Annual conference to focus on multicultural education, popular culture and academic achievement
The State University of New York at New Paltz will host the 14th Annual Multicultural Education Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, in the Student Union Building’s Multi-Purpose Room. “Connecting to the Worlds of Students: The Blessings and Burdens of Popular Culture in Promoting Academic Achievement and Multicultural Learning” is the theme of this year’s conference.
Every year, since 1994, the conference has brought together educators, students, parents and community members to gather fresh insights and to make connections with others who are working to create equitable schools that will enable all young people to achieve. This year’s conference focuses on the ways in which educators can better understand popular culture, critically examine how it can undermine multicultural values and develop approaches for tapping into that culture to more effectively educate young people.
Nancy Schniedewind, conference coordinator and professor of educational studies at SUNY New Paltz, said, “Not only will conference participants gain meaningful ideas and useful skills from conference presenters, but they will have the opportunity to learn from the wide-ranging community of other attendees who are working with creativity and commitment to foster educational equity for all young people in the Mid-Hudson region.”
The keynote speaker will be Ernest Morrell, a faculty member from the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). His presentation, “Popular Culture in the Classroom: Powerful Teaching and Learning in Our Times,” takes place at 8:30 a.m.
For more than 15 years, Morrell has used popular culture to promote academic literacy development in adolescents. At New Paltz, he will discuss how the use of popular music, media and film can promote identity development, academic achievement and social awareness in students.
Participants may choose from 16 panels, talks and workshops. Examples of workshop topics include: “Media from a Multicultural Perspective,” “High School Students Confronting Bias in Their Schools,” “Using Authentic Assessment in Math to Bridge Achievement Gaps,” “Introduction to Restorative Justice” and “How Hip Hop and Poetry Saved My Life.”
Also, a lunchtime cultural arts program, “Hip Hop and Poetry in its Purest Form,” features a performance by the ReadNex Poetry Squad, a group of four spoken-word poets, who mix socially conscious lyrics with Hip Hop, Soul, Latin and Caribbean music.
In addition, the conference includes an extensive exhibit and sale of multicultural books for adults and children.
General registration is $40 and $12 for students.
The registration deadline for the conference is Oct. 24, and the workshops will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on specific workshops, call Nancy Schniedewind at (845) 257-2827 and to register, call the Office of Conference Services at (845) 257-3033 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.