USA College of Education to Sponsor Series on “Promoting Diversity in the Classroom”

Posted on March 25, 2015
Joy Washington

The College of Education at the University of South Alabama wants to share the importance of embracing diversity and the need to recognize it as a source of strength. The 2015 series, “Promoting Diversity in the Classroom,” will feature several presentations beginning Thursday, March 26-May 1.

“We want to achieve the goal of promoting diversity in the day-to-day classroom,” said USA College of Education Dean Dr. Richard L. Hayes. “This goal is shared by American colleges and universities across the country, but actually achieving the goal is often hard to do. The programmatic goals we have set for ourselves are intended to help members of the University community in making our campus a safe and encouraging environment for everyone who works and studies here.”

The programmatic goals of this year’s series are the following:

  • Assist faculty to create inclusive classrooms where all students are engaged and are encouraged to discover different perspectives.
  • Increase faculty awareness about their biases and their students’ biases regarding prominent contemporary social issues such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Engage faculty in experiences that foster positive relationships and promote equity and mutual respect among teachers and students.
  • Improve faculty skill in facilitating class discussions on race, class, and issues specifically related to enhancing the active participation of African-American males in their own education.
  • Facilitate proactive planning by faculty to ensure the preparation of candidates to be effective advocates for the academic success of every child.

“We are excited about the cadre of speakers for this year’s series, and we hope that the University community will participate, implement and share the knowledge and importance of diversity in the classroom,” said Dr. Joel’ Lewis, associate professor in the College of  Education at USA. She is one of the organizers of this year’s event.

Please see all scheduled events for spring semester:

  • Film screening and discussion featuring the award-winning film “Mobile in Black and White” for all University employees, to be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, in University Commons, Room 3901. “Mobile in Black and White” is a multi-faceted film that takes a hard look at the ways racism continues to pervade the structures and institutions of what some say is a post-racial world. Set in Mobile, this 90-minute film is designed to address fundamental disparities in education, criminal justice, health care, and other systems, which lead to inequitable outcomes along racial lines. This is considered a powerful, thought-provoking catalyst for constructive conversations on race. Lunch is included, and registration is limited to 40 participants.
  • Dr. Deryl F. Bailey will speak on “Teaching in the Multicultural Classroom” from 3:30 -5 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in University Commons, Room 3901. This workshop is open to USA faculty and graduate teaching assistants. Bailey believes strongly in the power of education and is committed to advocating for equitable opportunities to promote positive and successful educational experiences for all young people. An accomplished scholar in the area of African American adolescent male development, he uses humor and sincerity in his teaching and professional development training to explore assumptions, welcome diversity, and provide leadership for diversity in the workplace.
  • Dr. Mary E. Bradbury-Bailey will speak on “Promoting Inclusive Classrooms” from 9-11 a.m. Friday, April 10, in the University Commons, Room 3240. This workshop is open to educational professionals who teach pre-school-12th grade students.  Bradbury-Bailey has been a science educator for the past 35 years in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. During this time, she has been selected as either school or districtwide Teacher of the Year in every state that she has taught in. In 2004, Bradbury-Bailey was one of 12 semi-finalists for the Georgia State Teacher of the Year honor. Currently, she serves as a science educator at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga. In 2012, Bradbury-Bailey earned her doctorate degree in teaching and learning from Piedmont College in Athens, Ga., where she also earned her educational specialist degree.
  • Pamela Henderson will speak on “Reducing Unintentional Bias” from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in the University Commons, Room 3901. This workshop is open to the USA College of Education faculty and staff. Henderson, an assistant vice president of Human Resources at USA, believes that creating inclusive work environments is critical to organizational excellence and that inclusion requires active, intentional and ongoing engagement. Henderson previously resided in New York City where she was employed by large, complex and diversely staffed organizations, including the NYC Housing Authority and Columbia University.
  • Dr. Joycelyn Glazier will speak on “Globally Competent Teaching Continuum” from 9-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 24, in the University Commons, Room 3240. This workshop is open to USA faculty. Glazier is a chair and professor of leadership and practice at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Previously a teacher of high school English and English as a Second Language, Glazier entered graduate school to explore how to better support teachers in creating and enacting meaningful, equitable and transformative curricula and pedagogy. Through her teaching and research, she works with prospective and practicing teachers to develop ways to break cycles of oppression in schools and beyond and to support the learning of all students. Her recent work consists of teacher education that aids practicing teachers in schools and adds to new knowledge. She was awarded the B.A. and M.A.T. from Tufts University and completed her doctoral study in curriculum, instruction and educational policy at Michigan State University.
  • A “Community Tour” will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, May 1, beginning with an orientation at the USA Faculty Club located off of Old Shell Road near the Grove Apartments. The tour includes visiting the African American Heritage Trail, Mobile Rescue Mission, Mobile County Training School, Dearborn YMCA and the Mobile County Metro Jail. Mobile has a rich and culturally diverse history that is revealed in a tour of significant locations throughout the city. Participants will taste the rich gumbo of ethnicity as revealed by Mobile’s past and meet some fellow citizens whose courage and determination are accomplishing great things for Mobile.   

Please pre-register for the “Promoting Diversity in the Classroom” workshops, by contacting Darlene Eaton, administrative assistant, at, or call (251) 380-2738.

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