May 14, 2013

20th Dealing with Difference Institute
Time: All Day
Location: WIU Multicultural Center, Macomb
Description: Western Illinois University will host its 20th Dealing with Difference Institute Tuesday and Wednesday, May 14 and 15, 2013 in the Multicultural Center (West Murray St./Dr. C. T. Vivian Way, Macomb, IL). Appropriately, the program will reflect the theme, “Multicultural Education: Always Unfinished, Always Evolving.” Like previous institutes, this 2013 DWDI will focus on helping educators in colleges and universities, as well as in P-12 schools, respond to the opportunities and challenges of an increasingly diverse world. Major speakers during the institute will include Dr. James A. Banks, Dr. Paul Gorski, Dr. Barbara Ransby, and Dr. Ann Russo.

On Tuesday, May 14, Dr. Russo, Chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at De Paul University in Chicago, will open the institute with “Cultivating Accountability: Building Community and Solidarity across Power Lines.” She will describe some of the innovative approaches scholars and activists are using to develop relationships and solidarity across systemic inequities and different experiences of power and privilege. She suggests shifting from strategies that create unity by recognizing differences to strategies that achieve unity by developing coalitions built upon the shared values of mutuality, reciprocity, and interconnectedness.

Professor Russo is the author of Taking Back Our Lives: A Call to Action in the Feminist Movement and co-editor of Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism as well as Talking Back, Acting Out. She has published essays in the International Feminist Journal of Politics, Violence Against Women, and Sojourner, and in anthologies, including The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy Through Race, Class, & Gender. She is currently working on a book about cultivating feminist practices of accountability as a way to build multiracial and transnational feminisms. She is active in a variety of local organizations committed to community accountability and transformative justice.

Dr. Barbara Ransby, historian, writer and longtime activist, will also speak on Tuesday afternoon. A Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she directs both the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and founded Ella’s Daughters, a network of women working in the tradition of civil rights activist Ella Baker.

In 2004, Dr. Ransby published Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, for which she received multple awards. Ella Baker was one of the most important and influential civil rights activists of the 1990s. In tracing her life and work, Dr. Ransby brings to the fore an exceptional African American woman; she does the same in her most recent book, Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson, published by Yale University Press in December 2012. DWDI participants will be able to buy a copy during the institute.

Drawing from her work as an historian and writer, Dr. Ransby will discuss "Many Ways of Knowing: Alternative Archives, Insurgent Epistemologies, and Black Women's Lives" in her DWDI presentation. She will “talk about [her] work on lesser known black women historical actors and how [she approaches] the work of biography to cover the same ground that others have but through a different lens.” She will also participate in the panel discussion on community responsibility and education Wednesday afternoon, May 15.

Dr. James A. Banks, Founding Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington in Seattle, will present “Diversity in America: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating Citizens in Global Times” at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15, and Dr. Paul Gorski, Associate Professor of Integrative Studies at George Mason University, will facilitate a workshop on “Creating an Equitable Learning and Working Environment: An Equity Literacy Approach” at 10:15 a.m.

The Expanding Cultural Diversity Project is subsidizing the cost of the institute for WIU faculty, staff, and students, except for the Tuesday evening dinner, but registration is necessary for planning. Participants who are not affiliated with Western will be required to pay fees for registration and meals. General information, the institute schedule, and registration forms are available on the Illinois Association for Cultural Diversity ( and Expanding Cultural Diversity Project ( websites. DWDI co-directors, J. Q. Adams ( and Janice Welsch ( can provide further information as needed.

The Dealing with Difference Institute is organized through the Expanding Cultural Diversity Project and co- sponsored by WIU's Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. the Illinois Association for Cultural Diversity, and the Hancock/McDonough Regional Office of Education.
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Contact Information:
 Janice Welsch
 Phone: 309-298-2057
Source: Multicultural

Western Illinois University
1 University Circle * Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 309/298-1414 * E-mail
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