The OER Conference for the Social Studies is honored to announce our keynote speakers for the 2021 conference.

Bryan Stevenson

Founder and Director of the Equal Justice Initiative

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

Mr. Stevenson has argued and won multiple cases at the United States Supreme Court, including a 2019 ruling protecting condemned prisoners who suffer from dementia and a landmark 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life-imprisonment-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger. Mr. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release from prison for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row and won relief for hundreds of others wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced.

He is also the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy, which was recently adapted as a major motion picture.

Jane Kamensky

Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University

Jane Kamensky is Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University and the Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Her most recent book, A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (2016), won four major prizes and was a finalist for several others. A former Commissioner of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, she serves as a Trustee of the Museum of the American Revolution, and as one of the principal investigators on the NEH/Department of Education-funded initiative, Educating for American Democracy.

LaGarrett King

Associate Professor, Social Studies Education
College of Education, University of Missouri

LaGarrett J. King is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Education. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin after an eight-year teaching career in Georgia and Texas. His primary research interest examines how Black history is interpreted and taught in schools and society. He also researches critical theories of race, teacher education, and curriculum history. He is the Founding Director of the CARTER Center for K–12 Black History Education and Social Studies Online Masters Coordinator.

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