Annual African American Institute

Black Student Achievement Takes Center Stage at Annual African American Institute
Posted on 06/10/2020
Engage, Elevate, Empower

A number of respected scholars are set to gather with the public for the annual African, African American and Caribbean Studies Summer Institute from June 15-17.

The event is in its 26th year, and it will provide a platform to explore the 2020 theme, Educational Transformation: Integrating African and African American Studies, From Contributions to Social Action.

The goal is to help participants develop an understanding of the important topic, in order to transform the educational experience of Black students in the Palm Beach County School District.

“This annual institute helps our District identify and develop ways to address the needs of our Black students,” said Brian Knowles, the Manager of African, African American, Latino, and Gender Studies. “In addition, the institute helps schools learn how to preserve and adequately teach Black History.”

This year’s event will be held online in virtual mode. A dedicated webpage will be available during the event dates that will contain pre-recorded sessions presented by experts in curriculum, pedagogy, and policy related to racial equity. Registered attendees will receive a link to the sessions and materials.

As issues of police brutality and systemic racism have been at the forefront of media coverage in recent weeks, the Institute has taken on an added significance as a setting for conversations about race and racism in America.

“The current events have created a shift and rise in consciousness that has added gravity to the work advocated during the conference,” Knowles said. “Our presenters are taking a close look at how to address racism.”

Three keynote speakers are scheduled to present at the conference:

• Dr. James Banks – professor, author, and scholar. He is known as "the father of multiculturalism."

• Chris Chatmon – founding Executive Director of African-American Male Achievement at Oakland Unified School District and current Deputy Chief of Equity.

• Dr. Bettina L. Love – author of We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching & The Pursuit of Educational Freedom.

“My hope is for everyone to learn strategies to help Black student achievement, and an understanding of the significance of dismantling racism in our educational system and curriculum,” Knowles said.

School District employees can register for the Institute through eLearning. Members of the public can register via Eventbrite. The event will kick off at 8:00 a.m. each day, with sessions available throughout the day.

The School District of Palm Beach County