Antonia Darder, the Leavey Presidential Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership in the LMU School of Education, has received the Scholars of Color Distinguished Career Contribution Award from the American Educational Research Association. Darder was honored, along with other 2017 Excellence in Education Research Award winners, at AERA’s annual meeting on April 29th in San Antonio.
“Antonia is an exceptional scholar who is dedicated to living the Jesuit ideals of social justice,” said SOE Dean Shane P. Martin. “This award is an affirmation of how her work is making a significant impact on a national scale, and I am so proud of Antonia.”
Over the course of a career spanning more than 30 years, Darder, an internationally renowned Freirean scholar, has explored how racism and class inequalities in schooling are linked with political issues and ethical concerns. More recently, her work has sought to articulate a critical theory of leadership for social justice and community engagement, as well as to theorize a pedagogy of the body in the pursuit of a liberatory practice of education. She has written or edited more than 20 books, as well as countless articles on educational equity and social justice.
While expressing her gratitude for receiving the award, Darder noted that many of the concerns that inspired her career remain unresolved. “When, as a young Latina community college student, I was asked to be a research assistant for a small diversity study, I would never have believed that 43 years later, working-class communities of color would still be struggling with so many of same issues: economic inequality, political invisibility, lack of educational and job opportunities, poor health care and housing options, and mass incarceration,” Darder said. “Unfortunately, awards in no way alter these persistent conditions of suffering. Nevertheless, I am grateful that my contributions were recognized as legitimate and noteworthy pursuits; in that, I pray, young educators and scholars will not shy away from doing the social justice work so needed in our field and our world.”
The American Educational Research Association is the largest professional research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Darder was inducted as an AERA fellow in 2015.