Curtis Acosta is a proud Xikano, husband, son and father who has dedicated his career to antiracist, social-justice, and transformative education for his students. He believes, with certainty, that his students will change the world into a just and loving place for all people. Justice will always prevail.
UjjuAggarwal is a community organizer and educator. She has participated in efforts concerning immigrants’ rights, the intersections of arts and social justice, public education, and violence against women of color. In addition to being a collective member of the Center for Immigrant Families, she is also a doctoral student in the Cultural Anthropology program at CUNY Graduate Center.
Bill Ayers, formerly Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, writes about social justice, democracy and education, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. His books include Teaching Toward Freedom; A Kind and Just Parent; Fugitive Days; To Teach: The Journey, in Comics (with Ryan Alexander-Tanner); Teaching Toward Democracy (with Kevin Kumashiro, Erica Meiners, Therese Quinn, and David Stovall); and Race Course (with Bernardine Dohrn).
Doug Christensen is Professor of Leadership Practice in the Graduate Division of Doane College, Nebraska. He served over 14 years as Commissioner of Education also in Nebraska and was the longest-seated Commissioner in Nebraska’s history. In June, 2008, the State Board of Education conferred the title of Emeritus Commissioner of Education. During his 45-year education career he has served as teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, university instructor and is now professor.
Sam Coleman is an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, New York. He teaches in a Spanish/English dual language program at PS 24 in Sunset Park. He is also a member of the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE) and Grassroots Education Movement (GEM).
Ellen Davidson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education a Simmons College. Her courses include elementary mathematics education classes specializing in general education, special education and urban education, as well as courses on equity and diversity. Ellen also works as an elementary mathematics consultant in both the Boston and Brookline Public Schools. Ellen is the co-author, with Nancy Schniedewind, of several teacher resource books including Open Minds to Equality: A Sourcebook of Learning Activities to Affirm Diversity and Promote Equity, published by Rethinking Schools. Ellen is also a co-author of Lenses on Learning a series of curriculum guides for school administrators about mathematics reform.
Kim Dominguez, born in Tucson, Arizona, is a Chicana feminist, Mexican-American & Raza Studies alumni, student, organizer, sister, and mother to her daughter. She has been involved with the Social Justice Education Project in Tucson since 2003 and is currently an undergrad at the University of Arizona. In the future she hopes to continue to work alongside mujeres and young people of color to create safe spaces to engage in learning, organizing and action.
Juanita Doyon is the director of the nonprofit Parent Empowerment Network. Juanita is the proud mother of four public school graduates, holds a bachelor’s degree in Business/Public Administration and a master’s degree in Communication Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Chris W. Gallagher
Chris Gallagher is Professor of English and Writing Program Director at Northeastern University. He is the author of three books and numerous articles on writing and education, including Reclaiming Assessment (Heinemann, 2007), which chronicles Nebraska’s alternative model to NCLB-style accountability. He works with K-12 teachers on various projects and teaches courses in writing, rhetoric, and teaching.
Wendy Goodman is the mother of three children. Currently a special education preschool teacher, Wendy holds a MA in reading from the University of Arizona.
Felipa Gaudet has been teaching at Violet Avenue Elementary School for the past seven years, where she currently teaches within a multi-age kindergarten and first grade Montessori program. Felipa holds a Masters of Professional Studies in Humanistic and Multicultural Education from SUNY New Paltz and is pursuing her Early Childhood Full Certificate from The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Viewing teaching as a vehicle for social justice, she has been strongly committed to utilizing progressive educational methods within her work with culturally and linguistically diverse children. In 2008, Felipa was honored as a finalist for the New York State Teacher of the Year award.
Francisco Guajardo is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, and is the executive director of the Llano Grande Center for Research and Development, a nonprofit organization based in Edcouch-Elsa High School that is dedicated to developing local youth leadership
Jane Hirschmann, mother of three public school graduates, is a public education organizer and activist. Jane is the co-founder of Time Out From Testing. She is also a psychotherapist who has co-authored three books and has been a social justice activist on local, national and international issues.
