2014-15 Porter Chair Speaker Series wraps-up with Seena Skelton

By Debra Johnson | Published March 17, 2015

The 2014-2015 John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education Speaker Series: "The African American Young Men of Promise Initiative" welcomed Dr. Muhammad Khalifa in November 2014 and Dr. Jay Marks in January 2015. The series will wrap up with guest speaker Dr. Seena Skelton on March 26, 2015. Below is a brief summary of each guest speaker:

  • Muhammad Khalifa, assistant professor in the department of educational administration at Michigan State University spoke on "Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge: Using Equity Audits in School" in November 2014. Khalifa has worked as a public school teacher and administrator in Detroit and has done research on culturally responsive leadership in urban schools. He has been instrumental in helping school leaders and state-level education officials with conducting equity audits in local school districts, as it is one of the only tools that effectively confronts achievement and discipline gaps in school. The demand has been so great that he developed an online equity audit tool that principals can use to conduct equity audits in their buildings.
  • Jay Marks spoke at EMU on "Institutionalizing Social Justice" on January 22, 2015. Marks is a widely respected educator who has been in education since 1991, where he began his career as a special education teacher at Northern High School within the Detroit Public School System. In 1998, he accepted a position at Southfield High School with Southfield Public Schools where he served as a teacher and co-department chair in the Special Education Department. Marks has been an ardent advocate of mentoring male youth and has founded several mentoring programs throughout the Metropolitan Detroit Area.
  • The final guest speaker in the John W. Porter Speaker Series will be Seena Skelton, the director of the Great Lakes Equity Center at Indiana University. Skelton will speak on Thursday, March 26 at 9 a.m. in room 310 A/B in the Student Center on the topic of "Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge: A Process for Engaging in Critical Reflection on Policy." At the Great Lakes Equity Center, she provides technical assistance and professional development resources related to equity, civil rights, and systemic school reform to public school systems in the center's six-state region. Dr. Skelton has over 15 years of experience providing leadership at the local, regional and state levels in the implementation of system-wide, school-based innovations for improving the academic performance of all students, with specific emphasis on improving outcomes of traditionally marginalized and underserved students.