Professor slated to speak about minority adaptation

By Jen Bland

Professor John Ogbu of the University of California at Berkeley will be on campus today and Tuesday to offer students some insight into the way minorities adapt to new cultures.

Michael Jeffrey, a graduate student in clinical psychology, said Ogbu has conducted studies around the world regarding the way minorities adapt to various cultures.

Ogbu has broken down all minorities into two basic groups: voluntary minorities who immigrated to the United States, and involuntary minorities who were somehow forced to come here.

Jeffrey said Ogbu believes the group a minority falls in plays a role in its ability to assimilate and advance in society.

The main focus of Ogbu’s visit to NIU will be his recently completed study of Northern California entitled “Community Forces and Minority Education Strategies.”

Jeffrey said Ogbu attempted to answer five major questions in this survey, but the one most important to NIU is some explanations for how minorities can get ahead.

At 8 p.m. tonight in the Holmes Student Center’s Carl Sandburg Auditorium Ogbu will give his lecture, “Cultural Adaptations and School Learning.”

At 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Illinois Room of the student center he will hold another seminar: “Understanding Minority School Adjustment and School Performance.”

“I would encourage everyone interested in the advancement of minorities in education and the U.S. to attend because it provides an insight into methods which may be different than the strategies of others,” Jeffrey said. “It’s helpful in understanding where these students are coming from and how to help them reach their goals.”