Communities of Color Moving Forward

FRI, MAR 3, 2006 (1:28:27)

Panelists discuss how they understand and define catastrophe in the context of communities of color. They ask whether catastrophe is a one-time, horrific event that changes a community’s daily life or a long-range series of events that consistently undermine a community ability to pursue goals. Is a catastrophic event generated by natural occurrences or human action? Attention is specifically focused on events affecting individuals and communities of color and a community’s ability to drive the education of its members.

+ BIO: Peter Nien-Chu Kiang

Dr. Peter Nien-chu Kiang is Professor of Education and Director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he has taught since 1987. Under his leadership, UMass Boston has developed the most Asian American Studies courses, faculty, and community linkages of any university in New England and has been highlighted by the Association of American Colleges & Universities as a national model in integrating culturally-responsive instruction in the classroom with holistic practices of mentoring, service-learning, and advocacy to address the social and academic needs of students as well as the capacity-building needs of local Asian American communities. The program’s alumni include teachers, social workers, health care providers, business entrepreneurs, and leaders of local Asian American community organizations as well as the first Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees to complete Ed.M. and Ed.D degrees at Harvard. Peter’s own research, teaching, and advocacy in both P/K-12 and higher education with Asian American immigrant/refugee students and communities have been supported by the National Academy of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education, and others. His recent research commitments have included documenting race-related trauma and post-traumatic stress experienced by Asian American Vietnam veterans and constructing pathways for education and community development with Cambodian and Vietnamese American populations in Massachusetts. Peter currently serves as co-president of the Chinese Historical Society of New England and chair of the Massachusetts Advisory Committee for the US Commission on Civil Rights. He holds a B.A., Ed.M., and Ed.D. from Harvard University and is a former Community Fellow in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. In 2007, he received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at UMass Boston. [Source:]

+ BIO: Ceasar McDowell

Dr. Ceasar McDowell is President of the Interaction Institute for Social Change. As founder of MIT’s Co-Lab (previously named Center for Reflective Community Practice), he works to develop the critical moments reflection method to help communities build knowledge from their practice or, as he likes to say, “to know what they know.” Through his work at the global civic engagement organization, Engage The Power, he developed The Question Campaign as a method for building democratic communities from the ground up. At MIT, he teaches on civic and community engagement and the use of social media to enhance both. of the Algebra Project. In addition he has developed programs for public discourse and conflict resolution among educators from Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. He also designed a public dialogue process for informing the Boston Foundation’s Persistent Poverty project work in Boston.

+ BIO: Kathleen McCartney

Kathleen McCartney is the Dean of the Faculty of Education and the Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development. She is a developmental psychologist whose research informs theoretical questions on early experience as well as policy questions on child care, early childhood education, and poverty. Since 1989, McCartney has served as a principal investigator on the National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care & Youth Development, the findings from which were published by Guilford in 2005 book, Child Care and Child Development. McCartney is a co-editor of The Handbook of Early Child Development, published by Blackwell in 2006 as well as Best Practices in Quantitative Methods for Developmentalists, published by the Society for Research in Child Development in 2006. McCartney’s work has been informed by her experience as the director of the University of New Hampshire Child Study & Development Center, a laboratory school for children from birth through kindergarten. Kathleen McCartney has been named a Fellow by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Educational Research Association.

+ BIO: Robert Peterkin

Robert Peterkin has been the director of the Urban Superintendents Program for 18 years. Prior to HGSE, Peterkin held school superintendencies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had a long career in educational leadership, from special education teacher to deputy superintendent, mainly in the Boston Public School system. Current work focuses on the restructuring of urban public schools for educational equity and higher student achievement, most recently as a court-appointed monitor in a federal case settlement agreement involving an urban school district and plaintiffs of color.

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