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University of Utah to Host National Critical Race Studies Conference


May 11, 2010 — Critical race scholars in education will convene May 12 – 15, 2010 at the University of Utah to confront the notion that we are living in a post-racial era. “Deconstructing Contemporary Post-racial Discourses” is the theme for the fourth annual Critical Race Studies in Education Association conference.

During the conference scholars, educators and advocates for educational equity from throughout the nation will discuss the use of research, activism and community work to address the challenges disproportionately experienced by people of color in public schools, universities and communities. The conference is hosted by the national Critical Race Studies in Education Association, the University of Utah’s Office for Equity and Diversity and College of Education, Center for Critical Race Studies and Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU).

“We are extremely pleased to hold our conference this year at the University of Utah. The conference brings together a diverse group of scholars, teachers and activists whose work examines the impact of racism on schools at all levels,” said Marvin Lynn, associate professor, University of Chicago at Illinois and chair and co-founder of the conference. “We come together once a year to share ideas and offer new insights into one of the most challenging problems facing our nation: how to adequately understand, frame and transform education for black and brown youth in the United States.”

The conference will feature top scholars from throughout the nation. Gloria Ladson-Billings, an award-winning critical race scholar, educator, author and advocate for educational equity, will offer the opening address “The Social Funding of Race.” She is the Kellner family chair in urban education and professor of curriculum and instruction and educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Tim Wise, noted author, anti-racist activist and CNN commentator, will give an address titled “Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity.” His latest book Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama examines what President Obama’s success means and doesn’t mean when it comes to racism in the U.S.

Nationally recognized scholars from the University of Utah will present at the conference including: Dolores Delgado Bernal, associate professor of education, culture and society and ethnic studies, whose research and teaching draw from critical race theory, Latina/o critical theory, and Chicana and other U.S. third-world feminist theories to examine and improve the educational experiences of students of color. She is co-author of the book Chicana/Latina Education in Everyday Life: Feminista Perspectives on Pedagogy and Epistemology. University of Utah Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity and Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership, Octavio Villalpando, will present on the application of critical race theory in higher education administration. His scholarship and practice draw on critical race theory and he has written extensively about students and faculty of color in higher education.

On May 12, in a pre-conference program, the University of Utah’s new Center for Critical Race Studies will launch its research with a panel conversation on “Challenges to Affirmative Action: A National Perspective for Utah.” The event will take place from 1:00 to 5:00 pm in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) and will be followed by a reception from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Thanks to a generous partnership with UMFA, attendees are also invited to tour the exhibit – “Las Artes de México (The Arts of Mexico)” — on this day on their own at no charge.

Additional sponsors of the fourth annual Critical Race Studies in Education Association conference include: American Educational Research Association; Black Butterflies; Critical Examination of Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender in Education SIG; La Diana Market/Serrato Family; Utah Museum of Fine Arts; University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education; and University Neighborhood Partners.

For information about the Critical Race Studies in Education Association visit www.crseassoc.org. For more information about the University of Utah Office for Equity and Diversity and the free pre-conference program please visit: http://www.diversity.utah.edu/critical-race-theory.php.