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Summer Education Workshop Facilitators

The following facilitators participated in previous workshops. The facilitators and workshops may change from year to year in response to participant needs and the changing racial and educational context.

Alejandra Frausto Aceves Heading link

With 17 years in education, Alejandra has served in various roles, including teaching science and other content areas from 6th grade through adult students in an alternative setting, working as a curriculum coach and associate principal, and leading service learning for the third largest district in the U.S. Her research examines transformative collective learning in K12 science education, teacher collectives, and interdisciplinary teams with school leaders. Within these contexts, she hopes to continue to contribute to how we understand intergenerational & community-based co-constructions, imaginations, and praxis, as well as learning and pedagogies towards expansive and agentic present-futures.

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Alternatives Inc. Heading link

Alternatives Inc. is a Chicago organization that supports and empowers Chicago youth to build safer and more vibrant communities through an asset-based model that focuses on enriching young people’s lives by building upon their individual strengths within the context of their family and community.

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Amanda Lewis Heading link

Amanda Lewis is a UIC Sociology & African American Studies Professor, Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, and Co-Organizer of Summer Education Workshop. Her research focuses on how race shapes educational opportunities and how our ideas about race get negotiated in everyday life.

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Crystal Laura Heading link

Crystal Laura is a Professor, a certified yoga teacher, and author of Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-to-prison Pipeline. Her work explores teacher development and wellness in the context of social justice with the goal of empowering educators to recognize, understand, and to address the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Daniel Morales-Doyle Heading link

Daniel Morales-Doyle is an associate professor of science education and coordinator of the licensure strand of the MEd Science Education program. Morales-Doyle’s work focuses on the sociopolitical dimensions of science curriculum, teaching, and teacher education. He is the author of Transformative Science Teaching: A Catalyst for Justice and Sustainability. Morales-Doyle was a high school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for a decade before joining the faculty at UIC.

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David Stovall Heading link

David Stovall, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  His scholarship investigates Critical Race Theory (CRT), the relationship between housing and education and the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to address issues of equity, justice and abolishing the school/prison nexus.  In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he also served as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice from 2005-2018.

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M. Ekundayo (Dayo) Harris Heading link

M. Ekundayo (Dayo) Harris is the principal of Village Leadership Academy (VLA), an independent, private K-8 social justice school in Chicago, which places an emphasis on liberatory education and transformative learning experiences through its social justice curriculum, Grassroots Campaigns, and World Scholars Program. Ms. Harris is a Teach for America alum with over 12 years of experience in education with an extensive background in culturally responsive teaching, curriculum design and instruction, and educational leadership. She has provided strategic education consulting for administrative teams and school sites across Chicago and remains committed to educational equity and the eradication of the school-to-prison pipeline. Ms. Harris received her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois Chicago and her BA from Smith College, where she received both the Unity Award and the Juliet Evans Nelson Award for her contributions to the college addressing issues of racial equity, cultural competence, and curriculum. Ms. Harris is a vocal advocate for racial justice and has worked alongside various community organizations across Chicago, including Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter Chicago, A Long Walk Home, Inc., BYP100, and the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project where she served on the review board for NEIU’s University Without Walls program at Stateville Correctional Center. She is a proud board member of Sisters in Cinema, a nonprofit organization with an inclusive mission to entertain, educate, develop, and celebrate Black girls and women media makers and future generations of storytellers and their audiences.

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Matthew Rodriguez Heading link

Matthew Rodriguez is a teacher. In his nearly two decades of experience in education, he began as a janitor in a small alternative high school, transitioned to be a math tutor, then began teaching Math and Social Studies. He became a teacher leader, then an Assistant Principal, and ultimately was the Principal for 7 years in the same school in the Humboldt Park Community of Chicago. There he learned that education is, for many of our youth, the difference between life or death. The imperative nature of education, in this context, captured his imagination and frames how he continues to prepare leaders in schools today.

Matthew transitioned from the high school setting to a national role in designing and implementing curriculum to support educational leaders to have the highest impact with their student populations before he transitioned back to Chicago to become the Chief Education Officer of a small district. He has now returned to preparing school leaders through his work at the Equity Imperative.

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Nakisha Hobbs Heading link

Nakisha Hobbs is the Associate Director of the Office of Early Childhood at the Illinois Department of Human Services, Co-Founder of Village Leadership Academy (VLA), and Co-Organizer of the Summer Education Workshop. VLA emphasizes high academic standards, exposure to world history and geography, appreciation for cultural differences, the development of critical thinking and perspective taking skills, and socially just decision making.

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Stacey A. Gibson Heading link

Stacey Gibson is a strategist, consultant, educator, and writer whose facilitation and consultation focuses on 1) how private and public identities shape the professional work experience, 2) supporting women identified people in leadership roles, and 3) co-designing sustainable change strategies to create efficient and equitable work and educational environments. She has taught in both the public and private sectors and her writing has appeared in numerous venues. Find out more about Stacey’s vision at

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