2023 Summit

Took place Friday, April 21, 2023 (9:00 AM Eastern – 5:00 PM Eastern).

Don’t miss the post-summit Bonus Session happening in May 2023!


Registration for the 2023 Global Respectful Disruption Summit will automatically include access to the following bonus sessions. Mark you calendars!

MAY 3, 2023 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

Healing a Generation; Assessment of COIL Metacognitive Strategies for Students Facing Structural Violence

In Venezuela, the living conditions for most students do not meet the minimum levels of consumption for basic needs like food, water, clothing, shelter, and healthcare. Teaching under such extreme social instability demands the creation of advanced meta-cognitive strategies that encourage learners to reposition themselves about the perceived problems. Action-oriented education enables students to engage in reflexive processes that lead to personal transformation. COIL pedagogy offers a combination of educational leadership and expertise development that allows the individual to autonomously take control of her/his learning process; it is experiential, active, and engaging. This ethnography, conducted from 2015 to 2022, assesses the meta-cognitive development of a study group of 2,000 college students ranging in age from 17 to 25 years. Accounting for 40 virtual exchange experiences, qualitative and quantitative data was collected through interviews, survey instruments, video testimonials, focus groups, and observation notes. To understand the study population, a review of concepts such as structural, symbolic, and normalized violence, analyzes the relationship between the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and its impact on the students’ health, psycho-social well-being, and learning disposition. An overview of pedagogical approaches, such as autonomous, transformative, emancipatory, and conscientization learning, serves as the basis for the discussion on metacognitive strategies. This study reveals that, in a context of multicultural collaboration, students manifest their pursuit of understanding throughout the process of critical reflection and discourse with their partners abroad. While developing high-impact projects, they confront reality critically and act upon it; they exercise agency on their new understanding, moving beyond the restrictions of the prior worldview and developing awareness, empathy, self-control, and emotional maturity. Learners manifest a critical reassessment of their psycho-­emotional responses to the experience; they can track the development of their awareness, identify new competencies, and acknowledge cognitive challenges.

Action-oriented learning engages students in reflexive processes leading to personal transformation. COIL, in that sense, fosters skill development that allows individuals to autonomously take control of their own learning process; it is experiential, active, and engaging.

This ethnography assesses the meta-cognitive development of 2,000 students Venezuelan communications students. Results reveal that in VE contexts, learners manifest a critical reassessment of their psycho-­emotional responses to the experience; they track the development of their awareness and acknowledge cognitive challenges.

Jose Luis Jimenez Figarotti

Project Coordinator VE/COIL-UCAB. Researcher in virtual exchange topics, a specialist in curriculum design, and a university professor with more than 35 years of international experience. Research areas: Online collaborative learning, journalism, and democratic processes, human rights, complex systems, and the environment, sustainable development, and human ecology. Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Studies at Florida Atlantic University. In 1993 he was honored with a scholarship from the Organization of American States to do his Master of Arts at The American University, Washington D.C.

MAY 9, 2023 | 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET

The Role of High School Study Abroad and Virtual Exchange Programs

When looking at the international education field, global education programs and services oftentimes focus on college-bound learners. Anecdotally, high school and higher education practitioners work in silos when advising students on study abroad and virtual exchange programs. Although high school and university partnerships exist, such as Upward Bound, there are fewer organizations that are intentionally working to inform and encourage high school students to pursue global education programs in college/university. 

Lamar Shambley, Founder and Executive Director of Teens of Color Abroad (TOCA), created TOCA with the mission of cultivating the next generation of globally conscious high school students of color through language immersion programs and study abroad experiences. TOCA holds Community Circles to inform participants/alumni about college/university global education opportunities. 

