This blog post is taken from a comment I wrote on Educational Insanity’s blog post, Reflections from NECC – Equity, Diversity, Social Justice. I thought is was important enough to repeat it here.
I really appreciate your honest assessment of NECC 2008. Although I cannot be there in person (my wife is ready to give birth any day now), I did want to show support for sessions that discuss issues of diversity, equity, and social justice. I’m not sure how to deal with the (perceived?) lack of racial diversity in the edublogosphere or at the Blogger’s Cafe, but I do think that we need to be reaching out. Do you know if Taking It Global (http://takingitglobal.org) is doing a session at NECC? Getting someone from that organization to come into the Blogging arena of NECC would go a long way to ushering in an air of social justice and diversity.
The other question I have is about the diversity of the conference in general. If there is a lack of diversity (or at least a lack of people talking about it), is that because the people that are attending are mostly getting their school districts to pay for it? If a school district cannot buy books (as is the case in the documentary that you just mentioned, which I hadn’t heard of because I don’t get HBO… Is there some other way I can see it?), how can they send teachers to a (fairly) pricey conference.
Talk about equity, the conference should have scholarships for districts that are looking to be forward thinking, but don’t have the funds. (Is this something that is possible.)
I would love to have a larger debate in the edubloggosphere about the issues of equity, diversity, and social justice, but I wonder how valuable it can be for a white folks (of which I am one) to debate the issues without getting some voices outside of the echo chamber to take part. Any ideas?