June 14, 2024

My Hero to Speak at CMK 2011

National Book Award-Winning author and civil rights activist Jonathan Kozol is coming to Constructing Modern Knowledge 2011! I could not be more thrilled or honored.

You may never have another opportunity to spend time with this American hero in an intimate setting.

For forty-five years, Kozol, has given voice to America’s poorest children. He is a tireless champion of educational equality and civil rights for the millions of defenseless children left behind.

In 1964, Kozol was back in Boston after graduating from Harvard, going to England as a Rhodes Scholar, dropping out to spend time learning to write in Paris with authors, including William Styron and Richard Wright. When Kozol learned of the murder of civil rights workers, Goodman, Schwerner and Cheney, he walked into the Boston Public Schools office and said that he would like to teach. After becoming a fourth grade teacher in a segregated school in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Kozol’s teaching career came to an abrupt an unwelcome end when he was fired for “curricular deviation” for having the audacity to read a Langston Hughes poem to African American children.

A man with the courage to match his convictions, Kozol spent several months on a hunger strike in 2007 until his old friend, Senator Edward Kennedy refused to meet with him to discuss the “No Child Left Behind” Law.

From his National Book Award-winning first book, Death at an Early Age to his most-recent, Letters to a Young Teacher, Kozol has sold millions of books about teaching, learning, poverty, homelessness and growing up in America’s poorest communities. He has appeared on countless television shows and testified before Congress on many occasions. C-Span’s Web-based video archive allows you great access to twenty different Kozol appearances on that network free-of-charge.

The following clip is one of the most moving statements about children and what we owe each  young citizen. Kozol speaks about caring for children in moral terms that resonnate with me at a Harvard conference commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Plessy vs. Ferguson Supreme Court decision. Regardless of where you stand on religion or spiritual matters, please watch the entire 16 minutes. Kozol really builds to a knock-out punch.

Click the image above to launch video window

Learn more about Constructing Modern Knowledge 2011

Further reading:

Jonathan Kozol Takes on The World – By Gary Stager
This educator’s latest book shines a bright light on what he calls this country’s big shame — not only are cities segregated, but the education we offer those city children is markedly worse.
Published in the January 2006 issue of District Administration

Speaking Out: An Interview with Jonathan Kozol
Kozol speaks with Gary Stager about his new book, Ordinary Ressurections: Children in the Years of Hope
Published in the June 2000 issue of Curriculum Administrator Magazine

2 thoughts on “My Hero to Speak at CMK 2011

  1. wonderful post, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

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