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Walden News // Feb 23, 2011

Walden University Supports Southern Poverty Law Center’s Recognition of Educators Who Teach Tolerance

Minneapolis—February 23, 2011—Nominations are now being accepted for the first-ever Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching, a new award created to honor educators who excel at teaching students from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. A generous grant from The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University will enable the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program to share their best practices on videos in schools across the nation. These videos, showcasing techniques used by the award-winning educators, will be utilized as part of Teaching Tolerance’s professional development initiative to help teachers become more effective.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy, created the Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching because teaching practices that reach students from diverse backgrounds are often difficult to visualize and implement. The five winning educators will each receive $1,000 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this year.

“Teaching Tolerance’s new award program and its professional development initiative align perfectly with the Riley College of Education and Leadership vision to help teachers become more effective in their classrooms,” said Dr. Kate Steffens, dean of the college. “We hope these videos inspire other educators in diverse learning communities and positively impact student success.”

Teachers are invited to apply for the award at The deadline for applications is June 1. All teachers are eligible to apply and do not need to use education resources developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be eligible. The Southern Poverty Law Center is administering the award program in collaboration with professional organizations, including the National Education Association. An expert panel of scholars and National Board Certified teachers will pick the winners.

“Thanks to Walden’s support we can do more than just honor our educators, we can continue to help educators working in diverse learning communities enhance their expertise and create more opportunity for their students now and in the future,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello.

Walden’s 40-year history of educating educators has created a community of more than 45,000 students and alumni who are leaders in their classrooms and schools. The Riley College of Education and Leadership programs emphasize practical skills and analytical tools educators can immediately use in their classrooms and also connects its students with nationally recognized education experts, researchers and scholars.

For more information about degree programs in the Riley College of Education and Leadership, visit

About Walden University
For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 42,500 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 50 online and campus-based universities in 24 countries.

Walden offers more than 50 degree programs with more than 225 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration, and information technology. For more information, visit Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association,