John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education

A photo of Dr. Carmen McCallum.
Dr. Carmen McCallum: 2022-2023 Porter Co-Chair
A photo of Dr. Carmen McCallum.

Dr. Carmen McCallum: 2022-2023 Porter Co-Chair

A photo of Dr. Morgon Breon. Her shirt reads, "heal.be.live."
Ms. Morgan Breon: 2022-2023 Porter Co-Chair
A photo of Dr. Morgon Breon. Her shirt reads, "heal.be.live."

Ms. Morgan Breon: 2022-2023 Porter Co-Chair

This year will be Co-Chaired by Dr. Carmen McCallum, Associate Professor from the Higher Education / Student Affairs Program in the Department of Leadership and Counseling and Ms. Morgan Breon, Owner and Founder of Heal.Be.Live., LLC. The Porter Chair is designed to actively expand the University’s role in urban school districts in Michigan, with an emphasis on school-community partnerships.

2022-2023 Project

“Black students are 3x more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students,” according to the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights (2015).

The 2022 Porter Chair will expand a DEI initiative called THE W.I.T.C.H.(Wound Intervention Through Care and Healing) Professional Development Training, which uses theatre-based workshops to raise awareness among educators and school mental health practitioners working with Black students, who are based in urban regions and have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (A.C.E.). 

This training demonstrates the importance of examining how trauma can affect a child’s ability to learn and why creating a more trauma-informed learning environment is beneficial to countering educational inequity. THE W.I.T.C.H. Professional Development training explores how learning to understand “Black trauma” could lead to better responses to certain behaviors exhibited by Black students. 

Overall, this performance-based culturally responsive project:

  • Provides a low-risk and creative entry point into discussing the needs of Black students.
  • Aids educators/practitioners in identifying symptoms of trauma amongst Black students.
  • Exposes educators to the experiences of Black students and how their experiences may contribute to particular behaviors.
  • Creates a space for educators/practitioners to consider alternative internal and external responses to the symptoms of trauma displayed by Black students.
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    2022-2023 Call for Proposals

    Submission Deadline for the 2022-2023 Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education has been extended to January 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

    The John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education is designed to actively expand the University's role in urban school districts in Michigan, with an emphasis on school-community partnerships.

    Porter Chair Info and Proposal Guidelines [PDF]

    Porter Chair Proposal Form

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    Past Speaker Series

    2020-2021

    Phillip Caldwell, II, Assistant Professor from the Department of Leadership & Counseling, serves as the 2020-2021 Michael G. Morris Endowed Chair.

    Dr. Caldwell’s Porter project entitled, "Investigating the Persistence of Racism as it Relates to Michigan K12 Public School Funding Policy, Practice, and Educational Disparity". The project will examine the persistence of racism specifically as it relates to public school funding policy, practice and educational disparities within Michigan.

    2018-2019

    Jacqueline LaRose, a professor of Reading in the Department of Teacher Education, served as the 2018-2019 John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at EMU.

    LaRose’s project’s title was, “Deepening Collaboration Between Eastern Michigan University and the Ypsilanti Community Schools: Partnering to Advance the Education of Elementary Students, Pre-service Teachers, In-service Teachers, and EMU Faculty.” The Chair project sought to establish a strong collaboration model between teacher preparation programs in the College and across EMU and the Ypsilanti Community Schools. In this collaboration, Dr. LaRose worked with Estabrook Elementary School (known as Estabrook Learning Community).

    2017-2018

    Wendy Burke, a professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Department of Teacher Education and the Director of Student Teaching at Eastern Michigan University, will serve as the 2017-2018 John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at Eastern.

    This project, entitled “Further Developing Capacity to Implement Secondary Place-Based Teacher Education Pathway at Eastern Michigan University” included an in-depth case study of the PBE approach to teaching and its impact on secondary student learning and engagement. The goal is to establish and market an exemplary EMU PBE program that is recognized regionally and nationally, with a first step being admittance of a diverse group of future educators to the PBE program in fall 2018. The 2017-2018 award builds upon the exceptional and extensive efforts of Dr. Ethan Lowenstein and Dr. Iman Grewal, the previous named awardees of the John W. Porter Distinguished Chair.

