Center Spotlight

Center for Multicultural Education

1. What is CME all about?

The goals of the CME are focused in three main priority areas: 

1) facilitating PK-20 multicultural education-focused scholarship-to-practice efforts;

2) serving as a campus and community resource for training, education, and professional development on issues of social justice; and,

3) producing and disseminating critically-conscious scholarship to inform local, state, national and international education policy.

Through these three areas, the CME will prioritize contemporary interdisciplinary work:

a) to dismantle educational inequity in PK-20+ settings by building interpersonal and intellectual educational climates that affirm historically and persistently marginalized and minoritized students (HPMMS);

b) situated in the “other” ways of knowing, cultural capital, community wealth, and related protective resistance and resilience characteristics of HPMMS that enable their persistence;

c) that cultivates durable and effective education pathways and community-embedded partnerships for HPMMS; and,

d) to revitalize and extend radically operative continuing multicultural education for campus and community constituents and stakeholders committed to the success of HPMMS.

Through the three priority areas, the CME will also distribute resources to state leaders in all sectors of the economy to ensure better understanding of conditions of educational inequity and injustice in order to leverage resources for HPMM youth-centered educational reform and transformation.
So, the CME has a foundation—roots if you will—so some clear directions it will pursue. AND the Center has no ceiling—thus it has wings—so we would love to hear about other directions you would like to see the Center pursue through collaboration with you. While we are not exactly sure what such collaboration will or could look like yet, we are sure we can figure that out through meaningful engagement with you.  

Learn more about the CME’s priorities here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvbXMIB1o_k&feature=youtu.be

2. What kinds of projects is CME working on and what kinds of resources does the CME provide

Though the CME was established in 2004 by Dr. Porter L. Troutman, it was placed on inactive status in 2012 when Dr. Troutman retired, and was just reactivated in 2020. As a result, the immediate foci of the CME are: 

1) re-building infrastructure; for example, building a web-page/social media accounts, establishing a board of directors, setting up office space, initiating administrative and fiscal protocols, and developing revenue streams; and,

2) re/starting core initiatives including: 

a) a “Critical Professional Development” Speaker Series in partnership with the Clark County School District Equity and Diversity Education Department, with UNLV, NSC, and CSN education- and equity/diversity-focused departments and offices, and with community-embedded education- and social justice-oriented entities, for example, Code Switch: Restorative Justice for Girls of Color;

b) an online open access journal, through which faculty provide critical research/scholarship-related mentorship to graduate students so that, long-term, the journal can be largely run by and for graduate student early career scholar-activists;

c) multicultural education-related education, training, and consulting services on campus, with local-national-international PK-12 and higher education partners, as well as education- and justice-community-embedded/non-profit allies, and equity-committed for-profit entities; and,

d) a “Lit Learning” Speaker Series for students, staff, and faculty within the UNLV College of Education to share scholarly, practitioner, and activist work related to the CME’s priority areas.

Longer term, the CME will actively pursue external funded-research opportunities aligned with its priorities, and through which it will extend campus and community partnerships dedicated to achievement of the its goals.

Join the CME for one or both of its upcoming Critical Professional Development Speaker Series events: http://mesame.us/documents/Judith_Cati-Web.pdf

3. What impacts will CME have on students and the community?

While the COE had planned to reactivate the CME for the last several months of 2019 and the first several of 2020 (reactivation occurred officially in July 2020), it could not have anticipated that this reactivation would occur coincidental with an unprecedented moment of forward Movement of Civil Rights. As the world was coming to terms with the racially and socioeconomically disparate impacts of a once-in-a-century deadly global health pandemic, the United States found itself bearing witness to the murder of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement officials, continuing evidence of the persistence of the all-to-familiar deadly pandemic of white supremacy and indifference to Black life. In response, highly diverse groups of largely young people in the United States and, eventually the world over, organized around and through the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, risked exposure to the worldwide health crisis, as well as to police aggression, to express outrage and force significant new reckoning with racism, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy.

While UNLV and the COE took decisive action to address the impact of COVID 19 on the campus community, it/we were slower to respond to the traumatic impact of Mr. Floyd’s murder on especially the university’s Black students, staff, and faculty and their allies. Following provocation from, and the example set by, various groups of UNLV students, staff, and faculty, the university, the COE, and other campus entities, began to express solidarity with BLM, and are now taking action to right long-standing educational inequities and injustice on campus and in within spheres of influence beyond campus borders. Through the CME, this action is focused on research, teaching, service, and advocacy to interrupt and dismantle systems of educational oppression that disproportionately affect historically and persistently marginalized and minoritized students (HPMMS) in Nevada. 


Further, the CME will support students and community through:
1) the study and practice of multicultural education in ways that both honor the Ethnic Studies roots of the field, and expand inquiry and action through intersectional analysis of, and intervention to eradicate, barriers to access, equity, and excellence in the PK-20+ educational experiences of HPMMS;
2) research, teaching, service, and advocacy to interrupt and dismantle systems of educational oppression that disproportionately affect HPMMS in Nevada; and, 3) development of a justice framework to inform its work. 
According to the Research Justice Center of the Coalition of Communities of Color in Washington County Portland Oregon:

a) a justice framework “starts with the premise that research processes and practices must be just and equitable in order for outcomes to be just and equitable;”
b) a justice framework understands that “mainstream research practices have reduced communities of color to [research] ‘subjects’…”; and,
c) a justice framework “creates space for communities to be leaders and partners at all decision points [in] research process[es]” (p. 12).
We look forward to working collaboratively to develop and actualize a justice framework through which to achieve all the goals of the reactivated Center in service to and partnership with our students and their families here in Southern Nevada, as well as across the state, region, country, and around the world.
Learn more about the importance of Multicultural Education and the work of the CME for UNLV and CCSD students, families, and our local community here: https://www.unlv.edu/news/release/calls-social-justice-persist-unlv-researchers-advocate-multicultural-education

5. Who is CME?

Dr. Christine Clark (Director)
Dr. Norma Marrun (Assistant Director)

The reactivated CME is co-led by Dr. Christine Clark (CME Director), who is a Professor and Senior Scholar in Multicultural Education and Founding Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, and by Dr. Norma A. Marrun (CME Assistant Director), who is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, International Studies, and Multicultural Education. Clark and Marrun are faculty members in the COE’s Department of Teaching and Learning and co-lead graduate certificate programs and master’s and doctoral degree programs in the Cultural Studies, International Education, and Multicultural Education (CSIEME or “See Me”) emphasis area. Dr. Alejandro Carríon and Dr. Tonya Walls, both Visiting Faculty, are CME Affiliates. Dr. Carríon is working on restarting the CME journal, and Dr. Walls is working to deepen the CME’s education-related community embeddedness, including through Equity Matters: Examining the Black Education Pipeline. Ms. Cecelia “Édan” González is the CME’s Graduate Research Assistant and a Ph.D. student in the CSIEME program. Clark and Marrun are faculty members in the COE’s Department of Teaching and Learning and co-lead graduate certificate programs and Masters’ and Doctoral degree programs in the Cultural Studies, International Education, and Multicultural Education (CSIEME or “See Me”) emphasis area. Contact us at UNLVcme-group@unlv.edu and follow us @UNLVcme.