Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice: Education in a Global Age

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and
welcome to the University of Washington’s 29th Annual Faculty Lecture
I’m Mark Emmert president of the University and it’s my great pleasure to
welcome you to this wonderful event tonight’s speaker is Dr. James A Banks
holder of the Russell F Stark University professorship in the College of
Education and director of the University’s Center for multicultural
education his lecture is titled democracy diversity and social justice
education in a global age dr. banks is a leading voice in the field of
multicultural education an area of study that reflects society’s highest vision
and goals for itself in the 21st century you’ll hear tonight that he brings not
only world-class scholarship to the matter but also his own personal
experiences of racial discrimination and of the slow progress brought in recent
decades dr. banks remembers well our our own unenlightened past but also he looks
to the future with hope and optimism in delivering this address tonight dr.
banks joins a select group of distinguished University of Washington
faculty selection for this lecture is perhaps the highest honor our faculty
members can bestow upon one of their own the annual faculty lecture began in 1976
to help expose the work of unit the university’s finest faculty to a wider
audience each year a faculty committee reviews nominations sent from across the
campus looks for peers who’s Mark who’s works have made a significant impact on
the profession on their research and most importantly on the lives of their
students it could be said that dr. banks time in public school as a teacher in
the early 1960s prepared him well for his later work he came to the University
of Washington in 1969 after earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary
education Social Science from Chicago State
University and then at mass tourism PhD degrees in the same field from Michigan
State University he was the first african-american hired as a faculty
member of the University’s College of Education and the first at the
university to earn tenure that van is in AZ now dr. bankses work has fueled in
part by some basic questions about race and ethnicity that he first posed at a
young age and which have remained key to this research it’s a perspective to
which we should attend closely being a reminder both of how far we have come
and how much remains to be done dr. banks has written more than a hundred
journal articles and has written or edited 20 books he developed the first
courses to focus exclusively on ethnic and cultural diversity founded the
Center for a multicultural education in 1992 and continues to serve as its
director dr. banks Vita reveals an impressive list of honors awards and
accomplishments he’s a member of both the board of children youth and families
of the National Research Council and is a past president of the National Council
for the society of social studies and the American education Research
Association both of which groups later have honored him with awards for his
distinguished career dr. banks has long studied the thorny questions of who
constructs the knowledge used as the building blocks for written history and
how the biographical journeys of researchers can affect their values
research questions and the knowledge they construct thus personal experience
and worldview can affect the nature and tone of scholarly research dr. banks
postulates just as his own personal experiences and our own personal
experiences inform our research in our ever-burning curiosity members of his
own profession have referred to James banks as one of the founders of
multicultural education and we are proud tonight to have him
with us for this lecture and prouder still to have him as a member of our
faculty and university community please join me in welcoming tonight’s lecture
James a banks Thank You dr. Emerich for the nuff kind
introduction there is increasing diversity as well as an increasing
recognition of diversity in nation states throughout the world after World
War two large numbers of people emigrated from the former colonies and
Asia Africa in the West Indies to the United Kingdom to improve the economic
status since the 1960’s thousands of people from diverse language cultural
racial and religious groups have immigrated to nations such as Germany
France and the Netherlands Australia and Canada have also experienced increased
diversity caused by immigrant groups seeking better economic opportunities
nations that traditionally have been thought of as homogeneous such as Japan
and Sweden now acknowledge their diversity although the population of the
US has been diverse since the founding period its ethnic composition has
changed dramatically since the immigration reform Act was passed in
1965 in the 19th and early 20th centuries most immigrants to the u.s.
