Click here for Registration and Membership:

Membership Application (2020 Conference Registration included)


 2020 CRSEA Theme & Call for Papers 


NEW CFP Deadline: DECEMBER 6, 2019
Conference Host: University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
Pre-Conference Date: May 20, 2020
Conference Dates: May 21-23, 2020

“I can’t speak for everyone, but as for me, I am an old woman. I lives to harass white folks.”

– Mrs. Biona MacDonald, quoted in Derrick Bell’s (1992), “Faces at the Bottom of the Well,” (preface viii.)

In his ground-breaking work, Faces at the Bottom of the Well, Professor Derrick Bell (1992) recounted meeting an elder in the Black community, Mrs. Biona MacDonald, who was participating in a civil rights march being held in Harmony, Mississippi, in 1964. In the face of violence, corruption and intimidation, she described her lifelong struggle of living with and through Jim Crow as she actualized a racial realist standpoint. In her view Mrs. MacDonald would not live to see institutional and structural change happen, but she found joy in the struggle and spoke lovingly and truthfully about resisting white people and white supremacy. As Bell put it, despite not having any formal institutional power or authority, Mrs. MacDonald triumphed.

Since our last convening at the University of Southern California in May 2019, mostly Indigenous and Central American children have remained separated from their families, caged and abused in for-profit institutions across the U.S. Violence, harassment and targeting of Black bodies has continued to occur consistently, broadcast across digital and virtual formats for all the world to see. We’ve endured targeted mass shootings of “Mexicans” in El Paso, and witnessed the abject neglect of the citizens of Flint, Michigan, and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, who continue their fight for clean water and for sovereignty over their homes and land.

With the tumultuous times in which we live in mind, this Call for Papers is put forth as a call for active resistance and struggle, and for healing in our communities through the centering of testimonios from and with our communities. Our conference theme, Cultivating Testimonios of Joy, Love and Struggle in Critical Race Praxis,strives to stimulate an intellectual, political, activist, and liberatory space, where researchers, activists, educators, youth leaders, community members are encouraged to lead and advocate in the spirit of Mrs. Biona MacDonald, to resist as have the Water Protectors of Standing Rock, and to organize and speak out as the youth and residents of El Paso, Texas, have done. The genre of testimonio can be traced to oral traditions found in Latin America and “Yo Soy Rigoberta Menchu” (Menchu, 2010) that publicized the human rights struggles of Guatemala’s indigenous communities during a time of war and genocide. The urgence of Rigoberta Menchu's testimonio was a call to action, survival, and healing during wartime conditions. Similar to what is occuring in the United States today.

We welcome proposals that will challenge our intellectual and activist community to extend Critical Race Studies epistemologically, methodologically and pedagogically, and that will introduce our members to

new ways of organizing, of conducting policy analysis, and of building advocacy coalitions that resist, re-shape and disrupt the hierarchies of power and privilege that dominate our schools, universities and colleges, community spaces and society. As Perez-Huber (2008) delineates, critical race testimonios are a “methodological move toward the representation of a collective experience and community memory that can empower People of Color whose experiences are marked by oppression” (p. 170), and a process that validates, centers, and honors the experiences of those who have been silenced, de-legitimized and de-valued. We seek papers that not only center the experiences and ways of knowing in communities of color, but that also privilege truth-telling with narratives of praxis, love and joy. Despite the “messiness” inherent in representing life stories, autobiographies, and testimonios, Dávila(2010) demonstrates how resistance occurs in centering the richness and complexity of raced, gendered, and classed Puerto Rican youth in Chicago, and how researchers themselves can forefront their own “entanglements” as ways of knowing. Scholars such as Delgado Bernal (2002) have also developed epistemologies that blend theoretical traditions in ways that (re)center pedagogies of the home, where “[c]ommunity and family knowledge is taught to youth through legends, corridos, and storytelling” in ways that are “culturally specific ways of teaching and learning that ancestors and elders share the knowledge of conquest, segregation, patriarchy, homophobia, assimilation, and resistance,” (p. 113). In a similar fashion, Love (2019) asks educators and educational researchers to look beyond the traditional, White normative methods of teaching and leading and to instead use the most effective tool used by abolitionists - their imaginations. As she states, their imaginations “fueled their resistance” and became freedom dreams which drove them to “preserve their humanity” (p. 102). once did and “freedom dream” (p. 102). Love implores us to resist feeling defeated and to struggle against all challenges in seeking freedom through education.

