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Student Voice Leads First-Ever National Conversation about the State & Future of Student Rights

Students Introduce the Student Bill of Rights, Bring Education Justice to Forefront of Conversation at SXSWedu Next Week

March 5, 2015

AUSTIN, TX— Next week, Student Voice will convene students, teachers and education influencers at SXSWedu to discuss the issue of student rights and derive action-oriented solutions for the future. With more than six hours of programming, 12 esteemed guests, and two days of discussion, The State and Future of Student Rights education summit will be the first national effort to bring the issue of student rights to the forefront of America’s education dialogue.

Throughout the summit, conversations about education justice will give students the spotlight to discuss three main virtues of student equity among other topics:

  1. The Right to Be Heard
  2. The Right to Technology
  3. The Right to Fair Assessment

The summit will take place at the JW Marriott Austin between March 9-10 and will include the following sessions with guests such as Conrad Foundation Chairman Nancy Conrad, Hewlett Foundation Education Program Officer Marc Chun, and U.S. Department of Education Youth Liaison Sam Ryan:

Session 1: The Right to be Heard

Monday, March 9 | 1:40 – 2:20 PM

It is rare that students are encouraged to express concerns or criticisms about their education. However, all students are entitled to opinions and should be prompted to seek, receive and offer ideas aimed to improve their educational experience. In this session, we discuss how free speech manifests for students, its role in the culture of student voice, and how students can exercise their right to be heard.


  • Dawnya Johnson – Student Leader at The Intersection program in Baltimore
  • Frank LoMonte – Executive Director at Student Press Law Center
  • Dr. Dallas Dance – Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Keaton Wadzinski – Co-Developer of Student Voice in Action at Student Voice, UVA student
  • Tara Subramaniam – Director of Student Voice Live! Events, high school senior

Kyle Scott – NBC News Associate Producer, Cornell alumnus

Session 2: The Right to Technology

Monday, March 9 | 3:50 – 4:20 PM

All students are entitled to technology and broadband Internet access. Students should also have a say in decisions regarding the adoption and implementation of new technologies for their academic institutions. In this panel, we discuss issues of equity, privacy and safety around educational technology as well as the benefits reaped when students and teachers use technology in the classroom.


  • Niharika Bedekar – Girls Empowerment activist, Founder of Power Up, Stanford student
  • Linh Dinh – STEAM advocate, 3D artist, high school student
  • Daniel Kao – Director of Web and Systems Infrastructure at Student Voice, UCSD student
  • Larry Magid – Technology journalist, Internet safety advocate

Erik Martin – Chief Editor of the Student Bill of Rights, University of Maryland student

Session 3: Reaching the Unreached

Tuesday, March 10 | 9:05 – 9:35 AM

Rising suicide rates, youth violence, sexism, racism and homophobia. Often the students who face these hurdles are those who suffer from their voice not being heard. This session explores how we can help marginalized students integrate into classroom conversations and interact with peers for collaborative learning.


  • Erik Martin – Editor of the Student Bill of Rights, University of Maryland Student
  • Lee Nave – Co-Founder & Director of Operations and Development at Student Voice, Seton Hall Grad Student
  • Eva Shang – Huffington Post Blogger, Teen Advisor to GirlUp, Harvard Student

Jacqueline Emerson – Gender equality activist, Hunger Games actress, Stanford Student

Session 4: The Right to Fair Assessment

Tuesday, March 10 |10:40 – 11:20 AM

One of the biggest issues in education is assessment of knowledge—the way we measure understanding and determine students’ future prospects. In this panel, we discuss the fairness of standardized testing and alternative forms of assessment.


  • John Corrigan – Vice President of Customer Experience at ACT
  • Harold Levy – Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, former chancellor of NYC schools
  • Lillian Van Cleve – Student leader of SAFE Voices, Oberlin Student
  • Joey Vega – Part of the True Beef: Pasture to Plate film, Austin Community College Student

Zak Malamed – Founder and Executive Director of Student Voice, University of Maryland Student

About Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.

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