White Voices in Multicultural Psychology, Education, and Leadership: Inside the Walls of America’s Higher Education


Festus E. Obiakor, PhD (Editor)
Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, USA

Jeffrey P. Bakken, PhD (Editor)
Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA

Bob Algozzine, PhD (Editor)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA

Series: The Silenced Voices in Education
BISAC: EDU015000

This is a collection of personal narratives from scholars, educators, and leaders in higher education focusing on how they developed and used multicultural perspectives. Each story is unique and personal and the collection illustrates the many ways these individuals were influenced by and influenced broad and inclusive views of culture.

People tend to make judgments based on their experiences in life. In the book, the authors discuss their experiences and how they developed a passion for multiculturalism. They discuss how they challenged themselves and traditional assumptions of our society to develop their own multicultural skill sets. It may have been one situation or a combination of situations; but for each author, there was a significant event that impacted him/her forever. In most cases, there were a number of factors and experiences that led the author down this very important path.

White voices do matter and this book is a powerful collection of such voices in print. Individuals can be different and these chapters provide real stories and real situations where the authors made a conscious decision to not go with the “norm” and redirect their thoughts and actions to develop into proponents of multiculturalism. Through their actions, they have shown others that this behavior is acceptable, and in fact, is what everyone should be doing regardless of how they look, where they were born, or what neighborhood they currently live in. These stories open our eyes to what can really happen if we work at it. If not, we will be headed down a path of moral and social destruction where individuals who are different will never be accepted and will always feel inferior.

This book is intended for use by both undergraduate and graduate students, multicultural education majors, faculty and staff in teacher preparation programs, higher education administrators and policy makers, and scholars and educators in higher education. Across this spectrum, all constituents can learn, develop and grow in how they respond, react, and promote multiculturalism with students, parents, teachers, and staff. More specifically, those involved in teacher education programs can learn how powerful they can be as teachers – to advocate, support, and foster a multicultural child’s growth while being engaged with them so that they are capable of seeing their own potential and the possibility of success. After reading this book, it is hoped that people will think and act differently when dealing with multicultural individuals and not be judgmental based on how students look, or treat them differently based on what their parents do. Each student’s needs are important and must be considered when interacting with him/her.

We hope that this book will make people think and act differently and positively impact the way they treat and interact with individuals who are different or appear different. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Contributors



Chapter 1 – Advancing Multicultural Discourse: My White Voice (pp. 1-10)
Jackson Rainer (Department Head and Professor, Psychology and Counseling, College of Education and Human Services, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, US)

Chapter 2 – Necessary Struggles: Learning to Love the Fringe (pp. 11-24)
Julie Gorlewski (Secondary Education, School of Education, State University of New York at New Paltz, NY, US)

Chapter 3 – Reflections on ―Moral‖ Multiculturalism and Postmodern Thought (pp. 25-40)
Lynn K. Wilder (Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL, US)

Chapter 4 – Always Becoming: Cycles of My Multicultural Development (pp. 41-50)
Kenneth A. Weaver (Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, US)

Chapter 5 – How I Came to Be: The Long Journey Home (pp. 51-62)
Todd V. Fletcher (Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, College of Education, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, US)

Chapter 6 – From Unconscious to Conscious Whiteness: Supporting Teacher Candidates in Developing Healthy White Identities (pp. 63-74)
Alicja Rieger (College of Education and Human Services, Valdosta State University, valdosta, GA, US)

Chapter 7 – Diversity Training and Identity Politics in the University: Reflections of a Marxist Scholar and Activist (pp. 75-88)
Marvin J. Berlowitz (Educational Studies, College of Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, US)

Chapter 8 – Prejudices and Stereotypes: How Multicultural Education Can Help (pp. 88-98)
Kelly A. Heckaman (Department of Early Childhood and Special Education, Dewar College of Education and Human Services, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, US)

Chapter 9 – Out of Silence: Supporting Multiculturalism (pp. 99-114)
Steven P. Chamberlain (Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies, University of Texas, Brownsville, TX, US)

Chapter 10 – My Multicultural Odyssey (pp. 115-126)
Karla Hull (College of Education and Human Services, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, US)

Chapter 11 – Being Multicultural: It‘s Always Been a Part of My Growth (pp. 127-138)
Jeffrey P. Bakken (Bradley University, Peoria, IL, US)

Chapter 12 – Striving for Multiculturalism: My Journey (pp. 139-148)
Tes Mehring (Emporia State University, Emporia, and School of Education, Baker University, Baldwin City, KS, US)

Chapter 13 – Multicultural Teacher Education and Literacy Education: One Teacher Educator‘s Journey from Ignorance to Insight (pp. 149-166)
Gina M. Doepker (College of Education and Human Services, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, US)

Chapter 14 – The Failure of ―Special‖ Education to Be Multicultural and Inclusive (pp. 167-184)
Bob Algozzine (Department of Educational Leadership, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, US)

Chapter 15 – The Multicultural Journey that Changed My Life (pp. 185-192)
Brian Gerber (Dewar College of Education & Human Services, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, US)

Chapter 16 – Afterword: In Honor of Multiple Voices that Engage in Fearless Conversations (pp. 193-204)
Festus E. Obiakor (Early Child and Special Education, College of Education and Human Services, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, US)


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