August 22, 2014

Jeanette Grider

SLU Faculty to Help Local Teachers in Classroom Discussions about Ferguson Events

Event Details: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., September 02, Tegeler Hall, 3550 Lindell Blvd., Carlo Auditorium, St. Louis, MO, 63103

In light of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown, the College of Education and Public Service  will host an open forum for University faculty and staff as well as practicing elementary and secondary educators from public, private and charter schools in the surrounding St. Louis community.  

"Teaching Ferguson: Having Difficult Conversations When Silence Is Not An Option" will draw upon the collective wisdom, experiences and viewpoints of those in attendance to provide perspective on the following questions:

  • How do we talk to children when we don't have the answers?
  • How are teachers in our community currently talking to children about Ferguson?
  • What are the societal repercussions of not talking about the events in Ferguson?
  • How do we create safe spaces for conversations in our classrooms?
  • How do we discuss Ferguson in our classrooms as a social justice imperative?
  • Once the national focus shifts from Ferguson, where do we go from here?

Alex Cuenca, Ph.D., assistant professor of social studies education, said the events of the past two weeks stress the important role teachers can play in both moving the conversation forward and taking positive steps toward real change.

"Ferguson has provided a flashpoint that will hopefully engender reflection and galvanize our community to collaboratively redress the structural inequities in our area," Cuenca said. "Our teachers, who are charged with cultivating future generations of St. Louisans, are at the frontlines of these reconstructive efforts. I am hopeful that this forum will provide a space for teachers to gather and work together in this endeavor."

Cuenca, along with the following SLU faculty, will collaboratively moderate and facilitate the discussion:

  • Lauren Arend, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, Early Childhood/ Educational Leadership
  • Kira Banks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Jennifer Buehler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, English Education
  • Rina Chittooran, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, Multicultural Education
  • Alexander Cuenca, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, Social Studies Education
  • Dannielle Davis, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Higher Education
  • Joseph Nichols, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, Education Policy
  • Karla Scott, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

The program will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, in the Carlo Auditorium at Tegeler Hall. Parking is available at the University garage at Olive and Compton. Tickets will be validated at the event. Light refreshments will be served.

The event is free however registration is requested by Friday, Aug. 29. Attendees are asked to RSVP at as well as provide a question for the forum, and link a resource for other teachers.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 13,500 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.

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