by Pamela Young, Published January 14, 2010
YPSILANTI —Strengthening education in urban areas is central to America’s development. That’s a premise behind Eastern Michigan University University’s three-part John W. Porter Distinguished Lecture Series in Urban Education that begins January 21. This year’s theme is “Steppin’ Up: Community Collaboration in Challenging Times.”
The January 21 program features Kris Gutierrez, a professor and provost chair in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The free lecture is from 7 – 8 p.m., in 203 W. Porter Bldg. (College of Education) on EMU’s main campus in Ypsilanti. A book signing and reception immediately follows. Complimentary t-shirts will be given to the first 50 attendees.
Gutierrez will discuss her current research study on the socio-cultural contexts of literacy development. In addition to her lecture, she also will work with faculty, students, community members and local schools in an effort to prepare EMU’s students to teach in southeastern Michigan’s urban areas.
“Dr. Gutierrez addresses issues that affect students, parents/guardians, teachers and community members, in that she takes a critical look at how some policies and programs privilege some communities while marginalizing others,” said program coordinator Pamela Smith, an assistant professor in social foundations of education at EMU.
Future Porter chairs include Madhu S. Prakash, a professor of educational theory and policy at the Penn State College of Education, who will speak March 11 about indigenous cultures, grassroots movements and cultural diversity. Henry Giroux, a professor of English and cultural studies and Global TV Network chair in communications, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., will speak April 8. Giroux, an American cultural critic and one of the founding theorists of critical pedagogy in the U.S., is known for his pioneering work in public pedagogy, cultural and youth studies, higher education and media studies.
The lecture series seeks to stimulate research and urban initiatives within the University community as well as promote active solutions involving EMU and Michigan school partnerships.
The lecture series is named in honor of a former EMU president and state superintendent of public instruction, John W. Porter. It is funded by the C.S. Mott, McGregor and Herrick Foundations. Contributions are earmarked for naming renowned scholars in urban education who will provide innovative leadership to Eastern Michigan in this field.
For more information, go to http://www.emich.edu/coe/chair or contact Pamela Smith, event coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org