Educator & Social Justice Advocate
In the passion of the civil rights campaigns of 1964 and 1965, Jonathan Kozol gave up the prospect of a promising career in the academic world, moved from Harvard Square into a poor black neighborhood of Boston, and became a fourth grade teacher. He has since devoted nearly his entire life to the challenge of…
In the passion of the civil rights campaigns of 1964 and 1965, Jonathan Kozol gave up the prospect of a promising career in the academic world, moved from Harvard Square into a poor black neighborhood of Boston, and became a fourth grade teacher. He has since devoted nearly his entire life to the challenge of providing equal opportunity to every child in our public schools.
Death at an Early Age, a description of his first year as a teacher, received the 1968 National Book Award in Science, Philosophy, and Religion. Among his other major works are Rachel and Her Children, a study of homeless mothers and their children, which received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and Savage Inequalities, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992. His 1995 best-seller, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1996, an honor previously granted to the works of Langston Hughes and Dr. Martin Luther King. Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison wrote that Amazing Grace was “good in the old-fashioned sense: beautiful and morally worthy.” Elie Wiesel said, “Jonathan’s struggle is noble. His outcry must shake our nation out of its guilty indifference.”
Ten years later, in The Shame of the Nation, a description of conditions that he found in nearly 60 public schools, Jonathan wrote that inner-city children were more isolated racially than at any time since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. The Shame of the Nation appeared on The New York Times bestseller list the week that it was published.
Jonathan’s most recent book on childhood and education is Fire in the Ashes, a sweeping narrative that follows a group of children in a destitute community out of their infancy and elementary grades, through their secondary years, into their late teens, and beyond. Some of their stories are painful and heart-breaking, but others are dramatic tributes to the resilience and audacity of courageous children who refuse to be defeated by the obstacles they face and find their way at last to unexpected and triumphal victories.
The nation’s most widely read and highly honored education writer and one of our most eloquent advocate for children of low income and for racial diversity in our schools and universities, Jonathan has been speaking to overflow crowds as child poverty has risen to unprecedented levels and racial tensions have become the focus of urgent political concern.
To Jonathan’s friends and allies in the world of education: Jonathan wants to make it clear that he does not intend to give up the struggle for our children and the challenges our schools are facing in an era of persistent inequality and obsessive testing. He continues to visit children in their classrooms and to give encouragement to overburdened but devoted principals and teachers. He’s been doing that for over fifty years. He isn’t stopping now.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Public Education: Equity and Excellence
Joy and Justice: An Invitation to the Young to Serve the Children of the Poor
Race, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity in our Nation’s Schools
Savage Inequalities: Education Still Separate, Still Unequal The Challenges for Teachers in an Age of Inequality, Strict Accountability, & Remorseless Testing
Letters to a Young Teacher: An Invitation to a Beautiful Profession – A Time of Hope: What We Can Expect from the New Administration in Washington (Emphasis on Children & Education)
The Shame of the Nation: Public Education Still Separate, Still Unequal
Children & Teachers Under Siege: Race, Poverty & Public Schools
The Age of Anxiety in Our Urban Schools: In an Era of Obsessive Testing, Can the Arts & Humanities Survive?
The Race Gap: Why Does It Persist? What Are the Solutions?
In Praise of a Beautiful Profession: Educators Working in the Front Lines of the Public Schools
Turning Around Low-Performing Schools: New Strategies, New Visions
Letters to a Young Teacher: The Formidable Challenges & Passionate Rewards of Those Who Teach in Public Schools (Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration)
Among Schoolchildren: The Challenges for Teachers in the Age of Tests & Severe Accountability
The Soul of a Profession: Public Education Under Siege
(1) Joy and Justice: The Hearts of Children and the Dignity of Teachers in an Age of Punitive and Relentless Testing.
(2) The Shame of the Nation: Race, Poverty, and the Corporate Invasion of our Public Schools.
(3) The Widening Gulf: Can We Reverse the Savage Inequalities of Our Public Schools?
(4) Child-centered Education: Learning for its Own Good Sake Alone. Is it Still Possible in this Age of Rigidified Instruction?
(5) Curricular Starvation in Our Urban Schools: How Can We Restore Aesthetics and the Arts and Cultural Capaciousness to Children Starting in the Early Years?
Healthcare and the Elderly
(1) Old Age and Medical Ethics: Are Economic Factors Undermining Ethics in Discussions about Determination of the End of Life?
(2) Alzheimer’s: A Best-selling Author Describes His Fascinating Conversations with His Father after the Onset of Dementia — and His Struggle to Defend His Father’s Dignity.
(3) The Heart-breaking Loss of the Personal Bond Between Doctors and Their Patients in an Age of Rationed Care.
(4) Who Speaks for the Ill and Elderly? And Who will Provide for our Parents and Grandparents as Young Physicians Turn Their Backs on Geriatric Medicine?
Jonathan Kozol-The Shame of A Nation: Public Education Still Separate, Still Unequal
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