August 1, 2006
To the Campus Community:
As the dates for the Race and Pedagogy National Conference draw near, September 15- 16, I write to encourage your participation in the various components of this groundbreaking event for Puget Sound. One of the strengths of the conference is that it is a conversation open to faculty members, students, staff members, K-12 teachers, state education and school district leaders, and other community partners at a variety of levels and across a range of types of participation. How might you join the conversation?
Several opportunities are available, some of which require registration for the conference or advance tickets, and other of which are open admission/space available events. The discounted cost for UPS faculty and staff registration is $30. If you plan to register for the conference, and have not already done so, I encourage you to do so soon. If you do not register, you can obtain tickets for particular events as described below.
On September 14, the evening prior to the conference, Dr. Cornel West will deliver the Susan Resneck Pierce Lecture in Public Policy. He will address the topic “Democracy Matters.” This 6:30 p.m. lecture is scheduled in the Memorial Fieldhouse and is free to Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff with tickets (available from the InfoCenter).
The conference features three plenary lectures, scheduled in the Fieldhouse. These are ticketed events, with free tickets available at the InfoCenter for Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff.
- 11:30 a.m., Friday, Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., Professor of Philosophy and of African American and Diaspora Studies, and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, at Vanderbilt University
- 4:00 p.m., Friday, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President of Spelman College, Professor of Psycholoogy, and author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations about Race
- 10:45 a.m., Saturday, September 16, Professor Robert P. Moses, civil rights activist and founder of the Algebra Project, Inc., a mathematical literacy program
There will be poster presentations on teaching and learning about race in the Wheelock Student Center Rotunda, at lunch time on Friday or breakfast time on Saturday; Friday’s poster session features work by UPS students. You might have an academic interest in issues of race, privilege, representation, and performance and choose to attend panels where scholarly papers on these topics will be presented and discussed. You might, as a teacher or future teacher, want to hear examples of effective pedagogies or join discussions of pragmatic challenges related to addressing topics of race or dynamics of privilege in classrooms; there are programs that are discipline-specific and sessions that provide insight on general “best practices” in both curricular and co-curricular settings.
Spotlight presentations are available throughout the conference. These include:
- Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Jr., Dean of University Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University
- Dr. Kristen J. Klaaren, Associate Professor of Psychology, Randolph-Macon College
- Dr. Hannah Maria Tavares, Assistant Professor of Education, University of Hawaii-Manoa
- Dr. Ernesto Javier Martinez, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, and English, University of Oregon
You might also have an interest, as a member of the greater Tacoma community—as a neighbor, parent, or civic leader—in joining one or more sessions that focus on the educational achievement gap in Tacoma, curriculum development, community mobilization, the role of museums as educators, generational diversity, or justice and health care. A significant number of community partners are playing an active role in bringing issues to conference discussion tables and in forging collaborative solutions.
Attendance at poster, panel, and spotlight speaker sessions does not require registration or tickets, but will happen on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are a faculty member who plans to incorporate a conference session into a course, please contact program committee co-chair Jim Jasinski (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let him know which session(s) you are going to either assign or recommend to your students and approximately how many students are likely to be involved. This will help the steering committee to schedule sessions in appropriate rooms.
Finally, there are several exhibits and performances affiliated with the Race and Pedagogy Conference which you are most cordially welcome to attend.
- The Kittredge Gallery on campus will in September be showing the John Brown Print Series by Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) and paintings by African American artist Ronald Brown (free)
- The Museum of Glass and Contemporary Art (June 16 – October 22) hosts Kickin’ It with Joyce J. Scott,a 30-year retrospective of the artist’s work in diverse media including sculpture, jewelry, textiles and photographs (museum admission fee)
- The Washington State History Museum will host “Race, Culture, and Public Pedagogies”—with performances by Reality Check Dance Troupe, slam poets Christa Bell and Laura “Piece” Kelley, and writer Rosalind Bell—on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. (conference ticketed event)
- The Tacoma Art Museum (September 16 – January 28) hosts Symphonic Poem: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, who explores themes of family, relationships, community and journeys through fabric, needlepoint, paint, ink, charcoal, clay, and found objects (museum admission fee)
- The Tacoma Art Museum will host a talk by Aminah Robinson at 4:00 on Saturday at TAM (conference ticketed event, museum admission fee)
- The conference will close with a performance by Joyce Scott in Schneebeck Concert Hall from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (conference ticketed event; tickets for Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff at the InfoCenter)
Thanks to the very significant and ongoing work of the Race and Pedagogy Conference planning committees—to whom we all owe tremendous appreciation—the conference will indeed bring together scholars, teachers, and students from our region and across the nation, as well as community leaders and teachers of the greater Tacoma/Pierce County area, to consider how we can, together, improve the racial-cultural experiences of students in K-12 schools, liberal arts colleges, and other educational institutions. You are most welcome to join the conference conversation and its quite extraordinary array of events.
Academic Vice President
Dean of the University