News Releases

SXSW EDU® Announces Opening Keynote and Additional Featured Sessions for the 2024 Conference & Festival

The event will kick off with an opening fireside chat between Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw and Dr. Jonathan Cox, and will host several other conversations addressing critical topics in education, such as reaching marginalized communities, teacher retention, and more.

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- SXSW EDU® is excited to continue building out the lineup for its upcoming conference and festival with the addition of an Opening Keynote on the debate over and misconceptions of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Featuring co-founder and executive director of The African American Policy Forum, Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, and vice president of the Center for Policy Analysis & Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Dr. Jonathan Cox, the Keynote – presented as a fireside chat – invites attendees to explore the conceptual overview of CRT as well as the significance of integrating it into academia.

"SXSW EDU's mission has always been to offer discussions and perspectives on the matters impacting the state of education. Because Critical Race Theory remains a significant topic in the field, it is fitting to open our 2024 conference and festival with a comprehensive discussion. We are thrilled that Dr. Crenshaw and Dr. Cox, two of the country's leading voices on African American representation, political discourse, policy, and justice, will join us to host this incredibly important and relevant Keynote," said Greg Rosenbaum, senior director of SXSW EDU.

Additionally, SXSW EDU has unveiled a series of new Featured Sessions taking place during the convening from March 4-7, 2024. Presented by more of education's foremost thought leaders and changemakers such as 63rd Governor of Maryland Wes Moore, 2023 National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson, and President of Harlem Children's Zone Geoffrey Canada, these sessions will look at the role of empowerment and sustainability in creating solutions that have the potential to fuel the future of a more equitable education system. They include:

  • Moore Innovation: Centering Marginalized Communities – Governor Wes Moore joins CEO of AmeriCorps Michael Smith to share his background overseeing tech-based, community-driven solutions for people experiencing poverty, and how, as Governor, he continues to center marginalized communities with the Department of Service and Civic Innovation in an ongoing bid to unlock human potential.
  • How Do We Find the Good at a Time Like This? – Editor in Chief of Cult of Pedagogy, Jennifer Gonzalez, and National Teacher of the Year, Rebecka Peterson, unite for a conversation about how teachers can sustain passion for their career amid ongoing challenges.
  • Centering Blackness: Educate... Inform & Innovate! – Founder and President of The HistoryMakers, Julieanna Richardson examines how digital archives can transform the way in which history is taught to 21st century students.
  • For the World to Come: Exploding How We Do Civics in Schools – Associate Professor at Stanford University, Antero Garcia, and Associate Professor at Rutgers University, Nicole Mirra, explain why we should reinvent approaches to civic education in order to create space for a model of world-building civic education that insists upon ideological commitments to equity and justice and provides strategies for fostering empathy, inquiry, and social imagination in classrooms.
  • The Power of Place: Transforming America One Block at a Time – President of Harlem Children's Zone and Founder of the William Julius Wilson Institute, Geoffrey Canada, traces the evolution of the place-based cradle-to-career model and covers how practices developed in Harlem and beyond are leading to scalable solutions and systems change impacting over one million young people.

SXSW EDU 2024 will also offer opportunities for attendees to dive even deeper into the topics, innovations, and themes they care about through its enhanced Mentor Program. On top of one-on-one meetings available with 48 mentors, including the likes of Dr. Tia Lites, Prospect Hill Academy, Stephanie Campbell, TTRPGkids LLC, USA Today's Kayla Jimenez, and former SXSW EDU Launch Competition winner Dan Carroll, eventgoers can participate in Roundtable Discussions that provide the chance to interact and exchange ideas with a group of fellow experts and practitioners.

For more information on other meet-ups and social activities such as walking tours, hikes, and dinners, as well as programming, visit

About SXSW EDU: 
The SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival is a reflection of the world's most critical social issues as seen through the lens of education. This year's event will bring together the learner, the practitioner, the entrepreneur, and the visionary to share their groundbreaking stories, tackle complex issues, and build reimagined paths forward. As a community of diverse people who are united around a like-minded vision for the future, SXSW EDU serves as a place for attendees to renew their purpose in practice from both a personal and professional perspective. It is a place to reinforce the core principles of teaching and learning as well as an opportunity to express your creativity and passion for education. Join the passionate and innovative community at SXSW EDU, March 4-7, 2024.

Liz Stein
SXSW EDU Press & Publicity