Wayne State University College of Education to address impact of poverty on education during annual symposium Feb. 28 to March 2

February 7, 2013

Wayne State University’s College of Education (COE) will explore why children in poverty struggle academically and how communities can work toward educational justice for disadvantaged students during its second annual research symposium and educational dialogue, “Understanding the Impact of Poverty on Education,” scheduled Thursday, Feb. 28 to Saturday, March 2, at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 495 Ferry Mall.

The conference kicks off with an experiential simulation by Starfish Family Services, a nonprofit agency serving vulnerable children and families in metro Detroit. “Walk with us in the Shoes of Someone Living in Poverty in America” helps participants to understand the day-to-day struggles facing families and individuals from economically distressed backgrounds.

“The impact of poverty in Michigan, moreover America, suggests that many families struggle to provide the basic necessities such as adequate food, clothing, and housing,” said Carolyn Shields, COE dean. “Moreover, the pervasive influence of poverty on education has gained increased attention because so many of our students experience its negative impact, including high dropout rates, failing schools, and limited opportunities for success. The bottom line is that poverty undermines America’s economic and social structures and that we, as educators, must accept our responsibility to offer redress through improved educational opportunities and outcomes.”

The conference features interactive dialogue sessions, panel discussions and several prominent speakers who will discuss current research and generate strategies for cultivating critical discourse regarding poverty. Speakers include John H. Jackson, Esq., president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education; Rochelle Riley, social commentator, community activist and Detroit Free Press columnist; Patrick Lindsey, WSU Vice President for Government and Community Affairs; and Jean Anyon, Ph.D., social activist and acclaimed education researcher.

The public is invited to attend the free keynote address and Q&A with Anyon at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Community Arts Auditorium, 450 Reuther Mall. Anyon is known for her scholarship on poverty, social justice, and education and for leading public discussions regarding the relationship between society and schools. Due to limited space, RSVP is requested. Email to register for the keynote only.

For full conference registration and details, visit or call the College of Education’s Office of the Dean at 313- 577-1620.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.