Walker Swain, an assistant professor in the Mary Frances Early College of Education’s department of lifelong education, administration and policy, received the University of Georgia National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) 2021 Mary McLeod Bethune Educator Award on Thursday, April 15.
The award recognizes professors who have excelled in their efforts to advance social justice in the classroom and beyond and to captivate, reach and teach students, while positively impacting the community.
Swain’s research focuses on issues of educational equity, inequality and poverty. His First-Year Odyssey course, “Hip-Hop & Public Policy,” uses popular culture to introduce students to public policy. Swain co-teaches the course with Athens-Clarke County commissioner Mariah Parker, a doctoral student in the Department of Language and Literacy Education.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by this historic organization of UGA’s Black students, who along with Black faculty and staff have long been the driving force pushing UGA to live out the central pillar on our famed arch—justice,” Swain said. “I deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with our students and colleagues inspired by the legacies of heroic educators and leaders like Mary McLeod Bethune and Mary Frances Early."