April 2, 2008 – James Banks, the Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor of Diversity Studies and director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, will be the third featured speaker in the annual Walter Ridley Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Virginia on Thursday, April 3, at 4 p.m.
Banks' lecture, "Diversity in America: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating Citizens in Global Times," will be presented in the Rotunda Dome Room. The event is free and open to the community.
Banks is a specialist in multicultural and social studies education and has written widely in these fields. He is a past president of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council for the Social Studies. He was a Spencer Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford during the 2005-06 academic year. He is a member of the National Academy of Education.
In 2004, Banks was the first recipient of the newly established American Educational Research Association's Social Justice in Education Award for a career of research that advances social justice through education research. In 2005, he was awarded the UCLA Medal from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University's highest honor. He delivered the 29th Annual Faculty Lecture at the University of Washington in 2005, the highest honor given to a professor at the University. He also received in 2005 a Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University. In the fall of 2007, Banks was the Tisch Distinguished Visiting Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.
A former elementary school teacher, Banks received his bachelor's degree in elementary education and social science from Chicago State University and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in these fields from Michigan State University. He has served as a consultant to school districts, professional organizations and universities throughout the United States and in Canada, England, the Virgin Islands, Guam, The Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Israel, Portugal, Japan, China and Ireland.
The Ridley Lecture series, sponsored by the Curry School of Education, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity and the Walter Ridley Scholarship Fund, honors Walter N. Ridley, the first African-American student to receive a degree from the University of Virginia. Ridley graduated in 1953 with a doctorate in education and had a distinguished career in higher education administration.