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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 26, 2005

Expert To Speak On School Challenges

Jabiria Mahiri, a professor of education at the University of California-Berkeley, will present a lecture 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 28 on "Challenges of Diversity in New Century Schools" in Jones Commons (N300) of the University of Iowa's E.F. Lindquist Center.

The lecture is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the UI College of Education and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, which is funding the lecture through its Laura Spelman Rockefeller Fund. The event is part of the Phyllis M. Yager Commitment to Diversity Conference, which runs Thursday, Jan. 27 through Saturday, Jan. 29.

Mahiri, Ph.D., an associate professor of education in UC-Berkeley's Language, Literacy, Society and Culture program, will discuss in his lecture the many challenges faced by Iowa educators who are addressing diversity in their local school districts and communities. Mahiri intends to comment on the challenges of diversity as well as challenges to formal schooling that are reflected in the social, cultural, and technological conditions and developments of this yet new century.

Drawing on the experiences of Iowa educators, Mahiri will offer ways to face these challenges and will ask those in attendance to question whether schools are obsolete and to answer that question with considerations of the important kinds of teaching and learning as well as personal and cultural development that can occur in schools.

The Obermann Center's Laura Spelman Rockefeller fund supports research, academic symposia, and public programs that increase our understanding of and increase the well-being of children and their families.

For a full schedule of events during the Yager Diversity Conference, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,

OTHER INFORMATION: Mahiri will be available for media interviews during his visit. To arrange an interview in the Lindquist Center's TV studio, contact College of Education Associate Dean Carolyn Colvin at, or 319-335-5588.