Dr. Linda H. Collins, associate professor of history at STLCC-Florissant Valley, is among three nominees selected for the prestigious recognition. Honorees are chosen for demonstrating “an unwavering commitment to social justice by using innovative teaching practices that seek to disrupt racial and social inequality in our society” and for using their voice “as a platform to promote and reinforce social activism in public education.”
The Courageous Educator of the Year award, for 2018, will be presented at the Educators for Social Justice Annual Conference, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in Maplewood, Mo.
Collins has worked at STLCC since 2009. She describes her teaching philosophy and methods as those that promote social justice consciousness, critical thinking, informed judgment and civic responsibility. Central to her teaching is the First and 14th amendments.
Collins encourages students to be informed when it comes to civic debate and voter registration, regardless of their political persuasion, as well as being informed leaders in their communities and to become contributors to “creating a more just world.”
Her advocacy and effort as a professor led to an increase in more African American history courses taught on campus, and she is involved in statewide discussions to include African American history in Missouri’s CORE 42 credit transfer program.
In the wake of the racial crisis in Ferguson, Mo., Collins presented a historical analysis of racial oppression and justice efforts in St. Louis during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Collins guides the planning for the Ferguson Civil Rights Reading Room, a new space that is developing in the STLCC-Florissant Valley library as a physical, social, academic and community space. The reading room has a collection of 150 student journals composed during the “volatile Ferguson social and racial crisis.” Collins donated dozens of books, wrote grant proposals and more to “ensure the permanence of the Ferguson Civil Rights Reading Room for generations to come.”
Educators for Social Justice is a grassroots, teacher-led professional development organization in St. Louis.