came from Europe today most come from nations in Asia in Latin America a
significant number also come from the West Indies in Africa the unit u.s. is
now experiencing its largest influx of immigrants since the late 19th and early
20th centuries the u.s. census projects that ethnic groups of color or ethnic
minorities and tonight I’m going to use those terms anonymously if there was
time I could explain the difference the census projects that ethnic groups of
color or ethnic minorities will increase from twenty-eight percent of the
nation’s population today to 50 percent in the year 2050 you may have heard that
whites are becoming a minority that is not true
spread the good news they are not becoming a minority you
hear that I’m going to you’ve heard that that is not true at least but by 2050
they’ll still be half the population and I think that I’d like to erase that
misconception because I think it’s very important that we learned at least
something tonight if you learn nothing else if you if you learn nothing else
you’ve learned that that whites will not become a minority at least until after
2050 racial cultural ethnic and language and religious diversity is also
increasing in the United States as well as in other nations increasing in the
schools that is 40 percent of the students and rolls and US schools are
students of color 40 percent this resurgence is increasing primarily
because the increase of mexican-american students in some of the nation’s largest
cities such as Chicago Los Angeles Washington DC New York in San Francisco
half or more of the public school students are students of color 59% of
the students in the see all school districts or ethnic minorities in 2002
students of color made up 65 percent of the student population in the public
schools of California the nation’s largest state language and religious
diversity is also increasing in the nation students population about 20% of
the u.s. village populations speak a language at home other than English
immigrant students are the fastest growing population of US public schools
the percentages of African Americans who are foreign-born is also increasing the
census estimates that 8 percent or 2.2 million of the of the African American
population is foreign born and that is really significant in the New York in a
recent article in The New York time’s it indicated that more blacks
were coming to the US since the period of the middle passage of our the slave
trade and I think that’s very significant there is a wide racial and
cultural gap however between teachers and students while forty percent of the
nation’s students are at the minorities most of the nation’s teachers are white
and speak only English white teachers make up about 86 percent of the nation’s
teachers and the percentage of white teachers in the nation schools will not
change in the foreseeable future the vast majority of the students enrolls in
college and university programs that prepare teachers are white the
significant changes in the racial ethnic and language groups that make up the
nation’s population creates a demographic imperative for educators to
respond to diversity diversity offers both opportunities and challenges to our
nation to schools into teachers diversity enriches our nation
communities classrooms and schools individuals from many different groups
have made and continue to make significant contributions to American
society diversity also provides our society with many different and enriched
ways to identify describe and solve social economic and political problems
diversity also provides schools colleges and universities with an opportunity to
educate students in an environment that reflects the reality of the nation in
the world and to teach students from diverse groups how to get along a
diverse school environment enables students from many different groups to
engage in discussions to solve complex problems related to living in a
multicultural nation in world however diversity also poses serious challenges
to our nation to schools to teachers research indicates the
students come to school with many stereotypes misconceptions and negative
attitudes toward outside groups here is an example from a study by two
researchers caller a three year old child is preparing for resting time she
picks up her cot and starts to move it to the other side of the classroom the
teacher asked what she’s doing I need to move this Karla explains why the teacher
asks because I can’t sleep next to a black Karla says pointing to Nicole a
four year old black child on a cot nearby blacks are stinky I can’t sit
next to one stunned the teacher who is white tells Karla to move her cot back
and not to use hurting words without curriculum intervention by teachers the
racial attitudes and behaviors of children become more negative and harder
to change as children grow older consequently an important aim of
multicultural education is to provide students with experiences and materials
that will help them develop more positive attitudes and values and
behaviors for individuals from different groups the wide gap between the academic
achievement of students of color such as African Americans and Mexican Americans
and whites and group of Asian Americans such as Chinese and Japanese Americans
is another important challenge in diverse schools into a multicultural
society I will discuss the academic achievement gap later in my presentation
during the last three decades my work has focused on ways to reform schools so
that they will increase the academic achievement of diverse groups and help
all students develop democratic racial attitudes and a commitment to democracy
and social justice education in a democratic society should help students
apply the knowledge attitudes and skills needed to become productive workers
within society as well as develop the commitment attitudes and skills to work
to make our nation in the world just places in which to live and work we
