Speaker talks social justice

The Lamp Online Staff

Isaac Warren


SPRINGFIELD — On Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, David Stovall spoke to LLCC students and staff about social justice, and the importance of having discussions about topics that may be hard to talk about, such as race inequ

Isaac Warren
Students talk after David Stovall’s speech in the A.Lincoln Commons.

ality and the education system. He made many bold statements, some of which I agreed with. After reading over the notes I took, I decided to take professor Stovall’s advice, and do my own research on some topics he discussed.

In order to understand a person’s ideologies, one must first understand the person. I did some research on professor Stovall, and found some very intriguing facts. For one, Stovall has earned a Ph.D in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois in 2001. As an accomplished writer, he has contributed as an editor, or as an author, to multiple different books. The vast majority of the books all have a central theme of race and education, as well as the history of Chicago.

Currently, Stovall works at the University of Illinois in Chicago as a Professor of African American Studies and Educational Policy Studies. He also founded a high school in the late 1990’s. I thought this was amazing, and decided to venture further down the rabbit hole to see what this alternative school was about.

The website for the school was, at the time of writing, not functioning properly. No departments, staff members, or course information. Application links for the class of 2020 returned with an error that stated no departments could be found.

According to US News’ website, the school had 356 students enrolled as of 2016, with 24 full-time teachers employed there as well. 100% of these students were minorities, with most of them being hispanic, and an astonishing 96% of those enrolled were considered economically disadvantaged.

Test scores were troubling, with 85% of students performing below or were at academic warning in math, and 83% were performing at the same level in reading. 1% in reading exceeded the standard, however. 66% of 12th graders took at least one AP exam, with the average number of exams just below 3. The school was unranked when compared to other schools in the Chicago area.

Overall, Dr. Stovall is a very intriguing person who has accomplished a lot in his life so far, and will surely accomplish many more great things. He brought up some very important issues in his speech, and called for an open and honest conversation about race and education; to which I completely agree.


Isaac Warren can be reached at [email protected]