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Lecture series to address social justice in education

Jan. 21, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A public lecture series will bring eight experts to Western Michigan University to address education issues related to social justice.

The third annual Social Justice Public Lecture Series begins with a presentation on Monday, Jan. 26. With the theme "Knowledge, Power and Social Justice: Educating Children Placed At-Risk," the lecture series continues with presentations on Feb. 9 and 16, March 9, 23 and 30 and April 6. All the lectures are from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium and are free and open to the public.

The Jan. 26 presentation will feature Dr. Adolph Reed, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches American and African-American politics, political thought and urban politics. He is an expert in political development and a proponent of free public higher education for everyone. His topic is "Free for All: The Case of Free Public Higher Education in the United States."

Reed is the author of "Without Justice for All: The New Liberalism and our Retreat from Racial Equality" (2001); "Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene" (2000); Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post Segregation Era" (1999); "W.E.B Dubois and American Political Thought: Fabianism and the Color Line" (1997); "The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon: The Crisis of Purpose in Afro-American Politics" (1986); and "Race, Politics and Culture: Critical Essays on the Radicalism of the 1960s" (1986).

Social Justice Public Lecture Series

  • Feb. 9, Dr. Joe Berry, "Democratizing Higher Education Against a Two-tiered Faculty." Berry is visiting labor education specialist in the School of Labor and Employment Relations Labor Education Program at the University of Chicago at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Feb. 16, Dr. Robert Peterson, "Teaching for Justice in Unjust Times." Peterson has taught fifth grade at La Escuela Fratney, a two-way (English-Spanish) bilingual public school in Milwaukee, Wis., since 1992.
  • March 9, Dr. Cherie Rankin, "Teaching the Concept of Social Class." Rankin has taught in the English department at Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill., since 2006. Before that she taught at Illinois State University from 2001-07.
  • March 23, Dr. Carlos Torres, "Social Justice for Teachers, Paulo Freire and the Possible Dream." Torres is an expert in political sociology and professor of social sciences and comparative education at the Graduate School of Education in the University of California-Los Angeles. He is currently the director of the Paulo Freire Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Los Angeles.
  • March 30, Drs. Sherry Linkon and John Russo, "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studying, Teaching and Community Organizing." Linkon is a professor of English and American studies at Youngstown State University, where Russo is coordinator of the labor studies program. Linkon and Russo are co-directors of the Center for Working Studies at the same university.
  • April 6, Dr. Kenneth J. Saltman, "The Gift of Education: Toward a General Economy of Education." Saltman is associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Research at DePaul University.

Attendance at all seven lectures counts as one credit hour for students enrolled in ED5000. For more information on the Social Justice Public Lecture Series, contact Dr. Joseph Kretovics at joseph.kretovics@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6865 or Dr. Santiago-Valles at santiago.valles@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2561.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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