Tag Archives: Speaker Series

Speaker Series (Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life): Linda Christensen

Linda Christensen was the sixth and final presenter in the department’s speaker series, “Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life.” Christensen is an Instructor and Director of the Oregon Writing Project at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education, and a Counseling & Rethinking Schools Editorial Board member. Her presentation as part of the series was titled, “The Tulsa Race Riot: Raising Voices Silenced by History” and described this way,

The past is not dead, and it needs to be remembered for students to understand contemporary patterns of wealth and poverty, privilege and marginalization. Our curriculum should equip students to “talk back” to the world. Students must learn to pose essential critical questions: Who makes decisions and who is left out? Who benefits and who suffers? What are the origins of today’s problems? What alternatives can we imagine? What is required to create change? In this presentation, Christensen will engage participants in an examination of a historical event from eyewitness accounts to revisit the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. Through this workshop, she will demonstrate how she uses “silences” in history to construct solid literacy practices including persuasive essays and historical fiction, building a framework for critical literacy that helps students navigate an increasingly unequal world.

Here’s a video of Linda Christensen’s presentation.

Linda Christensen and Antero Garcia

Linda Christensen and Antero Garcia

English Department Communications Intern Brianna Wilkins attended the presentation, and has this to share:

After a few weeks’ hiatus, April 22 was the finale of the spring 2014 Speaker Series. Since it’s nearing the end of the semester, crowds usually tend to thin and would rather spend a nice evening outdoors, so it was a lovely surprise to see that so many people came out to support what was the last of a phenomenal series of presentations. Everyone in attendance was graced by the presence of Linda Christensen, the Director of the Oregon Writing Project, located in the Graduate School of Education at Lewis & Clark College.

She spoke about the Tulsa Race Riot of May 31 and June 1, 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Due to the fact the majority of the audience had never heard of this riot before, the conversation and group activity that took place was one of curiosity and emotion. Christensen’s presentation brought everyone in the room closer together, as we worked together to figure out what really happened during those two days of the riot.

Everyone in the room was given a sheet of paper with a short story about a witness’s involvement in the riot. We were then asked to get up and mingle with people in the room, to work together to find out the cause and effect of the riot. After we received various stories and clues from the people involved we came back together as a group to discuss what all happened during those unfortunate couple of days in Tulsa. Thousands of blacks were left homeless, and justice was never served to those who were affected by the horrors of the riot.

The clue I was given read was about a character named Maria Morales Gutierrez, a Mexican woman who heard the ruckus on the street. After going outside she noticed two black children running loose in the streets without their parents. She rescued them, but a group of white people demanded she hand them over. She refused to do so, but was terrified for her life because so many blacks were being ruthlessly murdered. We discussed that things like this in America’s history are often overlooked and ignored. It’s sad that many of us had no clue that this ever happened, but it was a pleasure for the group as a whole to be engaged and sharing their thoughts about this horrific event.

Christensen explained that she does this activity with many students, and that it engages them to speak and what to learn more about what happened during this piece of forgotten history. This was an eye opening presentation, and it shed light on a part of American history that was denied for 75 years.

I am grateful for being given the opportunity to attend all of the speaker series that were offered. Although the majority of the topics were geared towards English Education majors, it was informative for everyone who attended. Professor Antero Garcia was always full of excitement, and there were always cupcakes and fruit available for us to snack on if we were lacking in energy from a long day. If you missed out on any of these series there are videos that you can view, available in each blog post about the series. If you do decide to tune in, I hope you enjoy them as much we did!

For more information about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, please visit tulsareparations.org/TRR.htm

~Brianna Wilkins

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Speaker Series (Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life): Patrick Camangian

Patrick Camangian was the fourth presenter in the department’s speaker series, “the Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life.” His bio on the University of San Francisco website says, “Camangian is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of San Francisco. He was an English teacher for seven years at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, where he was awarded ‘Most Inspirational Teacher’ by former mayor Richard Riordan and the school’s student body. Professor Camangian currently volunteers at Mandela High School in Oakland teaching tenth grade English. He has collaborated with groups such as California’s Association of Raza Educators, the Education for Liberation national network, and San Francisco’s Teachers 4 Social Justice.”