Communities of color have always resisted oppressive regimes and policies, and critical race scholars have always challenged the next generation of scholar activists to question the relevance, accessibility and significance of our work to our communities. In fact, as Critical Race Theory (CRT) was being introduced to the field of educational research more than two decades ago, Ladson-Billings (1998) posed the question, “what is critical race theory doing in a nice field like education?” And in posing the question, she was challenging scholars to confront the various ways and multiple areas within the education that needed to be critiqued and problematized. Solórzano (1998), similarly, encouraged scholars to develop new methods and to formulate new conceptual tools by expanding our thinking across the social sciences and into ethnic studies disciplines, as CRT frameworks engaged K-12 and higher education literature. And as Stovall (2005) reminds us of the centrality of praxis to our work, “CRT is a theory, but it also operates as a ‘weapon in struggle’ by providing tools with which to address the concerns” (p. 198) of youth, families and community members. Therefore, we encourage papers and creative works that provide analyses anchored in the utilization and application of testimonio as method, as a tool for centering long neglected and silenced stories of struggle, and as a political framework from which to understand power, joy, love and healing. Whether from a qualitative or quantitative research perspective, action and community-based approaches, creative or artistic performances, or conceptual papers, our goal is to develop a program that will challenge our community to not only navigate but to create transformative ruptures (Delgado Bernal & Alemán, 2017), or moments and spaces for critical race praxis to occur.

We also aspire to foster spaces that will continue to disrupt the various types of oppression that dominate the educational landscape including, but not limited to, racialization, patriarchy, heteronormativity, ableism, islamophobia, linguicism, capitalism, nationalism, and other forms of systematic oppression rampant in society.

Key Areas and Guiding Questions:

1. Analysis, application and/or enactment of CRT core concepts that interrogate power, privilege, white supremacy, whiteness, and de-humanization. How have CRT’s foundational tenets been operationalized in the disruption of oppression? In what ways have our struggles been sites of joy and love, even in the face of violence and trauma?

2. Methodologies that center and privilegenarratives, experiences and perspectives that are often left at the margins, erased, negated and/or de-legitimized. What epistemological frameworks and methodological tools enable communities of color to heal in educational spaces? What areas of growth are necessitated by the changing political landscape across communities of color?

3. Forms, strategies, methods and frameworks for understanding and implementing critical race praxis, activism, leadership and advocacyIn what ways does your scholarship, activism and teaching extend CRT praxis? What new, activist and/or praxis frameworks supplement or build upon CRT literature?

4. The sharing of conceptualizations of struggle, joy and love in P-20 contexts, which may include scholarship and/or organizing with youth, teachers, parents, and families in community spaces, schools, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood settings.

5. Analysis of P-20 and community-based pedagogies, policy advocacy, and artistic or creative representations of the experiential knowledges that demonstrate the power within communities of color.

We invite proposals of no more than 500 words directly connected to the call and conference foci. We strongly encourage interactive presentations/creative proposals that identify, uncover, challenge and resist examples of systemic racism/white supremacy in the pursuit of social justice within and surrounding educational, political and community environments.

Proposals will be accepted through DECEMBER 6, 2019.
You can access the submission link HERE


- Accepted proposals can be placed on a panel or roundtable session depending on the number of proposals received within each thematic strand.

- Please note that due to limited presentation slots, we cannot accept proposals for formats such as panels or symposia. ​In addition, we will not review submissions from authors whose names appear on more than two (2) research proposals as sole or lead/first-author. ​We ask that each paper is only submitted to one topic stand. CRSEA will not request for you to submit a full paper prior to the conference, though we hope that your proposal submission will eventually become a publication.

