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College of Education

College of Education
006 Bluemont Hall
1114 Mid-Campus Drive North
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-7304 fax

Not Just a Year of Social Justice Education
Archive 2015-2016

social justice education wordcloud graphic

"Not Just a Year of Social Justice Education" is the theme of a purposeful series of events and activities spearheaded by the College of Education to coincide with the launch of their graduate certificate in Social Justice Education.

Social Justice is:
  • understanding our own worldview and the lenses we have that filter and interpret information

  • utilizing pedagogical practices that facilitate learning for all hearing and respecting all voices

  • providing a safe and engaging learning environment


September 17, 2015
Tony Jurich Lecture on Social Justice
Ruben Parra-Cardona
Building Bridges of Social Justice: Embracing Prevention Research to Support Latino/a Communities in the U.S. and Mexico

Ruben Parra-Cardona, whose research focuses on mental health services with underserved Latino/a populations, presented on "Building Bridges of Social Justice: Embracing prevention research to support Latino/a communities in the U.S. and Mexico." The lecture was sponsored by the marriage and family therapy program in the College of Human Ecology. Parra-Cardona is associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Families, Doctoral Specialization in Family Therapy, at Michigan State University. He also serves as associate director of the MSU Research Consortium on Gender-based Violence. His research, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), compares and contrasts the differential treatment efficacy and cultural relevance of two culturally adapted versions of an evidence-based parenting intervention. His violence research focuses on the evaluation of cultural relevance of services for Latino survivors as well as Latino men who batter and abuse. Additionally, he collaborates with Mexican professionals to implement community-based programs to train mental therapists in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua city, Monterrey and Mexico, D.F. The lecture series honors Tony Jurich, a professor who taught in the School of Family Studies and Human Services for more than 39 years before his death in 2010.

Ruben Parra-Cordona:Burning Bridges of Social Justice

September 18, 2015
Distinguished Educational Lecture Series
Dr. Sonia Nieto
Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Practices in U.S. Classrooms

What does it take to be a culturally responsive teacher of all students? Given our increasingly diverse society, as well as an educational context largely defined by rigid accountability, standardization, and disrespect for teachers, this question is at the heart of what it takes for teachers – both novice and veteran – to thrive and be successful with students of all cultural, racial, and social backgrounds. In this keynote address, Dr. Nieto discussed her book, Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Practices in U.S. Classrooms (Heinemann, 2014) with concrete examples from teachers from around the nation. She also discussed culturally responsive teaching within the context of higher education and the role of universities in preparing and supporting educators at all levels.

Dr. Sonia Nieto: Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds

September 22, 2015
Lourdes Ashley Hunter, MPA
Shifting the Narrative: Exploring the Ways State-Sanctioned Violence Manifests in Our Lives

Kansas State University's Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies at K-State Libraries presented a keynote lecture by Lourdes Ashley Hunter, co-founder and national director of the Trans Women of Color Collective. The event, part of the Dow Center's Viewpoint Lecture Series, was free and open to the public. Melia Fritch, librarian in undergraduate and community services and coordinator of the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies, says that Hunter has an important message for individuals from all walks of life. "It doesn't matter what your race or whether you even know someone who identifies as trans: The first step in supporting others is to listen to those whose experiences differ from our own," Fritch said. "Lourdes delivers the important message that being a bystander to violence and oppression is to be complicit in that system." The Dow Center, K-State Libraries and the Kansas State University LGBT Resource Center will provide resources that pertain directly to the Manhattan community.

Lourdes Ashley Hunter: Shifting the Narrative

September 26, 2015
Wonder Workshop: Underground Railroad
Richard Pitts

Richard Pitts from the Wonder Workshop hosted a journey back in time to Underground Railroad sites in Riley and Wabaunsee Counties. Participants learned about the famous Beecher Bible and Rifle Church, Captain Mitchell, Strong Farm, Reverence Blood and others who helped make Kansas a free state.

Richard Pitts

September 30, 2015
Perspectives on Critical Pedagogy
Dr. Angela Hubler, Dr. Susan Yelich Biniecki, Dr. Socorro Herrera and Dr. Brandon Kliewer

Each of these faculty members brought a unique perspective on critical pedagogy, which is the foundation of social justice education. They spent a few minutes talking about their perspective on critical pedagogy – and then opened up the floor for questions and a general discussion.

