College of Education

Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment

About Conferences Partners People Media

Opening Keynote

Meleanna Meyer

Meleanna Aluli Meyer, is a life-long advocate for culture and the arts. Her family background and support in the arts and all things creative is acknowledged. Early roots and support in the arts were pivotal to the professional path she has chosen. Meleanna has spent her career as a practicing artist, arts educator, documentary filmmaker, arts and social justice advocate and creative visionary in community.

Beyond her formal training at Stanford (BA ʻ78) under the likes of world renown painter printmaker Nathan Oliviera, photographer Leo Holub, and arts educator Dr. Eliot Eisner, she returned home to learn from esteemed kumu J. Keola Lake, Hale Makua and many other remarkable kumu. Receiving an M.A. in Educational Foundations under the guidance of Dr. Royal Fruehling at the College of Education - U.H. Manoa, she was able to develop and further her interest areas in educational pedagogy, hermeneutics, and community outreach. Always eager to learn, Meleanna considers herself a life-long student in all things creative, of Hawaiian culture, of spirit, and the world.

Meyerʻs interests span a wide range of work also in murals, theater design, architecture, linguistics, mythology, cooking, writing and philosophy. An East-West Center grantee, APAWLI and Salzburg fellow, she has been a recipient of numerous awards and distinctions that have broadened her world view and opportunities to workshop and share her insights and work through local and international venues. A recipient of the prestigious James Borelli Art Prize while at Stanford, the Lamakū award for work in community from the UH at Manoa, along with the most recent distinction of Kumu Kukui, being honored as a Master Educator, continues to bolster Meyerʻs lifelong commitment to all things creative, community, and grounded in culture.

Although Meleanna works and also presents in wide-ranging forums for organizations like the Kellogg and Consuelo Foundations - to Charter Schools, she has found her place in community as an educator of youth and their families. Meyer values “the genius and talents within each and every child (keiki). “We, as kakoʻo, coaches and supporters just have to assist them in bringing their visions, voice and spirits forth.” Her mother, Emma Meyer had the first workshop-gallery in Kailua in the 60ʻs when Meyer was very young, which set her on the creative course she has chosen. Remarkable mentors who chose to make Hawaii their home, like Professor Prithwish Neogy, artists Jean Charlot and Tseng Yu-Ho assisted her in more deeply appreciating diversity and the richness of cultures and the arts in the world from the islands. Meleannaʻs art work can be found in the collections of the SFCA, the Honolulu-City & County, the Honolulu Museum and the East-West Center collection, as well a private collections here and abroad.

Her focus on elementary and secondary students as an AITS master-teaching artist, mentor and freelancer have not limited her to the range of groups she has worked with; from gifted & talented Na Pua Noʻeau; to at-risk youth in shelters and prisons; Kamehameha Schools outreach programs; cohort classes at the college level; docents at Bishop Museum and beyond. Her most recent mural endeavors of the past ten years attest to remarkable work that is done with a community of dedicated and focused artists. These works HAWAIʻI KŪLIKE KĀKOU, can be seen at Hawaii Convention Center, Sheraton Hotel, Helumoa, 2 murals in Hawaiian Hall and the Pacific hall at the Bishop museum, Camp Mokuleia, Kaupa-Kalihi Stream mural, to name a few. Countless hours are volunteered inspiring others to find their creative passions and voice. The latest collaboration Kuʻu ʻĀina Aloha, a double sided mural installation has toured internationally in Australia, New Zealand, and most recently will be showing at the Sharjah Biennial, Feb. 2023.

Meyerʻs artwork and her films, Puamana- ʻ91 with noted filmmaker Les Blank; and Hoʻokuʻikahi,-ʻ98 with nā kumu K.Keola Lake and Halemakua, have screened and shown on 4 continents, at film festivals, museums and in communities throughout the islands and beyond. ʻOnipaʻa ʻ96 is a documentary about Hawaiian resistance and what Hawaiians have done since the illegal overthrow of 1893. 1993 challenged Hawaiians throughout the islands to step forward, to Meyerʻs latest documentary short, Maunakea: Sacred Mountain, Sacred Conduct ʻ20, has been screened internationally on open platforms garnering rave reviews. 

Opening Plenary

Renée Branch Canady, PhD, MPA

Dr. Renée Branch Canady serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MPHI; a unique public trust dedicated to advancing population health through public health innovation and collaboration. In this role she leads the strategic direction of the organization as they strive to build a world-class infrastructure to support the Institute’s diverse and progressive program areas and projects, while establishing and maintaining stakeholder relationships.

Prior to joining MPHI in 2014, Dr. Canady served as Health Officer and Director of Ingham County Health Department, located in Lansing, Michigan. In that role she oversaw the county’s statutory responsibility to protect and promote the health of county residents and lead the expansion of the innovative and nationally known, Ingham County Health Equity Social Justice program.

Dr. Canady has held faculty and administrative positions within the C.S. Mott Department of Public Health in the College of Medicine College and the College of Nursing at Michigan State University where she developed a research trajectory in health inequities. She continues to serve as an assistant professor chairing the core course “Health Equity for Public Health Practitioners.”

Dr. Canady is recognized as a national thought leader in the areas of health inequities and disparities, cultural competence, and social justice. She has published and presented broadly on these topics and her passion for this work is evident in her personal, academic, and professional life. Dr. Canady has been highly influential in broadening the discussion of health equity and social justice while serving on numerous national boards, review panels, and advisory groups.

She has served and currently serves on numerous advisory boards including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) County Health Rankings Scientific Advisory Group, the National Collaborative for Health Equity Advisory Committee, and previously, the Institute for Alternative Futures Public Health 2030 project Advisory Group, and the National 10 Essential Public Health Services Task Force.

Dr. Canady serves as chair of the Boards of Directors of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), immediate past chair of the Council on Black Health, and on the National Public Health Accreditation Board as a member of the executive committee. Within the state of MI, she serves as secretary of the Ascension Health System Michigan Market Board of Directors and was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the State of MI Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, where she chaired the Health Equity workgroup.

Dr. Canady has been an outstanding public health advocate, researcher, educator, and facilitator. She earned her PhD in Medical Sociology from Michigan State University, master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Edward W. Gordon Sr. Distinguished Lecture and Luncheon

Dr. Jennifer Randall, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Randall is the Dunn Family Chair of Psychometrics and Test Development in the School of Education at the University of Michigan. She is also the founding President of the Center for Measurement Justice, which is a research center dedicated to facilitating the adoption and implementation of justice-oriented educational assessment and measurement processes. Dr. Randall received her bachelor’s (1996) and master’s (1999) degrees from Duke University and her doctoral degree from Emory University (2007).  She began her career as a high school public-school teacher in social studies working with racially and ethnically minoritized students. It was in this capacity that she began to recognize the ways in which traditional assessment practices cause deep and irreparable harm to the most marginalized students- the students the system should be seeking to serve the most. Her work seeks to disrupt white supremacist, racist logics in assessment through assessment practices that center justice and are explicitly and unapologetically antiracist. She is committed to working with minoritized populations and our co-conspirators to explore the ways in which we can create a justice-oriented assessment system culture in which the sociocultural identities of students are deliberately considered, valued, and sustained - not as an afterthought, but rather - in the planning and development phases of assessment. 


Dr. Randall’s work has been published in assessment and education journals such as Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Educational Assessment, and Applied Measurement in Education. She sits on numerous state and national working groups, committees, and technical advisories as a fierce advocate for antiracist, liberating processes and regulations that center the needs of Black, Brown, and Indigenous students. In addition, she teaches courses in measurement theory, statistics, research design, and assessment.