SRU professionals to address equal education at Pittsburgh event


Cover page of the 1954 ruling by the Warren Court

Brown v. Board of Education, a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case, will be addressed as part of a panel discussion involving two Slippery Rock University employees, July 9, at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh.

July 2, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Two Slippery Rock University professionals will be part of a panel discussion about equal access to education, 6 p.m., July 9, at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh. The panel discussion, titled "Unfulfilled: The Promise of Equal Education," is part of the AWAACC's art exhibition, "Race and Revolution: Still Separate -- Still Unequal," which examines the ongoing disparity in the U.S. public school system.

Fadoua Loudiy, SRU instructor of communication, and Corinne Gibson, SRU director of inclusive excellence, have been invited to participate on the panel that will also include Michael David Battle, one of the exhibit's featured artists and a community and nonprofit leader, and Todd Allen, professor of communication at Messiah College and founder of the Common Ground Project, a nonprofit organization that teaches people about the history of the civil rights movement.

"The promise of equal and inclusive education in the U.S. has yet to be fulfilled, 65 years after Brown v. Board of Education," said Loudiy, referring to the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established a precedent that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Corinne Gibson


"(This panel discussion) will focus on the structural inequalities that continue to plague the education system and prevent the shaping of an equal and truly inclusive society, where every citizen enjoys the same educational opportunities and experiences, regardless of race," Loudiy said. "Panelists will be speaking about their experiences as educators and provide suggestions to guide civil discourse on equality and inclusion, in schools, colleges and society at large."

Aside from communication, Loudiy's other areas of expertise include civil discourse, equality and inclusion. She's written journal articles on issues of transitional justice, reparations and reconciliation in the aftermath of mass injustice. She also studies how national communities develop communicative strategies to overcome oppression and preserve their histories in order to create a more just and inclusive society.

"The landmark ruling of Brown v. Board of Education carried such hope but, unfortunately, it failed to secure genuine equality and inclusion for African American citizens," Loudiy said. "As a country, we need to do better, much better. But laws alone are not the answer. There needs to be a change of hearts and souls. That's what I hope this conversation will achieve."

Loudiy invited Gibson to join her on the panel. Gibson leads SRU's Office for Inclusive Excellence, which helps create opportunities for all students to excel at the University and beyond through programs and other support that explores and celebrates cultures and identities; creates productive campus citizens; and gives students a voice for positive social change.

"I'm excited to revisit this conversation that I don't think has ever been resolved and see what the future can hold and how we can alleviate some of the barriers for equal access," Gibson said. "We are coming from a place in our professions, especially as educators, where we see equality concerns, either in our roles in higher education or in the overall state of equal education."

Gibson said each panelist will present but the event will be an open conversation with a question-and-answer session. Topics can range across all levels of education access, from immigration policy affecting schoolchildren to financial aid barriers for aspiring college students.

The AWAACC, located at 980 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, is dedicated to the presentation of arts and culture reflective of African Americans and the African diaspora. The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, will be conducted in Gallery 1.

For more information about the AWAACC, click here.

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