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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Partners Board Member Speaks at Conference in Brazil

Appeared in the Denver Post, YourHub on Thursday, July 14, 2011--

"Red Rocks Community College faculty member Francis Wardle recently lectured at the State University of Sao Paulo in the city of Araraquara, Sao Paolo state, Brazil. His lecture was part of the Conferencia International do Centro do Estudos das Culturas e Linguas Africanas e da Diaspora Negra III held May 17-19. The conference focused on Brazil’s African descendants, and the African diaspora.

Other presenters included professors from major Brazilian federal and state universities, journalists and professors from several Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. A variety of cultural events were also provided, and a section was devoted to student presentations.

Wardle’s presentation was about interracial (black-white) marriages in the United States. He was invited to speak at the conferences to provide a U.S. perspective. As conference organizer professor Dagoberto Fonseca noted during the introduction of the various speakers, 'Dr. Wardle’s p

articipation in our conference is critical to provide a Northern Hemisphere perspective on the important issues of black equality.'

Wardle is considered an expert on interracial marriage and multiracial children in the United States. He has published two books and many journal and magazine articles on this topic, and given conference presentations and trainings throughout the United States and Canada.

Wardle has visited Brazil many times since 1997 to study that nation’s education system and to research Brazil’s approach to race and people of mixed-race heritage. Many of these visits were sponsored by Partners of the Americas, a people-to-people exchange program between the United States and Central and South America and the Caribbean. This visit, however, was sponsored by the conference and the Center for the Study of Biracial Children.

Wardle’s presentation (along with the accompanying paper—to be published on the conference’s website) covered the history of interracial unions in the United States, from Colonial times to the present. Additionally, it focused on the United States’ unique way of defining race and categorizing people by race, while also addressing some of the not-so-pleasant aspects of this society’s past, including slavery, racist immigrant laws, the Jim Crow system, eugenics polices and anti-miscegenation laws.

After the conference, Wardle spent time in Sao Paolo, where he visited Escola do Max, a school that uses an innovative curriculum approach, and then he traveled to Brasilia, where he visited a public language school. In Maceio, northeast Brazil, Wardle worked with officials of the city’s public schools. A side trip saw Wardle drive through flowering sugar cane plantations to the coastal city of Recife and the World Heritage Site city of Olinda. In Sao Paolo, Maceio and Recife, members of Partners of the Americas, hosted Wardle."

Dr. Francis Wardle is a writer and a professor at Red Rocks Community College and University of Phoenix where he teaches education and psychology classes. Dr. Wardle’s academic background is in education. He joined Partners of the Americas Colorado/Minas Gerais Chapter in 1996 and has been active ever since

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