His presentation as part of the speaker series was titled, “Moving Left of Center: Teaching a New Ending,”

If teachers truly want to make their classrooms more culturally empowering, we need the type of learning, an ability to read the world, as Paulo Freire says, that leads to social transformation in students’ actual lives. This presentation honors this by discussing the importance of tapping into the humanity that young people bring into classrooms, treating their most pressing concerns as worthy of intellectual interrogation and important starting points for all learning. Toward this end, this presentation will draw on work done in urban schools throughout California as a context to understand the socio-educational experiences of different cultural groups in urban communities and, more importantly, consider ways in which classroom teachers can more effectively remedy the problems facing urban communities.

Antero Garcia, host extraordinaire of this amazing series, had this to say, “On Tuesday, as part of the CSU Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life series, Dr. Patrick Camangian, offered his insight in a talk titled ‘From Coping to Hoping: Teaching a New Ending.’ The entire discussion can be viewed below and I hope you will take a look. Dr. Camangian’s work can be accessed via his Academia.edu page. Additionally, Patrick mentions that his work builds on the scholarship of Jeff Duncan-Andrade and I would point readers to his ‘Note to Educators,’ which offers a necessary look at ‘critical hope.’ As Patrick mentions at the beginning of his talk, he and I have been in similar circles for nearly a decade. My first teacher education class (taught by Dr. Duncan-Andrade) met in Patrick’s classroom. The picture of Tupac above his clock, mentioned in his talk, was my first look at what a caring, urban classroom could look like.”

Here’s a video of Patrick Camangian’s presentation:

Patrick Camangian and Antero Garcia

Patrick Camangian and Antero Garcia

English Department Communications Intern Brianna Wilkins attended the presentation, and has this to share:

Coming all the way from the University of San Francisco to the fourth installment of the Speaker Series this semester was Dr. Patrick Camangian. His topic for the night was, “From Coping to Hoping: Teaching a New Ending.” Before he got started he shared that he and Professor Antero Garcia taught at neighboring schools in Los Angeles, and have grown close over time working on other projects together. Their love for education is what brought Dr. Camangian to speak on March 11, 2014; his radical speech mixed with his down to earth demeanor was a good combination which instantly sparked the attention of the audience.

Dr. Camangian expressed that youth living in urban communities are sometimes living in a warlike zone; they are forced to deal with issues that make them stress out more than they should, often times prohibiting them from succeeding in the classroom. He shared that there is an abundance of trauma that youth in urban communities experience, and a lot of times these youth show symptoms of PTSD twice as much as soldiers returning form war. Due to their stress levels and aggressive nature, it’s hard for them to elevate their minds in a positive way, especially if they’re surrounded by negativity. Camangian brought up the point that if students in these communities aren’t taught to collaborate with one another they’ll compete instead to be the best, which causes conflict amongst the group.

Having come from an urban community myself, it is definitely a change being surrounded by students who are actually in school to learn, and not bringing outside drama to the confines of the classroom. Although students in urban communities aren’t to blame for the possible hardships that surround them every day, it is definitely a struggle to interact with those who aren’t mentally or intellectually motivated because of outside factors affecting their performance. He expressed how someone told him that teaching in an urban school is comparative to dog years, in which teaching for one year at an urban school actually feels like seven. It is up to educators to be strong willed, and to be the person that these students need in order to want to come to school and engage in learning; not allowing their outside problems to interfere with their academic performance. He also focused on a book called “The Skin We Ink” by David E. Kirkland, and how it discusses that, “Tattoos connect personal stories to larger social ones.” When in an environment where students feel like they aren’t accepted, and can’t express themselves, they use tattoos as a form of art to show what they think or how they feel.

From Dr. Camangian’s discussion, it’s apparent that students in urban communities need environments where they are able to express themselves in ways that have a positive outcome, and should be provided spaces in which they can excel without having to feel defensive in order to succeed. His passion was definitely present in his speech; it was clear by the experiences he shared that his along with other’s hard work and dedication is making a change in these student’s lives for the better.

~Brianna Wilkins

More about this series: Throughout the spring semester the department will host nationally recognized literacies-based researchers and educators to discuss how literacy and youth civic participation intersect from varying, interdisciplinary perspectives. The speakers will be presenting their work and engaging in dialogue from 5:30-6:30, followed by a brief reception. These events are free and open to the public. All of the speakers will be presenting at the CSU campus in Clark A 205.

There is only one presentation remaining in this series: April 22nd, Linda Christensen, Instructor and Director of the Oregon Writing Project, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling & Rethinking Schools Editorial Board member, Portland, OR.

