Loyola University Maryland

Center for Innovation in Urban Education (CIUE)


The Center for Innovation in Urban Education strives to contribute to conversations on education in urban areas, and to offer a variety of events for university and local community members. Events run by the CIUE are often collaborative in nature and speak to the challenges facing urban education.

Past Events


Ella Baker Day
Ella Baker Day is a way to honor and celebrate Ms. Baker’s lifetime of community organizing and civil rights activism on behalf of communities, especially women, of color. The 2018 Ella Baker Day featured a social justice-themed art contest from local middle and high school aged youth. Finalists were invited to read, present, and perform during the Ella Baker Day event on Thursday, April 5.

Dr. Bree Picower – "Confronting Racism in Teacher Education: Voices from the Field and Strategies for Change"
CIUE welcomed Bree Picower, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Montclair State University, for her lecture, “Confronting Racism in Teacher Education: Voices from the Field and Strategies for Change” on Tuesday, Feb. 6. In this talk, Picower examined how racialization, whiteness and institutional racism manifest themselves within teacher education.  Sharing counter narratives from critical teacher educators representing diverse positionalities, Picower illustrated how these narratives represent the challenges of working toward racial justice in the academy.  From dealing with the impact of external mandates that negatively impact racial justice work, to working with resistant students, to being positioned problematically by colleagues, these counter narratives highlight the toll such work presents on the emotional and professional experiences of racial justice oriented teacher educators. Picower also shared a variety of strategies that teacher education can embark upon to act in solidarity with urban schools and communities of Color.


Dr. Edwin Mayorga – "Race Radicalism at the School Community Nexus"
Dr. Edwin Mayorga, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College delivered the lecture "Race Radicalism at the School Community Nexus" on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Dr. Mayorga also addressed the issues of racial capitalism and its presence in a range of policy and reform strategies in education and community development. He explored questions surrounding racial capitalism and drew from his Philadelphia school and community partnerships study to present elements of this framework to deepen collective understanding of its effects on urban education.

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill – "Building Community and Resistance in the Age of Trump"
Journalist and author Marc Lamont Hill, Ph.D., to delivered a lecture on “Building Community and Resistance in the Age of Trump" on Thursday, March 23. In his talk, Hill examined the socio-cultural and economic factors that led to this political moment, as well as offered concrete strategies for creating resistance movements in producing social justice, with a focus on youth and youth culture.

Ella Baker Day with Keynote Speaker Dr. Rev. Heber Brown III
Ella Baker Day is a way to honor and celebrate Ms. Baker’s lifetime of community organizing and civil rights activism on behalf of communities, especially women, of color. The 2017 Ella Baker Day featured a keynote by Dr. Rev. Heber Brown III.


Dr. Peter C. Murrell, Jr. Memorial Symposium – "A Culture of Caring: Transformation approaches to urban schooling"
The Peter C. Murrell Jr., Memorial Symposium on October 5, 2016 focused on the social, racial, and psychological context of urban schools today. Together, we explored prominent issues in teacher development and school culture- and challenge one another to create new models and pathways to resiliency, grounded in community wisdom and heritage. Only by cultivating and authentic connection to community and family, gaining a deep and contextualized understanding of our students, and by facing squarely the deeply flawed message of racial discrimination in our country, can we address the glaring disparities in public education. This crisis in public education demands radically different practices that represent a new turn in training and development of caring and culturally competent educators, increasing student engagement in classroom instruction, and providing comprehensive social and emotional supports that enable students to be well, do well, and adapt well in the 21st century. 

El Futuro de Baltimore: A Conversation on our Changing Demographics
Immigrants are among the fastest growing populations across the United States. Our communities in Maryland are also diversifying in a similar trend, and Baltimore has witnessed a doubling of its linguistically diverse students between 2012 and 2015. It is vital that our community discusses the possible impacts such demographic changes have on our city. The panelists for “El Futuro de Baltimore: A Conversation on Our Changing Demographics” discussed related questions on the matter, particularly addressing race relations, the current political landscape, education, urban geography and neighborhoods, and on moving productively forward on April 20, 2016.

