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Recap and Reflection of AACTE and AERA Joint Session: Youth, Censorship, and Academic Freedom

Youth, Censorship, and Academic Freedom Panel

The white folk of Altahama voted John a good boy, – fine plough-hand, good in the rice-fields, handy everywhere, and always good-natured and respectful. But they shook their heads when his mother wanted to send him off to school. “It’ll spoil him, – ruin him,” they said; and they talked as though they knew. (W. E. B. Du Bois, 1903/2015, p. 173)

This excerpt is a great representation of the fear fueling the push behind the call for censorship of critical race theory (CRT) and stages the focus of a Deeper Dive session at the AACTE 2022 Annual Meeting for educators to discuss how to address some of the challenges related to the threat that banning CRT has on American democracy. The “AACTE and AERA joint session: Youth, Censorship, and Academic Freedom” was moderated by Marvin Lynn (Portland State University), and the panelists were Michael Dantley, (Miami University) Kimberly White-Smith (University of La Verne), and Jacob Easley (Touro College). The discussion started with recapping the timeline of efforts to constrain teaching about race in higher education, followed by organizing faculty and staff, the role of education leaders in advancing social justice, and how to work with state and national organizations to address issues of education and censorship.

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