UW Graduate School

Joy Williamson-Lott

Privilege and Education

  • Professor, College of Education, University of Washington

February 15, 2017   |   7:30 p.m.
Kane Hall, room 120

  • This lecture has reached capacity. As a courtesy, the Graduate School will offer standby seating on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Kane Hall. Any reserved seats not taken by 7:15 p.m. will be offered to our guests in the standby line.

This event is free and open to the public. To ensure seating, you must register in advance.

New Hurdles, Same Territory: How History Can Guide the Future of Education

Many people cling to the ideal of “the school” as the great equalizer, a place where Americans are made and equal opportunity is realized. Meritocracy, where kids excel or fail based on brains and drive alone, is alive and well. Yes, these people argue, there are some kids that aren’t thriving in school, but it’s their fault—they, their families, or their culture don’t value education, or maybe they simply don’t have enough grit.

This understanding is not only inaccurate but dangerous. “The school” has been and continues to be an agent in oppression. Throughout history, each time communities of color have made progress toward equal educational opportunity, a major societal push-back has caused the losses of gains that appeared won. And the struggle to regain lost ground and move ahead continues. How can we make real progress? History has some answers.

About Joy Williamson-Lott

Dr. Williamson-Lott is professor of education at the University of Washington. Her research examines the reciprocal relationship between social movements—particularly those of the middle twentieth century—and institutions of higher education. She is the author of multiple books. The most recent, “Radicalizing the Ebony Tower: Black Colleges and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi,” examines issues of institutional autonomy, institutional response to internal and external pressures, and the relationship between historically black colleges and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. She has also written about the Black Panther Party’s educational programs, the history of social justice in education, and the portrayal of the black freedom struggle in high school history textbooks. She is currently working on a manuscript, tentatively titled “Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Southern Social Order in the Mid-Twentieth Century,” that examines “regional convergence” with regard to southern higher education between the late 1950s and early 1970s. She received her Ph.D. in History of American Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sponsoring Departments:

  • UW Graduate School
  • UW Alumni Association