Defending Critical Race Theory in the Trump Era

Defending Critical Race Theory in the Trump Era

Friday June 25, 2021
Online, Free, and Open to the Public
(This event will be recorded.)
Pre-Registration is Required

Sponsored by Save the Kids
11:00am to 12:00pm Eastern Time USA
10:00am to 11:00am Central Time USA
9:00am to 10:00am Mountain Time USA
8:00am to 9:00am Western Time USA

Chaired by
Xris Macias and Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II

Save the Kids


Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez, Doctorate Candidate, School of Theater, Film, and Television, University of California, Los Angeles

Guillermo Avilés-Rodríguez is an Assistant Professor of Theater and Cinema at Los Angeles Mission College and the Artistic Director of the Watts Village Theater Company. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Utah and a Masters of Fine Arts from UC San Diego. Guillermo grew up in Watts and holds the distinction of being the first Chicana/o ever to star in a main-stage production at the University of Utah. Some of Guillermo’s directorial and literary highlights include two commissions from Center Theatre Group to write Student Discovery Guides for En Un Sol Amarillo and Culture Clash’s Palestine, New Mexico.

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Dr. Noelle Chaddock, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Bates College

As Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Noelle Chaddock works with colleagues to cultivate a welcoming, inclusive, equitable, accessible, anti-racist and educationally just campus community where faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members and future constituents thrive and feel reflected and represented at Bates College. Chaddock oversees the Office of Equity and Inclusion and supports the Office of Intercultural Education as well as working with senior leadership to meet the equity, inclusion, diversity and accessibility goals of all areas of the college. Noelle came to Bates in June 2019 from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee where Noelle was an associate provost, and the State University of New York at Cortland where Noelle was the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer. Noelle earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Binghamton University.

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Dr. Daniel Cairo, Special Assistant to the Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Utah

Dr. Daniel K. Cairo (he, him, his, el) has over ten years’ experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion as an educator and organizational leader. His areas of expertise include EDI leadership, social justice education, inter-group dialogue, neoliberalism, interpersonal violence and prevention education, first-generation student engagement, student development, and student success.  Dr. Cairo holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Utah on Higher Education Administration. His doctoral research was titled The Corporatization of Student Affairs: Student Success in Neoliberal Times. He also holds a minor degree in Ethnic Studies, a Bachelor’s Mass Communication, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah and a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Dr. Michael Benitez, Jr., Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Michael Benitez, Ph.D., recently joined MSU Denver in September as vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. Over the past two decades, Benitez has served higher education in different capacities, including academic and student affairs; diversity, equity and inclusion; and teaching. He is a nationally acclaimed scholar practitioner in higher education and a highly sought speaker and workshop leader at universities, colleges and conferences nationwide. Benitez has authored book chapters and articles on student identity, hip-hop culture, cultural centers, faculty development, cultural and ethnic studies, and campus climate assessment. He has been featured in educational documentaries such as “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity” (2012) and on talk shows such as “Hard Knock Radio” and “Speak Out With Tim Wise.” He is co-editor of the anthology “Crash Course: Reflections on the Film ‘Crash’ for Critical Dialogues About Race, Power and Privilege” (2007). His most recent works on supporting faculty of color and creating campus-community participatory frameworks for difficult conversations and institutional action can be found in AACU’s “Liberal Education” (2017) and “New Directions in Institutional Research” (2017). Prior to joining MSU Denver, Benitez served as chief diversity officer/dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Puget Sound, director of Intercultural Leadership and Engagement at Lafayette College, director of Diversity Initiatives at Dickinson College and CAMP retention and academic counselor at Penn State University. He has helped create, shape and lead innovate equity and inclusion-based strategies, programs and practices to address some of higher education’s more pressing campus-climate issues and challenges. Such programs include “Inclusive Teaching Conversations,” the “Diversity Monologues,” the campus-climate community participatory frameworks and the NW5C cross-institutional consortium for supporting faculty of color. Benitez completed his B.S. and M.Ed. at Pennsylvania State University, where he gained interest in pursuing doctoral studies as a McNair Scholar. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from Iowa State University’s School of Education and has been recognized with several leadership and scholarly awards throughout his career.