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Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

November 11-13, 2015

Schooled: Race and Ethnicity in Education 


Wednesday, November 11 

7:00 p.m., Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber
*Keynote Event
Debate: What should be the role of affirmative action in higher education admissions?  
Randall L. Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor, Harvard Law School
Linda Chavez, chair, Center for Equal Opportunity, a nonprofit public policy organization
Moderated by Janet Steverson, Douglas K. Newell Professor of Teaching Excellence, L&C Law School, and chair of L&C committee on diversity and inclusion

Welcoming remarks by L&C President Barry Glassner
Speaker introductions by symposium co-chairs Erin Banks ’16 and Ryan Seed ’17

Abstract:  Should colleges and universities consider an applicant’s stated race or ethnicity when selecting students for admission?  For the past several decades, people across the United States have debated the merits of race-conscious admissions policies such as affirmative action.  This question remains so pressing that the U.S. Supreme Court is revisiting whether race can be a factor in admissions decisions.  Is affirmative action necessary in higher education admissions? What is accomplished through such policies?  Who benefits?  Do the drawbacks outweigh any positive effects? 


Thursday, November 12

9:30-11:00 a.m., Stamm 
Erased: Reclaiming the Narrative

Panel description: This panel will examine pressing questions of curriculum and pedagogy, asking what gets taught and how it gets taught, particularly in terms of race and ethnicity.  For example, what should we make of the recent story of a Texas high school student who found that his textbook benignly described the forced migration of African slaves as the story of  “workers” coming to the United States?  What gets emphasized in lesson plans, and what gets erased?  What are the connections between school curricula and the achievement gap?  How has colonization translated into classroom practices, and how have educators resisted or transformed these practices in response?

Moderator: Kundai Chirindo, L&C assistant professor of rhetoric and media studies
Se-ah-dom Edmo, coordinator of Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program, L&C Graduate School Center for Community Engagement; president, Oregon Indian Education Association
Dyan Watson, assistant professor, L&C Graduate School of Education; editorial board member, Rethinking Schools
Julie Jacobs, L&C ’16, “El sistema educativo y la simetría: Fighting for Intercultural Chilean Education”


1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m., Stamm
Where We Learn: The Politics of Access

Panel description: Structural issues of access and equity are at the forefront of debates surrounding education. Some of the most heated community battles center on school politics: what are the boundaries of a school, and what population is the school designed to serve? How might those decisions produce a sense of belonging for some students and marginalization for others, and how do those feelings affect academic achievement? Moreover, how are resources allocated, and what opportunities exist for different students?

Moderator: Rachel Orlansky, L&C director of Student Support Services
Katherine Quaid, L&C ’14, “No Native Left Behind: Understanding the Effects of Spatial Relations on Rural Native American Students”
Rebecca Dobkins, professor of anthropology and curator of Native American Art, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University; former faculty supervisor for the Chemawa Indian School-Willamette University Partnership Program, “The Chemawa Indian School: From Affirmation to Assimilation, 1880-2015”
Sophie Lee, L&C ’16, “Portland Public Schools: From Desegregation to Privatization” 
Harris, community engagement manager, Education Northwest 


3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Stamm
Beyond the Classroom: Student Activism in Education

Panel description: Students have rarely been passive recipients of education.  Instead, they have repeatedly spoken up, rallied, protested, and organized to change educational systems, whether by demanding new academic programs, advocating for resources, questioning policies, or insisting on other reforms.  This panel provides a space for students to speak about their experiences as education activists in various settings.  Students will discuss their reasons for activism and the similarities and differences in their experiences, as well as their goals, audiences, and strategies.

Moderator: Megan Scott-Busenbark, L&C ’16
Andrea M. Thompson, second-year student, L&C Law; vice president of Black Law Students Association
Sonja Nosisa Noonan-Ngwane, L&C ’18, co-president of L&C Black Student Union
Raymond Fenton, L&C ’16, co-president of L&C Black Student Union.
This panelist is unable to present.
Evan Harvey, senior, Grant High School, president of Black Student Union at Grant High
Kaiya Yonamine, 8th grader, Mt. Tabor Middle School; participant, API Leaders for the Liberation of Youth
Ruthie Lee, senior, Franklin High School; participant, API Leaders for the Liberation of Youth
Shirley Chen, senior, Franklin High School; participant, API Leaders for the Liberation of Youth


7:00 p.m., Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber 
*Keynote Presentation
The Profound Threat of a Good Idea: Ethnic Studies in Tucson and Beyond
Nolan L. Cabrera, assistant professor, University of Arizona College of Education

Introduced by Cathy Busha, L&C associate dean for student engagement and interim director of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement

Welcoming remarks by symposium co-chair Hannah Swernoff ’16

Abstract:  This presentation will explore the historical creation of ethnic studies while also documenting the dramatic and contentious Arizona racial politics surrounding the highly successful and controversial Mexican American Studies in Tucson Unified School District.  This first-hand account of the continuing struggle for K-12 ethnic studies highlights the incredible threat of a good example, and how opportunistic and xenophobic politics frequently overshadow student educational needs—especially those in underserved, under-resourced communities.  Finally, the presentation will link the struggle in Tucson to the national discussions about formally incorporating ethnic studies into K-12 curricula.


