May 8, 2006
'Algebra is a civil rights issue' crusader
leads educator workshop May 11
Renowned civil rights crusader, educator, and author of the
book Radical Equations, Robert P. Moses will be in the
Monterey Bay region May 10-11 for a series of events geared
toward local educators and K-12 administrators.
Robert Moses founded The Algebra
Project to address the crisis in math literacy in poor
Founder of The Algebra Project www.algebra.org,
a national math literacy program, Moses believes higher order
thinking and problem solving skills are prerequisites for full
citizenship in society. The Algebra Project works with students,
parents, and teachers to create a culture of literacy around
algebra, the "gatekeeper" course for postsecondary
On May 11, Moses will lead a daylong workshop at Lakeview Middle
School in Watsonville for approximately 80-100 mathematics teachers
in grades 6-9. The session will focus on shifting student thinking
from arithmetic to algebra. He will meet with UC Santa Cruz
faculty, students, and community affiliates to discuss mathematics
as a civil rights issue. Moses will also meet with educational
leaders from the Monterey Bay Educational Consortium (MBEC)
and the MBEC Teacher Workforce Initiative on May 10.
Moses's visit is being sponsored by the UCSC Educational Partnership
Center (EPC), the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community
(CJTC), Bridging Multiple Worlds Alliance, and the Center for
the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as (CEMELA) at UC Santa
"Algebra is a key area of focus for us," said EPC
director Carrol Moran. "Students now need algebra skills
to graduate from high school, and successful completion by ninth
grade is key to college eligibility. We want to do all we can
to bring attention to this critical area."
Moses, who was a pivotal organizer of black voters in Mississippi
during the 1960s, founded The Algebra Project to address the
crisis in math literacy in poor communities. In a technical
era when the most pressing civil rights issue is economic access,
Moses is determined to organize people community by community,
school by school. He is the winner of many awards, including
a MacArthur Fellowship and a Heinz Award in the Human Condition.
"Advocating mathematics education as a civil rights issue
is a revolutionary idea, one that challenges conventional wisdom
about the role mathematics plays in our lives," said Julia
Aguirre, assistant professor of education at UCSC. "It's
an amazing opportunity to learn from such a remarkable person
whose life's work and spirit challenges us, as UCSC faculty
and students, to be civil rights advocates for those we teach,
now and in the future, in the struggle for social justice."
For more information about Moses's visit, please contact Beth
Nelson at (831) 459-1022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.