In this session, we will discuss how to develop meaningful partnerships between organizations that support high school students and higher education institutions to increase global education opportunities for students of color. We will invite 1-2 students to join the session to talk about their experience of participating in TOCA Online and our recent Seville, Spain program immersion. Students will share about how their participation in TOCA Online translates to in person programs at the high school and university/college level. As a student-centered organization, we think it is important to incorporate the student voice. 

lamar shambley

Lamar Shambley is a Brooklyn-based high school Spanish teacher and the Founder and Executive Director of Teens of Color Abroad (TOCA), a nonprofit organization that creates language learning and cultural exchange programs for high school students of color. Since 2018, TOCA has sponsored new passports for 20 students, served over 1,000 youth across the U.S., and awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts in Modern Languages and Literature from the College of William & Mary and his Master’s of Arts in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Melquin Ramos

Melquin Ramos is an international education professional with over 10 years of experience working in various sectors, including start-ups, non-profits, higher education, and government. His passion lies in working towards providing affordable and equal access to higher education, as well as global education opportunities, for first-generation and underrepresented students. He serves as a Director of TOCA Online, which offers virtual language learning and cultural exchange opportunities for U.S. high school students of color. Melquin holds a bachelor’s in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s in organizational leadership from the George Washington University.

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM ET


Christina Thompson headshot

Christina “Chris” Thompson (she/her/hers) is an award-winning international educator and justice-centered advocate.  She serves as Founder and Managing Director of COMPEAR Global Education Network and an IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) Consultant with Be Equitable Inc. Chris consults with partners around the globe to implement strategic diversity and intercultural interventions. With nearly two decades of experience in higher education, she has led international education, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at public and private institutions. Her expertise includes instructing courses on intercultural preparation for education abroad and reflection courses in London, Spain, China, Cyprus, the Gambia, and New Orleans. As an EAKC NAFSA leader and chair of the EAKC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee, Christina is also a member of FORUM and CAINE’s Climate Justice Working groups, a NAFSA mentor, and a frequently invited speaker for WISE, NAFSA, Diversity Abroad, and FORUM on Education Abroad. Christina holds a MA in Liberal Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a concentration and research in Global Literary Studies at Mannheim University in Germany.  She is currently a Doctoral student studying Disruptive Leadership Practices in Global Spaces for Positive Change, also known as ‘Respectful Disruption.’  

Kory M. Saunders - headshot

Kory M. Saunders (she,her,hers) is a lifelong learner of culture and has a keen interest in the connection we as people share between each other and the cultures in which we live. Kory is a proud graduate of Hampton University, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University), where she earned a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in Spanish and also earned an M.B.A from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and an M.A in International Business with an International Marketing concentration from la Universitat de Valencia, Spain. Kory specializes in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, culture and belonging as well as programming. Kory has worked in both corporate and university settings. Kory is a sought after skilled presenter and workshop facilitator. She has presented at both in person and virtual conferences. Kory was the 2020 finalist for the Diversity Abroad, Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education Rising Star Award. Kory was the recipient of the NAFSA Region VII 2020 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in International Education Award. She was also the recipient of the  NC State African American Culture Center’s Ebony Harlem 2021 Nkonsonkonson Staff “Sticks in a Bundle Award“. Kory is the creator of Kultural Kurators, a platform to amplify and uplift BIPOC folxs who have had global experiences. She is currently the Director of Inclusion Initiatives at AIFS Abroad.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM ET

The Intersection of Global Education and Student Empowerment: Decolonizing International Education, Re-centering Thriving and Disruptive Practices for Global Learning

MODERATED BY: Abigail Bryant (SUNY Educational Opportunity Program), Hope Windle (SUNY COIL Center)
PANELISTS: Taur Orange (Fashion Institute of Technology), Vitor Ierusalimschy (Universidade Federal Fluminense), Daniela Garcia (São Paulo State University)

1. The future (of work) is intersectional (Thomas 2022), therefore it is essential now, more than ever, for global learning needs to reach marginalized students. By the end of the session, the audience will have templates and resources to create customizable COIL (collaborative international learning) team project lesson plans.

2. Panelists will demonstrate hands-on approaches to virtual learning, addressing linguistic imperialism, global inequities, and cultural connection, for underrepresented students within the academic year.

3. Audience members will explore two transformational approaches that address oppressive structures and politics of knowledge that limit marginalized students’ exposure and access to global learning.

Join us on the journey to ensure students thrive. Take on the taxing and overwhelming mission to address this refrain. This is the call: students need to thrive! This pedagogic approach is an anecdote for the “spirit murdering.” We are presenting an opportunity to uncover joy, through hands-on projects exploring identity, culture, heritage, and language. In forums that give students agency to students what education can and should be.

