B-MEIS Webinar: Do Black Lives Matter in Bilingual Education?

When:  Aug 24, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (ET)


Lau vs. Nichols is considered a landmark court case in the education of language-minoritized students in the United States that paved the way for bilingual education and other special programs that are designed to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of students from bi/multilingual households. An often overlooked aspect of this case was the fact that it was decided based on Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, legislation that was enacted in large part due to Black community activism. Despite this connection to Black freedom struggles, bilingual education research, policy and practice continues to at best erase the experiences of Black students and at worse actively perpetuate anti-Black racism. This panel brings together experts in bilingual education to critically interrogate the ways that bilingual education has historically and continues to be complicit in maintenance and further exacerbation of anti-Black racism. This includes an examination of the development of the field of bilingual education and the ways that has been designed to marginalize and exclude the voices of Black people. It also includes an examination of the contemporary context of the ways that these programs marginalized and excluded African American students and the ways that the experiences of Afro-Latinxs are erased under the broad umbrella of Latinidad. Panelists will also discuss ways of countering anti-Black racism in bilingual education and offer pathways for moving forward in ways that acknowledge that bilingual education cannot be anti-racist unless it accounts for the specificities of anti-Black racism.


Nelson Flores is an associate professor of educational linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. His research examines the intersection of language, race, and the political economy in shaping U.S. educational policies and practices. His current research projects include a longitudinal study of students in a dual language charter school in a predominately low-income Latinx area of Philadelphia that seeks to challenge deficit perspectives by documenting the complex linguistic practices these students engage in on a daily basis and a book project that examines the institutionalization of bilingual education in the post-Civil Rights era. In addition, he has collaborated on several research projects focused on the education of racialized bilingual students in U.S. schools. Dr. Flores has been the recipient of many academic awards including the 2017 AERA Bilingual Education SIG Early Career Award, a 2017 Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the 2019 James Atlas Prize for Research on Language Planning and Policy in Educational Contexts. He also serves on several editorial boards including The International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, and Multilingua


Maneka Deanna Brooks is an associate professor of reading education at Texas State University. Dr. Brooks’ research agenda centers on everyday educational practices that impact the educational trajectories of bilingual adolescents. In addition, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on the intersection of bilingualism, race, and literacy. Dr. Brooks’ work has been published in the Journal of Literacy Research, Research in the Teaching of English, Language and Education, and other venues. She is the author of Transforming Literacy Education for Long-Term English Learners: Recognizing Brilliance in the Undervalued (Routledge, 2020). Dr. Brooks earned her PhD in Educational Linguistics from Stanford University Graduate School of Education, a M.A. in Secondary Bilingual Education and B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Loyola Marymount University.

Rhonda Broussard is the founder and CEO of Beloved Community, a national nonprofit committed to sustainable economic equity in schools, workforce, and housing. Broussard is an award-winning education entrepreneur and sought-after public speaker. She is a 28-year educator and researcher who founded and led a network of language immersion and international schools in the US. Broussard studied education in Cameroon, Martinique, metropolitan France, Finland, and New Zealand. Her essays have been featured in The Future of University, North American Edition; Building Bridges, One Leader at a Time; This I Believe, Personal Essays by the Women and Men of Eisenhower Fellowships; IB World magazine, and Forbes Magazine. Rhonda serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of EdNavigator and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Dat School, Agile Learning Center. Previous Board service includes PROMO, Missouri’s Statewide LGBTQ Advocacy Organization, Missouri Charter Public School Association, and Campus YMCA-YWCA. Rhonda lives in her native Louisiana with her partner, Kim and two children, Olivia and Oscar. Wherever she is in the world, Rhonda can usually be found studying, performing or occasionally teaching dances from the African diaspora. Her first book, One Good Question: How Countries, Communities, and Schools Prepare Youth for Global Citizenship will be published by TBR Books, a program of Center for the Advancement of Languages, Education, and Communities (CALEC).

María Cioè-Peña earned her PhD in Urban Education from The Graduate Center - City University of New York, where she was also an Advance Research Collaborative fellow and a Presidential MAGNET Fellow. She is a bilingual/biliterate education researcher and educator who examines the intersections of disability, language, school-parent partnerships and education policy. Taking a sociolinguistic approach and stance, she pushes and reimagines the boundaries of inclusive spaces for minoritized children. Stemming from her experiences as a former bilingual special education teacher, María’s research focuses on bilingual children with dis/abilities, their families and their ability to access multilingual and inclusive learning spaces within public schools. Her interests are deeply rooted in political economy, raciolinguistic perspectives and critical dis/ability awareness within schools and families. María's dissertation, focused on the experiences of Spanish-speaking mothers raising emergent bilinguals labeled as disabled, received first-place Outstanding Dissertation from the National Association for Bilingual Education (2019) and third-place Outstanding Dissertation from AERA's Bilingual Education Research SIG (2020). Maria has published in Urban Review; Theory, Research, and Action in Urban Education; International Journal of Inclusive Education; Journal of Bilingual Education Research and Instruction; and Bellaterra Journal of Teaching and Learning Language and Literature, and contributed to multiple edited volumes. María is currently an Assistant Professor and a Community-Engaged Teaching Fellow at Montclair State University.