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Ron W. Wilhelm

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Geneva Gay

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Cherry Ross Gooden

2024 Conference Keynote Addresses

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Jesse Esparza


ArCasia James-Galloway

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Lakia M. Scott


Vida Robertson

Jesse Esparza
2024 Ron W. Wilhelm Keynote Address
Empowered Teaching: Resistance, Resilience, and Educational Autonomy

Dr. Jesús Jesse Esparza is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of History, Geography, and General Studies at Texas Southern University.  His area of expertise is on the history of Latinos in the United States, emphasizing civil rights activism.  Dr. Esparza’s manuscript, Raza Schools: The Fight for Latino Educational Autonomy in a West Texas Borderlands Town, was released in September 2023 and published by the University of Oklahoma Press as part of the New Directions in Tejano History series.  Dr. Esparza teaches Mexican American, Texas, and Civil Rights history.  He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Southwest Texas State University and PhD in 2008 from the University of Houston.

The Ron W. Wilhelm Executive Keynote address is given during the first day of our conference proceedings.  It is named after TXNAME's Founding President, Dr. Ron W. Wilhelm

Lakia M. Scott
2024 Cherry Ross Gooden Executive Keynote Address
Finding Joy in the Multicultural Education Work

Dr. Lakia M. Scott is the Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Yale University. In her role, she is responsible for managing reviews and providing training and consultation on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives specific to academic and administrative units. In addition, she works to extend and create programming to build a sense of community among faculty from diverse backgrounds with the goal of making Yale more successful in recruiting underrepresented faculty. Dr. Scott also supports the President’s and Trustee’s goals for engagement with HBCUs and institutions serving underrepresented populations by implementing the Vice Provost’s plan for faculty collaboration and institutional partnerships. Her duties also include facilitating new faculty orientation, cohort-building events, and mentorship programs, as well as supporting faculty search processes and assisting in managing faculty tenure and promotion reviews for professional schools. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Scott worked as a tenured Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Baylor University. During her tenure at Baylor, she also served as the founder and executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program at Baylor University.


Dr. Scott received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication (Journalism) at Texas Southern University (TSU). She later received her Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on Reading Education at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). TSU and PVAMU are public, historically and predominantly Black institutions. Scott also completed her doctoral studies in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Urban Education and Literacy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC-Charlotte).

Her dissertation research centered on examining Black student’s perspectives on attending HBCUs and findings revealed that while financial affordability is still the most important consideration, students contemplate how their racial identity will impact their collegiate careers. These findings support the continued importance and vitality of HBCUs as a place for Black students to expand intellectual curiosities and to further develop their racial identities. As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Scott recognizes the tremendous role that attending HBCUs has had on her life and career trajectory.


Dr. Scott’s research focus is on providing educational access, equity, and opportunity for traditionally minoritized student populations. Under this framework, she centers on urban and multicultural education in various educational contexts: pedagogical, practical, critical, and political. Dr. Scott has over 54 publications including 25+ refereed journal articles in academic journals for the fields for urban, multicultural, diversity, and reading, language, and teacher education. She has received over $1.5 million in internal and external research funds, to date. Dr. Scott has authored/coauthored/co-edited five books. In 2022, Dr. Scott became the inaugural series editor for the Equity, Access, and Opportunities in Education book series published by Rowman and Littlefield. Dr. Scott also serves as the founding editor of the Texas Journal of Multicultural Education and has founded the graduate student journal, Urban Education Annuals. She has been a special issue editor for the Journal of Urban Education and the Journal for Social Studies and History in Education. Dr. Scott is most widely known for founding and serving as Executive Director for the Baylor Freedom Schools program, a summer literacy enrichment initiative in partnership with Waco ISD Transformation Zone Schools and Prosper Waco. In the three-year span of the program, elementary and middle school students were able to minimize summer learning loss and gain literacy skills in transition to their next grade levels, using culturally relevant and affirming pedagogies. She has published work on the success of the Baylor Freedom Schools program, and is currently working on a book to detail practical strategies and applications that can be implemented in traditional public school classrooms.


Dr. Scott has amassed over 17 years of combined experiences at the elementary, middle/secondary, undergraduate and graduate teaching levels. Dr. Scott has taught teacher education, language and literacy, and sociocultural foundations courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her experiences span the range of K-12 and higher education where she has been recognized for her excellence in teaching.

Named after TXNAME founding member, Dr. Cherry Ross Gooden, this keynote address is given as the welcoming message to the Texas NAME Conference.

ArCasia James-Galloway
2024 Geneva Gay Keynote Address

You Can't Have Social Justice Without Racial Justice

A first-generation college student and Waco Independent School District alumnae, whose ancestors were enslaved in the land now known to many as the U.S., Dr. ArCasia James-Gallaway draws on these dispositions as an interdisciplinary historian of education. Her scholarly work centers on African Americans’ struggle for the educational justice owed to them. Dr. James-Gallaway employs an educational foundations perspective concerned with structural domination, oppression, agency, and resistance. An assistant professor at Texas A&M University, she has published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters in a range of high-impact outlets. Much of her work is inspired by her time as a secondary humanities teacher and her own complicated educational experiences.

Named after our first Keynote Address, the Geneva Gay Keynote Address features an invited speaker specializing in the conference theme.  

Vida Robertson
2024 Emerging Scholars Keynote Address

The Hill We Climb: Our Sisyphean Quest for Educational Justice

Dr. Vida Robertson is an Associate Professor of English and Humanities and serves as the Director of the Center for Critical Race Studies at the University of HoustonDowntown. He teaches a wide range of courses that focus on critical race theory, disability studies, and community formation in African American, Caribbean, Latinx, and Ethnic American literatures and cultures. His primary research interests are in late nineteenth and twentieth century African American literature, cultural studies, men of color in higher education, and critical race theory. Dr. Robertson served as co-editor of the highly acclaimed text Critical Race Studies Across the Disciplines as well as the recently published Afrocentric Innovations in Higher Education and Africana Insights Transforming K-12 Education. He is presently working on a literary project entitled The Racial Pharmakon: A Critical Exploration of Albinism in African American Literature. As an extension of his commitment to dismantling all forms of systemic oppression, in 2016 Dr. Robertson founded the Men of LEGACI program that strives to help African American and Latino young men navigate and negotiate the challenges of higher education by providing scholarships, wrap-around services, and mentorship at UHD. Dr. Vida Robertson has committed himself to the research, advancement, and liberation of all marginalized communities.

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