In February 2016, Dr. H. Richard Milner IV visited Buffalo State as the inaugural speaker for the Woods-Beals Endowment for Urban Education Speaker Series. Milner is the Helen Faison Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh.
Over the course of two days Dr. Milner shared his expertise on urban education, culturally responsive teaching, and the ways that race and poverty impact PreK-20 students and their opportunities to learn.
The campus and city communities had multiple opportunities to meet with Milner. During a midday campus lecture, students, faculty, staff, and administrators heard Milner discuss the prevalence and pervasiveness of racism and other forms of discrimination on college and university campuses. Next, Elementary Education Club undergraduates exchanged ideas with Milner about his book Start Where You Are, But Don't Stay There: Understanding Diversity, Opportunity, Gaps, and Teaching in Today's Classrooms. Students, faculty, and local teachers also participated in a community discussion led by Milner that focused on changing the mindsets of educators to explore how issues of race and poverty prevent and support students' opportunities to learn. In the evening, Milner shared his insights on urban education with Buffalo's broader education community through the facilitation of a literature circle that examined and discussed the themes of his latest book, Rac(e)ing to Class: Confronting Poverty and Race in Schools and Classrooms.
"I've never thought about education that way," stated a Buffalo State graduate student after attending Milner's lecture. "I've got work to do."
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