Teachers College’s 12th annual (and first virtual) Academic Festival, “The Right Moves: Access, Equity & Justice for All,” will take place from Tuesday, October 20th, through Saturday, October 24th.

The theme reflects “a year when the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide protests against racial injustice have forced America to reckon with systemic racism, bias and inequality,” says Rosella Garcia, Senior Director of Alumni Relations, whose office produces the event. “TC’s strengths and cross-collaborations in education, psychology and health uniquely position the College to understand the origins of these crises and lead the conversation on how to address them.”

The theme of Academic Festival 2020 reflects “a year when the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide protests against racial injustice have forced America to reckon with systemic racism, bias and inequality,” says Rosella Garcia, Senior Director of Alumni Relations.  

[Visit the 2020 Academic Festival website  for a full listing of events. Registration for Academic Festival is now open.]

Garcia adds that the decision to hold Academic Festival over five days, instead of the usual one, was made with the event’s digital format in mind.

“Obviously, we wish we could bring everyone back to campus,” she says. “But at least we’ll be able to offer on-demand content throughout the week, which will provide everyone with the opportunity to view more events on their own time.”

Highlights of Academic Festival 2020 will include:

  • “Resistance in a State of Fear: The LGBTQ+ Community in Chechnya, and the Broader Fight for LGBTQ+ Rights,” a discussion of the HBO documentary “Welcome to Chechnya,” released this past June. The film tells the stories of LGBTQ community members trying to escape government-sanctioned persecution in the Chechen Republic. The panel, to be held on Tuesday, October 20th starting at 3 p.m., will include the film’s executive producer, Kevin Jennings (M.A. ’94), who has served as Chief Executive Officer of Lambda Legal since 2019, and its director, David France. They will be joined by recent TC graduate Dylan Kapit (M.A. ’20) and current TC student Yves Augustin. Oren Pizmony-Levy, Associate Professor of International & Comparative Education, will serve as moderator. (Festival attendees will be able to watch “Welcome to Chechnya” online prior to October 20th. Check the Academic Festival website for updates.) [Read a story about Kevin Jennings that appeared on TC’s website in 2017. Read a story about Dylan Kapit from TC's 2020 Graduates Gallery.]
  • President Bailey’s Address/Honors for an accomplished group of alumni. TC President Thomas Bailey will deliver an address starting at 9:30 on Saturday morning, October 24th. Directly afterward the College will present awards to a distinguished group of alumni. [Read a story on TC’s 2020 alumni honorees.]
  • “The Future of Higher Education: An Alumni Roundtable Discussion,” moderated by President Thomas Bailey (Saturday, October 24th, starting at 10 a.m.). A consideration of issues ranging from the rising cost of tuition to virtual instruction, to the growing opportunity gulf between wealthier and lower-income students, the panel will include Joe Bertolino, (Ed.D. ’03), President of Southern Connecticut State University; Joel S. Bloom (Ed.D. ’78), President of New Jersey Institute of Technology; Mildred García (M.A. ’85), President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and former president of California State University, Fullerton; and David Gómez (Ed.D. ’82), 2020 Distinguished Alumnus and former President of Hostos Community College.
  • Social Justice in Practice, a conversation between Rob Gore, founder and executive director of the KAVI (Kings Against Violence Initiative), who is receiving TC’s 2020 Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice, and two TC faculty members — Christopher Emdin, Associate Professor of Science Education, and Peter T. Coleman, Professor of Psychology & Education and Director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution. The event will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday October 22nd.

Academic Festival’s on-demand content will also include:

  • “TC Talks,” a TED Talk-style venue featuring two alumni. Vanessa Colella (M.A. ’96), Chief Innovation Officer for CITI and leader of the Citi Ventures and Citi Productivity teams, will discuss Artificial Enlightenment. [Read a profile of Vanessa Colella that appeared in TC Today magazine.] Sandra Kapell (M.A., '93), Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment), will discuss talent development.
  • An alumni podcast featuring Charo Uceda (M.A. ’08), founder of Uceda English Institute, which teaches English as a Second Language to students around the world, and funder of TC’s Charo Uceda Women’s Empowerment Lecture, and Sonya Douglass Horsford, Associate Professor of Education Leadership. [Read a story about Charo Uceda and watch the inaugural Uceda Lecture from 2019. Read a story about honors for Sonya Douglass Horsford’s latest book.]

Academic Festival will also feature a live, interactive Student Research Poster Session and offer virtual one-on-one and group networking opportunities.