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Social justice lectures feature renowned experts

Jan. 9, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A public lecture series and related graduate seminar will bring seven heavy-hitters in education-related fields to Western Michigan University during the spring semester.

First up in the lecture series is Dr. Budd Hall, dean of the faculty of education at the University of Victoria. Hall's presentation, "The Right to a New Utopia: Education and Politics in a World at Risk," begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Putney Auditorium of the Fezter Center.

"He is one of the leading experts in the world on participatory action research and engaging communities in looking at the issues and problems they face," says Dr. Joseph Kretovics, a WMU professor of educational leadership, director of WMU's GEAR-UP program and organizer of the seminar and lecture series. "It's an approach that combines social investigation, learning and community action."

The sessions and lectures will collectively examine a variety of issues dealing with social justice, diverse ways of producing knowledge and unequal power relations that are related to educating children who have been placed-at risk. Each of the seminar leaders is actively engaged in the issues of school restructuring, professional development, community engagement or policy development as it relates to the education of children placed at risk. An overarching theme will be the role of schooling for students placed at risk in relationship to the needs and interests of a democratic society.

Hall and the rest of the scholars will each present a Tuesday evening public lecture and lead a seminar session on the following Wednesday through April 16. Those who attend all seven lectures can register for one professional development credit hour through Extended University Programs.

Social Justice Lecture Series

All lectures are free and open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. in Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium.

Jan. 15--Dr. Budd Hall, dean of the faculty of education at the University of Victoria, "The Right to a New Utopia: Education and Politics in a World at Risk." (See above for more details.)

Feb. 19--Dr. Frank H. Wu, professor of law and dean of the Wayne State University Law School, "Developing a New Paradigm for Advancing Social Justice." Wu is the author of "Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White" and co-author of "Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment." He will discuss the new challenges facing civil rights advocates as the nation faces a profound demographic change and cease to have a single identifiable racial majority.

Feb. 26--Dr. Donaldo Macedo, professor of English and Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, "Dancing with Bigotry: The Poisoning of Culture and Ethnic Identities." Macedo has published extensively in the areas of linguistics, critical literacy and bilingual and multicultural education including "Literacies of Power: What Americans Are Not Allowed to Know."

March 18--Dr. Priya Parmar, assistant professor of adolescence education, Brooklyn College­City University of NewYork, "Matters of the Tongue: The Multiple Literacies of Youth Culture." Parmar's research interests include the development of language and literacy skills in urban youth who have been disenfranchised by either schooling or environment. She recently co-wrote "Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia, Volumes I & II" and her published works include "Critical Thinking and Rap Music: The Critical Pedagogy of KRS-One" in "The Encyclopedia of Critical Thinking."

March 25--Dr. Gladys Jimenez-Munoz, assistant professor of human development, College of Community and Public Affairs, State University of New York-Binghamton, "Historical Lessons Making a Racial Difference." Her research is covers U. S. women's history, Latinas and Latinos in U. S. feminism and multicultural education.

April 1--Dr. Stanley Aronowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, City University of New York Graduate Center, "Against Schooling and for Education." Aronowitz studies labor, social movements, science and technology, education, social theory and cultural studies and is the author of 23 books and more than 200 articles including "False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness."

April 15--Dr. Luis Moll, professor of language, reading and culture, University of Arizona, "Funds of Knowledge: Using Cultural Assets for Educational Development." Moll addresses the connections among culture, psychology and education, especially with Latino children and how literacy takes place in the broader social contexts of household and community life.

For more information on the series or how to earn academic credit for attending the lecture, call Dr. Joseph Kretovics at joseph.kretovics@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6867 or Dr. Santiago-Valles at santiago.valles@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2561. Additional information is available online at www.wmich.edu/gearup.

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

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