College of Education > News and Publications > News: October - December 2013 > Education and Civil Rights Conference

Education and Civil Rights Conference

The College of Education will host the interdisciplinary conference Education and Civil Rights, Historical Legacies, Contemporary Strategies and Promise for the Future, along with a related graduate student symposium, on June 6 and 7, 2014.

When: Jun 06, 2014 to
Jun 07, 2014

Where: Lewis Katz Building, Penn State University Park

Contact: Erica Frankenburg,

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The College of Education will host the interdisciplinary conference Education and Civil Rights, Historical Legacies, Contemporary Strategies and Promise for the Future, along with a related graduate student symposium, on June 6 and 7, 2014.

Education, as many reformers have proclaimed, is the civil rights issue of our time. Indeed, the inability to access high-quality pre–K through higher education, which is still uneven for students from historically marginalized groups and/or in many urban and increasingly in suburban settings, is likely to have lifelong effects for students and may perpetuate segregation within our schools.

In addition, as one of the few public institutions that the vast majority of Americans participate in, public education can play a critical role in exposing students to children of other backgrounds (e.g., race, class, linguistic, gender), and preparing them for a future as national and global citizens. Many approaches to education have been heralded as improving opportunity for students of color, yet research continues to show vast disparities in educational outcomes and opportunities by race alongside deepening segregation/ stratification.

While many policy proposals have focused on access to education, such as President Obama’s recent call for universal pre–K education, there has been much less attention to racial inequality and segregation in access to P–20 education even as the percentage of students of color is rapidly increasing.

The conference will explore what strategies have been most effective to expand quality access to, and meaningful integration in, educational settings for students of color in the past and what might hold promise for the future.

Invited speakers will include federal government officials working in civil rights and education, educators currently implementing integration or affirmative action plans, and long-time scholars in the field. The conference will also include presenters discussing new research pertaining to the conference theme.

More information about this event…