Dear C&I Students,
Welcome to the 2017-18 academic year! The faculty and staff are happy you are here and look forward to supporting you as you pursue your studies. In C&I our mission is to reimagine education through research, teaching, and public engagement. We are a community dedicated to social justice and equity in education. This commitment is woven throughout our academic programs at all levels from undergraduate to Ph.D. As one example, our new Racial Justice in Urban Schooling minor provides an opportunity for undergraduate students from across the university to learn about the intersections of race, social class, language status, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and how those impact educational equity and social justice. Please explore our programs as you consider next steps in your continuing journey as a change-maker in education. We are proud to have contributed to CEHD being recognized as the top public school of education in the 2017 Academic Rankings of World Universities.
One of our shared responsibilities as a community of educators and students of education is to work against bigotry in all of its many forms. We have a collective responsibility to create and sustain learning environments in which all students, staff, and faculty feel that they belong and that they can learn and thrive. In the wake of recent racist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBTQ events and actions in Charlottesville and elsewhere, I am compelled to add that education is never apolitical. Education cannot be neutral in the face of white supremacy not only in its most blatant forms but, more importantly, in the insidiousness of everyday structures and practices that reproduce inequity.
In her book "Teaching to Transgress", the cultural critic bell hooks called the classroom “a location of possibility” in working to create a more just and humane world. Through reading, dialogue, and action in our university and K12 classrooms and in other community spaces, our C&I students, alumni, faculty, and staff contribute to the work of building such a world every day.
Wishing you all an academic year full of possibilities!
Cynthia Lewis Department Chair Curriculum and Instruction