Press Release


This month’s discussion focuses on social justice in education with UIC scholar David Stovall.

CHICAGO – The Public Square, in partnership with the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, presents the next “Shop Talk” discussion on Friday, April 2 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Ron’s Barber Shop (6058 W. North Ave). This month’s featured guest is David Stovall, Assistant Professor of Policy Studies in the College of Education and the Department of African-American Studies UIC. Stovall is the co-editor (along with Bill Ayers and Therese Quinn) of the Handbook of Social Justice in Education.

The discussion is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. The IRRPP will also provide a limited number of free books to discussion participants. For more information about “Shop Talk,” visit, email, or call 312.422.5580.

About David Stovall
David Stovall received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Policy Studies in the College of Education and the Department of African-American Studies at UIC. His scholarship investigates four areas: Critical Race Theory, concepts of social justice in education, the relationship between housing and education, and the relationship between schools and community stakeholders. Since 2003, he has worked with community organizations and schools to develop a curriculum that addresses issues of social justice. He was a member of the design team at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village High School for Social Justice, which opened in the fall of 2005. He also serves as a volunteer social studies teacher at this school. Furthering his work with schools, communities, students, and teachers, Stovall is involved with youth-centered community organizations in Chicago, New York City, and the Bay Area.

More about “Shop Talk”
Building on our efforts to bridge the university and the community, the new series“Shop Talk” will bring UIC scholars to Ron’s Barber Shop in the heart of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on the last Friday of every month from January to June 2010. (This meeting is April 2 due to UIC’s spring break).

Amid haircuts and fades, people from all walks of life—scholars, barbers, customers, and community members—will grapple with hard issues ranging from gender violence and immigration to criminal justice and access to health care. Based on the findings of their own research, scholars will discuss the connections between race, ethnicity, and public policy.

What people are saying about “Shop Talk”
“A lot of people in this community may not have the opportunity to talk to scholars at UIC. This will give scholars and the community a chance to hear different views than what they’re used to about some very sensitive topics and issues. And definitely, here at Ron’s Barber Shop, we don’t have a problem talking.” –  Ron Gibson, owner and barber at Ron’s Barber Shop.

“By creating and fostering community sites of learning, we seek to share experiences, research, and knowledge. Scholarship and the exchange of ideas shouldn’t be limited to the university. Through ‘Shop Talk,’ we are building community and empowering ourselves to become shapers of history.” – Alice Kim, Director of The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council.

“The classroom is not the only place where powerful learning and debate can happen.  We’re looking forward to sharing ideas, exploring what research means for improving daily life in Chicago, and learning from Shop Talk!” – Kevin Kumashiro Co-Director of the Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy at UIC.

About the IRRPP
The Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) promotes, coordinates, and conducts innovative research at the intersection of race, ethnicity and public policy. IRRPP represents a major commitment on the part of UIC to better understand racial and ethnic diversity in Chicago, the nation, and the world. The Institute pursues a comprehensive multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural agenda that includes African Americans, Latinos, American Indians, Asian Americans and other groups confronted with systematic racial, ethnic, and class barriers. A primary goal is to improve both the understanding and conditions of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups that continue to experience major difficulties within contemporary urban settings.

About The Public Square
The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social, and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations. More information about The Public Square is available at

The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities.  Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

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