Photo of Gloria Ladson-Billings

Renowned scholar Gloria Ladson-Billings will appear at Clemson University to talk about “Hip Hop/Hip Hope: Reinventing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” on Feb. 8.

CLEMSON — Gloria Ladson-Billings may not be the first to name-drop hip-hop superstars like Lupe Fiasco, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj in the halls of higher education. However, the nationally known scholar is a pioneer when it comes to linking these names to an engaging educational experience for students of all ages.

Ladson-Billings will appear at Clemson University’s Tillman Auditorium at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, to deliver a talk on the importance of using teaching practices that incorporate students’ cultures and backgrounds. The title of her talk is “Hip Hop/Hip Hope: Reinventing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.” Ladson-Billings’ appearance is sponsored by Clemson’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education and its teaching and learning department.

Ladson-Billings has delivered the talk in higher education institutions across the nation over the last several months to diverse audiences concerned with breaking down barriers in education imposed by cultural differences or misunderstandings. She explains how educators who can “speak the language” of hip-hop find common ground with “new century students” who have increasingly distanced themselves from the traditional educational process.

Ladson-Billings’ research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African-American students. She is the author of critically acclaimed books “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children,” “Crossing over the Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms” and “Beyond the Big House: African American Educators on Teacher Education.”

Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also serves as a faculty affiliate in the departments of educational policy studies, Afro American studies and educational leadership and policy analysis. She is also a former president of the American Educational Research Association.

In 2014, Ladson-Billings served on the “Smart Starts at Home” panel at the White House’s African American Educational Excellence Initiative’s Essence Festival, and she is currently one of the National Education Association Foundation’s Senior Fellows Advisory Group charged with providing advice on its Achievement Gap Initiative. She is also a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society’s Laureate Chapter, comprised of 60 living distinguished scholars. Former laureate members include Albert Einstein, John Dewey and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Suzanne Rosenblith at 864-656-5119 or