The Wei LAB thanks everyone who attended, participated, presented, supported, and enjoyed the 2017 International Colloquium on Black Males in Education. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Toronto Downtown in Toronto, Canada hosted this year’s event.
True to this year’s theme, the colloquium was an inspiring gathering of professionals and citizens who discussed issues of equity and inclusion facing Black males. Today we’d like to take the time to reflect on highlights from this year’s Colloquium, and share some of our favorite photos.
#ICBME17 events began on Monday, October 2nd with a Policy Round Table discussion titled. The event was led by Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson and Warren Salmon, with Dr. Damon A. Williams serving as keynote speaker and Michael Malcolm serving as session moderator.
On Tuesday, October 3rd, the Pre-Colloquium continued with the Graduate School Academy, led by Dr. LaVar J. Charleston from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, and Dr. Robert A. Bennett III, of The Ohio State University. At this event, college students were invited to learn strategies for navigating the graduate school application process, and were treated to Dr. Charleston’s inspiring personal experiences of his own challenges and successes through the graduate school pathway.
Later that day, Daniel Thomas and Andre’as Williams from the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at The Ohio State University, presented the College Academy, during which they gave informative and candid advice directed towards high school students on how to confidently choose and apply for colleges. This event was also the first official livestreaming event of #ICBME17.
On Tuesday night, the Colloquium Conversations was held at the Tropicana Community Services’ Centre of Excellence. At the event, Dr. Damon A. Williams led an inspiring Parent-Youth summit titled I Want My Children to Do Better than Me: Preparing Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s Workforce.
Colloquium Day 1
On Wednesday, October 4th, #ICBME officially commenced with a call to action keynote from Dr. Carl James and Dr. Lance T. McCready titled Understanding and Addressing the Education “Troubles” of Black Boys in Ontario, Canada: Two Professors’ Reflections on Policy, Research and Evaluation Initiatives Over the Past Decade. This day also included several presentations from researchers who have investigated the educational experiences of Black males through a global lens–collectively highlighting that issues facing Black males are consistent across the world.
Later that day, Tommy J. Curry from Texas A&M University moderated the panel: The Man-Not as Paradigm: Black Male Studies and the Reimagining of the Black Male in Theory and Educational Praxis.
The afternoon session also included a series of presentations from researchers focused on theoretical concepts that emerge when studying Black males. From gender identity to discrepancy in the mental health industry, this session challenged the ways Black males are theorized and considered in research.
Finally, several professional development opportunities were offered for colloquium participants to attend. The first was a panel titled Fueling the Fire: Securing Grant Funding to Ignite Your Research. This event was also livestreamed so people unable to attend the Colloquium could enjoy being a part of the conversation and gain insight into navigating the grant application process. Concurrently, Dr. Damon A. Williams led an engaging motivational talk titled Performance, Image, & Exposure (PIE): A Personal Branding Conversation. The last professional development session was titled: Bermuda’s Boys of Color: Social and Emotional Development and Cultural Competence Perspective: A New Framework for Bermuda Schools.
Colloquium Day 2
On Thursday, October 5th, the Colloquium continued with more insightful conversations related to the “Black Male Mosaic.” The day began with the Honourable Michael Coteau’s keynote titled Ontario’s Black Youth Action Plan, during which he highlighted issues specifically related to Black males in Canada.
Next, the morning session presentations focused on strategies to assist Black males in persisting in school from Pre-K to high school graduation. As on day one of #ICBME17, a key takeaway from this session was that issues facing Black males are global in nature. This session also highlighted challenges and promising initiatives for Black males in the Pre-K-12 educational pipeline.
During lunch, William A. Keyes gave an insightful keynote titled Preparing Extraordinary Men to Do Extraordinary Things. A key quote that resonated with many attendees was “Being great isn’t about you, it’s about being a blessing in the lives of others.”
In the afternoon, another panel of researchers discussed promising programs to positively impact the lives of Black males in education. This inspiring session allowed people to share programs aimed at helping Black males through the educational pipeline. During this discourse, participants learned about solutions to tackle challenges facing Black males in education. They also discussed how they can incorporate these ideas into their own research and community efforts.
The final keynote of the day was delivered by Sean “SUBLIMINAL” Mauricette titled Black Males Rise Above Socially Constructed Academic Barriers.
Day two of the colloquium concluded with a historical and cultural tour of downtown Toronto. Attendees enjoyed visiting key historically significant sites including the escalation site of B.M.E Church, the site of Toronto’s “First Black Millionaire (Mr. Minks), Church of St. James, MaryAnn Shadd’s plaque, and St. Lawrence Hall.
Colloquium Day 3
The final day of the Colloquium commenced with a panel led by the Policy Round Table participants from the Pre-Colloquium. The panel focused on measures that can be taken in order to improve the lives of Black males in Toronto. Later that morning, the Making a Difference panel focused on Chief Diversity Officers for Toronto’s higher education. Next, participants met briefly to further discuss other key issues facing Black males in education in a round table discussion.
At lunch, Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist gave a keynote titled Black Men Rise for Better Health, during which he highlighted key research showing health disparities facing Black males. In the afternoon, students shared their current research with other participants in a poster session.
The final session focused on postsecondary education pitfalls that Black males face. During this, participants learned about key issues that affect Black males from persisting in higher education and attaining advanced degrees.
#ICBME17 concluded with the annual formal Awards Banquet. During this, Drs. Jerlando F .L. Jackson and James L. Moore III announced the yearly Warrior Awardees. This years inductees were William A. Keyes and Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist. Attendees also listened to a moving speech from Dr. Denise O’Neil Green and her son, Matthew D. Green III.
Following the Awards Banquet, Dr. Jerlando F.L. Jackson gave a talk at 1st Fridays’ “Community Engagement” Edition. 1st Fridays is a community activity club focused on networking and information sharing in areas such as education, employment, health and wellness, and the arts. His speech focused on Global Community Engagement, and raising key issues discussed at #ICBME17 with the local Toronto community.
Overall, participants at #ICBME17 enjoyed meeting with each other to discuss the “Black Male Mosaic”. Throughout this week, people dissected, investigated, and probed the global issues facing Black males in education.