A one-day event on May 5, 2022 from 9.00 to 18.00

Register for this free event here!

**Registration ends April 22 at 23.59**

Welcome to Educathon

Educathon is a one-day event dedicated to finding solutions to making the education system more equitable. There will be a focus on three aspects of equity and inclusion: race, gender and sexuality, and disability. This event will be formatted like a Hackathon, where likeminded individuals will come together to come up with innovative solutions for certain challenges. Groups will be given a problem that they have to solve using an intersectional approach that highlights equity, inclusion, and accountability.


Are you interested in finding innovative and inclusive solutions to problems in education? If so, Educathon is the event for you! It is a free one-day event where teams of 4 to 5 will work together to solve the event challenge.

Anyone can participate, all we ask is you have a passion for education, equity, and inclusion!

The winning team will be awarded with Finnkino tickets!

Please note that only parts of this event will be offered in a hybrid format. The group work will only be offered in-person, while the introduction of the key speakers, the panel discussion, and final discussion will be offered in a hybrid mode.

Event Details

Date: May 5, 2022

Time: 9.00-18.00

Location: Terkko Health Hub (Haartmaninkatu 4, 00290 Helsinki)

Light lunch will be provided for all participants.

The Challenge

Regarding the topic of anti-discrimination and inclusion in education, there are countless programs, teacher-workshops and materials available to all stakeholders in the educational domain. However, besides the vast availability of materials, the fundamental issue is the lack of recognition of structural inequalities, which is present in all levels of education. Which is why we came up with our challenge for this event:

How do we ensure that structural inequalities are more visible in educational environments?

A consultation with the City of Helsinki Education Division revealed that the workshops and materials are limited in achieving anti-discriminatory measures due to the focus on discrimination on a theoretical level. Thus, the challenge is to find a tool that helps educators, students, and parents to self-reflect and recognize discrimination in their environment.

We would like to ask you to address this challenge with a holistic and intersectional approach in mind.

More information on this case will be provided in the upcoming weeks, as well as in the beginning of the event. Be excited for a number of speakers, coaches and educational professionals with varying backgrounds who will offer their help and perspectives for each team throughout the event.

Click here for further explanation of the challenge and here for how the teams will be evaluated.

Meet our Speakers and Coaches

We are very excited to have these knowledgeable speakers and coaches at our event who are all experts within race, gender and sexuality, or disability. Read more about them here (more to come):


Meg Jones

Meg Jones (she/they) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Rhode Island and researches queer topics in education with a focus on teacher education and classroom inclusion. Meg is also a Fulbright Finland grantee and is currently collecting data focused on queer topic inclusion in Finnish teacher education at the University of Helsinki. Meg’s work includes developing programs focused on gender and sexuality for students and faculty, leading workshops on queer and trans inclusive language, and research which works to disrupts concepts of cisheteronormativity in educational contexts.

Emmanuel Acquah

Emmanuel Acquah is Associate Professor of Education and Minority Research at the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University. His primary research interests are in advancing equity and culturally and linguistically responsive teaching in the training and practice of educators of culturally and linguistically diverse students. He has related interests in diversity, equity and inclusion.

He is the Principal Investigator in the Researching Effective Language-Game Design for Immigrant Integration (REDIT) project and leader of two Erasmus+ projects, Inclusion through mediation and Designing and supporting inclusive practices in higher education. He is a member of an international advisory committee of the Vocational Intercultural Competence Education for Schoolteachers (VOICES) project, based at the Faculty of Teacher Education, Arts and Culture at Nord University, Norway. He is a member of the OECD review team that reviewed Inclusive Education in Portugal in 2021. He is Assistant Editor of Educational Research Review and an international co-editor for Revista Catalana de Pedagogia. He has published extensively in the areas of multicultural and multilingual education, adolescents’ socio-emotional well-being and children’s social interaction in the classroom. He recently developed a professional development course for Åbo Akademi University staff training called Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and is the director of the International Master’s Degree Programme in Education called Teaching and Learning at the Faculty of Education at the Åbo Akademi University

Sanni Purhonen

Sanni Purhonen works as a communications officer at The Threshold Association (Kynnys ry), a cross-disability organization, which focuses on the basic and human rights of persons with disabilities. She’s also a freelance writer, critic and a creative writing teacher.


