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Keynote Speakers for 2010 Joint Conference

Keynote Speakers

Opening Plenary Session
Monday, June 28 (8:00 a.m-9:30 a.m.)

Chris Gardner
Founder, owner, and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC, a brokerage firm with offices in Chicago and New York

Chris Gardner grew up poor in the inner city of Milwaukee. He and his son endured homelessness in San Francisco. But today, Gardner is the founder, owner, and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC, a brokerage firm with offices in Chicago and New York.

His inspiring story was told in the popular movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, in which Will Smith played Gardner. Gardner started with nothing and made millions, but he is as passionate a philanthropist as he is an entrepreneur. He supports initiatives to help homeless working families stay intact, and he is a good friend of the NEA. For several years, Gardner has sponsored the NEA’s National Education Support Professional Award, which includes $5,000 for the ESP of the Year.

Luncheon Plenary Session
Monday, June 28 (12:00 p.m-1:45 p.m.)

Ginny Gong
Advocate, author, administrator, talk show host, educator

Ginny Gong came to the United States from China at age six, and lived throughout her childhood in the back of a Chinese laundry, which was owned and operated by her mother and father. Educated in public schools and at public universities, Gong became a public school teacher, then an administrator, and now she is the top-level official in the government of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Ginny Gong is also the host of the weekly cable television talk show series “Ginny’s…where East meets West.” The show is currently in its 11th year, and she is known to some as “the Asian Oprah.” Gong’s autobiography, From Ironing Board to Corporate Board: My Chinese Laundry Experience in America, was published in 2008.

Closing Luncheon Plenary Session
Tuesday, June 29 (12:45 p.m-2:30 p.m.)

Stephanie A. Fryberg, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, Department of Psychology; affiliate faculty, American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona

A member of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington State, Stephanie A. Fryberg earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Stanford University and she is now an assistant professor at the University of Arizona. The title of her 2003 dissertation is “Really? You don’t look like an American Indian: Social Representations and Social Group Identities.”

In her research, Fryberg has examined the psychological impact on American Indians of American Indian mascots. She seeks to ban the use of such mascots in schools. She has also explored the cultural models of education in American Indian, Asian American, and European American contexts. Fryberg serves on the RESPECT Steering Committee of the Marysville School District, Marysville, Washington.