of racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education and the private sector. Dr. Davis’ scholarship employs digital ethnographic methods in conjunction with frameworks from decolonial studies and the Black radical tradition to examine the racialized consequences of higher education on society. In particular, Dr. Davis is focusing on the ways campus and community organizers work collaboratively to reimagine public safety and limit the impact of university expansion and urban renewal. He is the host of the recently released #PoliceFreeCampus Podcast, a public engagement project that engages organizers, higher education practitioners, and scholars to discuss the challenges and possibilities for colleges and universities in a world without police. Dr. Davis has been nationally-recognized as the recipient of the Melvin D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year Award (Runner-Up) from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, as a 2020 Emerging Scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education, a 2021 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, and most recently as an 2024 Inductee to the Martin Luther King, Jr. College of Ministers and Laity’s Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College.

2024 Social Justice Alumni Awardee: Karina Figueroa-Ramírez

Karina Figueroa-Ramírez is a double alumnus of Sac State; she received
her BA in Poli Sci in 2005 andalumni_karinafigueroaramirez her single subject teaching credential in 2007 with BMED. She continued with BMED to earn a Masters in Multicultural Education in 2012. As a former high school teacher in the Sacramento region, she has consistently worked with and for Students of Color in an intentional manner to disrupt systems of oppression. In 2016, she returned to Sac State to serve as the College of Education Educational Equity Coordinator. In this position, she has worked with students across our campus who are interested in teaching, specifically seeking out Students of Color to serve our K-12 schools in changing the paradigm so more students of color may consider the idea of becoming educational leaders. More importantly, for them to facilitate more equitable, just and humanizing spaces for our future leaders. In addition to contributing to the diversification of our teaching force, Karina mentors and advises students in a way that is culturally responsive, humanizing, affirming, caring and antiracist. She is finishing her doctoral program this year in educational leadership and has conducted extensive research on de/colonial approaches to advising and student services that are culturally responsive and humanizing for students of color.

2024 Social Justice Community Awardee: Sol Collective

Sol Collective is a community-based 501(c)(3) partnership whose
mission is to provide artistic, cultural, andsol_collective educational programming, promote social justice, and empower youth through art, activism, music, and media experience. The Sol Collective Arts and Cultural Center is a 3,200 square foot space providing art exhibitions, community workshops, youth programming, and a platform for public organizing. Started in 2005, Sol Collective provides a space for youth training, development, and education in the artistic and media disciplines in an effort to address the issues that face historically underserved and marginalized communities. A cultural hub that transforms to fit the expressive needs of the community it serves, Sol Collective’s staff operates alongside diverse executive and advisory boards consisting of artists, educators, activists, and traditional health specialists. The center has provided accessible, multicultural, multigenerational programming for the Sacramento community and beyond for almost 20 years and is dedicated to creating and facilitating accessible art, media, technology, and self-care education, resources, a platform, and safe space for youth and communities of color.


Committee Members

The MCE Committee, pictured left to right:

Kenya Burton, Lorena Camargo Gonzalez, Alejandro Carrion, Trina Chang, Eric Claravall, Alma Flores, Ravin Pan, Aaminah Norris, Sheeva Sabati, Sruthi Swami, MJ Vincent, Debbie Santiago


Thank you to all that contribute to advancing multicultural education, here at the university and beyond. Without your tireless work, the goals of our anchor university initiatives would not come to fruition. Thank you to our sponsors who keep this work going: College of Education, School's First, UEI Grant, CFA Sacramento Chapter, CSU Center for College and Career Readiness, Academic Affairs, and the Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program.

Thank you to our sponsors who keep this work going:
The Office of the President,
The Office of the Academic Affairs,
The Division for Exclusive Excellence,
The College of Education,
UEI Grant,
California Faculty Association,
CSU Center for College and Career Readiness,
EDD Program,
School's First, & all who give in the name of anti-racist education.

Want to support the Multicultural Education Conference?

In keeping with our social justice principles, the Multicultural Education Conference is a completely free event. If you have the means, please consider providing a donation via the Sacramento State Giving Page. Your donation allows us to cover all programming costs to make this event free and accessible to the entire campus and broader community. To donate go to: “How to Give, Sac State”, look for “Make a Secure Gift Online” select the link for the secure form. Next, select the option to “View all giving opportunities” and search for the “Multicultural Education Conference, College of Education”. Any amount is appreciated!


All images, presentations and materials are the property of their respective creators, owners or its third party. Sacramento State University hosts the content submitted by conference participants, but does not provide copyright enforcement or protection services.


This virtual conference will be utilizing AI to generate auto-captions during the event.

If you need accommodation services to access this event, please email with your request, no later than 5 days prior to the event. Thanks for your support and we look forward to serving you.

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