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Mogensen Lecture explores social justice and literacy March 7

February 22, 2013
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Linda Christensen, director, Oregon Writing Project, Lewis & Clark College

EAU CLAIRE — An educator lauded nationally for her work on literacy and social justice is the featured speaker for the 10th annual Martin Mogensen Education Lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Linda Christensen, director of the Oregon Writing Project at the Graduate School of Education at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., will present "Outrageous Hope: Literacy and Social Justice" from 4-5:15 p.m. March 7 in Phillips Recital Hall of Haas Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. A reception to celebrate a decade of hosting distinguished guests through the lecture series will immediately follow.

"Social justice is at the core of my work because it is a belief in people's potential," Christensen said. "It is this commitment to social equality that undergirds the idea of public education."

Christensen will discuss how keeping "outrageous hope" alive means creating a curriculum that matters, helps students make sense of the world, and gives them academic skills, intellectual power and hope.

Christensen is the author of "Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching about Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word" and "Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-Imagining the Language Arts Classroom." She taught high school language arts for more than 30 years in Portland, Ore. She is a member of the Rethinking Schools editorial board and has received numerous awards, including the Fred Hechinger Award for use of research in teaching and writing from the National Writing Project, and the U.S. West Outstanding Teacher of Western United States award. More information about Christensen can be found online.

While on campus, Christensen also will hold a workshop for area educators and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff during which she will present strategies for teaching students from diverse backgrounds to access the world of the academy "while honoring the world from which they come."

The presentation, hosted by the College of Education and Human Sciences in partnership with the Martin Mogensen family, is free and open to the public.

The Mogensen Lecture Series, which is part of a teacher education outreach effort, was established to honor Martin Mogensen, a 1952 UW-Eau Claire graduate. Mogensen became one of the first victims of school shootings in this country when, at the age of 46, he was killed by a student in the Tomah school where he served as principal. Over the past decade, presentations have covered such topics as bullying, global perspectives and challenges facing 21st-century teachers, and have included such distinguished guests as Manuel Scott, one of the original "Freedom Writers."

Mogensen's daughters, Marti Mogensen and Margaret Mogensen Nelson Brinkhaus, both graduates of UW-Eau Claire, and other family members and friends support the lecture series through the Martin Mogensen Education Lecture Fund of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. They also established a scholarship fund as a tribute to their father.

Marti Mogensen and Brinkhaus, representing the family, will present the Martin Mogensen Education Scholarship at the lecture. It will be given to a UW-Eau Claire undergraduate education major from Wisconsin who has attained a high level of scholarship and who shows promise for becoming a successful teacher.

For more information about the lecture or scholarship, contact Dr. Marvin Lynn, UW-Eau Claire associate dean for teacher education, at lynnm@uwec.edu or 715-836-5832.

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