Our panel of virtual exchange practitioners invites audience members to expose their students at any level to global learning with learning outcomes that highlight investigating where culture meets working together.

We have the power as practitioners to go outside the limits of our course curriculum to challenge inequities, amplify the viewpoints of culture. It is in these small and humble choices that we can begin to think about how to make ourselves part of the solution to the problem of inequity and we shouldn’t keep it to ourselves.

As the mission of the SUNY COIL Center, we believe that an educational environment that fosters shared values, mutual understanding, and critical digital literacy, and which promotes interaction across boundaries to develop leadership, collaborative problem solving and contextualized decision making, will make this vision a reality.

Abigail Bryant is a Brooklyn native with a masters’ degree in Sociology with a concentration on Race, Class & Gender. Abby as she likes to go by has over 9 years of experience in Higher Education. She specializes in affirming students natural talents that influence their radical hope to be successful in higher education and beyond. Currently, Abby is the Director of EOP Student Success at SUNY System where she works with historically disadvantaged populations, going above and beyond to ensure student success.

Hope Windle Headshot

Hope Windle is the Director of the SUNY COIL Center. She empowers the 147+ institutions in the SUNY COIL Global Network. With 16 years coordinating virtual exchange, and an instructional design background, Hope amplifies voices, generates COIL initiatives, facilitates workshops within the worldwide COIL Virtual Exchange community. Most importantly, she, together with the community, focuses the work of COIL on Trans-Languaging, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, as well as implementing projects focusing on UN Sustainable Development Goals. She speaks internationally on the value of digitally enhanced, culturally focused, student team-based projects that inspire and enact change locally and globally.

Taur Orange headshot

Taur D. Orange has spent nearly 45 years in the professional fields of higher education, student development and youth leadership, designing and/or administering retention and enrichment programs. She has served as a consultant to NYC agencies, churches, and community-based organizations seeking student and youth empowerment initiatives and curricula for leadership and rites of passage programs. Taur has administered federal TRIO and FIPSE programs for under-resourced adolescents and served as a long-time coordinator of a city-wide leadership program sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York for high achieving adolescents of color. She also has developed program initiatives to advance study abroad opportunities for post secondary level students and initiatives to advance student exposure to apparel industries. Taur serves as the driector of the Office of Educational Opportunity Programs at the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology (of the State University of New York). She provides oversight for programs that advocate access to higher education and that support the needs of the college’s underresourced students. She is a recipient of the 2004 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Services, the 2015 Woman of Distinction Award awarded by the Association of Black Women in Higher Education (New York City chapter), and a 2018 honoree of the Voices of African Mothers Award, a nongovermental organization affiliated with the UN. Taur holds a baccalaureate degree from Wesleyan University, an MPS from New York Institute.

Vitor headshot

Educational Projects manager at the International Cooperation Office at Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil. Institutional COIL Coordinator and engaged in the promotion of accessible, democratic forms of academic internationalization for students from all backgrounds.

daniela headshot

Daniela Garcia is an associate professor of English as a Foreign Language at the Department of Modern Languages of São Paulo State University (UNESP) at Assis. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistic Studies from the São Paulo State University (UNESP) at São José do Rio Preto. She has a M.A. in Linguistics from the State University of São Paulo State University (UNESP) at Assis. Her experience includes classroom English teaching at various levels, ages, and purposes. Daniela has been part of Teletandem Brasil Project from its inception and has been involved with pairing students, contacting Portuguese language professors at affiliated universities, and coordinating mediation sessions. She has also been a linguistic supervisor at the Center for Language Education and Teacher Development at UNESP-Assis. She is interested in foreign language teaching and learning processes, and telecollaboration contexts.


Learning Out Loud: Navigating Hard Conversations Through Authenticity, Collective Accountability, And (Un)Learning

Many international educators committed to the ongoing work of advancing social justice find themselves regularly grappling with challenging concepts and topics, and oftentimes, leading conversations, projects, and trainings on these themes for others. How do we, as individuals and as a collective, have meaningful and authentic “hard conversations” on issues – such as the lingering legacies of colonialism and imperialism in our profession or the harmful effects of white feminism in the workplace – when our teams and colleagues are at various levels of critical consciousness and commitment?

