2023 Annual Conference

The Freedom to Teach: Confronting Complex Themes in Contested Spaces

Fall Conference hosted by Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida
Thursday—Sunday, September 28-October 1, 2023
Free and open to the public; registration required

TO REGISTER FOR ZOOM: https://tinyurl.com/59h8a874

Co-sponsored by:

Florida Humanities
Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition 
at the MacMillan Center at Yale University
The Institute for Common Power
National Council for History Education
National Humanities Center

Funding for this program was provided through a sponsorship from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed at this conference do not necessarily represent those of
Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, contact:
J. Michael Butler, Kenan Distinguished Professor of History, Flagler College

mbutler1@flagler.edu | gilder.lehrman.center@yale.edu

“The Freedom to Teach: Confronting Complex Themes in Contested Spaces” is a non-partisan conference that seeks to bring together history and civics educators from a variety of different backgrounds (including but not limited to higher education, K-12 public education, libraries, museums, administrative, and college students) to share their perspectives on and experiences with teaching difficult topics. The event’s objective is to build bridges between these different constituencies, share best practices, outline common tasks, and develop solutions to teaching complicated themes that are based on our shared educational mission. Those common values are based on the values of a liberal arts education and the related pursuit of academic truth, whose mission transcends political boundaries.

Lewis Auditorium, Flagler College
14 Granada St, St. Augustine, FL 32084

6:00 p.m.—7:30 p.m. 
Kick-Off Conversation:

Tammie Fields (President, Central Florida Association of Black Journalists, Spectrum News 13 evening anchor), in conversation with

R. Derek Black (Doctoral Candidate in History at the University of Chicago. Alumnus of New College of Florida, whose story is told in Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist)

Lewis Auditorium, Flagler College
14 Granada St, St. Augustine, FL 32084

8:00 a.m.—9:00 a.m. Registration & coffee 

9:00 a.m.—9:30 a.m. Welcome 

J. Michael Butler (Kenan Distinguished Professor of History, Flagler College)

9:30 a.m.—10:45 a.m. Keynote Address 

Nancy MacLean (William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University)

10:45 a.m.—11:00 a.m. Coffee Break 

Sponsored by the Center for Media and Democracy

11:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m. 
Florida University Faculty Under Fire

Moderator: Julie Buckner Armstrong (Professor of English, Florida Studies Program, University of South Florida)


· David A. Canton (Director of African American Studies Program and Associate Professor of History, University of Florida)

· Robert Cassanello (Associate Professor of History, University of Central Florida) -

· Adriana Novoa (Associate Professor of Latin American History, University of South Florida)

· Darius Young (Associate Professor of History, Florida A&M University)

12:30pm—1:15pm LUNCH

Sponsored by the Network for Public Education

PANEL 2: Reporting on the Ground: Journalists on the State of Education in Florida

Moderator: Tammie Fields (President, Central Florida Association of Black Journalists, Spectrum News 13 evening anchor)

· Kathryn Joyce (investigative reporter)
· Kyle Spencer (investigative reporter)

PANEL 3: Resisting the Attack on Public Education: Follow the Money and Fight Back

Moderator: Ellen Schrecker (Professor of History, Emerita, Yeshiva University)

· Isaac Kamola (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Trinity College)

· Valerie C. Johnson (Associate Professor of Political Science, Grace School of Applied Diplomacy, Critical Ethnic Studies, DePaul University)

· Katie Rainwater (Assistant Teaching Professor, Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University)

4:15 p.m.—5:30 p.m. 
PANEL 4: Teaching the Truth in Contested Times: What are Educators Experiencing?

Moderator: Larry Paska (Executive Director, National Council for the Social Studies)


· Kathleen Gates (K-5 Global teacher, Brooksville Elementary School, Hernando County, FL, retired)

· Hayley McCulloch (U.S. History teacher, Gateway High School in Lee County, FL)

· Brandt Robinson (History teacher, Dunedin High School, FL)

· Sara Pierce (Assistant Principal, Hollywood Hills High School, FL)

6:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m. 
Plenary Speaker 

Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don’t Know Much About® History (Harper, 2012)

Sponsored by the National Council for History Education

Ringhaver Student Center, Flagler College
50 Sevilla St, St. Augustine, FL 32084

Saturday’s events are sponsored by: The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) and the St. Augustine Historical Society

8:30 a.m.—9:00 a.m. Registration & coffee 

9:00 a.m.—10:30 a.m. 
Plenary Address: 
Teaching Uncomfortable History in Florida and the Nation, Past and Present

Moderator: Keitha Nelson (Anchor/Reporter, First Coast News, Jacksonville)


· David W. Blight (Director, Gilder Lehrman Center; Sterling Professor of History, Yale University)

· J. Michael Butler (Kenan Distinguished Professor of History, Flagler College)

10:30 a.m.—10:45 a.m. Coffee Break 

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Education Association Council

10:45 a.m.—12:15 p.m. 
PANEL 5: Public History: Challenges and Responses Beyond the Classroom

Moderator: Jeremy C. Young (Program Director, Freedom to Learn, PEN America)


· Braden Paynter (International Coalition of Sites of Conscience)

· Regina Gayle Phillips (Director, Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center)

· Ursula Szczepinska (Director of Education & Research, The Florida Holocaust Museum)

· Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida: Gordon Wareham, Director; Cypress Billie, Museum Educator; and Kim Cunningham, Tribal Educator

12:15 p.m.—1:30 p.m. LUNCH
Sponsored by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
Resource Sharing and Connector Spaces

Participating Event Partners:

Academic Freedom Alliance, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Seminole Tribe of Florida, American Association of University Professors , American Federation of Teachers- Higher Education , American Historical Association, Center for Media and Democracy, Florida Association of College and Research Libraries, Florida Conference of Historians, Florida Council for History Education, Florida Council for the Social Studies, Florida Freedom to Read Project, Fort Mose Historical Society, The Institute for Common Power, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA), Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council for History Education, National Council for the Social Studies, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Humanities Center, Network for Public Education, Organization of American Historians, PEN America, Pinellas Remembers, Red, Wine & Blue, St. Augustine Historical Society, Support Our Schools, Wisconsin Education Association, Zinn Education Project

1:30 p.m.—3:00 p.m. 

PANEL 6: How the Humanities Can Help us Navigate Turbulent Times

Moderator: Mike Williams (Director of Education Programs, National Humanities Center), in conversation with teacher fellows from the NHC Teaching African American Studies Institute:

· Changa Bey (History teacher, Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School, St. Louis, MO; Member of NHC Teacher Advisory Council)

· Cassie Owens Moore (South Carolina Association of School Librarians and the South Carolina Education Association)

· Sarah Wiseman (Teacher, Liberty High School, Frisco, TX; Member of NHC Teacher Advisory Council)

3:00 p.m.—3:30 p.m. Coffee Break 

3:30 p.m.—5:00 p.m. 
Roundtable Discussion: Strategies for Defending the Freedom to Teach Complex Themes

Moderator: Jennifer Berkshire (Lecturer, Political Science, Yale University; co-author, with Jack Schneider, of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, New Press, 2020)


· Reginald K. Ellis (Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean in the School of Graduate Studies and Research, Florida A&M University)

· James Grossman (Executive Director, American Historical Association)

·  Julian Vasquez Heilig (Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Western Michigan University, and Board of Directors, Network for Public Education)

· Christine Marsh (2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year, State Senator LD#4)

· Paul Ortiz (Professor of History and Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida, and President, United Faculty of Florida, NEA/AFT)

Lewis Auditorium, Flagler College
14 Granada St, St. Augustine, FL 32084

9:30 a.m.—10:30 a.m. 
Discussion: Students Speak Out: Why We Read, What We Need!

Moderator: Patricia Okker (Former President, New College of Florida; Dean emeritus and Professor of English emeritus of the University of Missouri)
In conversation with college students about the vital necessity of reading broadly and critically for the health of a democratic society.
Participating Students:
· Grace Anne Castelin (University of Central Florida, ‘24)
· Bianca Hüls (German Fulbright Teaching Assistant, Flagler College)
· Adreanne L. Martinez (University of Florida)
· Joshua Mast (Flagler College, ‘23)
10:30 a.m.—12:00 p.m. 

Concluding Session: Where Do We Go From Here?

Attendees participate in facilitated small groups and networking to share reflections on the freedom to teach, read, and learn and how to protect these vital freedoms in our home communities and states.