On Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in Room 261 of Marshall d’Avray Hall, the UNB Fredericton faculty of education is honoured to present the second annual Dr. Ottilia Chareka Memorial Lecture in Education and Social Justice. Guest speaker, Dr. Jeff Orr, will present Educational Leadership for Social Justice.

The Dr. Ottilia Chareka Memorial Lecture is in memory of Ottilia Chareka: mother, activist, scholar, mentor, and friend.  Ottilia was a three-time graduate of the faculty of education at the UNB (DAUS 1993; M.Ed 1994; PhD 2005).

Ottilia was the first woman from her rural village in Zimbabwe to complete high school and went on from there to enjoy a stellar career as a teacher and academic. Throughout her life, Ottilia was a considerable advocate for others including the many Zimbabwean girls she supported in educational endeavours, fellow immigrants to Canada, and First Nations students.  When Ottilia died tragically in the spring of 2011, the faculty of education at UNB decided to remember her and her work through an annual lecture in her name focusing on education as a vehicle for social justice, a life long passion for Ottilia.

The second annual Dr. Ottilia Chareka Memorial Lecture will focus on how inclusive and equitable leadership is advancing social justice in education.

Dr. Orr, dean of education at St. Francis Xavier University, will discuss how much of the current policy discourse in educational leadership is focused upon improving classroom instruction and student learning.  While this stance is important and necessary, it is an insufficient response to the current needs of our society. This lecture explores how educational leaders are responding to important social issues of family violence, homo-phobia, cyber-bullying, racism, poverty, religious hatred, able-ism and sexism.

Cases of educational leaders such as Dr. Ottilia Chareka, who, through their own actions, have supported the most marginalized and excluded members of society through education will be considered.  Educational leadership that links equity, inclusion, and social justice with school improvement is shown as a pathway to addressing the pressing challenges of our society.

For more information, contact José Domene, research co-ordinator, faculty of education; or Alan Sears, professor, faculty of education.

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