Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Upcoming Civil Rights Conference

This year marks several significant civil rights milestones both in terms of furthering advances in civil rights & education such as the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the 60th anniversary of the Brown decision.  It also is the 40th anniversary of the Milliken v. Bradley decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which was the first decision to begin limiting desegregation remedies after Brown. On June 6-7, 2014, the Penn State College of Education will host a conference, Education and Civil Rights: Historical Legacies, Contemporary Strategies, and Promise for the Future, to review what we’ve learned from these important milestones and the social movements that led to them, and what we know about how we might renew our efforts to expand access for all students.

As we wrote in our call for proposals last year, the conference has the following aims:

The primary goal of the conference is to address the inability of many students of color to access high-quality pre–K through higher education — still uneven for young people from historically marginalized groups and/or in many urban and increasingly in suburban settings. While many policy proposals have focused on access to education, there has been much less attention to racial inequality and segregation in access to P–20 education, even as the percentage of students of color is rapidly increasing. The conference seeks to explore what strategies have been effective in expanding educational opportunities for these students — and how we can implement additional best practices that will ensure equity in public education for the future.

From this call for proposals, we received nearly 80 proposals, and selected 30 for presentation at the day and a half long conference in June. This set of thirty new papers includes a multidisciplinary range of scholars focusing on a variety of interrelated topics. Panels will include:

·      Students Experiences and Outcomes in Diverse Schools
·      Politics, Law and Policy Contexts of Contemporary Integration and Equity Efforts
·      Higher Education Access
·      How Boundaries and Geography Matter for Stratification
·      Segregation Within K-12 Schools
·      Possible Solutions to Existing Segregation and Inequality

In addition, we are hosting an Emerging Scholars Symposium for graduate students to network and receive feedback on their work from senior scholars in the field, to be held the morning of June 6th. The keynote speaker on Friday night will be Lani Guinier, who has written extensively on civil rights law and policy.

The planning committee that I chair is excited about the rich array of new work that will be presented and discussed at the conference, and we hope it will stimulate new ideas that will extend beyond the conference to improve opportunities for students who still, more than 60 years after Brown, may attend schools that provide unequal learning opportunities. In a fall blog post, I hope to share more about some of the insights from the conference.

For more information or to register for the conference, click here.

No comments: