AERA 2018 Annual Meeting

April 13 -17, 2018, New York, NY

The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education

The 2018 program theme calls us to confront the struggles for public education, considering the times in which we are living, the historical arcs that shape our present(s), and the roles we can play in the fight for justice. Public education has the potential to be a central pillar of democracy and to foster civil deliberation. It is essential to democratic government, which both depends on and makes possible respect for diversity, justice, and human dignity. It has a crucial role to play in our divided world, bringing communities together to build an inclusive formation of “we the people.”

Our Annual Meeting will take place in New York City, a fitting site for our focus on public education. New York represents the composite nature of our society, with its histories of struggle to form a union of diverse peoples. Before Dutch, British, and French settlers arrived and appropriated it, Mannahatta was (as it continues to be) Lenni Lenape land. It is the gateway through which immigrants from many lands have entered the United States, some displaced and fleeing hatred and persecution, some seeking opportunity. In the 20th century, New York was a destination for the migration of Black people from the South and the landing for thousands from Latin America. It was home to the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement. At City College of New York, open access higher education first thrived in the mid-19th century. Comprising islands, waterways, and estuaries, New York is one of the frontlines for the impacts of climate change and people’s fights against environmental racism. New York represents hope in new possibilities and renewals, as well as loss—of culture, land, nation, and names. New York is at once connection and separation, crowdedness and isolation, gentrification and neighborhoods, poverty and wealth. It is beautiful patchworks of culture and language, of experimentation and activism.

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