"Urban School Closure and Community Loss: Contemplating an Effective Path of Resistance"
About the Discussion
This presentation will highlight increasingly pervasive efforts to close urban public schools in predominantly Black and Latinx communities across the U.S. Building upon a “politics of disposability” framework, we will explain how targeting such schools for privatization and closure constitutes dangerous forms of structural and racial violence. This was so prior to the pandemic, and is even more threatening now. School closure typically serves to disenfranchise vulnerable communities via misleading policy frames while also threatening public schooling and democracy at-large. We will reflect upon the efforts of various public school advocates, opponents, and activists to pinpoint implications for resistance and public school reinvestment.
Camille M. Wilson, Ph.D., is a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor and professor of educational foundations, leadership and policy at the University of Michigan. She explores the intersections of school-family-community engagement, urban educational reform, and transformative leadership. Dr. Wilson’s work has highlighted the educational advocacy, activism, and school choices of marginalized families of color and the equity-based efforts of school-based leaders committed to better serving those families.
Dr. Wilson, a critical qualitative researcher, has published extensively in leading national and international journals, such as Teachers College Record, Educational Administration Quarterly, and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Her work has also appeared in many distinguished scholarly books and handbooks. She is co-editor of the 2014 book Advancing Equity and Achievement in America’s Diverse Schools: Inclusive Theories, Policies, and Practices (Routledge). In addition, she actively collaborates with youth, family, and community activists in national and regional educational improvement initiatives.
Dr. Wilson has presented her work throughout the United States and at many international venues, including as an invited guest lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa and as a visiting professor at the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill in Barbados.
Dr. Wilson earned her doctorate in urban schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. She is also an alumna of U-M’s School of Education, where she earned her Master’s degree. Dr. Wilson is the founding director of the School’s CREATE Center. The CREATE Center fosters community-based research on equity, activism, and transformative education among university researchers and community advocates.
Caroline G. Adams is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Educational Studies program and, for the last year, has conducted research on the closure of public schools across the country. A native of Milwaukee, WI, she holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University, as well as an MA in Teaching from The University of the District of Columbia. She began her career in education as a lobbyist and has served as a K-12 educator, a teachers' union representative, and an early childhood education advocate in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Her research focus is on the advocacy and activism of Black women educators.