Past Event

Reading, Writing, Revolution: Our Role in Education Reform


America’s education system is in crisis. This problem is particularly evident here in Chicago, where less than 60% of public school students graduate each year. Thousands of children are being left behind without the skills to compete in our increasingly information-driven global society.  Join us for a call to action for education reform and learn what you can do to impact the lives of the next generation. 

Panelists include: William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Kevin Kumashiro, founding director of Center for Anti-Oppressive Education; Erica Meiners, Associate Professor of Education and Women’s Studies at Northeastern Illinois University; Therese Quinn, Associate Professor of Art Education at the School the Art Institute of Chicago and David Stovall, Associate Professor of Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312.443.3800.

About the panelists

William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He teaches courses in interpretive and qualitative research, urban school change, and teaching and the modern predicament. He has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. His most recent book, co-authored with Bernadine Dohrn, is Race Course: Against White Supremacy.

(Moderator) Kevin Kumashiro is Chair of Educational Policy Studies and Interim Co-Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the founding director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education. Dr. Kumashiro’s latest book is The Seduction of Common Sense: How the Right Has Framed the Debate on America’s Schools.

Erica Meiners is Associate Professor of Education and Women’s Studies at Northeastern Illinois University. She is a coordinator and teacher at St. Leonard’s High School in Chicago, an alternative high school for formerly incarcerated men and women, and she is currently working collaboratively on a long-term study of undocumented youth, criminalization, and access to higher education. Dr. Meiners is author of Right to be Hostile: Schools, Jails and the Production of Public Enemies

Therese Quinn is Associate Professor of Art Education and Undergraduate Division Chair at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is co-editor with William Ayers of the Teachers College Press Book Series, Teaching for Social Justice, and co-author with Erica Meiners of the forthcoming book, Flaunt It! Queers Organizing for Public Education and Justice. She blogs about public art education at The Other Eye.

David Stovall is Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His scholarship investigates Critical Race Theory, the relationship between housing and education, and the relationship between schools and community stakeholders. Dr. Stovall was a member of the design team of the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School of Social Justice  in Chicago, where he currently serves as a volunteer social studies teacher.

CONTEXT, The Goodman Theatre’s issues series, engages the community – at the theater and across the city – in conversations that illuminate their productions and act as catalysts for deeper exploration. Unlike post-show discussions that focus primarily on the production, CONTEXT events concentrate on particular issues raised within the plays and explore how they resonate in today’s culture. Whether looking at the issues of identity and how we define ourselves, or how issues of race and class play themselves out in Latin America, CONTEXT offers public space for debate and discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by Goodman Theatre, The Public Square and Chicago Freedom School.


For more information, call 312.443.3800.