    2016-2017

    Iman Kaur Grewal, full-time lecturer in the College of Education, served as the 2016-17 John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Grewal’s project, entitled "Creating a Place for Place-Based Urban Education in the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University". From September 2016 through April 2017, Grewal and her colleagues maintained a learning community focused on place-based education. Qualitative and quantitative research was done using data generated by the previous Porter Chair, Ethan Lowenstein. The goal was to establish a place-based program for teacher preparation.

    2015-2016

    Ethan Lowenstein, professor of teacher education in the College of Education served as the 2015-16 John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at Eastern Michigan University. Lowenstein's project was entitled, "Supporting Urban Education through Place-Based Education: The Work of the Southeast Michigan Stewardship (SEMIS) Coalition". From September 2015 through April 2016, Lowenstein and his colleagues from SEMIS engaged the College of Education community in various activities aimed at strengthening the College of Education's engagement in place-based education and school community partnerships.

    2014-2015

    The John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education presents the 2014-15 Speaker Series: The African American Young Men of Promise Initiative. The 2014-15 Speaker Series is hosted by the Department of Leadership and Counseling. Theresa Saunders is chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. Guest speakers include:

    • Gloria Ladson-Billings
    • Randall Lindsey
    • Franklin CampbellJones
    • Muhammad Khalifa
    • Jay B. Marks
    • Seena M. Skelton

    2013-2014

    The John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education presents the 2013-14 Speaker Series: Reach, Teach, and Inspire. The 2013-14 Speaker Series is hosted by the Department of Special Education, celebrating a century of excellence. Derrick Fries is chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. Guest speakers include:

    • Jonathan Kozol
    • Dan Habib
    • Colleen Wieck
    • Douglas Fuchs
    • Barbara Ransom

    2012-2013

    Speaker series was not held during this academic year.

    2011-2012

    The John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education presents the 2011-12 Speaker Series: Counternarratives: Hear the Voices of Civic Activism in Urban Education. The 2011-12 Speaker Series is hosted by the Department of Teacher Education. Pamela "PK" Smith is chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. Guest speakers include:

    • Michelle Fine
    • Derrick Jensen
    • Suzanne Lacy

    2010-2011

    With an overall theme of Veterans Welfare: Caring for Those Who Serve, the 2010-2011 Speaker Series was hosted by the Department of Leadership and Counseling. Dr. Dibya Choudhuri was Chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. Guest speakers and events included:

    • NAVASEMI
    • Marianne Mathewson-Chapman
    • David DiRamio
    • Dale Throneberry
    • Film Series
    • M. Christopher Brown II
    • Florence Hamrick
    • Gary L. Anderson

    2009-2010

    The 2009-2010 Speaker Series was hosted by the Department of Teacher Education. Dr. Pamela K. Smith was Chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. Guest speakers included:

    • Kris Gutiérrez
    • Madhu Suri Prakash
    • Henry Giroux

    2008-2009

    The 2008-2009 Speaker Series was hosted by the Department of Special Education. Dr. Sally Burton-Hoyle was Chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. The guest speaker was Dr. Beth Harry, a professor in the Special Education Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Miami (Florida). She shared her scholarship on the following topics:

    • Culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities.
    • Disproportionate representation of minority students with disabilities.
    • Collaboration with families and communities.

    2007-2008

    The 2007-2008 Speaker Series was hosted by the Department of Teacher Education. Dr. Pat Williams-Boyd was Chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. Guest speakers included:

    • Jean Anyon
    • Deborah Meier
    • Pedro Noguera

    2006-2007

    Speaker series was not held during this academic year.

    2005-2006

    The 2009-2010 Speaker Series was hosted by the Department of Teacher Education. Dr. Pamela K. Smith was Chair of the Porter Chair Speaker Series Steering Committee. Guest speakers included:

    • Donna Y. Ford
    • Joycelyn Elders
    • Gary Orfield
    • James Earl Davis
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    History

    The John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education is named in honor of former EMU President and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, John W. Porter. It is the first endowed chair in the College of Education. The John W. Porter Chair was largely funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation and the McGregor Foundation. The purpose of these generous contributions is to appoint a renowned scholar(s) in urban education and to provide innovative leadership for Eastern Michigan University in this field. The Chair is designed to actively expand the University's role in urban school districts in Michigan, with an emphasis on school-community partnerships.
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    Contact Us

    Ryan Evely Gildersleeve
    Interim Dean, College of Education
    310 Porter Building
    734.487.1414
    [email protected]

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