Nelson Flores, Ph.D. – "The Raciolinguistic Underpinnings of Academic Language and the Marginalization of Latino Students"
Nelson Flores, Ph.D. on "The Raciolinguistic Underpinnings of Academic Language and the Marginalization of Latino Students" took place on April 20, 2016.

Community Literacy Event/Writer's Workshop
Community Literacy Event/Writer's Workshop took place on February 27, 2016.


Two-Part Film Screening, Latino Americans: El Futuro de Baltimore
CIUE partnered with the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Esperanza Center to host a series of events focused on the history and experiences of Latino Americans in the United States and in Baltimore. This event series was funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA) received by Enoch Pratt. The film screening took place September 16, 2015.

Justice for Freddie Gray: A Spoken Word Jam
Justice for Freddie Gray: A Spoken Word Jam took place on June 8, 2015.

Documentary viewing of Second Chances: Reducing Suspensions in Maryland
On April 22, 2015, CIUE hosted a screening of Second Chances: Reducing Suspensions in Maryland, a documentary short by Wide Angle Youth Media, a non-profit that provides media education to Baltimore youth through documentary production. The film explores how schools around Maryland are working to find alternatives to suspension. A panel discussion followed the film. Panelists include Karen Webber Ndour, executive director of the office of student support and safety for Baltimore City Public Schools; Ali Smith, co-founder of Holistic Life Foundation, Inc.; Rosalind Akpaidem, M.A. ’14, Baltimore City Public Schools teacher; Dante de Tablan, executive director of the Ben Franklin Center for Community Schools; Laurell Glen, senior at Digital Harbor High School and Wide Angle Youth Media intern; and Rob Helfenbein, Ph.D., associate dean of Loyola’s School of Education. Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D., associate professor of education specialties and interim director of CIUE, moderated. 

Adrienne Dixon, Ph.D. – "Making Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Relevant"
Adrienne Dixson, Ph.D., associate professor of critical race theory and education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented “Making Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Relevant,” on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dixson’s talk highlighted research that depicts a lack of understanding with regard to what it means to be a culturally relevant teacher. She described points of confusion and the need for clarity when translating culturally relevant pedagogy to teacher candidates, current teachers, district level administrators, and college and university faculty who prepare and work with teachers.


Urban Educators: Thriving, Confused, or Fading
CIUE and student-led UNITE presented "Urban Educators: Thriving, Confused, or Fading," a conversation on the benefits and challenges of teaching in urban education on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. The conversation focused on three questions: How did your social identities impact the relationships you made with your students? What is an issue you experienced in your first years of teaching that you wished you had been more prepared for? How do you stay motivated in a challenging environment day in and day out? Three panelists led in discussion by Peter C. Murrell, Jr., Ph.D., moderator, a professor of urban education at Loyola University Maryland and founding dean of the School of Education, where he served from 2008-11.

Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings – "Hip Hop/Hip Hope: Reinventing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy"
CIUE welcomed Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings on October 16, 2014 for her lecture, "Hip Hop/Hip Hope: Reinventing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy". Ladson-Billings’ lecture explored how “culturally relevant pedagogy,” a term she coined, empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes —and why hip hop provides hope for engaging students in a way that ensures their success in the classroom and beyond. Watch the lecture recording.

UNITE hosts Rev. Heber Brown on "Cultural Lenses"
CIUE welcomed Rev. Heber Brown from Pleasant Hope Baptist Church on March 19, 2014 for his lecture, "Cultural Lenses". 

