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2020 Conference

2020 Cátedra Paulo Freire - Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Dear Friends,

The increasing concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak have propelled many cancelations of public events in the United States, the city of Chicago, and the campus of Northwestern University. After examining ongoing developments in the spread of the coronavirus, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Cátedra Paulo Freire. This decision was made in consultation with this year’s keynote speaker Henry Giroux, who lives in Canada, the advisory board of the Hispanic-Latinx Center at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

We are truly saddened that this year’s conference will be cancelled but we have concluded that this is the best decision and an appropriate precaution given the current situation. The health and well-being of our speakers, invited participants, and the seminary community is our first priority.

We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our participants, especially those who were coming from outside of Illinois and the United States. Next week we will work with the Business Office of the seminary to issue a refund to all participants for registration and parking costs for this conference. The refund will be issued back to the credit card participants used when registering for the conference.

Having spent the past year preparing for this event, we are genuinely disappointed that we are unable to host the conference at this time, but we hope to see you next year with a splendid conference to celebrate what would have been Paulo Freire's centenary. As we look forward to the Cátedra 2021, we will be working on creative ways to keep in touch with you in preparation for the conference in March 2021.

If you have additional questions or concerns, you can reach me at

During this challenging time, our thoughts and prayers are with all persons affected by this pernicious and infectious disease.

En Esperanza,

Dr. Débora Junker
Director of the Hispanic-Latinx Center and Founder of the Cátedra Paulo Freire at Garrett-Evangelical


The Potency of Collective Conscientização - Resisting the Disimagination Machine

March 12-13, 2020 | 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL

The Cátedra Paulo Freire Conference 2020 is an invitation to those who yearn for a more humane world. In his constant celebration of hope, Paulo Freire always highlighted that “while change is difficult, it is always possible.”

In a current context saturated with “politics of disimagination,” we are challenged to remember Freire and his vision of liberating education—an education whose main aim is humanization. When people engage in  critical analyses of their political and social reality through the process of conscientization, they acquire the conditions to transform it. Inspired by Freire and Henry Giroux, Cátedra Paulo Freire 2020 seeks to provide pedagogical spaces for creative and liberating dialogue. 

Our speaker will be renowned critical educator and public intellectual, Henry Giroux, a prolific author, and political commentator who was one of the founders of critical pedagogy and who has contributed immensely  to disseminate its principles of social justice, democracy, and human solidarity. Giroux will explore the intersection between culture, politics, and new forms of social control that have been articulated to generate a culture of forgetfulness, blind obedience, and conformity. He proposes an alternative critical, education that plays a fundamental role in fighting corporate interests that attempt  to restrict civil rights so as to diminish   our collective capacity to participate as critical men and women in the world Giroux also advocates the need to make pedagogy central to politics itself, creating the necessary conditions to provide the basis for the development of critical political consciousness that gives birth to a substantive democracy.

Who is Paulo Freire?

Paulo Freire

Paulo Reglus Neves Freire was born in Recife- Brazil, on September 19, 1921. He died on May 2, 1997 in São Paulo leaving an academic legacy as a public and social intellectual who cared deeply “for the oppressed” and “the wretched of the earth.”

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What is a Cathedra (Cátedra)?

The Latin word cathedra (which originates from the Greek word for “seat”) refers to a particular discipline that an outstanding professor teaches within an educational institution.

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Hispanic-Latinx Center

Mailing Address
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone: (847) 866-3871
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 866-3884