UCLA’s Black Male Institute (BMI) will host its second annual “Think Tank” next week on the Westwood campus.
The event is part of a national effort to find practical solutions for issues that continue to plague African-American male students.
The two-day conference is free and open to the public, and is broken into two sessions. The first will be held on May 6 at 9 a.m. in the California Room of UCLA’s faculty center, and the second session will take place on May 7 at 6 p.m. in UCLA’s Moore Hall.
Keynote speaker Shaun Harper is among the scholars who have been scheduled to participate in the first half of the discussion. An assistant professor for Higher Education and Education Policy at Penn Graduate School of Education, Harper has written eight books and more than 60-peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and other academic publications discussing racism, gender disparities in higher education, Black male college access and achievement, and college student engagement.
Among the challenges Think Tank participants are expected to address are the numbers of Black males in college.
According to the Census Bureau’s most recent report, there were 864,000 Black men in college in 2005. At the same time, the United States Justice Department noted that there were 802,000 in federal prisons and state jails. And these numbers show a only moderate improvement from statistics published in 2000: 791,600 Black men were incarcerated compared to the 603,032 in college.
By contrast, a report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Justice Policy institute in 2003, found that in 1980 there were 143,000 Black men in lock-ups compared to 603,032 in college.
The think tank, which grew out of the concern of UCLA graduate students about how to get more young Black males to follow in their footsteps, is part of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS) and its Urban Schooling division. The goal of the organization is to identify practical interventions, reliable research, effective programs, best practices, and responsible policy innovations concerned with improving the educational outcomes of Black males. Among the areas BMI is studying is the impact of single-sex classes on African American males.
Registration is required. For more information about the BMI Think Tank log on to www.blackmaleinstitute.org or call (310) 206-3167.