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 and Inclusion.

David Stovall
David Stovall

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 Urbana-Champaign.

David Taylor
David Taylor

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.

By Emily Phelps ’19