Pedro Noguera, a distinguished professor of education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hopes to inspire the Central Illinois community to continue the fight for equity in U.S. schools at a talk titled “Education and Civil Rights in the 21st Century” at 7 p.m. Monday, November 16, in Braden Auditorium, Bone Student Center.

Sponsored by The Harold K. Sage Foundation, the Illinois State University Foundation Fund, and the College of Education, the talk is free and open to the public. The event is part of The Speaker Series of Illinois State University.

A sociologist, Noguera’s research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, and the factors that obstruct and promote student achievement. He appears as a regular commentator on education issues and other topics on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.

Here’s a sneak preview of Noguera’s talk:

Education is frequently described as the civil rights issue of the 21st century. This is particularly true for politicians when they are calling for policy changes and reform. However, the most important civil rights issue involving education in the 20th century, school segregation, remains largely unresolved, and despite the controversy it once generated, it is rarely mentioned as an important social issue that should be addressed. In this presentation we will analyze the current reform agenda being promoted by states, the federal government, and various advocacy groups. We will also explore why issues pertaining to racial segregation and social inequality are no longer considered central to school change initiatives and the implication of allowing these issues to be ignored. Finally, we will consider the possibilities for change that exist in the current period given the constraints confronting public schools.”

A prolific author, Noguera’s most recent publication is Schooling for Resilience, which he co-authored with Eddie Fergus and Margary Martin. Other works include The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada; City Schools and the American Dream; Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools; The Trouble With Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education; and Invisible No More: Understanding and Responding to the Disenfranchisement of Latino Males.

Noguera serves as the executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. In 2008, he was appointed by the governor of New York to serve on the State University of New York Board of Trustees, and in 2014, he was elected to the National Academy of Education. He also held tenured faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development at New York University.

Prior to serving in higher education, Noguera was a classroom teacher in public schools in Providence, R.I. and Oakland, Calif. He has held tenured faculty appointments at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and at the University of California, Berkeley. In this role, he also was also the director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change.

The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.