National leaders to discuss civic activism in urban education

by Emily Vontom, Published February 29, 2012

The 2012 Porter Lecture Series at Eastern Michigan University will kick off Thursday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m., in Pease Auditorium. This year's theme is "Counternarratives: Hear the Voices of Civic Activism in Urban Education." The program is presented by the John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education.


Michelle Fine

The opening program will feature Michelle Fine, professor for the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY). Fine will explore "critical science in revolting times."

Fine is a pioneer in youth participatory action research and professor of social psychology, women's studies and urban education at CUNY. Her research includes working with youth and elders from across different racial, ethnic and social classes to investigate dispossession and critical resistance.

"We hope to begin a discussion that asks hard questions, requires hard thought and demands hard work, so that we can make a positive difference with our actions in and upon the world," said Pamela Smith, series chair and professor in Eastern's Department of Teacher Education.

Future speakers include:

  • Derrick Jensen, one of today's most vocal "deep green" activists and an award-winning author of Thought to Exist in the Wild, will speak Thursday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m., in Pease Auditorium.
  • Suzanne Lacy, an internationally known artist, educator and writer, whose work focuses on social themes and urban issues, will speak Thursday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m., in Pease Auditorium.

The John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education is named in honor of John W. Porter, former Eastern Michigan president and former State of Michigan superintendent of public instruction. The Porter Lecture Series provides opportunities for students, faculty and the community to interact with a variety of scholars. For more information, please visit

Emily Vontom

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