President Na’ilah Suad Nasir on What Not to Miss at the Annual Meeting
President Na’ilah Suad Nasir on What Not to Miss at the Annual Meeting

February 2022

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I couldn’t be more thrilled that this April we will once again be able to be together in person in San Diego for our annual meeting. The opportunity to build community, to greet one another, and to learn and work together on the important challenges and issues of our field is truly a gift. As an added bonus this year, we will also have access to an additional virtual program, where those of us who are unable to be there in person will still have the opportunity to present our research and to learn together. Whether you are a virtual-only attendee or in San Diego, the virtual sessions will be available to you live and on-demand. In addition, a select number of major sessions and lectures planned for San Diego will be live-streamed through the platform for virtual viewers.

The program co-chairs, Tryphenia Peele-Eady (University of New Mexico) and Elizabeth Tipton (Northwestern University), and our program assistant Naomi Mae W. (Spencer Foundation) have worked hard to plan what we hope will be an engaging and rich set of presidential sessions on this years’ theme: “Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century.” We are very proud of the program and invite you to peruse the online program and attend the San Diego and virtual sessions. The mobile app will offer a user-friendly guide to both.

Our program will kick off with an Opening Plenary titled “Asking New Questions About Old Inequities: Framing a Research Conversation About Equity in Education,” on Thursday, April 21. This session will explore the role of education research in equity in education and includes scholars from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Moderated by Tyrone C. Howard (University of California, Los Angeles), the session features panelists Eve Louise Ewing (University of Chicago), Susan Marie Dynarski (Harvard University), Linda T. Smith (Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi), Verónica Nelly Vélez (Western Washington University), and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (New York University).

We also encourage you to attend the AERA Awards Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, April 24.

My presidential address on the afternoon of Monday, April 25, “A Vision for the Future of Learning,” will focus on new ways of thinking about the goals and means of education and for creating the educational systems we need, informed by expansive scholarship in the learning sciences. I also invite you to join us for the AERA Distinguished Lecture, which will be delivered by Professor Emeritus scholar Carol D. Lee (Northwestern University), and the Wallace Foundation Distinguished Lecture, which will be given by Professor Amanda Datnow (University of California, San Diego).

Our theme this year serves as an important launching pad for using research to build education systems that realize the full potential of people and communities. Our presidential sessions take up really critical and timely issues in education and education research, including sessions on equity and federal education policy, on critical race theory and the national backlash, and on the effects of COVID-19 on K–12 and higher education settings.

I know that the last couple of years have been challenging in multiple ways. I have been so deeply encouraged and impressed with the way our community has handled these pressures with grace and a commitment to the work, and I want to thank each and every one of you for the contributions you make to our field, to the annual meeting, and to your home institutions. I look forward to seeing you in San Diego and on the virtual platform at the 2022 Annual Meeting!

Na’ilah Suad Nasir
AERA President, 2021–2022
President, Spencer Foundation