Dr. Mackenzie Gillespie joined the Center in 2023 as a Program Coordinator to facilitate the biannual Youth Literature Festival. She recently obtained her Ph.D. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she researched issues of language and identity in dual language elementary classrooms, as well as best practices in language education and policy in the US.
EDUC 201: Identity and Difference in Education (EDUC 201) Focuses on the role of identity in schooling and the way in which identity is socially constructed. Examine how power and privilege impact equity and opportunities based on socially constructed identities such as race, social class, gender, sexual identity, language, (dis)ability, and nationalism. Explore asset-based frameworks that are identity affirming and counter deficit-based perspectives. This course is designed for students interested in reflecting on their own experiences as learners by critically examining their socially constructed identities and "ways of knowing" and the societal implications of these experiences. It is also for those considering careers in teaching, and anyone interested in reflecting on how issues of inclusion, exclusion, power, and privilege play out in education.