Dr. Angela Hubler is the Interim Department Head and Associate Professor Women's Studies. Angela has been very active in women's studies work and in promoting social justice issues on campus and in the MHK community for many years. Her research interests include Marxism, Feminism, Literature and Girls' Studies.

Dr. Socorro Herrera is a Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy (CIMA) in the College of Education.

Dr. Susan Yelich-Biniecki is an Assistant Professor of Adult Education in the Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education. Susan is the co-coordinator of the COE's graduate certificate in social justice education and one of the co-creators of the program. Her research interests include international adult education and adult learning.

Dr. Brandon Kliewer is an Assistant Professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies. His research interests align with the normative foundations of community-engaged leadership, community-engaged scholarship, deliberative civic engagement, and democratic theory.

Critical Pedagogy panel discussion

October 1, 2015
Sexual Assault in the News: Dilemmas and Best Practices for Survivors, Advocates, Journalists, and News Consumers
Dr. Elana Newman

October 2, 2015
Covering Trauma Accurately in the News: New Directions from Journalism and Trauma Studies Scholarship
Dr. Elana Newman

October 5, 2016
Social Justice Education Through Children's Literature
Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

A New York Times bestselling husband and wife team were guest lecturers as part of the College of Education's "Not Just a Year of Social Justice Education" program. Award-winning author and illustrator team, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney, presented "Social Justice Education through Children's Literature." Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, invited the Pinkeys to campus. "Andrea is brilliant," Mercer said. "She has an almost magical quality of drawing children into her stories — and these are terribly complex subjects and situations surrounding racial inequality. Her gift is making children imagine themselves in these situations and from that moment comes empathy and understanding. I personally witnessed that 'moment' many times as a classroom teacher when reading one of their books. The Pinkneys were recently named among the "25 Most influential People in Our Children's Lives" by Children's Health magazine.

Social Justice Education Through Children's Literature 

October 14, 2015
The Other Wes Moore
Wes Moore

October 23, 2015
Please Don't Agree with Me: The Need for Disagreement in Debates about Literature for Young People
Christopher Myers

Christopher Myers is an author and illustrator of numerous award-nominated children's picture books.

October 24 and October 31, 2015
Yes Means Yes Workshop

A two-part workshop encouraging honest discussion abour healthy relationships, sexual conflicts, and societal expectations concerning sex.

November 6, 2015
Trick or Treaty
Movie Showing and Discussion

Hosted by the Native American Student Association

November 7, 2015
Adinkrahene: A Celebration of the Leadership of Dr. Myra Gordon

Recognizing the accomplishments of Dr. Myra E. Gordon, K-State associate provost for diversity.

November 11, 2015
I Was a Buffalo Soldier: The Story of Nolan Self
Documentary Premiere

The real life story of Nolan Self, one of this country’s last living Buffalo Soldiers. Trained in the segregated 10th Cavalry during WWII, Nolan’s story captures the life of a truly remarkable man. Please see the College of Education documentary website about Nolan Self.

November 12, 2015
#GuyCode vs. #GirlCode

Campus leaders answer the sexual health questions you were too embarassed to ask.

November 19, 2015
Transgender Day of Remembrance with Teresa Sparks

Transgender Day of Rembrance is a day dedicated to memorializing those who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

December 3, 2015
Justice and Mercy: The Nexus of Social Justice Education and Faith-Based Social Action

Six panelist spoke about faith- based action related to issues of social justice affecting the Manhattan, Kansas community and beyond. The panelists included Rev. Patric McLaughlin (First United Methodist Church), Rev. Caela Simmons Wood (First Congregational United Church of Christ), Rev. Jonalu Johnstone (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship), Diane Clark (Social worker, The Homestead, A Ministry of Westview Community Church), Senator Tom Hawk (Democrat, Kansas Senate for 22nd District Kansas Senate), and Susan Gerth (Kansas State University Instructor Emeritus, College of Engineering).

