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Hundreds Set to Gather for Urban Education Conference

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by Jamal Eric Watson

Hundreds of individuals who are concerned about the educational plight of youth in urban schools, will gather in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in November for the 2nd Biennial International Conference on Urban Education.

Dr. Chance W. Lewis

Dr. Chance W. Lewis

The solutions-based conference, sponsored by The Urban Education Collaborative at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will bring together educators, researchers, school psychologists, faith-based leaders and representatives from health care, law enforcement and the business community to strategize on how best to improve outcomes for students in urban settings across the globe.

“The International Conference on Urban Education is a critically important gathering of researchers, practitioners and community stakeholders given that solutions are specifically focused for urban settings around the globe,” says Dr. Chance W. Lewis, founding executive director of The Urban Education Collaborative and the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education at UNC-Charlotte.

“It provides opportunities for the research community, the K-12 community and community stakeholders to be in the same room to understand the urban issues that our students face from multiple perspectives to reach viable solutions that can be taken back to urban communities around the globe for implementation.”

The keynote speaker at this year’s gathering, which is titled “Building and Sustaining Global Partnerships for Learning,” is Dr. Sonia Nieto, a professor emerita at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Nieto, the author of numerous books, including Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education, is an authority on issues relating to diversity, equity and social justice in education.

Workshops and panels at this year’s gathering will focus on a variety of topics including agricultural and extension education, business development and economics, as well as science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

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In 2014, hundreds of educators and practitioners converged on Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the first conference that featured keynote addresses from Dr. Pedro Noguera, a distinguished professor of education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, who holds the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Lewis says that one K-12 teacher, via a nomination process of educators across the country, will be selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to the conference because of their commitment to urban education.

While the study of urban education has gained some traction in recent years at the collegiate level, it continues to lag far behind other education concentrations. Currently, there are only about a dozen universities across the country that offer Ph.D. programs with a specific focus on urban education.

To learn more about the upcoming International Conference on Urban Education taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from November 3-5, 2016, visit www.theicue.org.

Jamal Eric Watson can be reached at jwatson1@diverseeducation.com. You can follow him on Twitter @jamalericwatson.

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