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Renowned educational theorist, teacher educator to lead Georgia Southern 2021 Fries Lecture

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., renowned pedagogical theorist, teacher educator and author, will present the 2021 Norman Fries Distinguished Lecture, hosted by Georgia Southern University’s College of Education. 

The lecture will take place virtually via Zoom on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

In her lecture, “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Educating Past Pandemics,” Ladson-Billings will discuss how pandemics provide opportunities for revisioning and reimagining culturally relevant teaching practices. She suggests that instead of “getting back to normal,” it is time to get on to new and more equitable ways of educating all students and creating a more democratic society.

Ladson-Billings is the former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and faculty affiliate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also served as the 2005-06 president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). 

Ladson-Billings’ research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with Black students. She also investigates critical race theory applications to education. She is the author of critically acclaimed books The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children and Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. 

Former editor of the American Educational Research Journal and a member of several editorial boards, Ladson-Billings’ work has won multiple scholarly awards including the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Palmer O. Johnson Outstanding Research Award. She is a 2018 recipient of the AERA Distinguished Research Award and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018.

The annual Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship series began in 2001. It is funded by an endowment in honor of Norman Fries, founder of Claxton Poultry. In his more than 50 years of business, Fries built the company from a one-man operation into one of the largest poultry production plants in the U.S. Past Fries lecturers include David Oreck of Oreck Vacuums, South African apartheid author and lecturer Mark Mathabane, NASA director James W. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Gordon S. Wood, Nobel Prize laureate William D. Phillips, Ph.D., bestselling author Susan Orlean, concussion expert Dr. Russell Gore, and PricewaterhouseCoopers Network chief operating officer Carol Sawdye. For more information, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers approximately 140 different degree programs serving almost 27,000 students through 10 colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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