January 15-17, 2016
Roots of Justice: Anti-Racism Analysis Training

The goal of the training was to build a common understanding of racism and to work toward long-term transformation of institutions in the Manhattan, KS community. The training was accessible to both individuals and teams that have a desire to dismantle racism within their institution or community. NJAY had contracted with Roots of Justice, a highly experienced organization committed to anti-oppression work, to facilitate the training. While Roots of Justice did have experience in providing faith- based workshops, this particular training was secular, in order to provide opportunities for people of all faiths to participate meaningfully. The anti-racism analysis training that Roots of Justice facilitated was a 2-½ day training that covered topics such as: history of racism and resistance to racism, thinking systemically about communities, racism’s intersections with other forms of oppression, colonialism, defining racism, race as a social construct, racism as a systemic reality, white privilege, internalization of racial oppression and superiority, racial and cultural identity, institutions and institutional racism.

Roots of Justice

February 5, 2016
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Social Justice Education Book Club – Racism/Classism

February 12, 2016
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Social Justice Education Book Club – Ageism

February 15, 2016
A Conversation with Samuel Brinton

K- State alum and congressional adviser on nuclear issues Samuel Brinton discussed a campaign to end conversion therapy during his during his “You Can’t Change What We Never Chose” lecture. Brinton announced “Fight for Fifty,” a campaign for all 50 states to submit bills to end conversion therapy.

Amanda Morales and Samuel Brinton

February 19, 2016
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Social Justice Education Book Club – Disabilities

February 23, 2016
For Those Who Love God and Trap Music
Dr. Joycelyn Wilson

A hip hop pedagogue, Emmy award winner, and social justice scholar, Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, from Virginia Tech, visited K-State's campus and discussed her work, her upcoming book focusing on trap music, hip hop, social justice, and cultural resilience.

February 26, 2016
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Social Justice Education Book Club – Gender Issues

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Social Justice Education Book Club

March 7, 2016
Art, Pleasure and Imagination
Artist Talk by Favianna Rodriguez

Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural organizer, and political activist based in Oakland, California. She is the Executive Director of CultureStirke and co-founder of Presente.org.

March 8, 2016
Empowering Women to Lead Worldwide
Noorjahan Akbar

Noorjahan Akbar has been recognized as one of Forbes' Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World and Newsweek Networks' One of the 150 Fearless Women Who Shake The World. She also received the Woman of Distinction Award from the American Association of University Women. Akbar is a human rights advocate from Afghanistan and has dedicated herself to focusing on women's social and economic empowerment in Afghanistan and globally. Through her organization Young Women for Change, Akbar created a center for women and started a grassroots campaign for gender equality in Afghanistan. She has published articles in the New York Times, Al Jazeera English, and multiple Afghan newspapers, magazines and websites. Her blog for social justice in Afghanistan has more than 70 contributing writers from around the country. Akbar has a master's in journalism and public affairs from American University.

Noojahan Akbar: Empowering Women to Lead Worldwide

March 23, 2016
Disability as an Identity
Matt Christensen

K-State alum Matt Christensen currently teaches at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, KS. Matt describes himself as a parent, teacher, learning disabilities advocate, and motivational speaker.

Matt Christensen: Disability as an Identity

March 24, 2016
Reading Group for "The Darkest Period: The Kanza Indians and Their Last Homeland, 1846-1873" by Ronald Parks 

March 30, 2016
Social Justice Through Social Media
The 1491s: An American Indian Sketch Comedy Troupe

The 1491s

March 31, 2016
Celebrating Women's History Month
Wonder Women of Manhattan

2016 was the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman, the strong, courageous and undaunted comic book heroine. Nominations were taken to select the Wonder Women of Manhattan. Several women were selected and presented on a panel led by Manhattan Mayor Karen McCullough. The month featured several events that featured strong women.

Wonder Women of Manhattan

April 1, 2016
Women, The Arts, and Politics During World War II
Farah Jasmine Griffin

Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University and author of several books.

April 6, 2016
Storytelling to Promote Social Justice and Social Change
Clare Murphy

Since 2006, Irish storyteller Clare Murphy has told stories around the world. Raconteur, performer, and creative, she has told stories on all kinds of stages including The Globe, The National, The Barbican and the Soho Theatres in London and many marvelous stages and theaters worldwide. Murphy also performs at festivals, art centers, universities, public and private events, conferences and schools. She is also a writer, consultant, and teacher of storytelling. Murphy has collaborated with many wonderful institutions including The Royal Shakespeare Company, Central Saint Martins University, National Museums of Ireland and the Conference of World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado. Additionally, she creates bespoke solo performances, cabaret (ala carte) storytelling events and commissioned pieces.