should educate students to be effective citizens of both their nation in the
world an important goal of multicultural education is to improve race relations
and to help all students apply the knowledge attitudes and skills needed to
participate in cross-cultural interactions an impersonal social and
civic action that will help make our nation and world more democratic and
just the goal of multicultural education is to teach students to know to care and
to act I will return to these three goals later in my presentation
multicultural education is as important for middle and high income white
suburban student as it is for students of color who live in the inner city the
story is told about a wealthy child near Hollywood from the shark change children
of the suburbia if this story indicates why multicultural legends needed by all
of the nation’s students the story is told about a little girl in school near
Hollywood who was asked to write a composition about a poor family the
essay began this family was very poor a mommy was poor the daddy was poor the
brothers and sisters were poor the maid was four
the nurse was four the butler was four the cook was four and the chauffeur was
four multicultural education fosters the public good in the overarching goals of
the United States multicultural education is trying to Americanize
America and to help it to actualize its ideals that are stated in its founding
documents the Declaration of indepen the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
that is the essence of the multicultural education project which has brought the
nation closer to the democratic ideals stated in its founding documents school
based reforms are needed to help students learn how to live together and
civic moral and just communities that respect and value the rights and
cultural characteristics of all students such efforts are made more difficult
because a large percentage of students attend single race schools and because
segregation often exists within racially and ethnically mixed schools that use
tracking and special programs to meet the special needs of student groups the
average white child attends a school that is over 78 percent white the
average black child attends the school that is over fifty-seven percent black
the average Hispanic child attends a school that is over fifty-seven percent
Hispanic the average age in child attends a school that is over 19% Asian
segregation is very much a fact of school life in America what have we
learned in the last three decades about ways in which schools can be transformed
in order to increase the academic achievement of students from diverse
groups and improve race relations I have categorized the major research
and scholarship that has been done of the last 30 years into five dimensions
which I call the dimensions of multicultural education I summarized
this research and a chapter in the handbook of research on multicultural
education tonight I will briefly describe each of these dimensions in
some of the significance insights that have been gained from research
scholarship and wisdom of practice the five dimensions are content
integration the knowledge construction process prejudice reduction in equity
pedagogy and in empowering school culture I will discuss each of these
dimensions in turn I will start with content integration content integration
deals with the extent to which teachers use examples and content from a variety
of cultures in their teaching research indicates that when teachers include
examples of content from different racial and ethnic groups students
develop more positive racial attitudes toward these groups and their
stereotypes of other groups are challenged research also indicates that
students become more engaged and active learners when teachers incorporate
information about their cultures histories and experiences into the
curriculum the next dimension I will discuss is the knowledge construction
process this process describes extent to which teachers help students understand
investigate and determine how the cultural assumptions frames of reference
perspectives and biases within a discipline influence the ways in which
knowledge is constructed within it scholarship and ethnic studies in
Women’s Studies indicates that knowledge in the popular culture in the media and
in textbooks reflects the biographies perspectives in cultural experiences of
the scientists social scientists and historians who created that knowledge
the knowledge in the school curriculum and within textbooks has a powerful
influence on how students view and experience the world I will give an
example from the textbooks that I use in school in the 1950s I was an elementary
school student in the Arkansas Delta in the 1950s
one of my most powerful memories of my school days is the image of the happy
and Laurel slaves in my social studies textbooks I also remember that there
were three other blacks and my social studies textbooks Booker T Washington
the educator George Washington Carver the scientist and Marian Anderson the
classical singer I had several persistent question
throughout my school days why were the slaves pictures as happy
were there other blacks in history beside the two Washington’s and Anderson
who created this image of slaves why the image of the happy slaves was
inconsistent with everything I knew about the african-american descendants
of enslaved people in my segregated community we had to drink water from
fountains labeled colored and we could not use the city’s public library but we
were not happy about either of these legal requirements in fact we resisted
these laws and powerful but subtle ways each day as children we savor the taste
of white water when the authorities were were preoccupied with more serious
infractions against the racial caste system the civil rights movement that
emerged in the 1960s which consisted of marches and protests contradicted the
notion that African Americans and the South were happy with their condition
