Creating Balance in an Unjust World: Conference on Math Education &  
Social Justice

Friday, April 27th, El Puente Community Center-  Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, April 28-29th, Long Island University- Brooklyn, NY


Overview and Theme

     Join educators, parents, students, activists, and community  
members from around the country for a 3-day conference to explore the  
connections between math education and social justice. How has math  
literacy been a gatekeeper to future educational and financial  
success? How can math educators ensure equity in the classroom? How  
can issues of social, political, and economic justice be integrated  
into math curriculum? What is Ethnomathematics and how is it related  
to our work with students? These are a few of the many issues  
participants will have the opportunity to explore throughout conference.

Goals of the Conference

    1. Bring together educators, researchers, parents, activists, and  
students to discuss the connections between social justice and math  
    2. Foster new and innovative partnerships and collaborations
    3. Create a space to share resources, lesson plans, best  
practices, and other classroom materials
    4. Organize ongoing working groups around curriculum development,  
math education reform, etc.

Who Should Attend?

     Youth of all ages who are concerned about their education, their  
future, their city, issues of social justice, etc
     Parents with concerns, questions, suggestions, or calls-to- 
action about their children's education
     Educators of all subjects and grade levels who are interested in  
social justice
     Activists interested in social justice and/or educational issues
     Community members and concerned citizens with ideas to share and  
questions to ask


     Mathematical literacy has long been a gatekeeper to higher  
learning opportunities due to the prevalence of high school exit  
exams, SAT tests, and college placement exams.   Math attainment has  
also been related to overall educational attainment and subsequent  
economic mobility.   Finishing a math course beyond Algebra II more  
than doubles the odds that a student will get a bachelor's degree,  
and in 2000 the median income of someone with a Bachelor's Degree was  
nearly twice that of someone with a high school diploma.   This  
becomes particularly relevant for educators in urban school systems  
such as New York City, where 64.8% of our students are eligible for  
free lunch and 85.7% are students of color.

     In addition, the systemic and structural oppression of low  
income and people of color continues to worsen.   The number of  
people in prison continues to grow, as does our unemployment rate.    
Billions of dollars that were once available for social programs and  
education have been diverted to paying for war.   Rents are  
skyrocketing, while affordable housing is becoming even more  
scarce.   Millions of people lack health insurance.   These problems  
and many others are being addressed by community organizations and  
activists, and often find their way into Social Studies and English  
classes.   However, in math classes around the country, perhaps the  
best places to study many of these issues, we continue to use  
curricula and models that lack any real-world - let alone socially  
relevant - contexts.   A great opportunity to help our young people  
understand and address these myriad issues continues to be lost.

     - U.S. Department of Education, Answers in the Toolbox: Academic  
Intensity, Attendance Patterns and Bachelor's Degree Attainment, 1999

About the host sites

     El Puente is a community human rights institution that promotes  
leadership for peace and justice through the engagement of members  
(youth and adult) in the arts, education, scientific research,  
wellness and environmental action. Founded in 1982 by Luis Garden  
Acosta, El Puente currently integrates the diverse activities and  
community campaigns of its Center for Arts and Culture and its  
Community Health and Environment Institute (CHE) within its three  
neighborhood Leadership Centers and its nationally recognized public  
high school, the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. Organizing  
in North Brooklyn and beyond, El Puente remains at the forefront of  
community/youth learning and development issues and as such,  
initiates and impacts social policy both locally and nationally.

     Long Island University School of Education has a complete urban  
focus and prepares teachers, counselors, administrators, and school  
psychologists for the adventure of urban education. A strength of the  
LIU/Brooklyn School of Education is that many of their future and  
practicing educators are themselves urban dwellers, immigrants, or  
members of a wide variety of ethno-linguistic and racial groups. They  
bring to the University the experiential knowledge of diverse urban  
communities essential to educate the children and families in these  

 > SPACE IS FILLED for the Friday Classroom Sessions & Friday night  
Kickoff Event.
We are working on solidifying more schools for people to visit. Stay  
tuned to the website for updates.
Keynote Speaker:

Bob Moses-- Founder, the Algebra Project
  Saturday, April 28th, 6pm
Sunday, April 29th, 9am

s. e. anderson (author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners" -  
Writers + Readers) +