MLK Teach-In To Focus on Education and Social Justice
Jan. 8, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University will host the annual Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. Teach-In on Jan. 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. The event, which traditionally honors
Dr. King’s contributions to civil rights, will feature three panels discussing this
year’s theme, “Education and Social Justice.” Each panel will draw perspectives based
on individual locales ranging from Chicago to Illinois Wesleyan.
This year’s Teach-In, held in the Hansen Student Center, is sponsored by the Department
of Political Science, the Action Research Center (ARC), and the Office of Diversity
The 1 p.m. panel features David Omotoso Stovall, a professor of African-American studies
and educational policy studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Stovall studies
the influence of race in urban education, community development and housing. His work
investigates the significance of race in the quality of schools located in communities
that are changing both racially and economically. He also serves as a volunteer social
studies teacher at Lawndale Little Village School of Social Justice. Stovall’s panel
will take place at 1 p.m., and he will speak on “Struggle and Victory in Perpetuity:
Understanding the Legacy of African-Americans and Education.” Stovall said his talk
will challenge conventional thinking on the difference between “education” and “school”
and will highlight recent struggles while connecting them to the larger historical
arc in the continued struggle for quality education in African-American communities.
He holds a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Illinois at
David Taylor, the president and CEO of United Way of McLean County, will address drop-out
rates in McLean County at the 2 p.m. panel. He will present data from a recent study
completed for the United Way. Taylor is a 1995 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan.
The final panel, taking place at 3 p.m., will feature Illinois Wesleyan students,
who will take part in a debate regarding the theme “Educational Diversity at IWU:
How Do We Get Better?” The debate will cover the broader issue of the ethical justification
of diversity programs in higher education, as well as focus on specific measures that
may be presented to the Illinois Wesleyan community.
Each of the sessions will feature discussion. The event is free and open to the public.