White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and Ebony Magazine Kick Off Series of Education Summits at Morehouse College

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The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (WHIEEAA), in partnership with Ebony magazine, will hold the first in a series of education summits across the country on improving the educational outcomes of African American students and better preparing them for college and careers. The first summit will take place Friday and Saturday, March 28−29, at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.

The summit at Morehouse will address the academic achievement and development of African American male students at all grade levels. Remarks will be delivered by Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton, WHIEEAA Executive Director David Johns, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Ivory Toldson, Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson, and Ebony magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Amy DuBois Barnett. Panel discussions will focus on challenges and opportunities facing young men of color, black male success in higher education, what it means to be college and career ready in the African American community, leveraging research and community resources to support African American males, and more. The complete agenda can be found at http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/whieeaa/atlanta-summit-agenda/.

The president’s new initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, launched in February, is specifically aimed at creating pathways to success for men and boys of color. The new initiative will bring foundations and companies together to help find solutions to keep these young men in school and out of the criminal justice system, and improve their employment opportunities. The initiative will focus on using results and evidence to evaluate what works—and stop what doesn’t—to improve opportunities for at-risk youths, all within existing federal resources.

As shown in the Department’s recently released comprehensive Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), far too many African Americans and other students of color do not have equal educational opportunities, and far too many are disproportionately affected by suspensions and zero-tolerance policies in schools. Research shows that suspended students are more likely to repeat a grade, drop out, and become involved in the juvenile justice system.

Other summits will take place later this year in Jackson, Miss.; Oakland, Calif., and Philadelphia, Pa. Leaders in education, business, and other fields will come together for conversations on ways to keep students engaged in school and supported in learning. The education summits, which take a holistic approach to educating African American children and youths, also will highlight individuals and organizations that are successfully supporting educational excellence for African Americans. In addition, the summits will address ways to create opportunities and empower parents, grandparents, guardians, and other caring adults in the community to increase the number of African Americans who graduate from high school prepared for future success.

*Note: If you are using GPS, the physical address of the building is 900 Westend Ave., Atlanta, Ga. Parking is available in the back of the building.