Siddle Walker Presents 2012 Brown Lecture, Draws Packed House and Worldwide Audience
Siddle Walker Presents 2012 Brown Lecture, Draws Packed House and Worldwide Audience
Siddle Walker Presents 2012 Brown Lecture, Draws Packed House and Worldwide Audience

November 2012

On October 26th, Vanessa Siddle Walker, the Samuel Dobbs Professor of Educational Studies at Emory University, presented the 2012 AERA Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research in Washington, D.C. “Original Intent: Black Educators in an Elusive Quest for Justice” was delivered to a packed house and live streamed (see it now on the AERA website).  The video has been viewed by over 500 people in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Peru, Qatar, South Africa, Taiwan, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Siddle Walker’s ground-breaking lecture challenged the historically accepted view of Black educators in the era of Brown v. Board of Education and earlier. Many people continue to view those educators as less instrumental in the Supreme Court decision than the more often celebrated parents and attorneys. Siddle Walker argued that the Black educators have been unfairly portrayed as concerned only about the loss of their jobs as a result of desegregation. She highlighted their hidden role in crafting the vision of an education system with equity for all, and she raised important questions about contemporary political and legal efforts to achieve school diversity. As Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin comes before the U.S. Supreme Court, Siddle Walker has effectively underscored the paramount importance of diversity to education in 2012.

An education historian who is a scholar of segregation and social equality, Siddle Walker has explored the effects of historical and cultural influences on the teaching and learning of African American children. Siddle Walker has published widely on the experiences of African American schoolchildren and their teachers in the segregated South. She has been highly honored with recognitions of her scholarship that include the Grawemeyer Award in Education and AERA’s Early Career Award. 

The 2013 Brown Lecture was made possible through the generous support of the American Institutes for Research; the Emory University Division of Educational Studies; ETS; the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development; the History of Education Society; the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; SAGE Publications, Inc.; the Spencer Foundation; the Temple University College of Education; the University of Maryland College of Education; and the West Virginia University College of Human Resources and Education.

The Lecture was inaugurated in 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court took scientific research into account. Each year a distinguished scholar noted for sustained and significant research related to equity and equality in education is invited to present this public address in Washington, D.C.
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