Rouge Forum 2014 runs from June 5-7 at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Check out the details here.
Every year the Rouge Forum honors the life and work of Adam Renner (August 18, 1970 – December 19, 2010) by inviting a critical scholar, educator, or activist to deliver the Adam Renner Education for Social Justice Lecture.
Adam was a teacher, scholar, musician, revolutionary activist, martial artist, and lover of life. His courage took remarkable forms, from being willing to sacrifice to help others, to always learning, and altering his views, on the path to discover what is true in order to make the world a little better. What could be a more powerful legacy?
He received his BA in Mathematics from Thomas More College. While teaching mathematics at Seton High School in Cincinnati, OH, he completed his MEd at Northern Kentucky University. In 2002, Adam received his PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and subsequently worked as a professor at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY.
His scholarship focused on service learning, social difference, social justice, and pedagogy and he published in numerous journals including Educational Studies, EcoJustice Review, High School Journal, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Rethinking Schools and more. (Many of Adam’s publications are available to read here.)
Along with his life partner, Gina Stiens, he created a service partnership with schools and social service organizations in Jamaica and taught an ongoing course, “Education for Liberation or Domination: A Critical Encounter in Jamaica.” He was a key leader and organizer in the Rouge Forum serving as Community Coordinator and as editor of the Rouge Forum News.
In the fall of 2010, Adam left his professorship at Bellarmine University and returned to the school classroom, as a math teacher at June Jordan School for Social Equity in San Francisco.
In an article for Substance News, published just weeks before he died, Adam wrote,
“For me and my K-12 classroom, for instance, I have been searching for the intersection of liberation, curriculum, and student experience (comprised of individual traumas, structural oppression, nine years of mis-schooling, varying levels of confidence and skill, etc.). How can I shape the revolutionary subjects necessary to help tip the inflexion point toward the necessary qualitative changes?
“When we teach math, social studies, language arts, and science, can we credibly do so in a way that is separate from the growing militarization of our schools and society, gang and drug infestations in our communities, rampant unemployment, a school to prisons pipeline, the assurance of our students’ ignorance through standardization and a teach-to-the-test mafia-like pressure on teachers?
“So, if we shouldn’t teach our classes that way, can we organize in such a way that militates against such explorations?”
Theses are powerful questions that challenge us to embodied the interaction of critical, ethical theory and determined practice, just as Adam did everyday of his life.
Adam Renner Education for Social Justice Memorial Lecturers
Peter McLaren, Professor at the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences, UCLA, world renowned critical pedagogue and author of over 40 books, including Life in Schools and Revolutionizing Pedagogy.
Susan Ohanian, public school teacher, author, and winner of the National Council of Teachers’ of English “George Orwell Award,” for her outstanding contributions to the critical analysis of public discourse.
Patrick Shannon, Professor of Language and Literacy at Penn State University, former primary grade teacher and author of over 16 books, including Reading Wide Awake and Reading Against Democracy.
David Barsamian, founder and director of Alternative Radio and author of Occupy The Economy: Challenging Capitalism and Targeting Iran. He is best known for his interview books with Noam Chomsky, including What We Say Goes.