“Healing America’s Racial Divisions in the age of Coronavirus” was virtually held on June 1, 2020. The event was part of the Critical Urban Education (CUE) Speaker Series, a bi-annual event bringing leading national scholars to Montclair State University (MSU). CUE provides a forum to develop attendees’ racial and political analysis through a series of lectures and workshops focused on social and cultural issues influencing urban schools and communities. Attendees include MSU graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty as well as local young people, educators, and community members. The event drew over 500 attendees.
“Healing America’s Racial Divisions in the age of Coronavirus” featured Dr. Shawn Ginwright, along with Drs. Farima Pour-Khorshid and Christina Villarreal. It also featured a closing performance with Lauren Adams of Sol Development.
Dr. Ginwright is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flourish Agenda, Inc., a national nonprofit consulting firm, whose mission is to design strategies that unlock the power of healing and engage youth of color and adult allies in transforming their schools and communities. He is the author of Hope and Healing in Urban Education: How Activists and Teachers are Reclaiming Matters of the Heart; Black Youth Rising, Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America; Black in School – Afrocentric Reform, Black Youth and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture, and co-editor of Beyond Resistance!: Youth Resistance and Community Change: New Democratic Possibilities for Practice and Policy for America’s Youth. He recently authored a think piece about healing in the context of Coronavirus.
Dr. Farima Pour-Khorshid is a teacher educator, community organizer, and critical scholar who was born and raised in the Bay Area. After teaching elementary grade levels for over a decade in the Hayward Unified School District, where she also completed her K-12 education, she is now an assistant professor and teacher supervisor at the University of San Francisco. She holds leadership roles with San Francisco’s Teachers 4 Social Justice, the People’s Education Movement-Bay Area, the national Education for Liberation Network, and the Radical Healing Team at Flourish Agenda.
Dr. Christina Villarreal spent nearly a decade teaching and learning with the youth of East Oakland, CA where she taught middle school social studies and served as an assistant principal. Currently, Villarreal serves as the faculty director of the Teacher Education Program and continues to teach the Ethnic Studies and Education course at HGSE. She also serves as a radical healing trainer with Flourish Agenda, and as a consultant with Acosta Educational Partnership. She holds a B.A. in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, an M.A. in ethnic studies from SF State, an M.Phil. in education from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in social studies education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research explores enactments of humanizing pedagogies, racial literacy, and radical healing in secondary social studies classrooms through portraiture.
Some thought-provoking takeaways include a reminder to all to renew vows to justice, to build trust with youth so that we can be held accountable for our actions, and to allow our students to have a safe space to speak their truth.
Drs. Tanya Maloney and Bree Picower of the Teaching and Learning Department coordinate and moderate the CUE Speaker Series events. The Dean’s Office of CEHS hosts the series. The conversation with Dr. Ginwright additionally was co-sponsored by the <Center of Pedagogy; Department of Teaching and Learning; Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal; and Recruiting Teachers of Color Grant.
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In February 2020, CUE held “We Want to Do More Than Survive: A Book Talk with Dr. Bettina Love.” This event featured a curriculum fair with residents in MSU’s Newark Teacher Project.For more information or to contact the CUE coordinators, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.