Thursday, April 02, 2009
Ethnicity and shaping multicultural education are conference themes
“Focus on Community is the theme of the conference,” said Dr. Paul Parkinson, USI assistant professor of education and one of the conference planners. “It will emphasize the necessity of creating safe and welcoming communities for young people and those new to the region.”
The featured speakers will be Dr. James Banks, director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington; Katie Parker Janis, a Harrison High School and 2006 USI graduate who teaches at Loneman School on the Lakota Sioux Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and Dr. Luis Urrieta, Jr., assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin.
Banks, a specialist and scholar in multicultural education, works to advance social justice through education. He has been a leader in efforts to increase educational equality for all students in the United States and the world for more than three decades.
He has written widely (100 journal articles and 20 books) on the topic and received a national award for his work in 2004. His most recent text is Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society. An online community book study on this book is online at http://mceatusi.wetpaint.com for persons who want to contribute to the topic dialog.
Parker Janis is the luncheon speaker. She teaches at the Loneman School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The reservation is home to the Lakota Sioux Native American tribe. Because of a youth mission trip in 2002 to the South Dakota reservation and a class project about multicultural education, Parker Janis returned to South Dakota as a teacher of middle school students after she graduated from USI in 2006. She teaches students who know and live with extreme poverty, unemployment, large families, and limited books and school supplies.
Dr. Luis Urrieta Jr. is specifically interested in Chicana/o and Latina/o Chicano education and indigenous education. He is an expert in activist identity and in activism as a social practice in educational spaces. His soon-to-be-published book, Working from Within, tells the story of 24 Mexican Americans who have successfully navigated school systems as students and later as activist educators. Urrieta’s work details the struggles of activist Chicana and Chicano educators to raise consciousness in a wide range of educational settings, from elementary schools to colleges.
The conference is sponsored by USI Extended Services, the Bower Suhrheinrich College of Education and Human Services at USI, and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation with support from the Indiana Humanities Council and the Indiana Campus Compact.
The conference is free for EVSC teachers and USI students if registration is completed by April 20; $35 if registration is after April 20. The non-USI student fee is $25; $35 after April 20; fee for others is $50; $60 after April 20. Link to conferences at the Everything We Offer button on the web at www.usi.edu/extserv/ for details about the tracks planned at the conference.
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