Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) and the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male (BNRC) at the Ohio State University sponsored the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education (ICBME) in Kingston, Jamaica, Oct. 6–9.
The Wei LAB is housed in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research within UW-Madison’s School of Education.
The event had record attendance as scholars, students, practitioners, policymakers and global citizens gathered to disseminate timely research findings and share empirical strategies that directly respond to the most critical and pressing issues surrounding the educational achievement of black males on a global scale.
The theme, “Creating Opportunity Through Education: Re-Engineering the Social Ecosystem for Black Males,” was activated through a pipeline approach beginning with the Pre-Colloquium, comprised of the College Academy at the Haile Selassie High School in Trench Town, and the Graduate School Academy at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Over the three days following the Pre-Colloquium, the Colloquium convened at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and the Jamaica Conference Center.
Topical keynote addresses related to policy, education, and health were delivered by the Honorable Floyd Emerson Morris, President of the Senate, House of Parliament, Jamaica; Mr. Ronald Walker, Executive Director educator and Founding member of the Coalition of Schools Evaluating Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC); Dr. Wizdom A. Powell, Associate Professor of Health Behavior, at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill; Dr. Bridget R. McCurtis, Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity at New York University; Dr. Carl A. Grant, Hoefs–Bascom Professor of Education with UW-Madison's No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction; and Dr. Richard Majors, Director and Senior Fellow at the Applied Centre of Emotional Literacy Leadership & Research (ACELLR).
Across four days, participants engaged in workshops, cultural tours, research poster sessions for scholars and students, networking opportunities, and discussions. The Awards Banquet and Induction Ceremony, a Colloquium tradition, presented Warrior Awards which is an international distinction given to individuals who have provided longstanding service, commitment, and leadership to the “most difficult” challenges impacting black males in education globally. Seven outstanding professionals were inducted into the 2015 Warrior Awards Class: Dr. Phillip J. Bowman, Dr. Carl A. Grant, Dr. Richard Majors, Mr. Ronald Walker, Mr. Russell Bell, Dr. Peter Weller, and Dr. Alston Barrington “Barry” Chevannes, posthumously. Additional information regarding the lives and careers of Warriors Awardees can be obtained on the Colloquium website.
Dr. Jerlando F .L. Jackson, Colloquium Chair and Wei LAB Director & Chief Research Scientist, noted the 2015 Colloquium was managed through nearly a year’s worth of planning, with the help of critical partners, co-sponsors, and assistance from the local planning committee at the The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Dr. Jackson noted the global impact of the Colloquium, particularly the Pre-Colloquium:
"The value and impact of the Colloquium convening in Kingston was evident on the first day,” said Jackson, UW-Madison's Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and a faculty member with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. “A touching example is that Colloquium outreach efforts in a high school inspired young black males to see going to college as an option for the first time. It is important that we endeavor to improve the communities of the host city of the Colloquium."
James L. Moore III, Colloquium Co – Chair and EHE Distinguished Professor of Urban Education, Executive Director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at The Ohio State University expressed the impact ICBME had in terms it being a dynamic platform that fosters innovations and strategic partnerships:
“The Colloquium attracts some of the best minds across the globe,” Moore said. “It offers an intimate space for individuals to share and learn from each other about Black males and also provides a stimulating environment for them to discuss, critique, and compare educational and social trends while assessing the broader societal implications.This year, several striking trends and patterns were noticed among Black males in the United States and Jamaica, which Dr. Jackson and I strongly believe will foster future collaborations among Colloquium attendees,” Moore said.
In the coming weeks, the Wei LAB will share 2015 Colloquium keynotes, ceremonies, webinars, interviews, photographs and special features, which include updates on the 2016 Colloquium. Our first multimedia release includes a Storify piece which documents engagement with presenters and attendees. Please visit the Wei LAB on the web, Facebook, Twitter, as well as by using #ICBME15 to learn more about the Colloquium and to obtain information on equity and inclusion issues confronting the educational system.