Professor James Banks

For more than a quarter-century, the University of Washington’s Center for Multicultural Education has been a world leader in advancing multicultural education, producing landmark publications and educating a generation of influential scholars in the field.

That impact and the future of the center’s work were featured during its 30th symposium, “Commemorating the Past and Envisioning the Future: Making a Difference for 26 Years,” held on April 27. 

James A. Banks, founding director of the Center for Multicultural Education and Kerry and Linda Killinger Chair in Diversity Studies, reflected on his 49 years of service on the UW College of Education faculty and the work of the center.

“It’s been a long, wonderful, fruitful journey,” Banks said in his opening remarks. “The center’s final symposium under my leadership offers a time for celebration, reflection, affirmation of our goals to improve practice related to equity issues, intergroup relations and the academic achievement of all students.”

Django Paris, James A. and Cherry A. Banks Professor of Multicultural Education, closed the symposium by sharing his vision for the future of multicultural education as incoming director of the Banks Center for Educational Justice.

“This next era of work will foreground the project of educational justice for communities who have been and continue to be denied that justice,” Paris said. “Educational justice meaning the opportunity to teach and learn in ways that value and center the lifeways and very lives of communities.

“The Banks Center for Educational Justice seeks to become 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 urban and rural Washington.”

Watch symposium sessions in their entirety below and view the symposium program to learn more.

Symposium Opening: Dr. James Banks

Opening Keynote: Linda Darling Hammond

Alumni Panel: Passing the Torch to the Next Generation

Chaired by Caryn Park (PhD ‘10) of Antioch University, Seattle, panelists were Tyrone C. Howard (PhD '98), professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ at UCLA and associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion; Özlem Sensoy (PhD ‘04), associate professor of education at Simon Fraser University and associate director of the Centre for Education, Law and Society; Nicole M. Joseph (PhD '11), assistant professor of mathematics education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development; and Tao Wang (PhD ‘15), post-doctoral research associate in the Faculty of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai.

Closing Keynote: Django Paris

At the conclusion of the symposium, attendees shared their memories of Professor Banks and his impact on their lives, along with a standing ovation.


Dustin Wunderlich, Director of Marketing and Communications