Renowned educator Dr. Sonia Nieto will speak on “Educating a Diverse Society through the Lens of Social Justice” during two presentations at a Metropolitan State University School of Urban Education event co-sponsored with Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools.
The events are from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. March 3 in the New Main Great Hall of Metropolitan State University’s St. Paul campus, 700 E. 7th St.
“Dr. Sonia Nieto and her significant work in teacher education, especially in the areas of multicultural education and Latino (and Latina) education, have shaped generations of teachers and teacher educators and their approaches to serving children and youth of color,” said School of Urban Education Dean René Antrop-González. “The School of Urban Education is proud to have this highly acclaimed and internationally respected scholar visit our campus and raise consciousness centering on the intersections between social justice and serving urban learners.”
Nieto’s work has focused on the development of multicultural education and culturally responsive teaching, devoting her professional life to questions of diversity, equity and social justice in education. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., she began her teaching career in 1966 in an intermediate school in Brooklyn. Her university career started in the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College. She and her family moved to Massachusetts in 1975, where she completed her doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, returning a year later to begin her academic career there.
Nieto’s research focuses on multicultural education, teacher education and the education of students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She has received numerous awards for her scholarly work, teaching, activism and advocacy, including six honorary doctorates. In 2016, she was ranked among the top 35 university-based education scholars in the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings.
In 2000, she was awarded a Bellagio Residence by the Rockefeller Foundation. The educator has served as a visiting scholar at various universities in the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico and Spain, and in 2012 she was selected as the Wits-Claude Distinguished Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In Minneapolis and St. Paul where 67 percent to 77 percent of students are of color, only 16 to 17 percent of teachers are of color. Statewide, students of color represent 30 percent of the school population but teachers of color represent only 4 percent of the 58,200 public school teachers in the state (approximately 900 are Asian, 600 are Black, 500 are Hispanic and 250 are Native-American).