Educators Invited to 'Pursue the Dream' at UCO's Multicultural Education Institute

Jan. 29, 2014

Media Contact: Stephanie Turner, Coordinator Public Relations and Communications, UCO College of Education and Professional Studies, 405-974-5408,


Registration is now open for the University of Central Oklahoma College of Education and Professional Studies’ 31st annual Multicultural Education Institute (MEI), Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1, 2014, in the Nigh University Center.            

Current and future teachers, paraprofessionals, bilingual professionals, high school students and community members are invited to attend for a full slate of developmental speakers and workshops centered around this year's theme, "Multicultural Education: Pursuing the Dream".   The theme honors the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  Activities are designed to help those in the field understand the challenges and benefits of education in a culturally and linguistically diverse society.           

Friday night’s banquet keynote speaker features Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Sylvia Mendez.  Mendez was among the Mexican-American children allowed to attend public school in Orange County, California after her father and other parents challenged segregation policies in the landmark 1946 case of Mendez v. Westminster.  The case helped set an influential precedence for later court decisions regarding desegregation in schools.            

Saturday’s luncheon keynote speaker features Ayana Najuma, a native Oklahoman who took an active role in the Civil Rights Movement including a historic 1958 “sit-in” in Oklahoma City.  Najuma, along with other children involved in the demonstrations inspired the documentary, “The Faces of Change.”            

Other activities include a youth leadership session for high school students, entertainment, a silent auction and various exhibits with craft items for sale, along with multicultural-related presentations from educators and professionals in the field.            

Those interested in registering for MEI may sign up by visiting and registering by Monday, Feb. 17. Presentation proposals by education professionals and graduates are also being accepted until Monday, Feb. 3.