A new name, a new director and a new book celebrate the inauguration of the Banks Center for Educational Justice at the University of Washington this October.
An event features Joy Williamson-Lott, author of “Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Struggle for a New Southern Social Order” and professor at UW College of Education, and Michelle Purdy, an education historian from Washington University in St. Louis, on Oct. 26. The event will begin at 1 p.m. with a reception in the Yukon Pacific Room of the UW Club, with the book talk beginning at 1:30 p.m. The book talk will be streamed live on the College's YouTube channel.
“Jim Crow Campus” provides a narrative of the battles to reform higher education and kickstart social change in the South, when the activism of students and faculty alike overlapped with struggles for Black freedom as well as opposition to the Vietnam War. Williamson-Lott bolsters the historical story with thorough research and connects the radical racial changes of the mid-20th century to the potential for deep influence existing in higher education today.
Williamson-Lott’s research focuses on the influence of social movements and institutions of higher education on each other. Her previous works include “Black Power on Campus,” which explores student-administration interactions from 1965-75 that led to today’s campus support systems, and “Radicalizing the Ebony Tower,” which examines issues of institutional autonomy and the relationship between historically black colleges and the civil rights and Black Power movements.
Purdy, too, has multiple published works analyzing racial history in education. Her scholarship covers topics such as the history of African American education as well as of U.S. education more broadly, the history of school desegregation, critical race theory and oral history.
At the inaugural event, Williamson-Lott will speak about her new book before being joined in conversation by Purdy. Refreshments will be available, along with a reception with books for sale and an author signing.
This fall, UW College of Education is celebrating the launch of the Banks Center for Educational Justice under the leadership of Django Paris, James A. and Cherry A. Banks Professor of Multicultural Education.
“Engaging the history of educational justice movements is key to centering justice in our educational present and future,” Paris said. “We are thrilled to learn from two brilliant historians in dialogue about Dr. Williamson-Lott's timely book.”
The Banks Center for Educational Justice is a central location for partnerships, program development and collaborative research with early childhood through university educational settings that sustain Native, Black, Latinx, and Asian and Pacific Islander young people across Seattle and Washington state. The center honors long-time UW faculty member James A. Banks, founder and director of the Center for Multicultural Education.
The event is co-sponsored by the UW's Center for Communication, Difference and Equity and Department of American Ethnic Studies.
Story by Olivia Madewell, marketing and communications student aide.
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