Through guided unlearning activities, this session will demonstrate strategies for increasing understanding, awareness, and commitment to disrupting and dismantling systems of oppression through an emergent strategy lens that embraces various perspectives through principled disagreement, with an ultimate goal of coalition building – without gatekeeping – within international education. Participants will receive access to a shared document that compiles relevant resources for continued learning, opportunities for collective reimagining, and tools for creating strong ecosystems for social change.

During this session, participants will observe a modeled practice of a challenging conversation, such as white feminism at work, and how to authentically embrace people where they are in their learning journey and create a pathway for them to move towards new ways of thinking and engaging with topics, such as feminism, through a class conscious lens that decenters whiteness.

By the end of this session, participants will learn strategies and activities for engaging in “hard” conversations and embracing principled disagreement that they can implement within their own professional and personal communities.

HS Headshot - Hannah Sorila

Hannah Sorila (she/her) is a radical visionary, committed to learning and living through the praxis of abolition feminism, decoloniality, queer expansiveness, anti-capitalism, and anti-oppression. Utilizing her background in global studies and systems thinking, Hannah has worked with GoAbroad, SIT Study Abroad, and Diversity Abroad, and is now working locally in Brattleboro VT at the Women’s Freedom Center and Everyone’s Books. Hannah continues to engage in global education through advocating for paradigm shifts arced towards decolonial futures.

Kyle Keith (he/him/his) currently works at Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (SAE) where he cultivates relationships with college and university partners and spearheads the organization’s comprehensive commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice: “TODOS.” Prior to Barcelona SAE, Kyle worked for 6+ years in education abroad advising roles at North Carolina State University and Wofford College. A first-generation, queer college student from the rural mountains of North Carolina, Kyle’s life changed when he was awarded the Gilman Scholarship to study in Costa Rica as an undergraduate. Apart from his professional experiences, Kyle also volunteers with the North Carolina Association of International Educators (NCAIE) and NAFSA’s Education Abroad Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee. He lives in Durham, NC, with his partner.

10:30 AM - 10:50 AM ET


11:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET

Bias Impact Response: A Transformative Option

During this 90-minute J.E.D.I. Lab participants will:

  • Briefly explore the need for bias impact response processes that address identity-related impact on students, staff and the broader community;
  • Review foundational restorative and transformative approaches in individual and institutional response to bias-related incidents and interactions; and
  • Collaborate on a case study to learn key steps in initial incident response that lead to more meaningful, people-centered outcomes–especially for underrepresented individuals and groups.


When complete participants will be able to:

  • Identify proactive and reactive approaches that leads to more meaningful bias incident response;
  • Offer bias impact response “triage” to support students, colleagues, and/or community members.


Transformative bias impact response offers stronger and more meaningful response to internal and external (local, national, and/or international) identity and/or social equity related events, incidents and circumstances that impact organization or community climate. Applying process and expanding capacity with real-world practice leads to better outcomes and a stronger sense of belonging!

AMBDavis Equity Coaching offers training, coaching, and process/team development opportunities for individuals and organizations building their bias impact response capacity. Join with other education professionals, students and global education supporters to expand your understanding of bias impact response! Then, learn and practice in community with others.

Adrienne headshot

Adrienne M. B. Davis, MPA, Founder and Lead Coach for AMBDavis Equity Coaching, LLC, is building a community of practitioners committed to responding to identity-based harm in meaningful ways. Drawing on transformative and restorative practices, AMBDavis Equity Coaching trains individuals and teams to respond more effectively to the impacts of identity-related bias incidents, interactions and events. With nearly 20 years of experience in equity and inclusion related roles, Adrienne has worked in higher education, K-12 education, local government, and with a number of community and faith-based groups. She most recently served as the director of OIED Impact Response at NC State University, where she led the bias impact response team.

12:30 PM - 12:50 PM ET


12:50 PM - 1:50 PM ET

The Time is Now: Disrupting Global Deficit Approaches to Climate Justice through Storytelling

Global educators share their experiences coping with climate change and learning about climate justice on this panel. Through storytelling and personal experiences, panelists will discuss their efforts to incorporate sustainable initiatives into global programming.

