David Stovall at the 4th Annual Don C. Locke Symposium: “If We Do the Work, Then the People We Need Will Show Up”
David Stovall, a professor in the departments of Black Studies and Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, reminded educators to be steadfast in their work during his speech at the fourth symposium. Annual Multicultural and Social Justice Don C. Locke, hosted by the NC State College of Education on April 6.
During his hour-long talk, Stovall discussed his experiences working as a social studies teacher in K-12 schools and as an educator working in the prison system and encouraged educators to always have the courage to ask difficult questions, even in the face of challenges. .
“In any content area, inquiry is never meant to console you. Inquiry is meant to challenge you; it makes you think. If we can’t ask anymore questions, we can’t think anymore” , did he declare.
Below are three takeaways from the Stovall conference.
Accept young people in their lived experiences
Young people, Stovall said, are experts on their own terms, and he encouraged educators to trust students’ articulations of their own experiences.
He shared the story of Ella Baker, a civil rights activist who reminded her students at Shaw University that they had the ability to make the changes they wanted to see in the world and encouraged them not waiting for someone else to make a difference.
Although many often refer to students as “the future,” Stovall said our students are “the present moment.” He noted that students’ intelligence and actions can make a difference when they are young and cautioned educators against comparing the challenges they faced in their youth to the challenges their students face now.
“We can say there are things that are different, but there are a lot of things that are the same,” Stovall said. “We have to navigate where these things are different and where they are the same, because when we understand that, then we can work with each other.”
Find connections and work hard
Stovall said when educators want to start deepening their learning, they need to make a list of what interests them and find a way to learn from multiple angles.
He suggested educators think about how they can draw on history to gain a long-term perspective on issues and find connections between historical context and modern applications.
Most importantly, it encourages educators to act with intention and build relationships to engage others around difficult topics. “Find your people,” he encouraged.
“If we do the job, then the people we need will show up,” he said. “People who understand what you do and why you do it will always show up for you. What you need will come, because you do the work.
Show multiple perspectives
There are more than two sides to every story, and when educators address an issue, they need to understand all perspectives, Stovall said.
When Stovall engages in in-depth analysis of an issue that interests him, he says he always turns first to resources that use multiple sources to inform their work. He cited outlets that are transparent about how they compiled their stories and those that don’t accept writings that have fewer than three sources as places to begin an investigation.
“We can ask a question of an individual, but it is another thing to ask a question about the structures in which people find themselves and what frames these structures. It’s really important for me to see, because they take a different way of seeing things,” Stovall said. “It always pushes us to think about the space in which people engage in the things they do.”
Two doctoral students receive scholarships at the Don C. Locke Symposium
Cherice Artis and Malaika Edwards, doctoral students in the field of study of the Leadership, Policy and Human Development Studies program in counseling and education counselor training, were selected by faculty in the department to receive the Don C. Locke Multicultural and Social Justice Symposium Scholarship during the April 6 event.
The award is given to students who demonstrate a commitment to multiculturalism, social justice, and advocacy, and who have a positive reputation among faculty, peers, and community partners in the counselor education program.
Artis currently works as a school counselor at South Garner High School, while Edwards has spent the past four years working as a community coordinator at the Community Counselling, Education, and Research Center (CCERC) building and maintaining relationships with community partners. .
“I truly understand the enormity of this award. As I look forward to my final year in the doctoral program, I make it even more determined to focus my research on the development of school-based interventions that will be used by school counselors to meet the mental health needs of marginalized students,” Artis mentioned.
“With all the incredible work done by my peers in the program, privately and publicly, I am so grateful to have even been considered for this honor,” Edwards said. “I plan to continue to implement multiculturalism, social justice, and more broadly, anti-oppression approaches in my work, and am very grateful for the learning opportunities I had at the College of Education.”