Dr. Owen Cardwell will open the Spring 2020 University Lecture Series with a discussion about connecting the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community” to the process of teaching and learning.
Cardwell, the Rosel Schewel Distinguished Chair in Education, will present “Toward a Pedagogy of a Beloved Community” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in Memorial Ballroom, Hall Campus Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Cardwell said King popularized the concept of a Beloved Community characterized by commitment to nonviolence. Cardwell’s lecture will help educators, including community members without formal teaching roles, connect the Beloved Community to education today.
“There needs to be some conscious effort to connect the concepts of the Beloved Community to the learning process,” he said.
For example, he said discussions about an “achievement gap” place too much emphasis on a student’s achievement without acknowledging the responsibility adults have to individual students. The Beloved Community principles put more accountability on those who can help fill the gap.
“There is a moral dimension for each party to be responsible for the learning process,” Cardwell said.
A native of Lynchburg, Cardwell was one of the first African American students to integrate E.C. Glass High School. He holds a PhD in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in creative and ethical leadership from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His scholarship on the work of Martin Luther King Jr. is respected around the country. He is the founder and executive director of the Heroes and Dreams Academy in Richmond, a mentoring program for at-risk youth based on service learning. He was also the co-founder of the Family Restoration Network in Ashland, Virginia, an organization designed to restore fractured families and reconnect incarcerated fathers with their children.
The University Lecture Series at the University of Lynchburg features an array of lectures by scholars and experts on the Lynchburg faculty. Next up is Dr. Nancy Hubbard, dean of the College of Business, who will talk about developing a personal brand on Monday, April 13.