Multicultural and Diversity Policies to be Topic of Workshop Hosted By UB's Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy

Release Date: May 13, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy in the Law School at the University at Buffalo will present a workshop, "Dialogue on Multicultural and Diversity Policies in Canada and the United States: Symbol or Substance?," on May 22 and 23 in O'Brian Hall on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

The workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of Canadian and U.S. scholars to discuss the historical and contemporary policies and practices that have shaped educational responses to diversity in each nation.

While schools in the U.S. and Canada never have been more racially, ethnically and socioculturally diverse, educational policies and practices that support diversity and multiculturalism are under siege across North America as affirmative action is challenged, bilingual education policies are rolled back and the racial achievement gap widens for students of color and immigrants.

The workshop's keynote speaker will be David Gillborn, professor of education, School of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies in The Institute of Education, University of London. The author of "Racism and Antiracism in Real Schools," his landmark report, "Educational Inequality: Mapping Race, Class and Gender," showed that children from ethnic minority backgrounds are being left behind as educational standards rise.

Gillborn will present the workshop's keynote address, "Education and Institutional Racism: Perspectives on Policy and Practice in England," from 5:30-7 p.m. May 22 in 333 Student Union on the UB North Campus. His address will be followed by a response by a panel of U.S. and Canadian scholars composed of Carlos Ovando, College of Education, Arizona State University; Rinaldo Walcott, Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto, and Catherine Cornbleth, Department of Learning and Instruction, UB Graduate School of Education.

In addition to Gillborn's address, workshop topics will include:

o The historical context of multicultural policy development

o Affirmative action and equity policies

o Policy issues in First Nation/American Indian education

o Antiracism, multiculturalism and the future of diversity policies.

The workshop also will explore topics such as the role of historical and political contexts in supporting -- or challenging -- diversity efforts in schools; how multicultural policies and policymaking vary in Canada and the U.S., and how to promote policies and policymaking in order to create equitable learning experiences for all students.

Workshop organizers are Lauri Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor of educational leadership and policy in the UB Graduate School of Education, and Reva Joshee, Ph.D., assistant professor of theory and policy studies in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.

Workshop participants also will include:

Carol Agocs, director of the Local Government Program, Department of Political Science, University of Western Ontario; Adrienne Chan, Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training, University of British Columbia; Tracy Derwing, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta.

David Gerber, Department of History, UB College of Arts and Sciences; Michelle Goldberg, Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto; Jan Hare, School of Social Work and Family Studies, University of British Columbia; Sonia James-Wilson, The Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, University of Rochester; Augustine McCaffery, Graduate School, University of Washington.

Ruth Meyerwitz, UB Center for the Americas Department of Women's Studies; Yoon Pak, Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jason Price, Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto; Ruth Sandwell, Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto.

Christopher Span, Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Edward Taylor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, College of Education, University of Washington; John Tippeconnic, director, American Indian Leadership Program, College of Education, Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University, and Njoki Wane, Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto.

For more information on the workshop or to register, call 716-645-2102 or go to

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