Author, scholar and educator Bettina L. Love delivers summit keynote
The University of Colorado community welcomed noted author, scholar and educator Bettina L. Love as the keynote speaker of the 2023 systemwide CU Social Justice Summit. Love, the William F. Russell professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, gave a talk titled, “We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom.”
A recognized dynamic, engaging speaker, Love’s presentations center on abolitionist teaching, education reform, anti-racism, hip hop education and feminism, Black girlhood, queer youth, art-based education to foster youth civic engagement, and issues of diversity and inclusion.
During its 50th anniversary celebration last year, the Kennedy Center named her one of its Next 50 Leaders making the world a more inspired, inclusive and compassionate place.
Love is the author of “We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom” and “Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South.” Her talk for CU’s four campuses and the system administration will center on the struggles – and the possibilities – of committing to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom.
“Abolitionist teaching is built on the creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists to demand and fight for an educational system where all students are thriving, not simply surviving,” Love says.
Love co-founded the Abolitionist Teaching Network to support teachers and parents confronting injustice in their schools and communities, created the “Get Free” Hip Hop civics curriculum, and is a founding member of the Atlanta City Council’s Old 4th Ward Economic Security Task Force.
In 2014, she was invited to the first White House Research Conference on Girls, and in a separate Tedx Talk that year, she gave what organizers called “an impassioned talk” on “Hip Hop, Grit and Academic Success.” Love became the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University in 2016.
In 2017, Love participated in a lecture on liberatory education alongside the late celebrated writer, social activist and scholar bell hooks, and in 2018, Georgia’s House of Representatives presented her with a resolution for her impact on the field of education.
Born in Rochester, New York, Love earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in elementary education at the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in educational policy studies at Georgia State University.