Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW

Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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New Paltz Multicultural Education Conference Focuses on Equity and Social Justice

It’s good to see social justice as an issue in fields other than social welfare, especially when it comes to equity of education and learning. The New Paltz times discusses an upcoming conference focusing on just that in a recent article.

“The School of Education at SUNY New Paltz, in collaboration with local educational organizations, will hold its 18th annual Multicultural Education Conference titled, Hope-Challenges-Solutions: Reclaiming Educational Equity and Social Justice with Alliances and Action, on Friday, Nov. 2, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building on the New Paltz campus. The deadline for registration is Oct. 19.”

The article goes on to discuss the mission of the committee in choosing this topic as this year’s conference theme:

“The conference will facilitate connections between educators, students, parents and community members who are working to create equitable schools that will enable all young people to achieve. Based on the mission of the organizing committee, the conference will also provide tools for those seeking to implement key aspects of multicultural education — such as inclusive learning environments, culturally relevant teaching, authentic assessments and a commitment to educational equity — at a time when they are being marginalized by standardized, data-driven and privatizing approaches to teaching and learning.”

Research has proven that the best approach to improving issues in the school system, whether it be health policies or cultural competence is by including students, parents, teachers, and the community in the conversation. This is akin to systems theory, and empowerment theory, and I applaud New Paltz for holding what seems will be a great and valuable conference.

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