Panelists will:

  1. Define Climate Change and Climate Justice.
  2. Each panelist will share a story about our first encounter with climate justice. 
  3. Discuss the urgent argument of “the time is now to disrupt.”
ebony ellis headshot

Ebony Ellis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History & Education from Albany State University in Georgia. She also holds a Master’s degree in Leisure, Youth & Human Services from the University of Northern Iowa. During her tenure at the University of Michigan Center for Global and Intercultural Study, she served as a senior intercultural program advisor and lecturer. Ebony spent many years working within the U.S. Department of Defense, supporting families, children, and youth throughout the world. In addition to founding the Aventurine Intercultural Learning Community and Educational Consulting, LLC, Ebony is the managing director. As part of Aventurine, Ebony offers customized, interactive workshops to K-12 and higher education institutions exploring the intersectionality of intercultural learning and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) from a social justice perspective. With the shifts in education paradigms, Aventurine also emphasizes the importance of looking inward and promoting well-being by creating intentional curriculum and programming to promote self-discovery and empower students and educators. In her role with CulturaGo, she is the Partnership Engagement and Learning Innovation Manager. In this role, she is responsible for developing partnerships and implementing creative educational strategies that connect students to unique learning opportunities. These strategies provide students with the tools they need to achieve success abroad.

Inemesit Williams headshot

Inemesit Williams has over 16 years of experience in the field of international education. Her primary focus has been on student mobility and international student & scholar services. As both a practitioner and manager, she has led efforts in cultural programming and international student orientation, international student and scholar immigration advising services, exchange and study abroad program management, and more. She has a deep belief in creative efforts and collaboration, which lead her to join the global board of the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE) to fuse and immerse the intersecting crises of climate change, racial justice, and many other additional global inequalities. She is also Climate Reality Leadership Corps alumna and mentor collaborating with community to educate, build, and support climate action in her local in Arizona area. She recently transitioned to entrepreneurial pursuits as a freelance academic coach while moving off-grid to develop a sustainable home in the desert.

melissa lee headshot

Melissa Lee is the Founder and CEO of The GREEN Program (TGP), an award-winning experiential education program for our world’s future sustainability leaders. For her work with TGP, Melissa was recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners as the Environmental Advocate of the Year, Philadelphia magazine’s Best of Philly® – Expander of Frontiers, and the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Education. Melissa has served as a U.S. Global Schools Ambassador for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, was named the 2021 Lattman Visiting Scholar of Science & Society at Pennsylvania State University, and a Heinz Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh.

Melissa is driven by a desire to reshape higher education curricula to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global experiences, and career development for a sustainable workforce. As CEO, Lee has expanded TGP beyond its roots as an experiential education program, partnering with leading universities and to create a global, socially-conscious, public benefit company. TGP represents university students from 470 universities and 70 countries around the world, who are now employed at organizations such as General Electric, SpaceX, Tesla, Boeing, NASA, The Environmental Defense Fund, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and more. Currently, TGP is also expanding the organization’s global professional development programs to professionals and executives in it’s multi-generational approach to sustainability education and workforce development.

A first-generation born Chinese-American, Melissa was born in Queens, NY and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA, where TGP is headquartered. As an enthusiast for our oceans, the future of education, and responsible travel, Melissa is passionate about the management and sustainability of these industries.

anne campbell headshot

Anne C. Campbell, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California, USA. She teaches courses and conducts research on international scholarship programs, international higher education, student mobility, social change, and climate justice. Anne consults on topics related to international scholarships for UNESCO, USAID, the Open Society Foundations, and the Mastercard Foundation, among others. Dr. Campbell holds a Ph.D. in comparative and international development education from the University of Minnesota (US) and an M.A. in critical theory and cultural studies from the University of Nottingham (UK). She is currently a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Kosovo.

