According to Tim Jensen, associate professor in and director of the School of Writing Literature and Film, the ATLA conference was organized by himself and two graduate students, Jess Alfaqih and Megan Swets, in collaboration with Asao Inoue, a professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Arizona State University. Inoue helped organize the event, participated as a keynote speaker, and funded it with his wife through the Asao and Kelly Inoue Antiracist Teaching Endowment housed at their alma mater, OSU.
With the conference centered around pragmatic, accessible and tangible antiracist approaches to teaching and learning, event organizers felt that Ribero would be a perfect fit in the keynote lineup.
Ribero, as described in her keynote speaker biography on the OSU website, is a “proud Latina, mother-scholar, and assistant professor of rhetoric and writing at Oregon State University. Her research and teaching mainly focus on rhetorics of im/migration, rhetorics of race, critical literacies, and Women of Color feminisms.”
“Asao was actually the first to recommend [Ana]. We knew that we wanted someone from Oregon State, and we also knew that the School of Writing, Literature and Film was the primary sponsor of the event, and Ana is amazing, so it made total sense,” Jensen said. Upon receiving the invitation, Ribero said she couldn’t believe it—in fact, she asked herself ‘did I dream that?’
“I'm going to be brutally honest, I couldn't believe it because I was definitely the small fish there. The other keynote speakers are all really well-known scholars, and just really badass thinkers,” Ribero said. “I thought it was really an honor, and I looked forward to seeing my name next to those names. I had a little bit of a starstruck moment.”
Alongside Ribero was Inoue, Vershawn Ashanti Young, Victor Villanueva and Alexandria Lockett. Ashanti Young is a professor in the departments of Communication Arts and English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada; Villanueva is regents professor emeritus at Washington State University; Lockett is an assistant professor of English at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.