posted March 26, 2014

Monday Address to Consider César Chávez’s Impact on Education in the U.S.

The annual César Chávez Lecture Series at Hope College will focus on the nation’s educational system through the keynote address “From the Margins to the Center: The Legacy of César Chávez” by Dr. Pedro Noguera of New York University on Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Noguera is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.  His presentation will address the impact of the legacy of César Chávez on the nation’s educational system and how students can continue to build on that legacy.

Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University, where he holds faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development.  He also serves as an affiliated faculty member in NYU’s Department of Sociology.

In addition, he is the executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS).  From 2008 to 2011, he was an appointee of the Governor of New York to the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees.

Noguera has published more than 150 research articles, monographs and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race and ethnic relations in American society, and his work has appeared in multiple major research journals.  He is the author of “The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada” (Peter Lang Publishers, 1997), “City Schools and the American Dream” (Teachers College Press, 2003), “Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools” (Josey Bass, 2006), “The Trouble With Black Boys…  and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education” (Wiley and Sons, 2008), and “Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap with A. Wade Boykin” (ASCD, 2011).

He appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and other national news outlets.

Noguera received his bachelor’s degree in sociology and history and a teaching credential from Brown University in 1981, and earned his master’s degree in sociology from Brown in 1982 and his doctorate in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989.  He was a classroom teacher in public schools in Providence, R.I., and Oakland, Calif., and continues to work with schools nationally and internationally as a researcher and advisor.

He has held tenured faculty appointments at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2000-03), where he was named the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools, and at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-2000), where he was also the director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change.

Noguera has received numerous awards, including the 2009 Scholastic Corporation Education Hero Award; the 2008 Schott Foundation Award for Research on Race and Gender; the 2006 Eugene Carrothers Award for Public Service; the 2005 Whitney Young Award for Leadership in Education; the 2003 Forward Magazine Gold Award; the 2001 Centennial Medal from Philadelphia University; the 1997 Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California; the 1997 Wellness Foundation Award for Research on Youth Violence; AESA Criticas Choice Book Awards in 2003 and 2008; and honorary doctorates from the University of San Francisco (2001), Bank Street College (2011) and Metropolitan College of New York (2012).

The César Chávez Lecture at Hope is named in honor of César E. Chávez, a first-generation American, born on March 31, 1927, just outside of Yuma, Ariz. Having experienced the hardships of life as a farm worker firsthand, Chavez worked tirelessly to improve the lives of farmworkers and Latino families. He became the founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America.  His legacy has impacted the lives of millions of people all around the world.   He was passionately driven by these mantras:  “we cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community”; “Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own”; and “Sí, se puede!” (Spanish for “Yes, it is possible”…  “Yes, it can be done”). His work led to nationwide support and numerous improvements for union laborers.

Campus sponsors of the presentation include the Dean for International and Multicultural Education, Office of Multicultural Education and Latino Student Organization.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.