Keynote: A Fierce Sense of Belonging: Fuel for Engagement, Motivation, and Learning

Most of us have had the experience of feeling out of place, of not belonging. In some cases, the doubt is so severe, the imposter phenomenon so strong, fear and stress rule the day and can even shut us down. In this keynote speech, Dr. Pamela Cantor translated the neurobiology of safety and belonging and explained why it is an antidote to imposter syndrome. She revealed mechanisms that open learning pathways, feed engagement, motivation, curiosity, and exploration. Human connection is the primary energy source for the brain, a key to unlocking the potential in each and every learner. Following Dr. Cantor’s keynote speech, Smithsonian Under Secretary for Education, Dr. Monique M. Chism hosted a discussion with students Francisco Ciraulo, Jescie Tinio, and Quinn McDonald who shared their personal learning journeys, discussed programs at the Smithsonian in which they have participated and provided insights into the types of intentionally designed learning environments that can foster empowering, culturally affirming, transformative and personalized experiences. Speakers: Monique Chism Pamela Cantor Francisco Ciraulo Jescie Tinio Quinn McDonald