Conference Keynote Speakers

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Thursday Keynote: Dena Simmons

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is an activist, educator, and student of life from the Bronx, New York. She serves as the Assistant Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and an associate research scientist at Yale Child Study Center.

Dr. Simmons writes and speaks nationally about social justice pedagogy and creating emotionally intelligent and safe classrooms within the context of equity. Her TED talk, “How students of color confront impostor syndrome,” which pushes for creating learning environments where all young people can learn in the comfort of their own skin, has received over a million views. Dena has been profiled in Education Week, the Huffington Post, the AOL/PBS project, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and a Beacon Press Book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. Dena’s research interests include teacher preparedness to address bullying in the school setting and the intersection of emotional intelligence and culturally responsive pedagogy—all in an effort to ensure and foster justice and safe spaces for all.