Ladson-Billings to keynote 2016 Urban Education and Community Forum

Today’s youth exist in a highly technological, global and dynamic culture, but little of this technology, globalism and dynamism makes its way into the classroom. Instead, too many classrooms are dominated by test-prep and “drill and kill” exercises.


The result is diminished student achievement, and a missed opportunity to leverage youth culture to reach and engage students.


Those ideas will be explored at the 2016 Urban Education and Community Forum sponsored by the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.



Featured speaker Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., is the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Holding a doctorate from Stanford, Ladson-Billings is a prolific author and has received numerous awards for her lifelong work.  Among her books, Ladson-Billings has written The Dreamkeepers:  Successful Teachers of African American Children (2nd edition), Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education (2nd edition) and, her newest, Covenant Keeper:  Derrick Bell’s Enduring Education Legacy (forthcoming).


This year’s forum is scheduled from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday April 5 in Room 401 of the UMKC Student Union, 5100 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo., with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested by March 30.


Also at this year’s Forum, E. Bertram (Bert) Berkley, chairman of Tension Corp., will be presented with the 2016 Hugh J. Zimmer Award for Excellence in Urban Education. The award is named for longtime UMKC and School of Education benefactor Hugh J. Zimmer, a noted business and civic leader and ardent supporter of urban education.