Dr. Sonia Nieto
Professor Emerita, Author, Activist 

Dr. Nieto has devoted her professional life to questions of diversity, equity, and social justice in education. A member of the National Academy of Education, Dr. Nieto is Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 12 books. The first edition of her book Affirming Diversity (1992) was selected by the Museum of Education’s Readers Guide as one of the 100 books that helped define the field of education in the 20th century. This book is now in its 8th edition (editions 5-8 co-authored by Patty Bode).

More recent books include Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds (2013); Language, Culture, and Teaching: Critical Perspectives, 3rd ed (2018); a memoir, Brooklyn Dreams: My Life in Public Education (2015); and a co-authored book with her daughter Alicia López, Teaching, A Life’s Work: A Mother-Daughter Dialogue (2019). Sonia Nieto is the recipient of many awards for her scholarship, advocacy, and activism, including 9 honorary doctorates.

Keynote Title: What Does it Take for Early Childhood Educators to Become Culturally Responsive Teachers?

Our nation is becoming more racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse than it has ever been. Given the changing demographics of our nation and schools, as well as the imperative for a more socially-just education, early childhood educators need to become culturally responsive in their knowledge, attitudes, curriculum expertise, and pedagogical approaches. Based on her many years of teaching, research, advocacy, and work with educators, Professor Nieto will describe what it means to become a culturally responsive educator through both insights and practical examples.