Christina Thompson headshot

Christina “Chris” Thompson (she/her/hers) is an award-winning international educator and justice-centered advocate. She serves as Founder and Managing Director of COMPEAR Global Education Network and an IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) Consultant with Be Equitable Inc. Chris consults with partners around the globe to implement strategic diversity and intercultural interventions. With nearly two decades of experience in higher education, she has led international education, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at public and private institutions. Her expertise includes instructing courses on intercultural preparation for education abroad and reflection courses in London, Spain, China, Cyprus, the Gambia, and New Orleans. As an EAKC NAFSA leader and chair of the EAKC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee, Christina is also a member of FORUM and CAINE’s Climate Justice Working groups, a NAFSA mentor, and a frequently invited speaker for WISE, NAFSA, Diversity Abroad, and FORUM on Education Abroad. Christina holds a MA in Liberal Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a concentration and research in Global Literary Studies at Mannheim University in Germany. She is currently a Doctoral student studying Disruptive Leadership Practices in Global Spaces for Positive Change, also known as ‘Respectful Disruption.’

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET

Queering the SDGs: An Ethical Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals in Global Spaces

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have their origin in a western Eurocentric tradition of economic development and environmental management (de Wit, “An Ethical Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals”). The SDGs as they currently exist and are communicated to the public marginalize the voices and lived experiences of those in the Global South for whom environmental catastrophe is most immediate and life-threatening. By developing policies that present the Global South as an “Other” inhabited by “Other” peoples, the SDGs reinforce attitudes toward and beliefs about place, people, culture, and practice that are in fact impediments to creating a future that is sustainable for all (Al-Zo’by, “Culture and the Politics of Sustainable Development in the GCC”).

This JEDI lab will apply a Queer lens to the SDGs by deconstructing their heteronormative understandings of place, community, power, and equity. We will consider what it means to Queer the SDGs, as actionable steps, as we explore the interconnections of race, gender expansiveness, place, and sustainability in the context of experiential learning environments. We will present case studies of Education Abroad programs in Peru, Nepal, and Iceland that illustrate how these overlapping and interdependent systems play a role in determining a sustainable future. In the process, we will examine how we both create and can work to disrupt Othering in relation to race, gender, place, and sustainability. Participants will learn about the intersections of race, gender-expansiveness, and sustainability, as well as steps they can take to create safer, more sustainable, and inclusive Education Abroad spaces.

Dr. Frey Brownson is an internationally recognized solar photovoltaics, climate mitigation policy and strategic planning, and sustainability expert. She has been a leader in solar research and education for almost two decades, addressing the transformative potential of the solar goods and services for the maturing global solar industry. Having taught over one thousand students the core principles and practices of solar project development, Dr. Brownson’s transformative approaches to technical education reconfigures solar training in terms of community-led practices, attending to community, country, and industry “pride in place”, growing trust and reciprocity among stakeholders to enact transformative structural change. She holds a decade of experience facilitating large workshop cycles and international webinars that center the goal of project management and developing tools for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in the workspace.

Sumie Song (she/her/hers), Ph.D., is Director of Strategic Partnerships at The GREEN Program, an award-winning experiential education abroad organization focused on the world’s most pressing sustainable development issues. As director, Sumie works with universities and oversees corporate engagement and DEI initiatives to promote the development of a diverse workforce in the field of sustainability. She is currently co-chairing the NAFSA International Educators Sustainability Special Interest Group and as a member of the UN SDSN Mission 4.7 CoP, helped organize the inaugural US Summit on Transformative Education. Prior to joining The GREEN Program, Sumie was Associate Professor in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Director of Global Education at North Park University, where she oversaw study abroad programs and international student and scholar support; helped found the university’s Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and taught courses on postcolonial criticism, medieval and fantasy literature, and self-inquiry. She has subject matter expertise in institutional planning, assessment of student learning, and accreditation, and for the past 7 years has served on the Peer Corps of the Higher Learning Commission. In 2018 she received a Fulbright International Education Administrators grant to examine equity and access issues in higher education in India. Sumie’s interest in climate justice issues is informed by her 15+ years of experience as a Chicago-based grassroots organizer who continues to fight with those in her community for health, housing, education, racial, and economic equity and immigration reform. Sumie has a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Williams College and a Ph.D. from Duke University in German Studies.

3:30 PM - 3:50 PM ET


3:50 PM - 4:50 PM ET

Disrupting Racialized Deficit Narratives of BIPOC Students in Education Abroad Advising Practices

This presentation introduces an emerging research project that seeks to understand how education abroad advising professionals (EAAPs) engage in deficit-oriented advising practices when advising Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) students.

