#CUETalks Lecture Series

The #CUETalks Lecture Series is a bi-annual event that provides opportunities for faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members to learn from prominent, established researchers about issues relevant to urban education. Held in the fall and spring, each program spotlights local student artists and performers, and recognizes individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the work of improving and advancing urban education in the Pittsburgh area.

Watch recordings of past CUETalks on YouTube:

Past Conversations

2019-2020 Academic Year

Finding Reason for Hope: Race, Inequality, and Educational Change
Presented by Dr. Na'ilah Suad Nasir

October 23, 2019

This talk with Dr. Nasir explored educational inequality, focusing in particular on inequality in relation to race, describing trends in inequality in US society, and their connection to educational inequality. Dr. Nasir also explored both the ideology of structural racial inequality, and the mechanisms of inequality in education, and their connection to dehumanization as one of the goals and tools of racialization historically. Finally, this talk offered reasons for hope for the future, and the path by which we might create more equitable educational spaces.

Watch the Recording

2018-2019 Academic Year

Sorry to Bother You: Education and the Disruption of White Cultural and Linguistic Hegemony in the U.S. and South Africa
Presented by H. Samy Alim, Ph.D.

March 21, 2019

Presenting data collected over the past 20 years, this talk highlighted how we can disrupt White cultural and linguistic hegemony by developing new paradigms for the study of language, race, and culture in education. Dr. Alim drew on his research both in the U.S. and South Africa to illustrate how paradigms like raciolinguistics and culturally sustaining pedagogies, among others, can offer a substantive break from mainstream educational thought and help move us towards educational justice.

Lost Strategies for Community Agency
Presented by Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker
October 16, 2018

In her lecture, Dr. Siddle Walker used the critical findings from The Lost Education of Horace Tate to discuss the tri-fold implication of the loss of aspiration, advocacy, and access in the schooling of children today, and to highlight specific strategies from African American history that might provide useful maps for universities and communities today who wish to forge more successful educational opportunities for children.

2017-2018 Academic Year

The Stories We Tell: Transforming Narratives About Other People's Children
Presented by Dr. Lisa Delpit

March 20, 2018

In this talk, Dr. Delpit addressed how the stories our country has told us about certain people distort our perceptions and create self-fulfilling stereotypes of low performance. If we change our stories, we can both change the ways we think about children and the ways they think about themselves.

Watch the Recording

Why Race, Culture & Trauma Matter: Addressing Real Equity for Marginalized Populations
Presented by Dr. Tyrone Howard
October 5, 2017

Professor Howard addressed the increasing complexities in today’s schools contexts, and how issues of race, culture, and trauma remain salient. Focusing specifically on how schools often miss the mark with regard to engaging students in teaching and learning, Howard offers a complex and nuanced account of how today’s student populations require a more humanistic, race-conscious, and culturally caring approach to education.

Watch the Recording

2016-2017 Academic Year

The Essential Role of Local Communities in Teacher Education
Presented by Dr. Ken Zeichner
February 23, 2017

Why should teacher education programs engage local community members in preparing new teachers who will go on to work in those communities? How can learning about a community’s assets and expertise help further teacher preparedness? In this talk, Ken Zeichner explored a variety of family and community-centered teacher education efforts that collaboratively engage local community members as teacher educators and foster community engagement, involvement, and solidarity to maximize teacher preparedness. 

Watch the Recording

Note to Educators: Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete
Presented by Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade

October 20, 2016

What are the material conditions that affect urban youth before they even step foot in our classrooms? What does it mean to develop educational environments that are relevant and responsive to those conditions? How should these educational spaces define success for students and teachers? Social toxins emerge from racism and poverty, and those toxins impact young people and the development of their identities. This talk closely examined those toxins and offered strategies for developing educators who are better equipped to create environments for understanding and responding to them. Through the voices of young people and their teachers, we discover critical hope's significance for an education that relieves suffering in underserved communities.

Watch the Recording

2015-2016 Academic Year

Justice on Both Sides: Toward a Discourse of Restoration in Schools
Presented by Dr. Maisha Winn

February 25, 2016

With disparities in school discipline falling sharply along racial lines, the practice of restorative justice has the potential to change the way we think about, plan and administer disciplinary measures in urban schools, using circle processes and case conferences to create boundary-crossing social networks for children and youth. Building on a program of research which examines the intersections of language, literacy and youth justice, Dr. Maisha Winn explored restorative justice using case studies from across the country. 

Watch the Recording

You Can't Fix What You Don't Look At: Acknowledging Race in Disproportionality
Presented by Dr. Russell Skiba
October 22, 2015

Even as we have confronted tragic events in communities from Ferguson, Mo., to Madison, Wis., inequities in school discipline persist across the country. In this presentation, Dr. Skiba used the recent work of the Discipline Disparities Research-to-Practice Collaborative to outline the current status of research and the need to abandon “race-neutral” policies in order to actively identify and challenge inequity in school discipline.

Watch the Recording

2014-2015 Academic Year

Succeeding in This City? Reframing Deficit Discourses About Black Youth and the Pittsburgh Schools That Educate Them
Presented by Dr. Shaun Harper

March 19, 2015

Using data from the New York City Black and Latino Male High School Achievement Study, Harper confronted hopeless, one-sided mischaracterizations of urban schools and the young men of color who attend them. He presented powerful examples of how 40 traditional high schools fostered cultures that bolstered achievement and college readiness among 415 young men.

Culture, Teaching, and Learning
Presented by Dr. Geneva Gay
October 30, 2014

This presentation examined the interconnections among culture, teaching, and learning as they relate to underachieving students of color in precollegiate and higher education. Culture is an influential variable in shaping teaching and learning, and culturally responsive education policies, programs, and practices can improve the academic performance of marginalized African, Native, Latinx, and Asian American students.

Watch the Recording

2013-2014 Academic Year

Stakes IS High: Educating New Century Students
Presented by Dr. Gloria Ladson Billings
April 17, 2014

Ladson-Billings appropriated the title "Stakes IS High" from iconic hip hop artists De La Soul to underscore the importance of the work ahead for educators, students, parents, community members, and researchers as we attempt to develop a generation of "new century" students for a world we can hardly imagine. By addressing the so-called achievement gap, this presentation reconceptualized what it means to promote teaching and learning for a generation of digitally sophisticated students.

Building the Capacity of Schools to Meet Students' Needs
Presented by Dr. Pedro Noguera
November 15, 2013

Noguera described how strategies to systematically meet the needs of students are being implemented successfully at a number of schools in the United States, and discussed how to develop effective partnerships with community organizations and parents that can help efforts to raise achievement and transform the culture and practice of schools.