Kalamazoo's commitment to education topic of panel at WMU

How the commitment to educational equity has evolved from the past to current day in the Kalamazoo region will be the focus of a panel discussion Monday, April 2, on the campus of Western Michigan University.

"Educational Equity: From the 'Kalamazoo Case' to the Kalamazoo Promise and Beyond" will be discussed at 6 p.m. in Room 204 of the Bernhard Center. 

The free event is part of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society's lecture series and is open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the WMU Cooley Law School and the College of Education and Human Development.

WMU co-moderators Dr. Kathy Purnell, instructor of political science, and Dr. Ashley Atkins, assistant professor of philosophy, will facilitate the panelists' discussion.

Panelists will include:
•   James D. Robb, general counsel and associate dean of external affairs, WMU Cooley Law School;
•   Cyekeia Lee, director of community collaboration, Kalamazoo Promise;
•   Michael Evans, executive director, Kalamazoo Literacy Council; and
•   Sandra Standish, executive director, KC Ready 4s.

The "Kalamazoo Case" authored by Thomas M. Cooley in 1874 in his role as Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court will be part of the discussion of the past. This legal case was based on the principle that communities can opt to use their tax dollars for investments in secondary education. The Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program and its commitment to postsecondary education will be part of the discussion of the present.

The panel will also talk about potential future paths, asking what it means to embrace a "right to literacy" and exploring an expanded commitment to prekindergarten youth that can ensure educational equity and access. 

Panelists are expected "share their thoughts on what a commitment to educational equity means and engage in dialogue on how to map a common future to expand equity and access," according to a release from WMU.

Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, visit here.

Source: Western Michigan University

Cyekeia Lee photo by Brian Powers used with permission on Encore Magazine. 

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