Diversity Dialogue: Alexs Pate and Constructing the Innocent Classroom
Friday, November 16, 2012
Noon - 1:30 pm
Peik Hall Room 355
Pizza will be served.
Throughout his career, the issues of guilt and innocence, especially as they impact people of color, have preoccupied much of Alexs Pate's writing and scholarship. He has developed a program that approaches academic performance by addressing the capacity of public schools to engage the innocence of their children. In this effort, he takes teachers beyond the boundaries of cultural proficiency and cultural competency and helps them understand better the way our society has burdened our children - especially children of color - with the weights of low expectation, stereotypes and negative narratives. Implemented in Omaha Public Schools,The Innocent Classroom helps teachers create more accurate and efficacious relationships with the goal of improving academic performance.
Alexs Pate is Assistant Professor in African American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches courses in writing and black literature, including a course on "The Poetry of Rap." Pate is the author of five novels including New York Times bestseller Amistad, commissioned by Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks/SKG and based on the screenplay by David Franzoni. His other novels are Losing Absalom, Finding Makeba, The Multicultiboho Sideshow, and West of Rehoboth.