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ASU welcomes acclaimed educator Jonathan Kozol to Tempe

Jonathan Kozol
August 22, 2012

Jonathan Kozol, renowned for his work with inner-city schoolchildren and his books examining public education in the United States, will speak at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 12, in the Carson Ballroom at Old Main on ASU’s Tempe campus. Doors open at 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available for a fee at the Fulton Center garage, across University Drive from Old Main. Members of the public interested in attending the lecture may R.S.V.P. by emailing, indicating the number of attendees.

Kozol’s appearance is presented by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU, and co-sponsored by the university’s Project Humanities initiative.

“Jonathan Kozol has devoted nearly his entire life to the challenge of providing equal opportunity within our public schools to every child, regardless of their racial origin or economic level,” said Mari Koerner, dean of Teachers College. “He is currently the most widely read and highly honored education writer in America, and we are extremely pleased to provide this opportunity for people in the Valley who care about education to hear him speak.”

After graduating from Harvard and being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, Kozol gave up the prospect of a promising and secure career within the academic world, moved from Harvard Square into a poor Black neighborhood of Boston, and became a fourth grade teacher.

Kozol’s latest book is “Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America.” It is described as a powerful and stirring culmination of the stories Kozol has told over a quarter century about the children of the poorest urban neighborhood in the United States. The book follows these children out of their infancy, through the struggles of adolescence and into young adulthood. Some stories are painful and heartbreaking but are thrilling and dramatic tributes to the courage and audacity of children who refuse to be defeated by the inequalities of U.S. education and arrive at unpredictable and triumphal victories.

Among Kozol’s other books are “Death at an Early Age,” which received the National Book Award, “Savage Inequalities,” “Rachel and Her Children,” “Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation,” and “The Shame of the Nation.”

After his remarks on Sept. 12, Kozol will sign copies of “Fire in the Ashes.” Changing Hands Bookstore will sell copies of the book for $27 at the event; cash or credit will be accepted.