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Prominent social justice advocate visits WMU

March 13, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A nationally known social justice educator and English teacher is visiting the Western Michigan University campus Thursday and Friday, March 20-21, as a guest of WMU's Third Coast Writing Project.

Dr. Linda Christensen is director of the Oregon Writing Project in the Graduate School of Education at Lewis & Clark College. She is the author of "Reading, Writing and Rising Up: Teaching about Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word" and co-editor of "Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom and Rethinking Our Classroom."

Her visit is part of a mini-conference sponsored by TCWP and the WMU Department of English titled "Writing for Change: Addressing Social Issues and Michigan Standards in the Classroom."

She will deliver a public lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in Room 2302 of Sangren Hall. Her topic is "Social Justice Teaching: Developing Students as Intellectuals."

The following day, the conference will offer a workshop and break-out sessions, as well as a keynote address by Christensen from 9 to 10 a.m., also in Room 2302 of Sangren Hall. The topic of that presentation is "The Politics of Language: Teaching about Language and Power."

For the past 30 years, Christensen has taught high school language arts and worked as language arts curriculum specialist in Portland, Ore. She is a member of the Rethinking Schools editorial board. She received the Fred Heschinger Award for her use of research in teaching and writing from the National Writing Project in 1998 and was named the Outstanding Teacher of the Western United States for "Reaching Beyond Classroom Walls."

The deadline to apply for the full conference is Friday, March 14. The cost is $20 for those seeking continuing education units, $10 for non-students and $5 for WMU students. For more information or to register, contact Shannon Mortimore at shannon.mortimore@gmail.com or Todd Bannon at tabannon@gmail.com.

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

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