throughout my schooling these questions remain cogent as I tried to reconcile
the presentations of African Americans and textbooks with the people I knew in
my family and community I wanted you to know why these images were highly
divergent my epistle optical quests to find out why the
slaves were represented as happy became a lifelong journey that continues and
the closer I think I am to the answer the more difficult and complex both my
question and the answers become the question why were the slaves represented
as happy has taken different forms in various periods of my life such as why
did a book like the bell curve which argues that blacks are genetically
inferior to whites remain of the New York Times bestseller list for many
weeks I now believe along with scholars such as Sandra Harding Lorraine Cole
Patricia Hill Collins and met Matthew Jacobson but the biographical journeys
of researchers greatly influenced their values their research questions and the
knowledge they construct the knowledge they construct mirrors their life
experiences in their values I discovered through historical research but the
paradigm of the happy slaves was constructed by Ulrich B Phillips and
described in his 1918 book American Negro slavery Phillips who was a
descendant descendant of slave owners emphasized the benign treatment of the
slaves in their happiness the Phillips slavery paradigms was institutionalized
in the popular culture and in schools colleges and universities it was not
seriously challenged by mainstream historians until the mid 1950s the 1960s
in the 1970s by historians such as Kenneth’s down Stanley Elkin and John
Blasingame however the Philip slavery paradigm was
challenged from the academic margins and by african-american scholars such as
Carnegie Woodson and WB do boy when American Negro slavery was first
published in 19:18 the next dimension i will discuss
is an equity pedagogy in activity pedagogy exists when teachers modify
their teaching in ways that will facilitate the academic achievement of
students from diverse racial cultural gender and social class groups
culturally responsive teaching a form of equity pedagogy is used to help close
the achievement gap many explanations have been given for the achievement gap
multicultural education and theories believe but the difference between the
home cultures of an RD student and the school culture is a major reason for the
low academic achievement of minority students during the last three decades
researchers have been investigating ways in which teachers can make use of
elements from the cultures of students to increase their academic achievement researchers have described ways in which
the languages dialects and home cultures of low-income students and students of
color can be used to motivate them to learn many studies describe the
difference between the home culture and the school culture and describe ways in
which teachers can build up on the home culture to enhance the Cheeseman
researchers have described the ways in which verbal interactions differ in the
school and in the homes of Navajo students and how language use among
white middle class teachers the white working-class and the black
working-class differs some researchers have described how teachers can use the
home language of low-income African American students which is called black
English as a vehicle to help them master Standard English many of you will recall
the contentious debate of a black English that occurred in the Oakland
Public Schools in 1996 when the district proposed using black English
a vehicle to teach African American students standard English this
recommendation is quite consistent with research by linguist research indicates
that an effective way to teach students a second language is to build up on
their home language or dialect rather than try to eradicate it
some studies provide evidence to support the idea that when teachers use
culturally responsive teaching the academic achievement of minority
students increase professor Catherine owl at the University of Hawaii found
that if teachers use participation structures in lessons that were similar
to the Hawaiian speech event talk story the reading achievement of Native
Hawaiian students increased significantly the chief characteristic
of talk story is John performance of the cooperative production of responses of
two or more speakers for example if the subject is going surfing one of the boys
begins by recounting the events of a particular day but he will immediately
invite one of the other boys to join in and to helped to describe the events the
two bars will alternate its speakers each telling part of the story with
other children occasionally chiming in top story is very different from
recitations in most classrooms in which the teacher usually calls on an
individual child to tell a story professor kelp Cara Lee at Northwestern
University has found that the achievement of african-american students
increases from their taught literary interpretations with the lessons that
use the african-american verbal practice of signifying signifying is a genre with
an african-american speech that involves ritual Insull such as playing the dozen
and many of you will know what I’m talking about and the rest of you I can
tell you during the reception what signifying is is about and playing
the dozen is about signifying also involves a high use of
figurative language professor Charlie brycie
at Stanford University discovered that african-american children in the
southern community would not answer questions that they felt that the
teacher no the Institute they felt why answer why answer that question for
example the teacher would ask what color is this dish and how many fingers do I
have and they wouldn’t answer they said she knows the answer to that question
what what happened because they wouldn’t answer the question the teacher thought
they weren’t intelligent but they didn’t answer the question because they thought