This presentation will introduce attendees to the existing research on BIPOC student participation and underrepresentation in education abroad to highlight a gap in how the education abroad field has yet to explicitly name this pervasive form of racialized inequity in our advising practices.

Further, using critical race theory (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001; Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995; Patton, 2016) and research on culturally-centered knowledge (Solórzano & Yosso, 2002; Yosso, 2005), this presentation also discusses tangible steps for future research and practice to proactively disrupt racialized deficit narratives in EAAP advising.

This presentation will intentionally center ways to reimagine BIPOC student success in education abroad, focused on exemplars of education abroad research that center BIPOC student cultural assets to navigate education abroad (Chang, 2017; Sweeney, 2014; Wick et al., 2019; Willis, 2015).

neal headshot

Neal McKinney, M.Ed. (he/him/his) is a doctoral candidate in Educational Studies at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. His doctoral research agenda broadly centers critical theories on race (e.g., critical race theory, critical whiteness studies) to identify and study racist policies and practices that view students of color as undeserving of an education. His current research project primarily studies how education abroad personnel (EAPs) construct narratives of why Black and Latinx students participate in education abroad programs at a lower rate to identify potential patterns of racialized deficit-based thinking in these narratives. He also studies how Black and Latinx students perceive and respond to these narratives as a form of resistance against the pervasive influence of racialized deficit mindsets. He aims to use his research to disrupt and dismantle racialized biases that perpetual inequitable policies and practices against all students of color’s success in higher education.


Understanding and Promoting Human Rights for Neurodivergent People

Neurodivergent people face extreme bias every day, and most of the world isn’t even aware this is a conversation that needs to happen. Autistic people have shorter lifespans by 16 years, with the leading cause of death being suicide. Misinformation and stigma permeate our society to such a degree that it is challenging for Neurodivergent people to learn about themselves without having to first wade through hate speech, outdated, untrue stereotypes, and terrible descriptors.

Neurodivergent adults often face harsh criticism from parents and doctors for speaking about their lived experiences, as they don’t align with popular misconceptions. Neurodivergent people need to fight daily for basic human rights. Autistic children in the United States can legally be subject to electroshock treatment and, until recently, subjected to chemical castration. It is time for this to end.

Educators and educational institutions can pave the way by learning to talk about Autism correctly using affirming identity first language. Stop unintentionally supporting organizations like Autism Speaks, which are viewed as hate groups by the Autistic community and don’t serve Neurodivergent people’s best interests. Create sensory-friendly environments that are comfortable spaces for all students to learn. It’s time Neurodivergent people are recognized as a valuable part of Humanity.

This session will make you aware of the social, political, academic, and medical struggles of Neurodivergent people. You will learn about the beautiful and supportive affirming communities that support Nuerodiveregent people and how to connect students to the support they need. Most importantly, you will learn how to recognize bias that is often overlooked by Neurotypical people and call it out.

Participants will leave with the knowledge of how to make Neurodiveregent people feel welcome at educational institutions in a world that feels very unwelcoming to us. 

Kelly Cray is a Neurodivergent educator and the founder of The Autist Educator, as well as a full-time English Language Development instructor at Burr and Burton Academy. She holds a BS in Communications, is TESOL Certified, and is currently finishing her capstone project for a Double Master’s Degree. Cray also represents Vermont (USA) on the Northern New England TESOL Board and has worked in Education since 2007.

4:50 PM - 5:10 PM ET


5:15 PM - 6:00 PM ET


Learning Guide cover photo
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Respectful Disruption Learning Guide

One of the goals of the summit is to provide you with the opportunity to reflect on what it would mean to respectfully disrupt those systems that have governed and shaped the spaces you inhabit–professional, personal, etc. Ideally, the summit will inspire and empower you to think deeply about what is necessary for true, sustainable change to occur. To that end, we invite you to use the following exercises and activities, a disruptive “roadmap” if you will, to guide your learning and engagement before, during, and after the summit.

We’re also confident that this learning guide will prove useful when attending any event or activity and encourage any and all to download and use these guidelines to learn how to be a better Respectful Disruptor.

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