LSU to host La Summit on African-American male educational success

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The LSU School of Education will host the Louisiana Summit on African-American Male Educational Success on Monday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the LSU Union.

Under the direction of Associate Professor Roland Mitchell, the Summit seeks to bring strategies developed at LSU to the forefront of a nation-wide conversation about improving educational outcomes for African-American men.

The School of Education's Higher Education and Curriculum Theory Project, or CTP, programs have been successful in attracting, preparing, and ultimately graduating African-American male professionals. This population represents 15 percent of the total enrollment in these programs, which is five times the university's average and seven times that of the national average when considering African-American male doctoral student enrollment.

"The summit will bring educators face-to-face with African-American male graduate students and scholar-leaders in the broader higher education community, as a means to gain insight about schooling from African-American men who have thrived in ways that are framed pervasively as impossible in 21st-century American classrooms," said Mitchell in his project proposal.

The featured speakers will be Kofi Lomotey, Lisa Delpit and Albert Samuels. Lomotey is a senior fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, or AASCU. The LSU Higher Education program emerged during his time as department chair in the early 1990s. In his presentation, "African-American Male Graduate Students in the Field of Educational Leadership: The Case of LSU," Lomotey will discuss the relationship between LSU and African American male students in the Higher Education program during his time at the university in the 1990s, the current state for African-American males in society, how educators and administrators can support this population, and why a thriving African-American male population benefits universities.

"This is a story that does not get addressed sufficiently, and because of the state of black America, and black men in particular, it needs to be discussed," Lomotey said. "Given the limited number of African-American males in graduate school nationally, the model at LSU in education can, perhaps, be replicated elsewhere. The nature of how what was done was done, should be documented. This symposium is one step in that direction."

Delpit is a Distinguished Professor at the Southern University College of Education in Baton Rouge, La. Delpit will be discussing her new book, "'Multiplication is for White People': Raising Expectations for Other People's Children." She contends that recent public education reform efforts, from No Child Left Behind to the proliferation of charter schools, have failed to assist African-American students and address an achievement gap. The book focuses on the lack of engagement of black students in the classroom, and encourages teachers to re-imagine their curriculum and to reach out and establish real connections with their students.

Samuels is an associate professor of political science at Southern University. He will lead a panel of scholars in a discussion of the role of state and local educational policy in addressing the greatest challenges to African-American male educational success. Additionally, on the eve of the presidential election, Samuels' background in constitutional law, civil liberties, black politics and the American presidency adds a particularly timely focus to the relationship between our contemporary political system, race and schooling.

The summit is free and open to the public, with lunch provided. Participants may register by Thursday, Nov. 1, at

For more information contact Jessica Exkano at

This event is made possible by the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education Dean's Circle, LSU School of Education, First Year Experience, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Southern University and The 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge.