Although the CREA conference is over, I can recall the excitement and anticipation of the Third International conference that took place April 20th -22nd. I looked forward to the keynotes, the Edmund Gordon symposia sessions, pre-sessions, mentors, senior and junior colleagues, and more! And wow, CREA did not fail: the Hawaiian contingency brought gifts and lessons to share and there were many opportunities to engage in topics in culturally responsive evaluation and assessment from the conference rooms to the hallways, and even in the lobby.
There were too many favorite moments to document, but the opening session honoring Prof. Fred Rogers, the first African American professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois, at the University Club on Wednesday night was spectacular. This session was made even more memorable by Dr. Manulani Aluli-Meyer who was the first keynote of the conference (pictured with Nicky Bowman below).
In leaving the Palmer house with Joe O’Hara (Dublin City University) and Alfredo Artiles (Arizona State U) on the Friday after the closing keynote, I knew I had been CREA’ed – that sense of having been at a special place where something special happened. In fact, the gathering of this group of interdisciplinary and intergenerational scholars at that particular place of city, in this particular social, political, economic global milieu is historic, agenda and precedent setting, and worthy of continual repeating.
I recall hearing a colleague say at the inaugural conference that these are all the people you go to see at AEA and now they are all in the same room. I also recall one of the keynote speakers from the inaugural conference, Eric Jolly (Science Museum of Minnesota), suggesting that the knowledge base in that room at CREA could essentially contribute to rewriting and rethinking research and evaluation agendas in major philanthropic, academic, government, and community board rooms around the country and potentially the world. I believe him and I can’t wait until the 4th International conference!
Rodney Hopson is a professor at George Mason University and Faculty Affiliate, UIUC – CREA