it was silly because in their culture people only asked all three big
questions when they really wanted to know the answer so that but surely he
this tried to do is try to help teachers drop on the cultural frames of these
kids in order to increase their academic achievement you know it’s not
unreasonable to assume finance the question if the person knows the answer
it’s not not quite unreasonable they’re not very unreasonable the next dimension
is prejudice reduction this dimension focused on the characteristics of
students racial attitudes and how they can be modified by teaching methods and
materials research indicates that the use of multicultural textbooks other
teaching materials in cooperative teaching strategies that enable students
from different racial groups to interact positively in equal status situations
help students develop democratic racial attitudes these kinds of materials and
teaching strategies can also result in students choosing more friends from
outside racial ethnic and cultural groups since the 1940s a number of
curriculum intervention studies have been conducted to determine the effects
of teaching units and within lessons multicultural textbooks and material
role-playing and other kinds of simulated experiences on the racial
attitudes and perceptions of students these studies indicate that curricular
materials and interventions can help students develop positive racial
attitudes and perceptions these studies provide guidelines that can help
teachers improve intergroup relations in their classrooms and schools when they
have students such as Carlo but I referred to earlier with the cot if you
remember that anecdote and that’s um a real study by the way it wasn’t
contrived one of the earliest curriculum studies was conducted in 1952 Carl they
learn what they live it examined the effects of a democratic multiple
cultural curriculum on the racial attitudes of children and the first and
second grades the curriculum had a positive effect on the attitudes of both
the students and the teachers and what the studies indicate that in order for
students to learn democracy they must experience a democratic curriculum in a
democratic classrooms research indicates that when schools create superordinate
groups and that is groups with which members of all the groups in a situation
identify relations can be improved when membership in a subordinate group is
salient other groups differences become less important creating superordinate
groups stimulates liking in cohesion which can mitigate pre-existing
animosities an example of a superordinate group is a basketball team
that includes black white and mexican-american students who are
working together to beat an opponent in this situation race and ethnicity become
less important than beating the opponent the next dimension I will discuss is an
empowering school culture an empowering school culture is used to describe the
process of restructuring the culture and organization of the school
so the students from diverse groups will experience educational equality in
cultural empowerment research in theory indicate that creating a successful
school for low-income students in students of color requires restructuring
the culture and organization of the school research indicates that the
culture of some schools fosters high academic achievement and that the other
and that the culture of other schools is not and a very important point I’d like
to make is that some of the effective schools are in inner cities and some are
are in suburbs it doesn’t mean because the school is in inner city it’s not
effective in raising achievement so in fact a school with an effect of
achievement culture can be in an inner-city low-income district or it can
be in the suburbs and vice versa the key is the cultural characteristics of the
school researchers call these effective schools effective are improving schools
what are some of their characteristics this research has been down of a period
of 30 years what are some of the characteristics of an effective school
and I’ll just list a few first safe and orderly environment secondly a shared
faculty faculty commitment to improve achievement in orientation focused on
identifying and solving problems hi faculty cohesion and collaboration in
other words teachers have to be professionals hi faculty input and
decision-making now think about the high stakes test to what extent are teachers
involved and in determining testing in their schools teachers need to be
involved if we’re going to have an effective school and finally in an
effective school because a school-wide emphasis on recognizing positive
performance and high academic achievement
because we live in a global society that is highly interconnected in effective
education for the 21st century prepare students for thoughtful citizenship in
their communities the nation in the world worldwide immigration and
globalization raises new questions about how to prepare students for thoughtful
and active citizenship multicultural societies are faced with the problem of
constructing nation-states that reflect and incorporate the diversity of its
citizens and yet have an overarching set of shared values ideals and goals to
which all of its citizens are committed diversity and unity must be balanced in
multicultural nation states only when a nation-state is unified around a set of
democratic values such as justice and equality and it protects the rights of
cultural ethnic and language groups and enable them to experience cultural
democracy in freedom in a democratic society ethnic and immigrant groups
should have the right to maintain their ethnic cultures in languages as well as
participate in the National Civic culture the Canadian political theories
will chemical calls this concept multicultural citizenship in 1924 horse
Cowen called it cultural democracy and indeed the term cultural democracy has
been rediscovered and reinvented he is a very important concept for our field
