Academic Festival 2020

Academic Festival 2020 | A Virtual Homecoming

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - Saturday, October 24, 2020
3:00 PM - 12:00 PM
Virtual Event
Alumni Relations
Open to:
Alumni, Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public, TC Community

Registration for Academic Festival 2020 is now closed.

TC's first-ever virtual homecoming event, will bring you interactive discussions and engaging content from October 20-24!

During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide protests against racial injustice have forced America to reckon with systemic racism, bias, and inequality. With TC faculty and students collaborating across the fields of education, psychology, health and leadership, the College is uniquely equipped to understand the origins of these crises and lead the conversation on how to address them. Our first-ever virtual Academic Festival themed “The Right Moves: Access, Equity & Justice For All” will showcase these dialogues and invite your participation. Join us for a range of activities including the following sessions:

Tuesday, October 20

  • Resistance in a State of Fear | The LGBTQ+ Community in Chechnya, and the Broader Fight for LGBTQ+ Rights 
    A panel of experts and educators will discuss the critically-acclaimed documentary Welcome to Chechnya, which uses groundbreaking filmmaking techniques to document stories of LGBTQ community members trying to escape government-sanctioned persecution in the Chechen Republic, which is a federal subject of the Russian Federation. The discussion, moderated by Associate Professor of International & Comparative Education Oren Pizmony-Levy, will include the film’s director, David France; its executive producer, Kevin Jennings (M.A. '94), Chief Executive Officer of Lambda Legal; Associate Professor of Practice, Riddhi Sandil; recent TC graduate Dylan Kapit (M.A. '20); and TC student Yves Augustin. The panelists will also explore the film’s broader implications for human rights, education, health and psychology.

Wednesday, October 21

  • Coping with Crises: Anxiety & Depression during COVID-19 and Beyond | Dr. Dale Atkins & Professor Douglas Mennin in Conversation 
    Distinguished Alumna Dale Atkins (M.A. '72), a renowned psychologist and relationship expert, and Professor of Clinical Psychology Doug Mennin, director of TC’s READ Lab, will provide techniques and tools to help navigate the additional stresses brought on by the pandemic. They will also discuss issues of access and equity for mental health.

Thursday, October 22

  • Intersecting Identities: Historical Context and the Development of Personal Narrative and Identity | A workshop on racial literacy led by Fanshen Cox & Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz 
    Fanshen Cox (M.A. '97) is a 2019 Distinguished Alumna and the creator of One Drop of Love, a one-woman show which explores the intersections of race, class and gender in pursuit of truth, justice and love. In a continuing effort to spark courageous and necessary conversations, Cox facilitates interactive and goal-oriented workshops on diversity, equity and inclusion that explore the use of narrative in empathy-building. She will be joined by Associate Professor of English Education Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz (M.A. '96) who has championed a process she calls "Archeology of the Self" -- the exploration of how race and bias live within ourselves.
  • Social Justice in Practice  | Rob Gore in Conversation 
    Peter T. Coleman (Ph.D. '97), Professor of Psychology & Education and Director of TC’s Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR) will kick off this annual event with his reflections on Deutsch's legacy and his vision for sustainable peace. This address will be followed by a conversation between 2020 Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice recipient Robert Gore, the founder and executive director of KAVI (Kings Against Violence Initiative), a hospital and school-based youth violence intervention prevention and empowerment program, and Christopher Emdin, Associate Professor of Science Education and creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement.

Friday, October 23

  • Cheers to You | A Celebration of Our Donor Community
    Join us in celebration of our generous community of donors!  Whether you recently made your first gift to TC or are a long-time member of our Maxine Greene Society or John Dewey Circle, your support of the TC Fund made a difference in a year like no other.  This program will feature TC leadership and highlight the incredible stories of our student scholars as they work for Access, Equity and Justice for All.  

Saturday, October 24

  • An address by TC President Thomas Bailey
  • 2020 Alumni Awards Ceremony
  • The Future of Higher Education | An Alumni Roundtable Discussion 
    How can colleges and universities, especially public schools, deliver on their mission of providing a quality education to the vast majority of underserved and underrepresented members of the community? This panel discussion, chaired by President Thomas Bailey, will discuss current challenges, ranging from accessibility to sustainability, that face institutions of higher education. Panelists 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 (Ed.D. ‘87), Distinguished Alumna, 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.
  • Live, interactive Student Research Poster Session

Have a question for one of our panels? Email it to for a chance to hear it answered during the broadcast.

There will also be virtual, 1:1 and group networking opportunities capping off each day, as well as on-demand content throughout the week!

We hope you will help us keep the tradition of Academic Festival going strong by joining us virtually for these special events. Register now on the Academic Festival website

To request disability-related accommodations, contact OASID at, (212) 678-3689, (646) 755-3144 video phone, as early as possible.

If the event you would like to attend is happening live or you would like to view a video of a past live event, please contact OASID to arrange for accommodations, including live captioning services.

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