May 15, 2013
- 20th Dealing with Difference Institute
- Time: 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
- 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 include Wednesday presenters, Dr. James A. Banks and Dr. Paul Gorski. Dr. Barbara Ransby, Professor of History, African American Studies, and Gender and Women’ Studies at University of Illinois, Chicago, and Dr. Ann Russo, Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul University are scheduled to speak on Tuesday, May 14, the opening day of the DWDI.
Distinguished Professor James A. Banks, Founding Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle, is recognized as the Father of Multicultural Education. His visit is particularly, appropriate on the 20th anniversity of the Dealing with Difference Institute since he was the first major nationally recognized cultural diversity scholar to speak at Western when, in the late 1980s, the university intensified its efforts to integrate multicultural scholarship into its curriculum and increase the diversity among its students, staff and faculty.
Dr. Banks will discuss “Diversity in America: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating Citizens in Global Times” on Wednesday, May 15. He has chosen this topic to underscore his conviction that “the future of multicultural education in the United States [is] linked with global citizenship and globalization.” As he has stated in Cultural Diversity and Education (5th Ed), “To become effective citizens within their nation and the world, students need clarified and reflective cultural, national and global identities, democratic attitudes and values, and the knowledge required to function effectively within their own and other cultural groups within national and global contexts” (p. 34).
A former elementary school teacher, Dr. Banks has written and edited groundbreaking texts and reference works in multicultural education, including Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies, now in its 8th edition; Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives, now in its 7th edition; Multicultural Education, Transformative Knowledge, and Action; Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives; and the four-volume Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education. For the past 15 years, he has been editor of the Multicultural Education Series published by Teachers College Press and has seen over 40 books published as part of the project. Several of his books will be available for purchase during the institute.
Dr. Paul Gorski, Associate Professor of Integrative Studies in the New Century College at George Mason University, will focus on “Creating an Equitable Learning and Working Environment: An Equity Literacy Approach” in a combined DWDI presentation/workshop on Wednesday, May 15. He describes equity literacy as “an approach to thinking about diversity that includes four components: (1) the ability to recognize inequity, (2) the ability to respond to inequity, (3) the ability to redress inequity, and (4) the ability to create and sustain an equitable working and learning environment.” After discussing these components, Dr. Gorski and participants will explore how to apply them to their own personal and professional situations.
Professor Gorski teaches courses on class and poverty, educational equity, social justice, and diversity. He created and maintains the award-winning website, Multicultural Pavilion, and founded EdChange, a coalition of educators and activists who develop free, web-accessible resources to further the understanding and practice of social justice and equity. His interest in developing links between the web and educators is apparent in these enterprises and in Multicultural Education and the Internet: Intersections and Integrations, now in its 2nd edition. His “professional and spiritual passions lie in building movements and engaging in processes for creating equitable and just organizations, schools, and communities.”
A panel—“The Role Communities Play in P-12 and Higher Education”--followed by a celebratory session, will close the institute on Wednesday.
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 (www.wiu.edu/iacd) and Expanding Cultural Diversity Project (www.wiu.edu/ecdp) websites. DWDI co-directors, J. Q. Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Janice Welsch (email@example.com) can provide further information as needed.
The Dealing with Difference Institute is sponsored by Western’s Expanding Cultural Diversity Project and Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research, the Illinois Association for Cultural Diversity, and the Hancock/McDonough Regional Office of Education.
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