ATLAS Lecture Series Sponsored by Wheelock

October 18, 2006

Crisis. Marginalized. Endangered. These terms are used with increasing regularity to describe the plight of young Black males in the education system.

Wheelock College and the Delores Walker Johnson Center for Thoughtful Leadership at ATLAS Learning Communities are responding to the crisis confronting Black male youth with a series of public lectures, beginning October 18, to address the education of young black males. The series is being held in conjunction with a Principal Leadership Seminar Series.

“Black males face an inordinate number of problems and hardships. These challenges set them apart from the rest of the U.S. population and deserve attention. Anyone who works with young and adolescent students will benefit from the discussions,” said Jackie Jenkins-Scott, president of Wheelock College.

In Boston, there are 15,575 Black male students, approximately 24 percent, in the school system. Black students received 72 percent of the out of school suspensions, while White students received 7 percent. Black students accounted for 69 percent of classifications for “Emotional Disturbance” and 53 percent of “Specific learning disabilities” while White students made up 13 percent and 18 percent of those so classified. (Schott Foundation, 2004)

“This inaugural seminar series begins with the spotlight on the education of black male youth. This student group continues to perplex educators with statistics that place them at the lowest rung of the academic ladder. This fact is of great significance as our nation's diversity grows and globalization becomes the new reality,” Ron Walker, director of the Delores Walker Johnson Center for Thoughtful Leadership.

October 18 – The Education of Black Male Youth: What Steps Can School Leaders Take to Ensure the Success of Their Learners, with Ronald Walker, director and founder of the Delores Walker Johnson Center for Thoughtful Leadership and Dr. Roger Harris, Headmaster, Boston Renaissance Charter School.

October 23 - The Eagle Ideal: Providing the Building Blocks of Success for Tomorrow’s Visionary Leaders, with David Banks, founding administrator of the Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first all-boys public high school in New York City in more than 30 years.

November 15 - Teaching and Preparing our Black Male Youth for the 21st Century: Multi-level Opportunities and Uncomfortable Challenges with Dr. Margaret Beale Spencer, program director for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development, the W.E.B. Du Bois Collective Research Institute, as well as for the Center for Health Achievement Neighborhoods Growth and Ethnic Studies (CHANGES) at the University of Pennsylvania.

December 11 - Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males with Dr. Alfred Tatum, assistant professor in the Department of Literacy at Northern Illinois University who serves on the National Advisory Reading Committee of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and is the author of Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males.

January 10 - Leadership Perspectives in Confronting the Disproportionate Representation of Black Males in Special Education with Dr. Gwendolyn Webb-Johnson, assistant professor for the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at the College of Education at Texas A&M University.

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