The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) has selected Philip C. Chinn to be this year’s recipient of the CARTER GODWIN WOODSON SERVICE AWARD. The award presentation will take place during the 28th Annual International NAME Conference in Memphis from November 27-30, 2018.

The Carter G. Woodson Service Award is named for Dr. Woodson in recognition of his dynamic scholarly leadership in establishing the origins of the multicultural movement by building an institution devoted to correcting the misinterpretations in American History being taught to the children of America when he established The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now African American Life and History (ASALH)) in 1915. When Dr. Woodson began Negro History Week in 1926 that ultimately became Black History Month in 1976, his desire was that other ethnic groups would follow this model to add to the annals of United States history their rich historical contributions as well. In the 1980s, thirty years after his death, his dream was realized when groups throughout the country began to establish month-long celebrations honoring their cultural legacies.

In the tradition of Dr. Woodson, the Woodson Award symbolizes excellence in multicultural writing, scholarship and achievements in multicultural life, history and culture. The Carter Godwin Woodson Service Award is presented to an individual whose career has been highlighted with service to multicultural education that continuously corrects the deficiencies in American history where African American History and the history of other cultures is misinterpreted, distorted, or ignored.

The NAME Woodson Award symbolizes excellence in research, writing, scholarship, service to the community, mentoring and achievement in multicultural life, history and culture. In the Woodson tradition, the recipient’s career is distinguished through at least a decade of work in the field of multiculturalism and must have contributed and/or published in the field of multiculturalism. The person selected must be a servant to the community and must have contributed to the National Association for Multicultural Education. This award will be given annually to a person who possesses the following qualities: A member of NAME; A person who has been an active supporter and contributor to the work of NAME for 10 or more years; A person whose service to NAME has contributed significantly to its mission and can be identified in at least three of six areas, (i.e. branches, executive board, fundraising, multicultural education research or writing, multicultural educational programs; mentoring); and An individual whose career has been highlighted with service to multicultural education, and service to the community


Philip C. Chinn began his professional education career as a special education teacher and then as a special education professor. In 1973, he was asked to make a presentation on Asian Americans at a national conference. Realizing that he knew little about the subject, despite being Chinese American, he began extensive reading on the subject. The effort awakened a realization of how little he understood his own cultural background and the variables that contributed to his own lack of understanding. This experience began his commitment to multicultural issues. He served as the special assistant to the Executive Director for Minority Concerns (now Diversity Affairs) at the Council for Exceptional Children from 1978 to 1984. He was the director of the California State University, Los Angeles Center for Multicultural Education until his retirement. Dr. Chinn served on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Board of Examiners and as a Commissioner on the California State Advisory Commission on Special Education.

He later served as a department head and division chair in special education at Texas A&M University–Commerce and California State University–Los Angeles, where he is currently Professor Emeritus. He is a senior adviser for the Monarch Center, a federally funded project providing technical assistance to special education faculty of historically Black colleges and universities and other minority institutions. In this capacity, he produced videos of noted educators such as Leonard Baca, Geneva Gay, Beth Harry, and Sonia Nieto, which was a joint effort between the Monarch Center and the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME).

Chinn is the coauthor with Donna Gollnick of Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society, 10th edition (2016). He has also coauthored two texts in special education, and numerous textbook chapters. From 1997 to 2001, he served as coeditor of Multicultural Perspectives, the official journal of NAME, and also served as the vice president of NAME. In 2002, NAME honored him by naming its multicultural book award, the Philip C. Chinn Multicultural Book Award.

Perhaps Dr. Chinn’s single most important contribution has been the writing and publication of the first edition of Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society in 1983 with Donna Gollnick. Until then, multicultural education was essentially the study of the four non-White racial/ethnic groups. While others had mentioned the importance of various microcultures as they related to multicultural education, their publication was the first to attempt to write a multicultural text devoting entire chapters to ethnicity and race, gender, class, language, religion, age, and exceptionality. By the time the second edition was completed, the field of multicultural education had begun to move in that direction.