Education Pioneer Jonathan Kozol to Speak During Two-day Visit at UB

Release Date: September 12, 2008 This content is archived.


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Education pioneer Jonathan Kozol will present the Graduate School of Education's Acer Colloquium on Urban Education in October.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jonathan Kozol, the educator and social activist whose iconic books on urban schools have shaped the sensibilities of generations of teachers, will participate in two events this October at the University at Buffalo.

Kozol will present the lecture "Letters to a Young Teacher" at 4 p.m. on Oct. 2, in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on UB's North (Amherst) Campus. This lecture is the 2008-09 Charlotte C. Acer Colloquium on Urban Education, and part of the UB Graduate School of Education's Dean's Lecture Series.

On Oct. 3, Kozol will present the keynote address "Art and the Aesthetics in the Age of Tests and Terror in Our Nation's Public Schools." His address is part of the daylong conference, "21st Century Arts in Learning: Innovation, Imagination and Creativity in the Age of Testing." This conference will be held in the Student Union, also at UB's North Campus.

Kozol, whose "Death at an Early Age" tells of his first year as a teacher in a poor African-American neighborhood in Boston, has been synonymous with educational reform and equality since that book was released in 1967 and won the National Book Award a year later.

"The Graduate School of Education is thrilled to have the opportunity to host Jonathan Kozol," says Mary H. Gresham, dean of the Graduate School of Education. "His critical analysis of public education in the U.S. seriously underscores the myriad challenges we face both within the system and as a nation."

Gresham says this two-day event provides an important opportunity for GSE students, as well as the Western New York educational community, to benefit first-hand from Kozol's insightful discussion of pressing issues in public education along with strategies to address them, from one of the foremost authors in this area.

Kozol followed the popular and critically acclaimed "Death at an Early Age" with a succession of influential and honored books. His 1995 bestseller, "Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation," described his visits to the South Bronx, the poorest Congressional district in the U.S. In 2005 he published "The Shame of a Nation," a powerful expose on conditions he found visiting and revisiting nearly 60 public schools in 11 states. Wherever he went, he found inner city children more isolated racially than any time since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education.

Kozol's visit to UB is sponsored by the UB Graduate School of Education, the Western New York Regional Leadership and Learning Network, and the Coalition of Arts Providers for Children; with additional support provided by the New York State Council for the Arts and M&T Bank.

"The Western New York Leadership and Learning Network and the Coalition of Arts Providers for Children are ecstatic to partner with UB in hosting the daylong conference," says Lucinda Ingalls, co-chair of WNYRLLN and president of CAPC. "Jonathan Kozol's keynote will inspire all of us who work toward placing the arts in the center of curriculum. Conference workshops will provide hands-on arts learning and funding strategies to help bring the arts to our kids."

Those interested in registering for the conference and buying tickets for either session can find complete information at, or call (716) 834-5777.

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