2014 Conference Speakers

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A Conversation with Ken Burns

Ken Burns has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. Showing the breadth of his interests, his films include The Civil War, Brooklyn Bridge, Thomas Jefferson, Baseball, Jazz, The War, Prohibition, The Dust Bowl, and The Central Park Five. His current projects include The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, a seven-episode series scheduled for broadcast in the fall of 2014, as well as films on Jackie Robinson, the Vietnam War and the history of country music. Mr. Burns’s films have received twelve Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations. Mr. Burns’s appearance is generously sponsored by the New England History Teachers Association, which will present the 2014 Kidger Award to Mr. Burns for his distinguished work in history.


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Caryl M. Stern

Caryl M. Stern is the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which she joinedas Chief Operating Officer before assuming her current position in May 2007. Previously, Ms. Stern served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Associate National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). She is the author of Believe in Zero: Learning from the World’s Children and the co-author of Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice. Ms. Stern has received numerous honors and recognition for her work. Most recently, she was acknowledged with the 2012 Leading Lights Award from The National Multicultural Institute and The FutureWork Institute.



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Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, writing for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the country, including The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, Philadelphia Daily News, and Rolling Stone. His personal story contends with some of the most fascinating stories he's covered, living a double life since he was 16, when he discovered that he was an undocumented immigrant. Mr. Vargas then realized he needed to continue hiding his true identity to avoid deportation and pursue his dream of becoming a journalist. Finally in 2011, he exposed his story in his essay, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant" in The New York Times Magazine. Today, Mr. Vargas runs Define American, a nonprofit organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration.

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Eric Foner

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is one of the country's most prominent historians. He is one of only two persons to serve as president of three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Society of American Historians. Professor Foner's publications have concentrated on the intersections of intellectual, political, and social history, and the history of American race relations. His most recent books are The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010) and Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (2008), an edited collection of original essays.
Dr. Foner's appearance is generously sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.

Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. is descended from two of the most important names in American history; he is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington. He is President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), a public charity that endeavors to create a modern Abolitionist Movement in schools across the U.S. through service learning. Mr. Morris's career and life path are driven by a mission to end human trafficking and all forms of servitude with a focus on the FDFI mission To Advance Freedom through Knowledge and Strategic Action.

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Karen Korematsu

Karen Korematsu is the daughter of the late Fred T. Korematsu and in 2009 co-founded the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education and the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. She has been the Institute's executive director since May 2013. She shares her father's passion for social justice and education as she carries on her father's legacy through education as a civil rights advocate and public speaker.

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Anthony Chávez

Raised in the farm worker movement his grandfather, César Chávez, founded, Anthony Chávez grew up participating in United Farm Workers' marches, picket lines, and political campaigns. He speaks now around the country to numerous student and community groups on behalf of the César Chávez Foundation, established to further his grandfather's life and work. He has worked on several political campaigns, including as campaign manager for a successful Phoenix city council candidate. He is also working on service learning and character education initiatives, including with the Alameda (CA) County Office of Education.

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Gustavo Fischman

Jan L. Tucker Memorial Lecturer
Gustavo E. Fischman is a professor of educational policy and director of edXchange, the knowledge mobilization initiative at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. His areas of specialization are comparative education and critical policy studies in education. Dr. Fischman has authored more than 100 scholarly publications and been a visiting scholar in several graduate programs in Europe and Latin America. He serves on numerous international editorial boards and is also the lead editor of Education Policy Analysis Archives and co-editor of Education Review/Reseñas Educativas.

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