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Madison365 spotlights UW-Madison’s Ladson-Billings in 'I am Madison' series

August 15, 2018

UW-Madison Professor Emeritus Gloria Ladson-Billings was recently showcased by in its series of “I am Madison” profiles.

Ladson-Billings was a faculty member with the School of Education from 1991 until her retirement earlier this year. Prior to her retirement in January, Ladson-Billings held the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education and was a professor with the departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Policy Studies, and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. She is currently serving a four-year term as president of the National Academy of Education.

Gloria Ladson-Billings
The report is headlined, “From Philly With Love: UW’s First Black Woman Tenured Education Professor, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings.”

The report explains: “Before becoming a world-renowned expert in education, she was born Philadelphia and that’s where her road to becoming a teacher started.”

“So I kinda came to the profession in a backwards way,” Ladson-Billings tells “I didn’t come to it loving it as a way to earn a living. I just came because it seemed one of the logical things I could do, but being in a classroom, being with students, seeing the excitement of students and their learning, that helped to change me.”

When asked what inspired her, Ladson-Billings says,  “I had some wonderful teachers. I grew up in Philadelphia and starting out in elementary school I actually went to a very segregated elementary school so it was mostly all Black students and a lot of Black teachers back then. I had a fifth grade teacher who would always tell me, ‘You can do whatever you want to do. You can be whatever you want to be,’ and she just wouldn’t allow me to make excuses for not getting something done.”

“I am Madison” is a project of Madison365 and Madison Community Foundation. Funded by a grant in MCF’s Year of Giving, the project tells the stories of Madison’s history in the voice of young people of color. Over the next year, Madison365 Academy interns, recent Academy graduates and other young journalists will tell the untold stories of our city’s history. (Read more here.)

Check out the entire report on Ladson-Billings at this web page.

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