Speaker Series (Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life): Marcelle Haddix

Marcelle Haddix from Syracuse University was the third presenter in the department’s speaker series, “the Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life.” Haddix’s presentation was titled  “Are You Still Helping That Community?”: Toward a Publicly Engaged Teacher Education and a Focus on Community/ies, and described this way,

Working from a scholarship-in-action, community engaged framework, Marcelle Haddix will discuss ways that notions of community/ies and public engagement are defined and taken up in English and literacy teacher education. Her talk will feature examples from two areas of scholarship. The first area involves a study of the ways students of color navigate the multiple discourse communities they inhabit as preservice teachers and their construction of teacher identities in the current climate of teacher preparation programs. Specifically, Marcelle will highlight the ways that teacher candidates of color define public engagement and what it means for them to work with/in urban schools and communities. The second examines the experiences of secondary English and literacy preservice teachers enrolled in a Teaching Writing Course where students coordinate and facilitate a community writing event for local middle and high school students. In looking across both areas, her talk will articulate new directions for encouraging community building and public engagement in English and literacy teacher education.

Marcelle Haddix’s faculty page on the Syracuse University website says this about her,

Marcelle Haddix completed her PhD in Education with an emphasis in Literacy, Language, and Learning at Boston College. Her background includes work as a secondary English language arts teacher, college administrator, composition instructor, and teacher educator. Professor Haddix is a critical English Educator who focuses on how to best prepare all teachers for working in culturally and linguistically diverse settings. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy and English education. Haddix also directs the “Writing Our Lives” project, a program geared toward supporting the writing practices of urban youth within and beyond school contexts. A highlight of this project is the annual Youth Writing Conference that brings together middle and high school students, teachers, university faculty, and community members.

Haddix’s scholarly interests center on addressing the literacy achievement gap that persists for children of color, particularly among African American boys. Her work is featured in Research in the Teaching of English, Language and Education, and Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and she is a frequent presenter at annual meetings for the National Council of Teachers of English and the American Educational Research Association. She was most recently selected by the Standing Committee on Research of the National Council of Teachers of English to receive the 2010 Promising Researcher in English Education Award.

You can watch a video of Marcelle Haddix’s presentation here: https://plus.google.com/events/clft27d3m7askdnm34cas3qmd2o Antero Garcia had this to say about it, “Marcelle Haddix’s presentation as part of the ongoing Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life series was thrilling. A recent graduate, currently teaching in a local school told me this was the talk she ‘needed’ to hear. Likewise, many attendees (both in-person and via email afterwards) shared that they were invigorated and renewed by Dr. Haddix’s frank discussion of the needs of preservice teachers of color, the challenges with wanting to ‘help’ a community, and the possibilities that unfold (to lift a phrase from one of her research participants) when we shift our stances as teachers and teacher educators.”

English Department Communications Intern Brianna Wilkins attended the presentation, and has this to share:

Tuesday March 3, 2013, marked the third speaker series of the semester. We were graced by the presence of Marcelle Haddix, Assistant Professor at the School of Education, at Syracuse University. Before she spoke on her topic for the night, she mentioned that she and Antero Garcia share a lot in common; primarily their love of pop culture, focusing on topics such as their love for television and reality shows. It was nice to see that educators too have their guilty pleasures, and as the audience shared the laughter between Haddix and Garcia, the ice was immediately broken. Early that day, Haddix received the opportunity to visit Pam Coke’s research methods class. She said that she really enjoyed what she witnessed; she then joked that after visiting such a great class, she had great expectations of the audience as we listened and divulged in conversation about the theme of being a publicly engaged educator, and being an active part of the community you that you work with.

From numerous conversations that Haddix has had with prospective educators, it was clear that lot of them are only a part of the community they taught during work hours, but once they clocked out, they go back to living their own separate lives. She focused on the notion that teaching and learning is not relegated to the confines of a of the K – 12 classroom, where teachers are positioned as depositors of knowledge, and funds of knowledge that young people bring to school from their homes and communities are neglected. She insisted that in order for students to better connect with what they’re learning, a relationship of familiarity must be established with both the students, and their teacher.

Having experienced being the only black student in many of her classes back in the 80s and 90s she mentioned that unfortunately not too much has changed since then, primarily in higher education. In conversations that she’s had with students of color, they express that they feel as if they don’t fit in with the majority, and they tend to shy away from the crowd, which diminishes their opportunity to succeed. Her discussion opened the eyes of many, showing that race can become a barrier in the classroom, which leads to unintentional segregation between students and possibly even teachers. We were given ideas that helped us understand that that as a community both parties are helping and learning from each other, and how we should all work to create an environment that is accepting of another; an environment where everyone is comfortable enough to be themselves, and grow together as a community.