Amiirah Salleh-Hoddin

Amiirah is the Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Anti-Racist Forum (ARF) in Finland. She is also the current Vice-Chair of the Board of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). She is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, focusing on racial equality data development in Finland and the production of knowledge by racialised minorities. Additionally, she works as an anti-racist educator and equality trainer. In 2018, the Finnish Church Aid’s Teachers Without Borders Network awarded her the Global Educator of the Year. She was selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of the Obama Foundation’s European Leaders Program in 2020 and is currently a Fellow in Humanity In Action’s Landecker Democracy Fellowship program. Her passion rests in equipping people with the knowledge and tools to be more inclusive and anti-racist in order to address social inequalities. She believes social justice comes from the lifelong processes of learning, reflecting, and being accountable to our communities.

Joseph Gagnon

Joseph Calvin Gagnon, Ph.D. is a Professor of Special Education in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki and former Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Gagnon’s research focuses on ensuring youth at the greatest risk for educational, behavioral, and social failure are provided the supports necessary for long-term success in school and society. He addresses the needs of youth with emotional disturbance and learning disabilities in inclusive education, as well as those who are incarcerated or in day treatment/residential education and treatment settings. Topical areas of his research include: (a) school-level policies (e.g., curriculum, assessment, and accountability); (b) mathematics and reading instruction; (c) mental health and behavioral supports; and (d) teacher training. To date, Dr. Gagnon has received over 2.5 million US dollars in funding to support his research.

Dr. Gagnon also provides service to the field and works as an advocate for marginalized youth. He has served as Court Monitor and/or Special Education expert on 23 lawsuits, including seven for the U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights. He has also presented and conducted training sessions across the U.S., Finland, and in 13 countries including Thailand, Egypt, China, Venezuela, South Africa, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.

Solja Sulkunen

Business Development, Learning Design & CX

Solja is an efficient and inspiring business development and design professional who also has a class teacher degree in her toolbox. She is a learning and education innovator who is interested in the ability of organizations to use learning in business development. Solja is a real learning innovator who has, among other things, brought educational hackathon events to Finland.

Jana Turk

Jana Turk (she/they) is a multi-passionate individual whose work sits somewhere at the crossroads of activism, research, teaching, and business administration.

She’s a Co-founder and the Treasurer of Anti-Racist Forum ry. She is also the current Chairperson of SETA’s International Affairs Committee. 

Jana is a Doctoral Researcher in the “Lähiöiden yhteisöllinen resilienssi ja sen segregaatio” project, where her work focuses on community resilience of marginalised groups during the COVID pandemic. In her PhD, Jana is interested in understanding how funerals are understood as sites of communality, community resilience and community care. 

For the past 2 years, Jana has also been working as a teaching assistant for several courses of the Intercultural Encounters Programme, and she has been teaching the course Islamic Ethics and Contemporary Muslims: Debating Islamic Law and Human Rights: The Question of Ethics and Politics at the Open University.  

Additionally, Jana has been working as Administration Manager and Business Consultant for Start-ups and Non-profits in Finland and abroad, focusing on creating processes, financial and administrative compliance as well as inclusive and just HR strategies. 

Jana is committed to bringing her activism into all her endeavours, being cognisant of power relations and working toward accountability and accompliceship.  

Joséphine Holmström

Joséphine is currently working at the organization Ad Astra rf. as a coordinator and facilitator for workshops in dialogue, norm critique and anti-racism. She is simultaneously working on her master’s thesis in Sociology at Helsinki University, focusing on constructions of race, identity and belonging amongst people who identify as mixed-race ‘Afro-Swedish-speaking-Finns’ (Afrofinlandssvenskar).

Nora Repo-Saeed

Nora Repo-Saeed is an independent postdoctoral scholar with an emphasis on research on Islam and women in the Balkans as well as on undocumentedness, marginalisation and discrimination in the Finnish context. As a freelancer she has been working with diverse communities and has plenty of experience from the fields of diversity, inequality and dialogue. Nora wishes to introduce into the societal discussion wider, analytical and critical views and encourage border-crossing, independent and brave thinking, as well as new creative ways of self-expression.

Heidi Halkilahti

Heidi Halkilahti will be introducing the challenge from the City of Helsinki.

Pedagogical Expert in Equality, Anti-Discrimination and Participation

Education Division


Class Teacher, English-language teacher, Performing Arts Teacher

Masters in Educational Psychology