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Author James A. Banks to give lecture on Diversity in America at Whitworth University Nov. 3

October 24, 2016
Whitworth University will welcome author and social studies specialist James A. Banks, Ph.D., to campus for an Inclusive University Classroom Lecture, “Diversity in America: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating Citizens in a Global Age.” The lecture will be held on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. in Weyerhaeuser Hall’s Robinson Teaching Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public. Banks’ books will be available for sale during the evening, and a short book signing with Banks will follow his lecture. For more information, please call (509) 777-3583.

“Whitworth is truly fortunate to be able to host such an international scholar,” says Roberta Wilburn, associate dean of graduate studies in education at Whitworth. “He has been a leader in multicultural education and social justice work for many years. I am pleased that our students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the larger Spokane community, will have an opportunity to hear from and interact with him first-hand. I am sure that it will be a memorable experience.”

Banks’ lecture will explore the racial, ethnic, cultural, language and religious diversity that is increasing in the United States, as well as in nations around the world, due to worldwide immigration. The deepening diversity within nation-states and the quest by different groups for cultural recognition and rights are challenging assimilationist notions of citizenship and are forcing nation-states to recognize, respect and incorporate diversity. A delicate balance of unity and diversity should be an essential goal of citizenship education in multicultural nation-states. Citizenship education should help students to develop thoughtful and clarified identifications with their cultural communities, nation-states and the global community, Banks says. 

Banks holds the Kerry and Linda Killinger Endowed Chair in Diversity Studies and is the founding director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington. Banks is a past president of the American Educational Research Association and of the National Council for the Social Studies. He is a specialist in social studies education and multicultural education and has written widely in these fields.

Banks’ research on how educational institutions can improve race and ethnic relations has greatly influenced schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States and the world. He has given lectures on citizenship education and diversity in many different nations, and his books have been translated into Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Turkish. A video archive and interview featuring Banks appears on “Inside the Academy” at

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Roberta Wilburn, associate dean of graduate studies in education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4603 or

Jennifer Von Behren, program assistant, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3228 or

Lauren Clark, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or