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Joint Presentation Addresses Construction of Racial Politics in Education

Join us for the last presentation in the Fall 2014 LAII Lecture Series. Dr. Nancy López and Dr. Ricky Lee Allen will offer a joint presentation which collectively considers the construction of racial politics in education. López, an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, will address this through a presentation titled "Interrogating Inequality? The Politics of Mapping and Interrupting Intersecting Race, Gender and Class Inequalities in U.S. Schools." Dr. Allen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies, will address this through a presentation titled "Whiteness, Race, and the 'Good' School." The presentation will take place on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the UNM Student Union Building (SUB), Santa Ana B. For reference, see the event flyer.

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Dr. Nancy López: "Interrogating Inequality? The Politics of Mapping and Interrupting Intersecting Race, Gender and Class Inequalities in U.S. Schools."

  • Dr. López earned a B.A. Columbia College, Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York. She directs and co-founded the Institute for the Study of "Race" and Social Justice, RWJF Center for Health Policy and chairs the Race, Gender and Class Section, American Sociological Association and co-chairs the Diversity Council, UNM. She also coordinates the NM Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium for data harmonization that leverages intersectionality to advance equity-based public policies. López's scholarship, teaching and service is guided by the insights of intersectionality for interrogating inequalities across a variety of social outcomes including education, health, employment, housing, etc. Her current work examines the politics of racial and ethnic guidelines and measurements in the Office of Management & Budget and the Census as a site of racial formation; she argues that the proposal to combine Hispanic origin with race for the 2020 Census contribute to hegemonic colorblind and neoliberal racial projects.
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  • Dr. López's presentation will consider the following: "Over the centuries, racially stigmatized communities, such as American Indians, African Americans and Latina/o communities have experienced and resisted intersecting structural racism, sexism, classism in U.S. schools and decades after the passage of Civil Rights legislations, we continue to experience the poorest educational outcomes as a result. How can an intentional focus on the intersection and co-construction of race, gender and class and other axes of difference in our data collection, analysis, reporting yield new insights for research, policy and action? How can we establish pathways, from harmonized race, gender, and class data collection-to effective and contextualized education policy? How can we build mini-social movements that are anchored in social justice against the backdrop of neoliberal and colorblind ideologies that render racial, class, gender and other axes of inequality as the inevitable outcome of competition in a so-called "meritocracy"? Dr. López argues that a focused attention to intersectionality, specifically, namely linking the co-construction of race, gender, class, ethnicity and other intersecting systems of oppression and sites of resistance the individual/micro-level, institutional, meso-level, and societal/macro-level, are important ways of framing research and policies that advance social movement anchored in educational justice in U.S. schools."

Dr. Ricky Lee Allen: "Whiteness, Race, and the 'Good' School."

  • Dr. Allen received his Ph.D. in Education (Urban Schooling) from the University of California, Los Angeles. He specializes in critical race studies, critical whiteness studies, and critical social theory. His scholarship focuses on the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of White identity politics. His publications include "The Globalization of White Supremacy: Toward a Critical Discourse on the Racialization of the World," "Whiteness and Critical Pedagogy," and "What About Poor White People?" His courses include Whiteness Studies, Critical Race Theory, Paulo Freire, and Philosophy of Education. Before becoming a professor, Dr. Allen was a secondary science teacher in suburban Cincinnati, rural Indiana, and urban Los Angeles.
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  • Dr. Allen's presentation will consider the following: "Even after decades of academic and public attention, the relationship between race and education is still largely misunderstood because we do not situate it within an accurate social and historical context. Race and racism are structural aspects of a racialized social system that organizes people into "races," privileges "whites," assigns relative "value" according to body schema, and produces and maintains hierarchies between racial groups. Education plays a role in re-creating this racialized social system, as do institutions and other phenomena external to schooling. Absent a consciousness of how this system operates, we misrecognize affluent white schools as "good" and white people as "normal." This talk will challenge discourse that constructs white "successes" as a model by deconstructing how they are caught up in dehumanizing processes."

Image: Photo of "World Geography" mural. Reprinted CC © from Flickr user Cedward Brice.

--Posted November 4, 2014.