Friday, November 13

9:30-11:00 a.m., Stamm
Voice: The Language of Learning

Panel description: Many people view bilingual or bicultural programs as the mark of a well-rounded education and as a necessity for career success.  At the same time, many insist that students who are not native English speakers should learn only in English, not in their native languages.  This panel looks at a variety of language instruction programs to uncover the range of motivations and principles that guide them, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities experienced by students, teachers, and the communities.  Who benefits from these programs?  What is the relationship between language immersion programs and the celebration of diversity?  And how might some language programs be envisioned as tools of liberation?

Moderator: Suzanne Groth, L&C assistant director and instructor of Academic English Studies
Alejandra Favela, associate professor, L&C Graduate School of Education
Modesta Minthorn (Pinawoolenmay), tribal linguist and program coordinator, Nixyáawii Community School, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Michael Bacon, assistant director, department of dual language, Portland Public Schools
Sarah Lewins, principal, Roseway Heights K-8 School, Vietnamese immersion program
Tony Pham, parent of Roseway Heights first-grade student
Huan Luu
, grandparent of Roseway Heights first-grade student

11:30 a.m-1:00 p.m., Smith Hall, Albany Quadrangle

Race Across Disciplinary Boundaries: Student Research Presentations

Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion with students who will share original research projects addressing issues of race and ethnicity.  Bring your lunch.  Coffee and cookies will be provided.

Moderator: Marisa Santarella, L&C ’16
Emile Dultra, L&C ’16, English/Rhetoric and Media Studies, “Individual Exceptionalism as an Anti-Slavery Argument in Early Modern British Literature”
Lani Felicitas, L&C ’18, SOAN, “Nandito na ako: Filipin@s at Lewis & Clark”
Samson Harman, L&C ’16, ENVS, “Gay Spaces: Transgender Identity and State Enforcement”
Tyler Wayne Patterson, L&C ’16, History, “The Men Behind the Wheel: Race, Gender, and Cuentapropista in Havana”
Karissa Tom, L&C ’16, SOAN, “Say Their Names: Hashtags as Memorial and Digital Memory-Making as Protest in Post-Racial America”
Julia Withers, L&C ’16, History, “Jazz in Japanese American Internment: Resistance and Americanization”


1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., Stamm
Booked: Education and the Carceral State

Panel description: Many comparisons have been made between schools and prisons, particularly their role in providing structure, socialization, training, and acculturation.  As these panelists will demonstrate, these two systems are related. Panelists will trace the history of race and mass incarceration in order to understand the current intersections of education and the carceral state. What is the relationship between school discipline policies and the prison-industrial complex? What role does education itself play within the context of prisons?

Moderator: Elliott Young, L&C professor of history and director of ethnic studies
Sofia Knutson, L&C ’16, and Megan Scott-Busenbark, L&C ’16, “A Brief History of the Racialized U.S. Prison Complex”
Daniela Jiménez, L&C ’14, bilingual educator for Morrison Child & Family Services and the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Paso Program, “Freedom, La Frontera, and Compulsory Education within a Juvenile Immigrant Detention Center”
Mark McKechnie, MSW, executive director, Youth, Rights & Justice, “Reforming School Discipline in Oregon”


3:30 p.m.-5 p.m., Stamm 
Head of the Class:  Race and the Role of the Teacher

Panel description:  Teachers play a vital role in students’ educational experiences.  Many people think of students as vessels to be filled, and they see teachers as having all of the authority in the teaching process.  Others, however, see the teacher-student relationship as a two-way exchange. This panel will examine the impact of racial dynamics on teacher-student relationships and consider the effects of personal identities, structural racism, prejudicial attitudes, neoliberal education policy, and the demographics of a school or district on the role of the teacher.  

Hibaq Adan, L&C ’15, current student at L&C Graduate School of Education
Khalil Anthony Johnson, Jr., L&C Mellon pre-doctoral fellow in history, “A ‘Sympathetic Touch Between Teacher and Pupil’: Reflections from a Black Educator at Lewis & Clark College”
Jennifer de Saxe, assistant professor, L&C Graduate School of Education, “Introducing Novice Teachers to Corporate and Neoliberal Educational Reforms—Challenges and Opportunities”
Lindsay Mulcahy, L&C ’16, “A Class Divided: Race and Empire in American Indian Education”


7:00 p.m., Agnes Flanagan Chapel 
Race Monologues

Each year a different group of L&C students writes an original series of personal narratives to share their feelings, experiences, and understandings of race, ethnicity, and identity.

Featuring L&C students Mahmoud Ahmed ’19, Erin Banks ’16, Christen Cromer ’18, Tiffany Farmer ’18,  Danni Green ’16, Alicia Kirkland ’16, Sonja Nosisa Noonan-Ngwane ’18, Ryan Seed ’17, Cameron Smith ’17, Karissa Tom ’16,  and Julia Withers ’16

Seating in the Chapel will be limited to the first 460 people who arrive.  Please plan accordingly.

Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

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