UVA’s Derrick Alridge two lead Center on Race and Public Education in the South

Historians in the News
tags: UVa, Derrick Alridge, Center on Race and Public Education



At a time of deep racial division in the United States, the University of Virginia is opening the Center on Race and Public Education in the South.

Curry School of Education professor Derrick Alridge conceived of the center, housed in the education school.

By involving researchers and educators throughout UVA and the local community, he plans to build a novel organization that will not only produce research, but also drive change on both local and national levels.

As a historian of education, Alridge has devoted his professional life to studying the intersection of race and education in America. As a native of a small town in South Carolina, he has a deeply personal relationship with the complex culture of the American South.

Alridge, a professor in the Curry School’s Department of Leadership, Foundations and Policy, founded and directs “Teachers in the Movement,” an oral history project that explores the ideas and pedagogy of teachers in the civil rights movement.

The new center aims to bring researchers and the local community together to examine the intersection of race, education and schooling in the South, with the ultimate goal of influencing education policy. UVA Today spoke with Alridge to learn more about his vision for the new center.

Q. How did the idea for the center come about?

A. In January or February, I pitched the idea to Curry School Dean Bob Pianta. Bob has been supportive of my research on race and diversity issues, so I was not surprised when he agreed to support my idea for a center. I thought that, given the challenges African-American and other students of color encounter in their education in the South and the increasing numbers of immigrants in the southern United States, UVA and the Curry School were in an ideal position to establish this center. ...




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