- The body of the proposal should remove all of the author(s) identifying information 


Relevance/importance to this year’s CRSEA Theme​

Proposals should address one of the following relevant themes below: 

1. Laws, Policies and Legal Discourse: Relevant submissions include discussion, analysis/research of legal documents, decisions and discourse pertaining to education, politics and law. Including, but not limited to topics of erasure and/or discrimination of individuals based on race, immigration, islamophobia, etc.

2. Imperialism and Colonialism and its Impact on K -12 Youth. Governmental policies and educational policies that are intimately linked around the problematic goal of assimilation.

3. Youth Resistance and Radicalism (P-20): ​Relevant submissions include discussion, analysis/research centering the experiential knowledge and voices of youth of color, advancing knowledge of pedagogies of resistance/organizing amongst, and in relation to youth of color in schools, communities, etc.

4.Community Driven Politics​: Relevant submissions include grassroots organizing and political education in various forms.

5.Spatial Geography’s role in racial realismRelevant submissions include analysis/research highlighting the various manifestations of racism/white supremacy functioning in different geographical places and spaces; specifically, the consideration of connections amongst a myriad of topics/movements (e.g. coalitions amongst groups such as Black Lives Matter and Indigenous peoples).

6.Identity and/or Respectability Politics: Relevant submissions include analysis/research that centers Testimonios and Storytelling from a myriad of disciplines/fields and their connection to, and influence on political and/or educational discourse and praxis from various positionalities shaping politics and education.

7. Political Economies of Higher Education: Relevant submissions include a discussion/analysis of the manifestations, intersections, and nuances of Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality, Language, Ability, Citizenship, etc. within institutions of higher education.

8.Transformational Politics: Relevant submissions include a discussion/analysis of Teacher Pedagogy and Praxis; interdisciplinary and discipline specific proposals welcomed.

Technical Quality: ​The ideas addressing theory, practices, and/or methods in critical race studies are clear.

Analysis: ​The proposal clearly demonstrates the author is centering race as primary mode of analysis, with key principles, concepts and methods connected to critical theories of race, including, but not limited to critical race theory. There are clear linkages between the information and the question/topic under consideration.

Innovativeness and Impact: Proposal submitted has the potential to introduce and/or promote the development of new ideas, practices, methods, praxis and/or the acquisition of new skills and knowledge for conference attendees.

For More Information, contact:

Enrique Alemán, Jr., Ph.D., University of Texas at San Antonio [email protected]
2020 Program Co-Chair and CRSEA Vice President


Bell, D. A. (1992). ​Faces at the bottom of the well​. New York: Basic Books.

Dávila​, E. (2010). Stories of struggle and hope: Lived experiences of Puerto Ricans in Chicago schools. Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education,​ ​7(2)​, 34-45.

Delgado Bernal, D. (2002). Critical race theory, Latino critical theory, and critical raced-gendered epistemologies: Recognizing students of color as holders and creators of knowledge. ​Qualitative Inquiry, 8(​ 1), 105-126.

Delgado Bernal, D., & Alemán, E., Jr. (2017). ​Transforming educational pathways for Chicana/o students: A critical race feminista praxis​. New York: Teachers College Press.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1998). Just what is critical race theory and what's it doing in a ​nice ​field like education. ​Qualitative Studies in Education, 11(​ 1), 7-24.

Love, B. (2019). ​We want to do more than survive: Abolitiionist teaching and the pursuit of educational freedom​. New York: Beacon Press.

Menchú, R. (2010). ​I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala.​ Verso Books.

Perez-Huber, L. (2008). Building critical race methodologies in educational research: A research note on critical race testimonio. ​FIU Law Review​, ​4(1),​ 159-173.

Solórzano, D. G. (1998). Critical race theory, racial and gender microagressions, and the experiences of Chicana and Chicano scholars. ​International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 11,​ 121-136.

Stovall, D. (2005). Chapter Nine: Critical Race Theory as Educational Protest: POWER and PRAXIS. Counterpoints​, ​237​, 197-211.