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History, Reforms and Black Education

March 03, 2010 1:45 AM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu

Scholars, practitioners and community activists will convene at Tulane University on Wednesday (March 10) for a public forum on the history of black education in New Orleans.

Cowen Institute

Tutoring programs by Tulane students in public schools are just one example of expanded volunteerism in New Orleans schools since Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Sally Asher)

"Before and After Katrina: Black Education in New Orleans" will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall of the Lavin-Bernick Center on the uptown campus.

Planners of the forum said that New Orleans offers an important context for this history since it was the site of the organized resistance that led the Supreme Court to establish the "separate but equal" clause in Plessy v. Ferguson, later overturned by the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education.

The forum will assess reform efforts currently taking place in New Orleans and identify the policy implications of these reforms for urban school districts nationwide. Speakers will discuss issues such as school governance, parental involvement, politics, accountability, accessibility and activism.

The forum is presented by the Tulane Program in African and African Diaspora Studies with support from the Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives and the Deep South Regional Humanities Center.

Among the presenters will be two members of the Tulane psychology department, Oscar Barbarin, professor and holder of the Lila L. and Douglas J. Hertz Endowed Chair, and Michael Cunningham, associate professor.

Also speaking will be Michael Schwam-Baird of the Cowen Institute, Joyce King of Georgia State University, Luis Miron of Loyola University, Andre Perry of the University of New Orleans, Kristen Buras of Emory University, Steve Suitts of the Southern Education Fund, Roslyn Johnson Smith of the Treme Charter School Association and Nicole Carryl of Harney Elementary School.

For more information, e-mail Nghana Lewis, associate professor of English and African and African Diaspora Studies, or call 504-862-8179.