~Brianna Wilkins

More about this series: Throughout the spring semester the department will host nationally recognized literacies-based researchers and educators to discuss how literacy and youth civic participation intersect from varying, interdisciplinary perspectives. The speakers will be presenting their work and engaging in dialogue from 5:30-6:30, followed by a brief reception. These events are free and open to the public. All of the speakers will be presenting at the CSU campus in Clark A 205.

Speaker Series (Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life): Mark Gomez, Patricia Rainge, and Katie Rainge

The second presentation as part of the CSU Department of English speaker series, “the Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life,” was given by Mark Gomez, Patricia Hanson, and Katie Rainge-Briggs. They co-founded the Schools for Community Action in South Central Los Angeles and are all current classroom teachers. Their talk, “Schools for Community Action: Addressing the Lived Realities of Inner-City Youth,” covered their classroom strategies and integrated school design model.

Antero Garcia had this to say about the presentation, “we had an awesome turnout at our second event as part of the Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life speaker series at CSU. Mark Gomez, Patricia Hanson, and Katie Rainge-Briggs shared their powerful work at the Schools for Community Action. They had an interactive presentation that involved researching issues local to Fort Collins and presenting elevator pitches for sustainable change. The work was engaging and a fun change of pace from the traditional academic mode of presentation. Their presentation can be viewed below (though if you find the small-group activity a bit dizzying, I encourage you to skip to around minute 44 when they do some larger wrap-up in a traditional format).”

You can watch a video of this presentation here: https://plus.google.com/events/c0agst4ehfoo244k77ei23alqic

English Department Communications Intern Brianna Wilkins attended the presentation, and has this to share:

The lively sounds coming from inside of Clark A205 were a bit a bit of a shock, as I prepared myself to enter the room of full of educators and students interested in learning about civic literacy. One would think that at 5:30 pm, people would be tired after a long day of school and work, but everyone was as vibrant as ever, anticipating the presenters for the evening. The Speaker Series on February 18, 2014, featured three teachers from Los Angeles, California.

Hanson, Rainge-Briggs and Gomez

Hanson, Rainge-Briggs and Gomez

The teachers who presented are Mark Gomez, Patricia Rainge and Katie Rainge – Briggs, all teach at three different schools that are situated together on one property. Gomez teaches at the Critical Design and Gaming School, also known as DAGS; there the primary focus is on transforming the community. Hanson is a teacher at the Community Health Advocates School, which goes by CHAS for short; there they partner with local organizations such as the St. John’s Clinic, focusing on ways to make the community a better place to live. Rainge – Briggs teaches at the Responsible Indigenous Social Entrepreneurial School, better known as RISE; they focus more on professional development amongst minorities. Students at all three schools are involved in hands on learning activities in their classes, which allow them to work together as a team in a learning environment that encourages them to think outside of the box.

There had to be at least 60 people in attendance on Tuesday, and the majority were students who were eager to learn about the different learning methods that were being presented. They focused on teaching us about civic literacy by focusing on three categories; design & land use, economic development or re-development and community health. Instead of just talking at us the entire time, they came up with a neat group activity that had us interacting with each other. In groups of 4-6 people, we had to search the room for hidden QR codes, and then scan them to see what they were about. From there we went on to discuss the ways in which we could persuade parents, teachers, and community members to get involved with students by using the information that was presented from the QR codes.

It was great to see everyone interact, and come together to brainstorm ideas that could promote the advancement of students, mainly in urban neighborhoods. I know that I enjoyed being active, and meeting different people who are just as excited about as I am about educating the youth; if you feel the same way then you should definitely join the fun. It’s not too late to attend; there are two more speaker series left, one on March 4th, and the other on the 11th. This series will not only engage your mind, but it will allow you to see education and teaching in ways that you’ve never thought possible.

~Brianna Wilkins

More about this series: Throughout the spring semester the department will host nationally recognized literacies-based researchers and educators to discuss how literacy and youth civic participation intersect from varying, interdisciplinary perspectives. The speakers will be presenting their work and engaging in dialogue from 5:30-6:30, followed by a brief reception. These events are free and open to the public. All of the speakers will be presenting at the CSU campus in Clark A 205.

