College of Ed events to recognize 50 years of the Civil Rights Act

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on. Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act
as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on.
Credit: Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office

National leaders in education will gather at NIU in October to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

An academic symposium is planned Tuesday, Oct. 21. Two days later – Thursday, Oct. 23 – an alumni panel will discuss the historical aspect of the civil rights movement and the current status of civil rights and social justice in higher education.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, it is important to reflect on the tumultuous road we as a country have traveled to secure greater freedoms and more comprehensive citizenship,” said La Vonne Neal, dean of NIU’s College of Education. “These events can be seen as markers that reminds us of whence we have come and where we still need to go.”

Both events are open to the public and include an opportunity to speak with presenters and network with colleagues.

For more information about the academic symposium or the alumni panel discussion events, or to RSVP, email kbraser@niu.edu or call (815) 753-8370.

Oct. 21: Academic Symposium

Wesley Hogan
Wesley Hogan

Titled “Freedom ’64: Education, Activism, and Civil Rights in America,” the academic symposium will include a panel of academic experts who will talk about their experiences and perspectives researching and working on issues relating to civil rights and social justice.

Their discussion will reflect on the historical context of the Civil Rights Act with respect to education.

A reception and networking event with heavy hors d’oeuvres will begin at 5 p.m., with the panel discussion to begin at 6 p.m. at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center (BAVC) at 231 N. Annie Glidden Road.

The panel of academic experts will include Susan M. Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi; Wesley Hogan, director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award; and Charles M. Payne Jr., the Frank P. Hixon Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and prolific publisher in the areas of urban education and school reform, social change, and modern African American history.

Bradley Bond, dean of the NIU Graduate School, will moderate the panel.

Oct. 23: Community Learning Series – Alumni Panel Discussion

Phillip Powell
Phillip Powell

“Civil Rights, Social Justice, and Education” will feature three prominent educators whose careers have focused on developing and fostering diversity and inclusion in education.

Panelists will examine the progress made throughout the last half-century and identify current issues of diversity and inclusion in higher education, Neal said.

The panel discussion is part of the NIU College of Education’s Community Learning Series. A reception and networking event with heavy hors d’oeuvres will begin at 5 p.m., with the panel discussion to begin at 6 p.m. at the BAVC.

The three panelists are Joshua Moon Johnson, assistant dean of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “Beyond Surviving,” a recent Amazon.com No. 1 best-seller; Wanda Figueroa-Peralta, president and CEO, ASPIRA, Inc. of Illinois; and Phillip Powell, special assistant to the provost for inclusion at Valparaiso University.

Patrick Roberts, chair of the College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Education, Psychology and Foundations, will moderate the discussion.

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