Date: November 1, 2021
Venue: Jones Auditorium, second floor of the SUB, ballroom, hallway and break-out rooms
Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Natasha Croom
Invited speaker: Dr. Anita Casavantes Bradford

Attendance is limited to current TAMUK students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Natasha Croom | "Building Coalitions for Equity: The Time is Now!"

Jones Auditorium

  • 1:00 p.m. - 1:10 p.m. Welcome and announcements
  • 1:10 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Introduction of Dr. Natasha Croom
  • 1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Dr. Natasha Croom's Keynote address:  "Building Coalitions for Equity: The Time is Now!"
  • 1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Q&A with Dr. Croom
  • 2:00 p.m. - Informal discussions with Dr. Croom
  • 3:10 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. TAMUK Climate Survey results and discussion
  • 4:00 p.m. - 4:05 p.m. Introduction of Dr. Anita Casavantes
  • 4:05 p.m. - 4:35 p.m. Dr. Anita Casavantes Bradford's speech:  "Small Justice: Embodying Change in our Daily Lives"
  • 4:35 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. Q&A with Dr. Casavantes Bradford
  • 4:50 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Presentation of commemoratives to the symposium participants


Memorial Student Union Building - Ballroom

  • Noon - 1:00 p.m. & 2 - 3 p.m. Student poster presentations


Memorial Student Union Building - Breakout Rooms

  • 2:10 p.m. - 2:25 p.m. First breakout session of faculty run sessions

    Room 219 - Shattering the Glass Podium: Experiences of Female Band Directors
    Dr. Amy Bovin, Interim Associate Band Director
    Room 221 - Ensuring Access to Nature for Everyone: The Legacy of Christian Cooper
    April A. Torres Conkey, Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biological and Health Sciences

  • 2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Second breakout session of faculty run sessions

    Room 219 - “What’s your name?”: Addressing Name-based Microaggressions in the Classroom
    Crystal Garcia, LMSW, Assistant Professor of Practice and BSW Field Education Director, Social Work Program
    Room 221 - Rural/Colonia Veteran Suicide: A Social Justice Issue in Need of a Paradigm Shift
    Robert Villa, Director, MSW Program



Keynote Speaker

Dr. Natasha Croom '03

"Building Coalitions for Equity: The Time is Now!" | 1:15 - 2 p.m. in Jones Auditorium

Dr. Natasha N. Croom is Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the College of Education at Clemson University.

As a critical race feminist scholar-practitioner, Dr. Croom is committed to identifying and disrupting interlocking systems of oppression that manifest within and are reinforced by institutions of higher education. Through use of critical qualitative methodologies and methods, she centers the experiences of womyn of color faculty and students to uncover how racism, sexism, classism, and other interlocking systems of oppression and privilege manifest in and create barriers to thriving and success in higher education environments. Through her praxis, Dr. Croom strives to work in and with communities to support the creation of practices and policies constructed from equity-based ideologies.

Dr. Croom is also an alum of TAMUK and is most proud of being a member of the group who established the “left hand J”. During her time at Kingsville, she served as Student Body President, an Orientation Leader, and president of the TAMUK chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She also served as Chair of the Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Student Advisory Board. Participating in TAMUK’s Ronald E. McNair program sparked the path she is on today – providing her with information and skills about graduate education. As a first-generation student, the staff and administrators provided her with ample care and opportunities to lead and learn.


Dr. Anita Casavantes Bradford '04

"Small Justice: Embodying Change in our Daily Lives" | 4:05 - 4:50 p.m. in Jones Auditorium

Dr. Anita Casavantes Bradford is Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Diversity and associate professor of Chicano/Latino Studies and History at the University of California Irvine. A historian of transnational Latinx history, immigration and critical refugee studies, and childhood, she is the author of the books The Revolution is for the Children: The Politics of Childhood in Havana and Miami and Suffer the Little Children: Child Migration and the Geopolitics of Compassion in the United States. A nationally recognized advocate for first generation, latinx, undocumented and military veteran students, Casavantes Bradford founded UCI’s Committee on Equity and Inclusion for AB540/Undocumented Students as well as the UC First Generation Faculty Initiative, which has engaged more than 1000 University of California faculty in supporting the academic success and wellbeing of students who are the first in their family to attend a four year college. In 2019, she launched the School of Social Sciences’ Veterans Studies certificate program, the first of its kind at a major research university, to provides student veterans and non-veterans alike the opportunity to interrogate the experiences of diverse groups of veterans throughout U.S. history and contemporary society.

Herself proud to be a first generation college graduate and the first woman in her family to graduate from high school, Casavantes Bradford’s advocacy has been recognized with multiple awards, including the 2015 Dynamic Womyn of UCI Outstanding Social Justice Award; the 2019 Latino Excellence and Achievement (LEAD) Award for Outstanding Faculty; and the 2020 UCI Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentorship.

Committee Members

Committee Chair:

Lou Reinisch

Symposium Committee Members:

  • Mariah A. Boone
  • Jo Elda Castillo-Alaniz
  • Nirmal Goswami
  • Elisa M. Guerra
  • Elizabeth A. Janzen
  • Jorvis D. McGee
  • Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay
  • Loreal E. Robertson