"I Am From: Telling Stories of the Past and Present"


Location: The Center For History, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!  This workshop by Dr. Stuart Greene was so popular that a second session was requested.


It is often said that we are a nation of immigrants. Family gatherings are a time to share and recount memories of travels, hardships, hope, and persistence. These are some of the themes that author Isabel Wilkerson takes up in her book, The Warmth of Other Suns, which has inspired this writing workshop.  Participants will have an opportunity to write and share their stories with one another. We will then compile these stories for the Center for History for a more public presentation with photographs and videos that give voice to the diversity of those who have come to live here in the United States.

Stuart Greene is associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, with a joint appointment in the department of Africana Studies and a concurrent appointment in the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.  His current research focuses on the intersections of race, poverty, and achievement in public schools. This work has led to the publication of his co-edited volume, Making Race Visible: Literacy Research for Racial Understanding (Teachers College Press, 2003), for which he won the National Council of Teachers of English Richard A. Meade Award in 2005.  He also edited Literacy as a Civil Right (Peter Lang, 2008) and co-edited with Cathy Compton-Lilly, Bedtime Stories and Book Reports: Connecting Parent Involvement and Family Literacy (Teachers College Press, 2011). His current work also focuses on youth empowerment and civic engagement.


Maria McKenna received her Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in Educational Foundations after completing her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University respectively.  Professor McKenna holds multiple roles at the University including Director of Undergraduate Studies for Africana Studies.  She is also the Senior Associate Director of the Education, Schooling and Society an academic minor in the College of Arts and Letters. Her teaching and advising duties span both departments. Her research and teaching focus on the social contexts of American education, educational care, and minority experience in American public education, with a focus on the child and parent perspective/voice related to educational environments and opportunities. She has a particular interest in understanding urban, public school environments and the constituent groups that use those schools. McKenna’s work has been published by Urban Review, the School Community Journal, the Association of Teacher Educators, and the Journal of Philosophy and History of Education.  Her current writing focuses on Photovoice methodology, a student generated model of educational care, and parent voices within the educational process.


This event is a part of the Great Migration Series, which was inspired by Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns. This series of events focuses on the migration of African Americans from the south to the north from 1915 – 1970. Please feel free to check out the other events that are a part of this series!