today we believe that along with political democracy we must also have
cultural democracy an assimilationist conception of citizenship education
existed in most Western democratic nation states prior to the rise of the
ethnic Relient revitalization movements in the 60s and 70s a major goal of
citizenship education in these nations was to create a nation-state
in which our group shared one dominant mainstream culture it was assumed that
ethnic and immigrant groups would forsake their original cultures in order
to become full citizen of the nation-state nationalists in the
simulations throughout the world worried that if they allow students to maintain
identification with their cultural communities they will not acquire
sufficiently strong attachments to their nation states nationalists in the
simulation is have a zero sum concept of identity the theoretical and empirical
work of multicultural scholars indicate that identity is multiple changing
overlapping and contextual rather than fixed and Static in that thoughtful and
clarified cultural identification will enable people to be more thoughtful
reflective in active citizens of the Civic community balancing unity and
diversity is a continuing challenge for multicultural nation-states unity
without diversity results in hegemony and oppression diversity without unity
leads to balkanization in the fracturing of the nation-state a major problem
facing the nation-state is how to recognize and legitimize difference in
yet construct an overarching national identity that incorporates the values
experiences hopes and dreams of the diverse groups that compose it assimilationist notion of citizenship
are ineffective today because of the deepening diversity throughout the world
in the quest by marginalized groups for cultural recognition and rights
multicultural citizenship is essential for today’s a global age
it recognizes and legitimizes the right and needs of citizens to maintain
commitments vote both to their cultural communities into the National Civic
culture Martha Nussbaum states that we should help students develop
cosmopolitanism Cosmopolitan’s view themselves as citizens of the world
Nussbaum states that they their allegiance is to the worldwide community
of human beings Cosmopolitan’s are ready to immerse themselves and other cultures
engage with difference and acquire cultural capital Nussbaum contrasts
cosmopolitan universalism and internationalism with parochial
ethnocentrism and inward-looking patriotism students should develop a
delicate balance of cultural national and global identifications cultural
national and global experiences in identification are interactive in
interrelated in a dynamic way each needs to be developed in the schools teachers
need to help students develop cultural and national identifications that are
critical in thoughtful nationalism and national attachments in most nations are
strong in tenacious an important aim of citizenship education should be to help
students develop global identifications the ways in which people are moving back
and forth across national borders challenge the notion of educating
citizens to function in one nation-state many people have more than one national
identity and live in multiple places students also need to develop a deep
understanding of the need to take action as citizens of the global community to
help solve the world’s difficult global problems
a goal of multicultural citizenship education is to teach students to know
to care in to act in order to increase social justice in their communities the
nation in the world I will discuss each of these goals in turn teaching students
to know to care and to act first to know when we teach students to know we help
them acquire deep knowledge and understanding about the various groups
within the United States in the world we also help them to understand concepts
and events from the perspectives of different groups and from the
perspectives of men and women when we teach students to view events and
concepts from diverse perspectives we are using what bell hooks calls a
pedagogy of freedom which help students to view the nation in the world the
young that course cultural borders and perspectives when we are helping
students to gain diverse perspectives on the nation in the world it is important
for them to view events from the perspectives and experiences of groups
that have been neglected in the popular culture and in the schools for example
we need to put the voices of women into the curriculum when it is being
transformed they have done as absent from black and brown history as they
have done from white history ala Baker Fannie Lou Hamer and Daisy Bates are
examples of african-american women who’ve been large largely neglected in
civil rights history and in the popular culture students learn about men in the
civil rights movement such as Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson but very
little about women in the civil rights movement such as Daisy Bates and Fannie
Lou Hamer Baker practically ran the day-to-day operations of the southern
Christian Leadership Conference behind the scenes however the men in SCLC such
as Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy get most of the credit invisibility and
history votes bringing the voices of women distill history help students gain
new perspectives on the American experience an example is the story of
Rosa Parks we learn in the popular culture and in many textbooks the parks
did not give up her seat to a white rider because she was tired
however parks writes in her book with Jim Haskin Rosa Parks my story and I
quote people always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired but
that isn’t true I was not tired physically I’m no more tired than I
usually was at the end of a working day I was not old although some people have
an image of me of being old then I was 42 no the only child I was was tired of
giving in the multicultural curriculum also help students to rethink and to
