University of Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies Graduate Education program is hosting two events that will explore the complexities of educating undocumented, immigrant and refugee children in the public school system.

“The topic of immigration and schools is crucial at this time in our country’s history,” said Tom Shields, program chair for graduate education. “As K-12 schools in the Richmond region become more diverse, we need to have a dialogue on how we will understand the needs of immigrant students and their families. These events will help educators in the Richmond region by providing a perspective on the values of social justice and tolerance.”

Events include:

Book Discussion

Oct. 3 and 4, 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Center, 1400 Perry St., Richmond

Jose’ Luis Vilson, author of “This is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class and Education,” will present in English on Oct. 3 and in Spanish on Oct. 4. This book discussion is presented by SCPS Graduate Education program, Sacred Heart Center and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Panel Discussion

“Are local schools prepared to assist undocumented, immigrant and refugee children?” Nov. 2, 6 p.m., University of Richmond in the Carole Weinstein International Center Commons.

Panelists will include a linguistic expert, a parent advocate and a representative from the Henrico County Public School division and former Title III coordinator from the Virginia Department of Education. The panel will be moderated by Laura Kuti, an assistant professor of education at UR, whose expertise focuses on English as a second language learners and teachers in local schools.

Both events are free and open to the public.

More information about these events and the Graduate Education speaker series can be found at

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Crucial Issue

“The topic of immigration and schools is crucial at this time in our country’s history.”
-Tom Shields, program chair for graduate education
Assistant Professor, Education
Assistant Chair, Graduate Education - Curriculum & Instruction
Interim Assistant Chair, Graduate Education - Teacher Licensure Preparation
Program Chair, Graduate Education
Associate Professor, Education
Director, Center for Leadership in Education
Educational leadership
School leadership