Clare Murphy: Storytelling to Promote Social Justice and Social Change

April 7, 2016
May Ayim, the Afro-German Movement, and Her Transnational Activism
Dr. Tiffany Florvil

May Ayim was a prominent Afro-German poet who engaged in social activism by performing across Europe, Africa, and the U.S., employing her literary work to obtain social visibility and equality for herself and other people of color. With the support of Audre Lorde, Ayim and others established the Afro-German movement of the 1980s and 1990s.

Tiffany Florvil is an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico. She is an historian of the modern and late modern period in Europe, especially social movements, gender and sexuality, emotions and the African dispora.

April 7, 2016
To Know the Place for the First Time: Reclaiming My Kansas Homeland through Story
Ronald Parks

Ronald Parks, author of The Darkest Period: The Kanza Indians and Their Last Homeland, 1846-1873, speaks about his book and the history of the Council Grove and Manhattan, Kansas lands.

April 15, 2016
Powwow 101
Leo Gunner Baker

Leo Gunner Baker, Arena Director for the KSU Community Powwow presents on traditions and social event of the KSU Community Powwow.

April 16, 2016
KSU Community Powwow

April 20, 2016
Navajo Math Circle Project Activities and Film
Dr. David Auckly

April 22, 2016
I Am Kansas
The 4-H Verde Clovers

The 4-H Verde Clovers shared their experiences growing up bilingual and bicultural in Kansas through various forms of art and poetry. Bilingual and bicultural poet Minadora Macheret also gave a presentation.

Verde Clovers

April 22, 2016
Diverse Women's Summit
Dr. Cecilia Suarez and Dr. Dominique Hill

A summit to support high school and undergraduate women that are underrepresented as leaders and those that are allies to the empowerment and leadership development of diverse women. These women include but do not limit, racially and ethnically diverse women, LGBTQ women, ably different women, and their allies. The conference featured a variety of speakers highlighting topics that explore the intersectional identities of women, imposter syndrome, critical care pedagogy, coping mechanisms, leadership development and more.

September 22, 2016
Tony Jurich Lecture on Social Justice
Christi McGeorge
The Ethical and Just Treatment of LGB Clients: Beliefs and Practices of Family Therapists

September 27, 2016
Lou Douglas Lecture Series on Public Issues
Lecia Brooks
Toward a Civil Discourse in a Time of Change

Lecia Brooks leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s outreach efforts on key initiatives and social justice issues. As outreach director, she frequently gives presentations around the country to promote tolerance and diversity. She also serves as director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Ala., an interpretive center designed to provide visitors to the Civil Rights Memorial with a deeper understanding of the civil rights movement. She joined the SPLC staff in 2004 as director of Mix It Up at Lunch Day, a Teaching Tolerance program designed to help break down racial, cultural and social barriers in schools.

September 29, 2016
College of Education Distinguished Educational Research Lecture Series
Kern Alexander
The Rise and Decline of the Public School Ideal in America: Politics, Law and Finance

Kern Alexander is an Excellence Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

October 3, 2016
A Walk in My Shoes: Social Justice Education

Premiere of documentary video produced by the College of Education.

October 10, 2016
Indigenous Peoples Day
Conversations About Colonialism and Education

Cornel Pewewardy (Comanche-Kiowa) is a Professor and Director of Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University.
Jean Dennison (Osage) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington.

October 11, 2016
Lou Douglas Lecture Series on Public Issues
Tim Wise
Combatting Racism in the Post-Obama Era

Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. He has spent the past 20 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1,000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the country. He has also lectured internationally, in Canada and Bermuda, and has trained corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military, and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. Wise has provided anti-racism training to educators and administrators nationwide. Wise is the author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America.


The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. Through an awareness of intersectionality, we can better acknowledge the similarities and differences among us.


  • Enhance and support the work of the college in the area of social justice and education;
  • Launch and publicize the new SJE graduate certificate;
  • Provide awareness of social justice issues and social justice education professional development for individuals and groups from the university and community;
  • To improve and advance the social justice agenda in the college, university, and community;
  • To provide some coordination and support across campus and the community for activities related to social justice education.