The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans is teaming up this week with the Morehouse Research Institute to sponsor the Black Male Summit, which will coincide with the inauguration of Morehouse President Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr.
The summit will focus on education reform, according to Dr. Bryant Marks, executive director of the Morehouse Research Institute and an associate professor of psychology.
“We want to raise awareness about the factors of Black male achievement from Pre-K through college by shining a specific light on education reform,” says Marks, who is also an alumnus of the historically Black college headquartered in Atlanta. “We are taking a pipeline approach.”
Several officials from the Obama administration, including James Shelton, acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Departmen
t of Education, Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, are among the speakers.
High school and college students will also participate in the panel discussions that will begin on Thursday with other high-
profile academicians such as Dr. James L. Moore III of Ohio State and Dr. Pedro Noguera, a professor of sociology and education at New York University.
“We need to understand the pre-college experience in order to understand what our kids bring to our college campuses,” says Marks, who was recently appointed by President Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, where he says his focus will be to “push Black male achievement in higher education.”
This year’s summit will overlap with the school’s Founders Week and the inauguration of Wilson, the former director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, who was appointed last year as Morehouse’s 11th president.
Jamal Watson can be reached at [email protected]