Dealing with Difference Institute

Speakers Series

To reach a larger number of students than possible during the mid-May DWDIs and to provide ongoing opportunities for the entire WIU community to benefit from the research of scholars and the experience of a variety of people in multicultural education, the ECDP sponsors presentations and workshops by leaders in social justice and equity education who come from a variety of disciplines including anthropology (the late Dr. John Ogbu), counseling (Dr. Thomas Parham), Latino/a studies (Dr. Jeanett Castellanos), Native American studies and education (Dr. Joel Spring), psychology (Dr. Laurence Steinberg), public policy and educational policy (Dr. Antonia Darder and Dr. Gary Orfield), sociology (Dr. Troy Duster), and theatre (Ms. Janice Mandell).

Since 2005, many of these educators have not only given presentations or facilitated workshops on WIU’s Macomb or Quad Cities campus but have also agreed to have their presentations taped and made available to WIU personnel via the library and Multicultural Resource Center. In addition, ECDP funds have made it possible to develop and distribute a series of interviews with a wide range of cultural diversity scholars. These include: Dr. James A. Banks, distinguished professor and director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle; Dr. Shakti Butler, educator, filmmaker, and founding executive director of World Trust Educational Services ;  Dr. Henry Giroux, cultural critic and author of over fifty books including Disposable Youth, Racialized Memories, and the Culture of Cruelty; Dr. Paul Gorski, associate professor in integrative studies at George Mason University; Dr. Heather Hackman, consultant and educator whose focus is social justice education; Dr. Maulana Karenga, author of works on classical African ethics and Black studies;Dr. Pedro Noguera, urban sociologist, educator, and author of The Trouble With Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education; Dr. Ronald Takaki (now deceased), author of A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America; Dr. C. T. Vivian, Civil Rights Movement leader, proponent of nonviolent social engagement, and 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom; and  Mr. Tim Wise , lecturer, activist and author whose latest book is Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority. Dr .J. Q.  Adams, Faculty Emeritus, Western Illinois University conducted the interviews.

Dr. Hugh Mehan , Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Diego, presented “The Challenges of Achieving Educational Equity in the Neo-Liberal Era: Lessons Learned from Twelve Years of De-tracking Schools in San Diego.” He also contributed to discussions of discourse analysis during his November 4 – 6, 2013 visit to Western Illinois University’s campuses in Macomb and Quad Cities.

The ECDP is collaborating with Blackhawk College for a Quad Cities conference on immigrants and refugees April 5, 2014 at Western’s Riverfront campus in Moline, IL. The half-day conference will give immigrants and refugees opportunities to tell their own stories. It will also include sessions led by community activists and academics assisting them as they make make the transition from their home countries to the Midwest. Language acquisition, integration, and citizenship are among the topics to be explored.

A second variation on the Speakers’ Series offered Spring 2014 is a workshop, “Using Drama in the Classroom to Explore Social Justice Issues,” led by Ms. Janice Mandell and graduates of the ST. Paul (MN) Central Touring Theatre Company. A six-hour interactive exploration of theatre as a teaching tool, the workshop is co-sponsored by WIU’s ECDP and Augustana College and will be held in Augustana’s Olin Auditorium (733 35th St, Rock Island, IL) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 13. See Events Calendar for further information.