Speaker Series (Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life): Buffy Hamilton

Buffy Hamilton spoke on February 11th as part of the English Department’s Speaker Series, “Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life.” The title of her talk was “Metanarratives of Literacy Practices: Libraries as Sponsors of Literacies,” described this way,

How might libraries deconstruct the ideas and power relations that influence the ways they reinforce and distribute specific literacies and literacy practices to better understand their role as sponsors of literacy in their communities in a more nuanced and robust way? By using Deborah Brandt’s concept of sponsors of literacy, libraries can situate and contextualize their work to frame their work as co-learners in a participatory community of learning who can collaboratively construct the possibilities of print, digital, information, and new literacies – rather than being a paternalistic sponsor that deliberately and/or unintentionally marginalizes the experiences and literacy histories of the people libraries serve.

This first presentation was streamed live via Google On Air Hangouts. Buffy Hamilton’s talk “Metanarratives of Literacy Practices: Libraries as Sponsors of Literacies” can be viewed here: http://www.theamericancrawl.com/?p=1341

Antero Garcia had this to say about the presentation, “As I mention in the introduction to this series, I am hoping attendees (and viewers) will consider the dialogue that unfolds across these five different speakers. What intersections can we imagine in the work we do with and for young people across the U.S. today? Kicking off our CSU speaker series this week, Buffy Hamilton’s presentation ‘Metanarratives of Literacy Practices: Libraries as Sponsors of Literacies’ helped us challenge our notions of what’s possible in libraries and how these spaces should be thought of critically as ‘Sponsors of Literacies’ – building off of research by Deborah Brandt. It’s been a true pleasure getting to learn from Buffy (even if it means she’s been stranded in Fort Collins longer than she planned due to an insane season of weather). If you aren’t already reading The Unquiet Librarian, what’s wrong with you?”

English Department Communications Intern Brianna Wilkins attended the presentation, and has this to share:

“Come on in,” she said; a middle aged woman with a southern twang waved at me from inside of the room, and I immediately felt welcome amidst the crowd of unfamiliar faces. Surrounded by nothing but professors and English education majors, I had no clue what to expect from the first Speaker Series of the semester. After about five minutes the speaker was introduced by CSU’s own Professor Antero Garcia; it turned out that the nice lady who greeted me was the speaker for the evening —  Buffy J. Hamilton, a librarian at an Atlanta, Georgia high school who spoke on the topic of libraries as sponsors of literacy.

Hamilton began by using Debra Brandt’s (an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) ideas on sponsors of literacy, focusing on how literacy for individuals is related to the economics of literacy. Hamilton mentioned that although many students are able to use their tech savvy gadgets to download apps and be active social media users, a lot of them don’t know how to upload an email attachment. Her main objective was to get the audience to understand that students, elementary through high school, need ways in which they are actually excited to participate in gaining knowledge inside and outside of the classroom.

It was interesting to see all of the activities she used to encourage students grades K – 12th, activities that not only kept their interest but kept them learning as well. One of the neat ideas she presented was YOUmedia; a program for middle school and high school students at some of the Chicago Public Library’s. YOUmedia allows students to have access to thousands of books, laptops and desktop computers, and software programs, which increases their digital media skills. This along with other programs nationwide increase students’ involvement in educational activities that promote learning while having fun doing it.

As I mentioned earlier, there was an abundance of English education majors in attendance, but the information that was given is beneficial to anyone interested in the well-being of our youth’s education.

We were all once children who had the opportunity to go to our school library and gain access to the many resources that it had to offer, but a lot of the school library programs across the country are being cut. It is up to people like us, those who are invested in education, to step up and involve ourselves in promoting fun ways to learn so that more students are likely to engage themselves and succeed in their education.

Buffy Hamilton and Antero Garcia

Buffy Hamilton and Antero Garcia

Hamilton left me with a better understanding of how important the presence of a library is to student’s education, especially when it comes to reading and writing. I left their more knowledgeable than when I came. Plus the cupcakes and fresh fruit that were offered was also nice, and after her talk they were devoured by almost everyone in attendance.

If you’re interested in learning more on the topic, please visit Hamilton’s blog at http://theunquietlibrary.wordpress.com/.

~Brianna Wilkins

More about this series: Throughout the spring semester the department will host nationally recognized literacies-based researchers and educators to discuss how literacy and youth civic participation intersect from varying, interdisciplinary perspectives. The speakers will be presenting their work and engaging in dialogue from 5:30-6:30, followed by a brief reception. These events are free and open to the public. All of the speakers will be presenting at the CSU campus in Clark A 205.