Keynote Presenters header



Chism headshot

Monique Chism

American Institutes for Research (AIR) Vice President, Policy, Practice, and Systems Change

More than Surviving: Writing Our Own Scripts to Create Environments Where All Students Thrive

Given where we are as a nation in our progress to address equity, diversity, and inclusion, and in light of the work we will need to do to rebound from COVID-19, we are confronted with what Martin Luther King Jr. framed as “the fierce urgency of now.” This interactive conversation will focus on activating our spheres of influence to create productive spaces for innovation to help all students thrive.


Dr. Chism leads the six federally funded Comprehensive Centers at AIR that provide technical assistance to state educational agencies to help them support their districts and schools, facilitate policy change, and transform systems to improve teaching and learning for all students. 

With more than 22 years of experience, Dr. Chism is a renowned expert in educational equity, supporting effective teachers and leaders, creating safe and healthy schools, and turning around low-performing schools and districts.

Most recently, she served as deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education for the U.S. Department of Education, where she advised on pre-K–12 education policy and led key aspects of the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Prior to joining the federal department, she was the assistant superintendent for innovation and improvement at the Illinois State Board of Education. Dr. Chism also taught for eight years.

Dr. Chism earned her B.A. from Ohio University and her M.A. from Central Michigan University in interpersonal communications. She also holds a Ph.D. in American studies from Michigan State University. In addition, she is a graduate of the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she majored in dance and theatre.

Goodwin headshot

Idris Goodwin

Story Over Everything

Learn how the craft of storytelling and the transformative power of listening can heal and revitalize us. Goodwin shares lessons from his experiences as a professional storyteller of stage, screen, and headphone, as well as a father and son.

Idris Goodwin is a multidisciplinary arts leader and creative community builder. Across two decades, he has forged a multifaceted career as an award-winning script writer for stage and screen, Break Beat poet, director, educator, and organizer. He is the new director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. The author of Free Plays: Open Source Scripts for an Antiracist Tomorrow, Goodwin is committed to using the arts to spark meaningful conversation.

His critically acclaimed plays And in This Corner: Cassius Clay, How We Got On, and Hype Man: A Break Beat Play are widely produced across the country at professional theatres, college campuses, and nontraditional spaces alike. He has been honored to receive developmental support from institutions such as The Kennedy Center, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, and the Playwrights’ Center.