Dr. Jason Irizarry – “For Us, By Us: A Vision for Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies Forwarded by Urban 
CIUE welcomed Dr. Jason Irizarry on March 19, 2014 for his lecture,“For Us, By Us: A Vision for Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies Forwarded by Urban Youth". Indicators of academic achievement for many urban youth of color continue to be problematic. As researchers and policy makers search for remedies to address so-called achievement gaps, they often fail to meaningfully engage those most directly impacted by changes in policy and practice- namely, students themselves. The overwhelming majority of school improvement initiatives have been “top-down,” created without meaningful input or participation from the families and communities they intend to serve. Moreover, the role of culture in shaping teaching and learning is often ignored, and at times maligned, in this process. Drawing from a two-year ethnographic study of Latino/a high school students in a participatory action research collaborative based at their school, this article presentation addresses the following questions: How might our understandings of culturally relevant pedagogy be enhanced if they were informed by teaching practices developed, implemented, and refined by students themselves? As the largest and fastest growing group of minoritized students and community that disproportionately experiences academic underachievement, what can Latino/a students teach us about developing teaching strategies that have the potential to improve their educational experiences and outcomes? In other words, if Latino/a youth were empowered to create a classroom environment for themselves and other Latino/a students, what would it look like? What elements, approaches, would they employ? Dr. Irizarry ended the presentation by forwarding a vision for culturally sustaining pedagogies that is created by urban youth, for urban youth. 

Let's Talk about White Fear: A conversation about life & Loyola in response to the Jordan Davis verdict
The Loyola community came together to discuss the recent mistrial in the murder case against Michael Dunn for killing Jordan Davis. This informal conversation on February 24, 2014 was an opportunity to process the verdict and think about its connections to and lessons for Loyola, especially toward action-oriented responses.

UNITE hosts Dr. Robert Simmons on "Let's Talk about Race"
CIUE and student-led UNITE hosted Dr. Robert Simmons for his lecture, "Let's Talk about Race" on February 18, 2014.

Making Urban Schools Work for Urban Youth: A Dialogue about Teacher Prep Programs and Alternatives like TFA
A Dialogue About Teacher Prep Programs and Alternatives like TFA took place on  February 10, 2014


20/20 Baltimore Speaker Series: Loyola's Footprint Just Around the Corner 
The “20/20 Baltimore: Look Beyond Your Campus. See Your City. Find Your Home” speaker series educates Loyola students about Baltimore City, especially the social justice issues facing the city and the community members working to make a positive difference. The first event in this series on November 18, 2013 focused on the York Road community.

Dr. David Stovall on "Research, Race, Class and Praxis in the End Times: Moving Towards the Nexus of Struggle and Community Engagement"
The lecture on November 13, 2013 was partially a response to Zizek's assertion that the vast majority of people in the world have been reduced to disposable surplus labor by corporate and state structures.  By focusing these concerns in the current educational moment, Stovall provided an analysis of the use of justice-oriented research strategies in authentic collaboration with community driven efforts to secure quality education.  Applying his findings to the current conditions in Baltimore, Stovall suggests synergies between his work in other urban school districts.

C. Mathew Hill, J.D. on "Tale of Two Baltimores: Gentrification, Failed Laws, and How You Can Fix It!" 
On November 7, C. Mathew Hill, J.D. presented his work on the current status of Baltimore’s new inclusionary housing law and share the impacts on our community, local nonprofit housing developers, and on real estate development. Mr. Hill is a 2002 graduate of Loyola, affiliate faculty in the history department, and serves as an attorney at Public Justice Center.

What You Should Learn about Urban Teaching in Your Teacher Preparation Program but Won't!
How does good urban teaching differ from good teaching in other contexts? What are its joys and challenges? On October 16, 2013 panelists used stories from their experiences as a teacher in an urban high school in Baltimore and as a director of an urban teacher preparation program in Milwaukee at Marquette University to stimulate discussion and debate about the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed that are critical in urban teaching but not often addressed in formal teacher preparation.  We examined, What do "other mothering," "warm demanding," and "culturally responsive teaching" actually look like in real urban classrooms? How can I connect with parents and communities? And, what kinds of activism, advocacy and teacher leadership are possible for new teachers in urban classrooms? 

Exploring Urban Community Assets using Education as our Lens
Participants explored York Road’s vibrant and historic community with a walking tour led by Pastor Heber Brown, one of Baltimore's spiritual and civil rights leaders, and William Baptist from the York Road Initiative on September 20, 2013. We specifically explored this community through the lenses of education (schools and community centers), community engagement, and community assets.