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Educational Thought Leaders Engaging with our Local Community

“Pedagogy should work in tandem with students’ own knowledge of their community and grassroots organizations to push forward new ideas for social change, not just be a tool to enhance test scores or grades. Pedagogy, regardless of its name, is useless without teachers dedicated to challenging systemic oppression with intersectional social justice.”

Dr. Bettina L. Love, from We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

2021 Critical Conversations with Jason Reynolds

portrait photo of Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds, Co-Author of Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You.

Photo credit James J. Reddington

The Ithaca College Department of Education in collaboration with the Ithaca City School District held Critical Conversations with Jason Reynolds, on Thursday, April 15th. This event was free and open to the public, with live captioning provided.

Jason Reynolds is the co-author of the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, this year’s community read. Read more about him here. Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of Ithaca City School District, moderated a panel discussion with Jason Reynolds and educational leaders to explore how the book Stamped can be used in schools and communities to cultivate an understanding and action to disrupt systemic racism. Our panelists were Dr. Shirley Collado, President of Ithaca College; Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, Assistant Professor at Ithaca College and Vice President of the ICSD Board; and Ms. Ayisha Fullerton, Principal of Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, NY, a partner school of the Department of Education.

Check out the IC Department of Education @ithacaeddept on Instagram and Facebook for coverage of this event.

Abolitionist Teaching and The Pursuit of Educational Freedom

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Dr. Bettina Love, Author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

In 2019 Dr. Bettina Love, esteemed educational researcher in the areas of Hip Hop education and urban education, offered a keynote lecture on the topic of Abolitionist Teaching. This year we were also fortunate to have Dr. Love lead additional community events at the Southside Community Center and local store Buffalo Street Books. Youth were integral to all events. Students (college and P-12) helped introduce and conclude the lecture, and eight Black school-aged girls and college women sat with Dr. Love in a “fishbowl” conversation of the book, while 100 community members in the audience watched and listened. The IC Department of Education also partnered with the local Tompkins Cortland Community College’s Early Childhood Education Department to provide books and hold discussion in their classes.

Dr. Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson, current Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Chair of the Department of Education at that time, came away from the talk impressed, saying, “Dr. Love maps out the kinds of work that would be associated with de-centering whiteness, refusing the educational survival complex, and acknowledging that poor schools and economic inequality are not accidents but instead are intentional results of discriminatory policies (past and present) that privilege whiteness."

Spring Lecture Series Beginnings

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Dr. Carla Shalaby, Author of Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School

The Ithaca College Department of Education Spring Lecture series is held each year to address issues of equity in education. In the weeks leading up to the lecture, the Department of Education hosts multiple book discussion groups throughout the region, including at libraries, schools, churches, and community centers. Through grant funding, the Department of Education is able to provide books to community members free of charge.

In our first year, 2018, we hosted Dr. Carla Shalaby whose lecture entitled “Refusal, Imagination, and Teaching and Learning How to Human Be” (emphasis intended) focused on understanding children, freedom, equity, and the conditions of schooling. Dr. Shalaby highlighted the impact of this event on an IC student via social media.

Shalby’s work is shaped by a deep commitment to education as the practice of freedom, and the stories of four children who are considered "troublemakers" in their school settings trouble the notion that their challenges at school rest with the children or their families; instead Shalaby makes visible how systems of power marginalize children and limit their access to dignity and freedom. Her work will be of interest to anyone who has ever loved a child or has ever been considered a “troublemaker” in school.