David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (Initiative), will host a meeting at the U.S. Department of Education titled "Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement." Johns will be joined by Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, noted author and president of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Hrabowski will share his extraordinary story and lessons learned from a lifetime of striving for, studying, and nurturing excellence against any odds.
In 2012 President Obama named Hrabowski chair of the newly created President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. In addition to advising President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the commission works closely with the Initiative, which is charged with coordinating with federal agencies around this critical issue and identifying best practices nationwide. The commission also leads a national dialogue – engaging the business, philanthropic, nonprofit and education communities – on African American achievement from early childhood through adulthood.