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Keynote Speaker Thursday, February 21, 2019 8:30–9:45 a.m. James McBride Writer James McBride is an author, musician, and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, The Color of Water, stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was adapted into a major motion picture directed by American film icon Spike Lee, from a script by James; it was released by Disney/Touchstone in September 2008. He also cowrote Lee's 2012 film Red Hook Summer. His latest novel, The Good Lord Bird, about American revolutionary John Brown, was the winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction. He studied composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and received his master’s in journalism from Columbia University at age 22.

Plenary: Serving all Students: The Importance of Access to Higher Education

Friday, February 22, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

As the country’s largest and most diverse four-year public university system, what happens at the California State University reverberates nationwide. Join us for a conversation on the important role Cal State and higher education institutions play as engines for social mobility, providing authentic access to opportunity for students from all backgrounds and circumstances. Superintendent of Inglewood Unified School District and CSU Trustee Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana will engage in a conversation with CSU Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, Loren Blanchard, on the challenges and opportunities facing higher education systems’ efforts to expand access, close equity gaps and ensure student success. There will be an audience question and answer session as well.


  • Dr. Loren J. Blanchard, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs
  • Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Superintendent, Inglewood Unified School District and Member, Board of Trustees, The California State University

Plenary with Trevor Packer

Thursday, February 22, 2019
11:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m.

Trevor Packer

Senior Vice President, AP and Instruction, The College Board

Join Trevor Packer, head of the Advanced Placement Program®, for a close look at the developments and changes underway in AP to support student success. Packer will discuss the new Pre-AP program and provide greater insight into AP processes and resources designed to increase students’ chances of earning college credit.