Keynote Speakers

Mural Artist: Michael Ortiz “Illson”

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Friday Keynote

Keynote Address and Radical Imagination Game with Bobby LeFebre and Ozy Aloziem

The Radical Imagination keynote will explore the power of collective imagination in shaping a new world that we long for but have yet to see. The interactive keynote, co-created with members of the audience, will help participants and the audience understand what radical imagination is and how we can, through inquiry and curiosity, collectively employ it to impact systems and bring about real structural and systemic change. The presentation and Radical Imagination Game will highlight the role writers, cultural workers, and community and organizational leaders have in shaping the collective narrative of the future.

Ozy Aloziem and Bobby LeFabre (photo)

Bobby LeFebre is an award-winning writer, performer and cultural worker fusing a non-traditional multi-hyphenated professional identity to imagine new realities, empower communities, advance arts and culture, and serve as an agent of provocation, transformation, equity and social change.  LeFebre’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Guardian, American Theater Magazine, NPR, and Poets.Org.  In 2019, LeFebre was named Colorado’s 8th Poet Laureate, making him the youngest and first person of color to be appointed to the position in its 100-year history.  LeFebre was named a National Catalyst for Change Fellow in 2020 and an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellow in 2021. LeFebre holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Metropolitan University of Denver and a master’s degree in Art, Literature and Culture from the University of Denver.  

Ozioma (Ozy) Aloziem, Founder and Principal Advisor of HEAL INC LLC, is an Igbo social worker situated at the intersection of multiple ways of knowing. She is a social work professor and scholar deeply committed to collective liberation, transformational education, racial justice, radical imagination, and healing. Ozy is an award-winning visionary, a well-regarded facilitator & speaker, and has served as a consultant for numerous organizations across the nation and globe. She spends her time reading, laughing, learning, and loving. You can find her wearing yellow somewhere in the world with her cat Mushu.

Saturday Keynote

Writing, Striving, and Surviving During COVID Times:

A Keynote Conversation with Christina Cedillo, Ersula J. Ore, and Kimberly Wieser-Weryackwe

In “Writing, Striving, and Surviving During COVID Times,” Ersula Ore, Kimberly Wieser-Weryackwe, and Christina V. Cedillo recount how they utilized their time in the early Pandemic era to amplify emerging voices across NCTE/CCCC’s seven identity Caucuses. “Diversity is not Enough: Mentorship and Community-Building as Antiracist Praxis,” Diversity is not Equity: BIPOC Scholars Speak to Systemic Racism in the Academy and Field,” Diversity is not Justice—Working Toward Radical Transformation and Racial Equity in the Discipline,” and Diversity is not an End Game: BIPOC Futures in the Academy attested to the experiences of early and mid-career scholars during a global pandemic while offering a critique of the academy’s performance of care and compassion as global protests in response to ongoing antiblack violence called for a end to the madness.  This extensive conversation speaks back to the ineffective and often merely performative responses of academic institutions that do nothing to create safe spaces for BIPOC thrivance and interrogates possible routes and means for our present holistic well-being and our futures in the academy beyond simple academic success.

Christina V. Cedillo photoChristina V. Cedillo (she/they) is an associate professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Their research draws on critical race theory, disability rhetorics, and decolonial theories to examine embodied rhetorics and rhetorics of embodiment at the intersections of race, gender, and disability. Through this lens, Christina writes about critical inclusive and antiracist pedagogies that contest how colonization and coloniality affect the lives of marginalized groups. Their writing has appeared in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Composition Studies, Reflections, Journal for the History of Rhetoric, College Composition & Communication, Peitho, Feminist Studies in Religion, Argumentation and Advocacy, Present Tense, and Composition Forum, and in various edited collections. With Ersula Ore and Kimberly Wieser, they are also editor of several special issues on race and racism in the discipline. Christina has served as co-chair of the CCCC Latinx Caucus, the CCCC Committee on Disability Issues, and the CCCC Executive Committee.

Dr. Ersula J. OreErsula J. Ore is Associate Professor of African & African American Studies in The School of Social Transformation. She is a rhetorician who researches and teaches in the areas of African & African American studies, rhetorical studies, and racialized violence. Her book Lynching: Violence, Rhetoric & American Identity (University Press of Mississippi, 2019) which received the 2020 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award, examines lynching as a rhetorical strategy and material practice interwoven with the formation of America’s national identity, and the precursor to antiblack police violence today. Her current work examines how appeals to civility, civility discourse, and civilizing strategies curtail and racialize the civic performances of Black women as they operate in public space. Her work can be found in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Women Studies in Communication, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Pedagogy, Present Tense, Critical Discourse Studies, and Rhetoric, Politics & Culture among others. 

Kimberly Wieser photoDr. Kimberly Wieser-Weryackwe is Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma as well as affiliated Native Studies and Environmental Studies faculty. Her book Back to the Blanket: Recovered Rhetorics and Literacies in American Indian Studies was published by OU Press in 2017 and is part of the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Wieser-Weryackwe is one of the co-chairs for American Indian Caucus for NCTE/CCCC and serves as a Managing Editor at Constellations: A Cultural Rhetorics Publishing Space. Subsequent to the murder of George Floyd, Dr. Wieser-Weryackwe co-edited four publications on antiracism in the discipline with Drs. Ersula Ore and Christina Cedillo—two NCTE/CCCC Cross-Caucus special issues Present Tense 9.2 and Composition Studies 49.2 and two NCTE/CCCC Cross-Caucus symposia, one in College Composition and Communication  74.2 and the other in Rhetoric Review 49.3. She is currently revising her second volume of poetry, War Began to Kindle and Was Cruelly Fought: Historical Poems from The DeSoto Chronicles. In Spring 2024, Wieser-Weryackwe will serve as the Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Louisville. 

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