Susan Hobart, MS Ed ‘97, UW-Madison, BS ‘80, U-Mass-Boston, teaches in a culturally and economically diverse elementary school in Madison, WI. Her educational framework is based on culturally relevant pedagogy, community and civic engagement. A Fulbright Scholar, National Board Certified Teacher and cooperating teacher for the University of Wisconsin Madison, she recently facilitated another round of Test buster Courses and state testing with her students, using yoga, brain gym and morning breakfasts to mitigate the stress.
Katie Hogan is a ten-year veteran of the Chicago Public School system. She was the founding lead teacher of Social Justice High School on the West Side of Chicago, where she now works as the English Department Chair. Hogan currently advocates for community justice programs, queer rights for students of color, and anti-racist curriculum inside and outside classroom walls.
Brian Jones is a teacher, actor, and activist in New York City. He co-narrated the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, and is a contributing author to Capitalism and Education: Struggles for Learning and Liberation (Haymarket Books, 2012). Brian has also lent his voice to several audiobooks, including The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World, and Howard Zinn’s one-man play Marx in Soho.
Jessica Klonsky lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has been teaching in public schools for over ten years. She presently teaches English at International High School at Prospect Heights, a high school for recently-arrived immigrants to the United States.
Sarah Knopp has been a teacher and union activist in the Los Angeles Unified School District since 2000. She is the editor of Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation (Haymarket Books, 2012.)
Alfie Kohn is the author of 12 books, including The Schools Our Children Deserve and, most recently, Feel-Bad Education. He has been described by Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.”
Edwin Mayorga is a former elementary school teacher in the New York City public school system. He is currently a doctoral student in the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is also a member of the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), and enjoys spending as much time as he can with his family—Jen & baby Teo.
Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, has participated in a wide range of organizing efforts for justice with the Center for Immigrant Families and many other organizations. She is coordinator of the Participatory Action Research Center for Education Organizing (PARCEO) in partnership with the Educational Leadership Program at Steinhardt-NYU where she teaches PAR.
President of the Coalition for Better Education, Inc. (www.thecbe.org), Donald Perl has taught Spanish at the University of Northern Colorado since 2002. He is a lifetime educator, having taught in both Mexico and the United States with twenty years of experience at an inner-city junior high school. Perl holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Syracuse University and Master of Arts degree in teaching Spanish from the University of Northern Colorado.
Bob Peterson is an editor at Rethinking Schools and President of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.
Tom Roderick is executive director of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, for the past 25 years a leading organization in fostering social and emotional learning in the nation’s public schools.
Gillian Russom is a history teacher at Roosevelt High School and is the elected Chair of the East Area of United Teachers Los Angeles. She the author of “Obama's Neoliberal Agenda” (International Socialist Review, May-June 2010).
Born in India and raised in Maryland, Neha Singhal graduated from the University of Maryland. Neha moved to South Texas and worked for La Union del Pueblo Entero, founded by Cesar Chavez, to strengthen the communications strategy and support community organizing efforts for immigrant rights. She is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Nate Walker lives in Detroit, where he continues to struggle to create educational experiences that are humanizing, empowering, and that engage young people in transforming themselves and their city. He has a Master’s Degree in Teaching and in Urban Educational Policy but believes his real education has comes from his students on a daily basis.
Stephanie Walters is an Organizing Consultant for the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). She is an editor of Rethinking Schools, a non-profit education journal that focuses on issues of equity and social justice. She is also a co-editor of The New Teacher Book and Keeping the Promise, both published by Rethinking Schools.
Latricia Wilson graduated from Tennessee Technical College with honors after a long battle against the state’s high school exit exams. She is a student at Roosevelt University majoring in Journalism. She is a resilient student, education reform advocate and author of several stories on WireTap. She hopes to become a news reporter and educate the public about issues not normally covered by the mainstream media.
Julie Woestehoff is the executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education, a parent advocacy group. She takes on bad school policies and programs that get in the way of children’s education. Julie’s work has earned her a Ford Foundation Award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago. Fact Sheets from PURE are found in the Practical Materials section of this website.
Kathy M. Xiong is a nationally board-certified teacher who is currently teaching special education in the Milwaukee Public Schools district. She is involved in the national network of Teacher Activist Groups (TAG) and Milwaukee’s Educators’ Network for Social Justice, and she is an editorial associate of Rethinking Schools.