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Events Archive

Critical Conversations in Urban Education (CCUE)


The CCUE committee is a volunteer body of individuals that is comprised of SoE faculty, professional staff and doctoral students who are committed to and passionate about working toward changing the inequities and injustices that exist in urban educational settings and systems.

Dr. Tina Richardson, former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Education, founded and convened CCUE 2011. From its inception until 2014, the committee was co-chaired by Kristine Lewis Grant and Vera Lee. For the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years, our co-chairs were Rajashi Ghosh and Deanna Hill. Our current co-chairs are Sherri Manson and Brian Smith.

CCUE has produced approximately two citywide events each academic year. With an average audience of 150 participants, these events explore a range of pressing issues in urban education, including the integration of STEM education, the development of university-community partnerships, the inspired efforts of urban teachers, the post-secondary aspirations of high school students, learning through the arts, and the viability of collective impact.  Our events have taken many formats over the years, for example: keynote speeches, panel discussions, round tables, exhibit halls, a moderated debate for high school students, a film screening, a creative dance performance, and fireside chats for doctoral students. By bringing together this wide variety of stakeholders, we have developed a broad understanding of the educational resources and cultural wealth present in our surrounding communities.

Living at the Intersection of Race and Gender: Interrupting Policies, Practices, and Cultural Illiteracy that Push Black Girls Out of Schools

April 25, 2019

CCUE hosted a critical conversation about how negative stereotypes and racialized gender bias specific to Black girls contribute to their overrepresentation among school discipline and in systems of confinement. Through the lens of intersectionality, Dr. Monique Morris, Founder and President of the National Black Women's Justice Institute, and author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, shared what she has learned about the lived experiences of Black girls in schools.

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PA-NAME 20th Annual Conference

March 16-17, 2018

Critical Conversations in Urban Education proudly hosted and sponsored the 20th annual National Association of Multicultural Education, PA chapter conference. The 2-day conference brought together diverse leaders in education from across the state and included breakout sessions, poster sessions, and a film screening in support of PA-NAME's mission to advocate for equity and social justice through multicultural education.

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Critical Conversations in Urban Education Film Series

February 28, 2018

Critical Conversations in Urban Education hosted a film series throughout spring 2018. The series included three films- "Don't Tell Anyone," "Teach Us All," and "Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in America." 

The films looked at several education issues facing marginalized communities in the US. Each film including a panel discussion to reflect and share thoughts on the issues covered in the film.

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CCUE Convenings at Drexel DC Center

November 18, 2018

Drexel University's Critical Conversations in Urban Education hosted a pair of events at Drexel's DC Center. The first event brought in international architecture firm, Perkins Eastman to discuss the impact of school design on educational outcomes. The second event looked at adult education, specifically adult civic literacy and civic engagement, and how it can be enhanced.

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Educational Technologies in a Time of Change in Urban Communities

April 6, 2017

Drexel University's School of Education hosted an engaging panel discussion with Dr. Nichole Pinkard Associate Professor, College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago and Founder of Digital Youth Network. Dr. Pinkard discussed how educational technology can be used to close the opportunity gaps that abound in formal and informal learning spaces. She also examined the components of equitable learning infrastructures within urban communities to inspire full participation in today’s technology-driven society.

Her keynote speech was followed by a panel discussion with local innovators and leaders in learning technology including, Chrs Lehmann, Assistant Superintendent of the Innovation Network for the School District of Philadelphia, Jay Vazquez, President and CEO of Philadelphia Academies Inc., and Andy Stutzman, Program Manager for Digital On-Ramps.

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Collective Impact: Acting on a Shared Vision for Urban Education

May 7, 2015

Drexel University's School of Education hosted an interactive event on an emerging strategy for change in urban education. The strategy, known as Collective Impact, provided an opportunity for individuals and organizations, who would otherwise work in isolation, to come together to achieve common goals:
  • Learn about the principles and practices of collective impact
  • Discover how collective impact is being successfully used in education
  • Network with individuals and organizations currently using the strategy to make real change in Philadelphia

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Promise, Potential, and Possibilities: A Collaborative Conversation about Urban Education

November 17, 2014

Round tables were organized around three topics: Multiple Literacies, STEM and Common Core, and University Assisted Schools. Key takeaways were noted to represent the vibrant conversations that emerged from the diverse group of stakeholders.

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Idealism Meets Reality in Urban Education: A Screening and Discussion of The New Public

May 13, 2014

A Screening and Discussion of The New Public, a provocative documentary by Jyllian Gunther, that chronicles the educational journey of a principal, students, parents, and teachers, who were committed to creating "the ideal school.”

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Coming of Age in Philadelphia: High School Students Debate Their Future

October 29, 2013

Talented students from the Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League discussed the relative merits of college and career readiness. Dr. Michael Nakkula, a distinguished scholar in positive youth development, explored this issue in connection to the promotion of “possibility development.”

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Learning Through the Arts

April 30, 2013

A panel of invited artists and scholars discussed the significance of the arts to education. There was a special performance by Danco 3 Youth Ensemble. An exhibit of art initiatives across the city was also be open to guests throughout the evening.

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Igniting STEM Learning: Inspired Efforts of Teachers

October 22, 2012

An important panel discussion about the innovative work of educators in Philadelphia schools. Topics included the cultivation of life-long STEM learners, the critical role of the community in supporting STEM teaching and learning, and the urgency of placing STEM education at the forefront of educational initiatives.

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STEM Education in Urban Settings: Understanding Realities and Imagining Possibilities

April 30, 2012

This panel discussion addressed opportunities and hurdles related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curricula in urban schools. Panelists provided an overview of Pennsylvania state data, aspects of Philadelphia School District initiatives, and perspectives on how higher education partnerships can enhance STEM education for K-12 students.

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