16TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
APRIL 11-12, 2014
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Occupy Education: Empowering the 99%
Conference Program Booklet
CONFERENCE THEME DESCRIPTION:
In many ways, schools are ground zero for the ongoing civil rights movement in the United States. In K-12 public education, inequities in school funding reinforce disparities in literacy, educational attainment, and employment. De facto school segregation reflects the persistent economic inequities in housing and neighborhoods. Low 4th grade reading scores and high dropout rates project rates of incarceration for low income students, particularly boys of color. Similarly in higher education, lower rates of matriculation and retention for students of color contribute to gaps in income and wealth. The small numbers of women and people of color graduating with majors in the STEM disciplines represent a lack of diversity in medicine, technology and engineering. The high debt that students incur in college signifies the expanding chasm between the top 1% and the 99%.
As sites of struggle, schools have the potential to disrupt these patterns by educating students to think critically, encouraging students to develop a sense of social responsibility, and empowering students to take action. Multicultural education understands the role of schools in the movement for social justice, and seeks to mobilize students, families, educators (K-12 and higher education), principals, and members of the community for change.
Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, Dean of the College of Education atUniversity of San Francisco; Founding Director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education and President of the National Association for Multicultural Education.Previously, he was at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he served as professor of Asian American Studies, chair of Educational Policy Studies, and project director of a $4 millioninitiative, funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, to support Asian American, Pacific Islander, and English-language learner students in higher education. He is the award-winning author or editor of nine books on education and social justice, including most recently, "Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture." He is the current president of the National Association for Multicultural Education.
Dr. Paul Gorski, Founder of EdChange and Associate Professor of Integrative Studies at George Mason University. He currently is serving his second term on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Intercultural Education. He has written, co-written, or co-edited 6 books and written or co-written more than 50 articles on topics ranging from poverty, economic justice, and education; social justice teacher education; white privilege; and the relationships between social justice, environmentaljustice, and animal rights. His most recent books include Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Eliminating the Opportunity Gap (Teachers College Record), Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education(Routledge, co-written with Seema Pothini), The Poverty and Education Reader: A Call for Equity in Many Voices(Stylus, co-edited with Julie Landsman), and Cultivating Social Justice Teachers (Stylus, co-edited with Kristien Zenkov, Nana Osei-Kofi, and Jeff Sapp).
Dr. Lisa Jo Epstein, a Theatre Director, Educator and Community-based Artist. She is known for her extensive knowledge, community experience, and refined skill in teaching Theatre of the Oppressedto diverse groups, empowering participants to investigate thorny issues, build consensus and rehearse problem-solving solutions to implement change in the real world.
Her foray into physical theatre began in Minneapolis at Theatre de la Jeune Lune. She continued her explorations in physical and intercultural theatre and socially-engaged theatre practices at the University of Texas at Austin where she obtained a Master's and Ph.D. She then moved to Paris, France where she served as Ariane Mnouchkine's assistant during the Théâtre du Soleil's creation of Molière's Tartuffe. While in Paris, she also worked at Augusto Boal's Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed. Prior to returning to Philadelphia, Lisa Jo was an Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Tulane University for seven years where she won awards for teaching and directing, both inside the university and in the community. Lisa Jo regularly facilitates interactive, experiential theatre workshops with a variety of populations around issues of identity and empowerment, community and social justice.
Dr. Molefi Kete Asante is Professor, Department of African AmericanStudies at Temple University. Considered by his peers to be one of the most distinguished contemporary scholars, Asante has published 74 books, among the most recent are As I Run Toward Africa, The African American People, Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait, An Afrocentric Manifesto, Encyclopedia of African Religion, co-edited with Ama Mazama, The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony, Cheikh Anta Diop: An Intellectual Portrait, Handbook of Black Studies, co-edited with Maulana Karenga, Encyclopedia of Black Studies, co-edited with Ama Mazama, Race, Rhetoric, and Identity: The Architecton of Soul, Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation, Ancient Egyptian Philosophers, Scattered to the Wind, Custom and Culture of Egypt, and 100 Greatest African Americans. The second edition of his high school text, African American History: Journey of Liberation, 2nd Edition, is used in more than 400 schools throughout North America.