November 9, 2016

Wayne State University College of Education partners with Campaign for Black Male Achievement and BMe to discuss strategies for supporting the success of black males

DETROIT — The Wayne State University College of Education will host “Dreams Not to Be Deferred: Supporting the Success of Black Men and Boys,” a panel discussion and community dialogue, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. The purpose of the event — a collaboration between the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, BMe Community Detroit and WSU’s Dreamkeepers Urban Teacher Residency Program — is to identify and explore ways schools and communities can support the success of black males. It will be held in the McGregor Memorial Conference Center from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Leah van Belle, Ph.D., director of Dreamkeepers, said, “This event is an opportunity for the community, university and major organizations engaged in equity and access work to become thought partners about our roles in shifting opportunities for success for black boys and men, particularly in the context of education or in contexts that impact educational outcomes. This is a critical dialogue in Detroit’s educational landscape, particularly in light of the fact that we are preparing teachers to serve children in Detroit schools.”

During the program — which is funded by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and co-sponsored by the BMe Community Detroit — participants will have opportunities to discuss initiatives, ideas and issues related to the achievement of black men and boys. Research indicates that black boys are twice as likely to be held back in elementary school, three times as likely to be suspended from school and half as likely to graduate from college. In addition, young black men tend to have lower literacy rates and are less prepared for college than their peers in other racial and ethnic groups. Although African Americans comprise about 13 percent of the U.S. population, black men represent 35 percent of inmates.

“While the previous statistics present a dark and bleak outlook for black men and boys, it’s our intention to author a new narrative during this discussion. A narrative of hope. A narrative of change. And a narrative of empowerment. So many black men and boys are successful throughout the United States. It’s up to us to ensure that their stories are shared alongside the stories of struggle and challenge,” said Robert W. Simmons, III, Ed.D., CBMA’s vice president of innovation and strategy.

Featured speakers include Shawn Dove, chief executive officer of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement; Bryant T. Marks, Ph.D., a presidential advisor for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, senior research fellow for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and an associate professor at Morehouse College; and Truman Hudson, Jr., Ed.D., manager of BMe Community Detroit. Panelists representing Wayne State University include Leonard Savala, Ph.D., director of the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement, and Brandon M. Gleaton, a teacher education candidate and participants in the Morris Hood Scholars program, an initiative aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented male educators.

With more than 20 years of experience in youth development, community building, and advocacy for children and families, Dove is a trailblazer in the field of black male achievement. The recipient of numerous awards, he helped start the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and has served as a lead organizer for the Executive Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Young Men of Color; program director of the Harlem Children’s Zone; and vice president of the MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, where he created The Male Mentoring Project, a citywide public awareness and recruitment strategy to increase the number of African American and Latino men who are mentors.

Marks is a tenured professor of psychology at Morehouse College and director of the Program for Research on Black Male Achievement. A former special advisor to the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and former director of the Morehouse Research Institute and the Morehouse Male Initiative, he seeks to identify factors that foster the affirmative personal and academic development of African American males and facilitate the development of programs and publications that further their progress.

An alumnus of Wayne State University, Hudson routinely examines how community organizations can impact the goals and aims of educational instruction. He has helped individuals rebuild their lives through his professional, community and academic work. As president of DEXDesign Associates Inc., he leads a team that specializes in organizational and community/economic development and has secured more than $658 million in resources for various nonprofit and governmental entities.

Registration and a reception will begin at 4:30 p.m. Discussion and dialogue will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are asked to reserve their space online at The McGregor Conference Center is located at 495 Gullen Mall in Detroit.

For more information, contact Tracy Walker at 313-577-0260 or

About the College of Education

For more than a century, the Wayne State University College of Education has prepared effective urban educators who are reflective, innovative and committed to diversity. Its Teacher Education Division boasts one of the most comprehensive, well-established programs in the country, and all four academic divisions offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in nearly 40 program areas, including learning design and technology, leadership and policy, kinesiology, sport administration, education evaluation and research, health education and educational psychology, and counseling. To learn more, visit   

About the Dreamkeepers Urban Teacher Residency Program

The Dreamkeepers Urban Teacher Residency Program is a partnership between the Wayne State University College of Education, Detroit Public Schools Community District and Michigan Department of Education through which substitute teachers with bachelor’s degrees can earn a master of arts degree while working as teaching residents in their own classrooms, with the goal of moving into those specific positions upon completion. The program integrates intensive clinical instructional coaching and technology to help participants identify their strengths and refine their teaching strategies, with the ultimate goal of learning how to meet students’ needs through culturally sustaining pedagogy. For more information, visit

About the Campaign for Black Male Achievement

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys. Launched in 2008 by the Open Society Foundations, CBMA — the only national organization in the country with a targeted focus on supporting and strengthening leaders and organizations advancing black male achievement — is

a growing network that includes more than 4,720 leaders representing nearly 2,577 organizations and programs across the country. To learn more, visit

About BMe (Black Males Empowered) Community

BMe is an award-winning network of community builders known for defining people by their positive contributions to society and enlisting incredible black men who inspire us to be better together. The organization accomplishes its mission by raising expectations, connecting leaders, sharing positive stories, and investing in individuals and initiatives that help young men make positive contributions to our society. For more information, visit  

About Wayne State University 
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 380 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students. For more information, visit


Tracy Walker
Phone: 313-577-0260

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