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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 12, 2011

(MAHWAH, NJ) – James Loewen, the author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” will be the guest speaker at Ramapo College’s Opening Convocation. The event will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center.

James Loewen’s retelling of American history as it should, and could, be taught, has sold more than 1,250,000 copies and continues to inspire K-16 teachers to get students to challenge, rather than memorize, their textbooks.

Loewen taught race relations for 20 years at the University of Vermont. Previously he taught at predominantly black Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He now lives in Washington, D.C., where he is researching how Americans remember their past.

Loewen also wrote “Lies across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong,” which was published in 1999. The Gustavus Myers Foundation named his book, “Sundown Towns,” a Distinguished Book of 2005. In 2010, Teachers College Press published out “Teaching What Really Happened,” intending to provide K-12 teachers (and prospective teachers) solutions to the problems pointed out in Loewen’s earlier works.

His other books include “Mississippi: Conflict and Change,” which he co-wrote. It garnered the Lillian Smith Award for Best Southern Nonfiction but was rejected for public school text use by the State of Mississippi, leading to a First Amendment lawsuit, Loewen et al. v. Turnipseed, et al. Loewen also wrote “The Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White, Social Science in the Courtroom, and the Truth About Columbus.”

He has been an expert witness in more than 50 civil rights, voting rights, and employment cases. His awards include the First Annual Spivack Award of the American Sociological Association for “sociological research applied to the field of intergroup relations,” the American Book Award (for “Lies My Teacher Told Me”), and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship. He is also Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, Visiting Professor of Sociology at Catholic University in Washington, DC, and Visiting Professor of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign.

Opening Convocation is an all-college event that welcomes the beginning of the new academic year. It is a formal academic ceremony that highlights the summer reading selection and provides an experiential learning opportunity for all of our students. Students, faculty, staff and friends of Ramapo College gather for Convocation to hear from a guest speaker that is associated with the First-Year Seminar’s summer reading selection. This event provides students with a hands-on opportunity to establish a more direct connection to the summer reading.

The event is open to the public but reservations are required.  To make a reservation, please contact Nora Cheong at 201.684.7608 or email at


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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