examine taken for granted concept such as the new world wasn’t new to the
Native Americans they had been here for 30,000 years the European discovery of
America pioneers a sure neighbor what would a Lakota Sioux call a pioneer
ask your neighbor well you can do it at the reception think of what would a
Lakota Sioux called a pioneer but will it look old a Sioux called a settler
what would a lo Lakota Sioux call the westward movement
what about manifest destiny what about American exceptionalism the westward
movement had very different meanings for different groups for the Mexicans that
was north for the Alaskans it was south for the Japanese it was ease it was
of the universe for the Lakota Sioux writes Patricia Hal writes historian
Patricia Nelson Limerick and I quote the Mexicans came North the Chinese and
Japanese came east the Alaskans went south
the Native Americans tried hard to stay put they fought to stay where they were
they did not want to move in dove quote the more perspectives that students
learn the better they will understand our nation in world to know to care and
to act we also have two teachers once students know they have to care
education is a moral endeavor we should educate both the hearts and minds of
students and teach them to care Horace Mann said to the graduates and his
committee and address at Antioch College in 1859 he said be ashamed to die until
you’ve won some victory for humankind Margaret Mead said that a handful of
thoughtful committed people can change the world
indeed it is the only thing that has to know to care to act students must know
they must care but they also with act during the Nazi period in Germany not
enough people it was a very knowledgeable society they knew deeply
but not enough cared and acted to act to know to care interact don t said that
the worst place in hell is for is reserved for those in times of great
moral crisis take a neutral stand Edmund Burke said that the only thing necessary
for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing if it we cannot
be neutral and the difficult and challenging times in which we now live
if it were announced that was a fire in this room how many of us would sit here
and be neutral Martin Luther King’s Junior’s life exemplified knowing caring
and acting when teaching about Martin Luther King’s life teachers need to go
beyond King’s dream speech and describe the tremendous controversy that
surrounded his life both African Americans and white harshly criticized
King for his position on the Vietnam War it was okay for him to work for civil
rights but when he started opposing the war people said that’s too far
how did King respond in one of his last speeches he said and I quote it is my
deep conviction that justice is indivisible that injustice anywhere is a
threat to justice everywhere for those who tell me I’m hurting the civil rights
movement and ask don’t you think that in order to be respected and in order to
gain support you must stop talking against the war I can only say that I’m
not a consensus leader I do not seek to determine what is right and wrong by
taking a Gallup poll to determine majority opinion and it is again my deep
conviction but ultimately a genuine leader is not a search of consensus but
a molder of consensus on some position the coward asked the question is it safe
expediency ask the question is it poverty vanity ask the question is it
popular but consciousness ask the question is it right and thus and there
comes a time when one must take a stand that is neither safe nor politic not
popular but one must take it because it is right and that is where I find myself
today King also said that we will live
together as brothers and sisters or dog suffering in a party strangers in 1971
James Baldwin in an open letter to Angela Davis stated by multicultural
education is essential in a democratic and just nation and world he wrote if we
know then we must fight for your life as though it were our own which it is and
render impassable with our bodies the card is to the gas chamber for if they
come for you in the morning they will come for us that night thank well Jim thank you so very much that was
truly extraordinary and an obvious reflection of why your faculty
colleagues have such high regard for you and I think it’s also adding a very nice
note to what I’m very pleased to announce tonight because there’s
something that is very special about this evening also because I have the
great pleasure of announcing that through the generous contributions of
Washington Mutual and CEO of Washington Mutual Kerry Killinger and his wife
Linda Killinger there has been created a million dollar new endowed chair in
multicultural education in the College of Education and the purpose of less endowed chair is
to make sure that there is always a faculty member in the college whose
research and teaching attends to the critical issues of diversity in k-12
education but furthermore I am delighted to announce that this evenings lecturer
Professor James banks is the first holder of the Kari and Linda Killinger
endowed chair and diversity studies congratulations Jim what a wonderful and thank you of course to Washington
Mutual and the killing Jews who unfortunately weren’t able to be here
tonight for their wonderful generosity we are delighted that they care so much
about this critical issue in this wonderful wonderful faculty member thank
you all for being here tonight you

5 thoughts on “Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice: Education in a Global Age”

  1. I'm never seen a less evidence supported argument… ever. Just by saying "research shows" doesn't mean that your point is automatically true. Diversity on every level has been proven to hurt societies as a whole.

  2. The man's credentials are impressive. It is ok to disagree with him, but disagree from an informed position. A person cannot dismiss this man lightly.

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