New Paltz espouses power and hope in Multicultural Education Conference

SUNY New Paltz’s Humanistic/Multicultural Education Program in the School of Education will hold its 17th annual Multicultural Education Conference titled “Courage in the Face of Contradiction: The Power & Hope of Multicultural Education” on Friday, Nov. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building on the New Paltz campus. The deadline for registration is Nov. 1.

The conference program consists of a presentation by a keynote speaker, a panel discussion for Mid-Hudson educators and students, a workshop and a film preview followed by a discussion on diversity.

The conference will address the many contradictions in the educational climate and their effects on multicultural education. “Do more with less.” “One size fits all, but value diversity.” Supporting participants to critically understand how some current educational policies are undermining successful multicultural values and practices, it will enable educators, students, parents and community members to strengthen their expertise in creating equitable schools where all young people achieve and are respected.


Keynote speaker Kevin Kumashiro.

The keynote speaker is Kevin Kumashiro, professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education and current president of the National Association for Multicultural Education. He is a distinguished researcher author and editor of eight books and journal articles on anti-oppressive education and activism. His lecture titled “Five Lenses for Multicultural Teaching and Advocacy” will describe five new methods for perceiving and re-evaluating the obstacles to and the advantages of multicultural education that is in the best interests of our highly interdependent world.

“We are so fortunate this year to have two nationally-known speakers in the field of Multicultural Education keynoting the conference,” said Nancy Schniedewind, professor in New Paltz’s Department of Educational Studies. “This will be a valuable opportunity to hear national experts, as well as multicultural educators in the Mid-Hudson region, offer both ideas and hope for teaching the diversity of young people in our schools and communities in effective and meaningful ways.”

A workshop for high school students will run concurrently, enabling students from high school diversity groups to network, share success stories and build upon each other’s experiences and ideas through active discussions and activities.

Lee Mun Wah

The conference will conclude with a preview of Lee Mun Wah’s new film “If These Halls Could Talk,” which focuses on the experiences of students of color in predominantly white schools, followed by a diversity dialogue. Additional issues highlighted in the film include the degree to which faculty, staff and administrators are prepared to educate diverse students and the opportunities for solutions and progress.

For additional conference program information, call 257-2827 or e-mail

For registration information, e-mail or call 257-3033. Tickets cost $40 (with a $2 online processing fee) for adults and $5 for students (that includes breakfast and lunch).


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