Dr. Dean Cardinal
The 2012 – 13 academic year seems to be the year for the CES to stand and deliver.  As our mission states, “Guided by our values, vision, and guiding principles, the CES commits to develop critical scholarship and skillful leadership that inspires and respects individuals, serves communities, strengthens diversity, and ensures a just society,” the CES once again reaffirmed its position at last April’s 
American Educational Research Association
(AERA) meeting in San Francisco, CA.

As you know, this year’s AERA meeting was organized among 36 hotels in Union Square with the Chapman reception scheduled to take place at the Grand Hyatt. A few days before the meeting, we began receiving e-mail from people who planned to attend our reception saying they could not come to our reception due to the world-wide boycott of the hotel.  Major features of the reception were the presentation of the
Paulo Freire Democratic Social Justice Awards
and in introduction of
Dr. Peter McLaren
, a Distinguished Fellow in Critical Studies at Chapman University.  We reviewed the facts and implications surround the boycott, and then consulted with hotel management as well as the union leadership, we expressed our position with the AERA officials which resulted in the boycott receiving greatly increased attention.

Dr. Peter Mclaren protesting at AERA

Dr. Peter McLaren protesting at AERA

So, we moved our event to the Four Seasons Hotel. The move to the Four Seasons was a wise decision insofar as the hotel treated us as honored guests, and they went as far as donating the facility and generally supporting our situation even donating the facility and supporting our special circumstances.  Despite the late hour for the change of venue and increased anxiety of making new event plans, the ballroom was full with approximately 150 – 175 people.  A special night and a special event!

Upon his return from the conference, Dean Cardinal commented, “I am so proud of our faculty and staff for pulling this reception event off at the last minute and the following words from our Paulo Freire Democratic Project mission might be considered as a means of closure to this wild ride.  In his words below, I believe Paulo would have appreciated our perseverance and commitment to make this reception happen.”

We gather together all constituencies from all levels of education to bear a synthesis of progressive/critical and ethical/democratic practices upon both formal and informal educational contexts in full intellectual and critical development of students, teachers, administrators, parents and other community members.