“Educating the Whole Child: Preparing Black Boys and Girls for Life-Long Success” will provide a discussion on the role federal policy plays in advancing access to educational opportunity for black boys and girls in our country. With the newly enacted elementary and secondary education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), our nation’s schools are poised to make high-quality changes to close achievement gaps, and to increase equitable access to much-needed resources. ESSA will bring meaningful changes to support black boys and girls in the classroom and black communities, but Congress still has more work to do.

Presently, several critical federal education laws – such as the Head Start Act, the Child Nutrition Act, and the Higher Education Act – have expired and are now awaiting Congressional action. These programs were created to help level the playing field for students, who historically have been denied equitable access to education. Lack of access to education reinforces barriers that leave our nation’s black boys and girls vulnerable to a “Cradle to Prison and Poverty Pipeline.” As Congress looks to reauthorize these key programs, it is important to understand the challenges and solutions needed to ensure black boys and girls are advancing along to the “Cradle to College and Career Success Pipeline.” This event’s discussion will focus on evidence based programs and best practices for increasing Black Children's opportunity for success in the today's education and workforce systems.

Honorary Host: Rep. Bobby Scott

Honorary Co-Hosts: Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Danny K. Davis, Rep. Hank Johnson,

Rep. Cedric Richmond, Rep. Frederica S. Wilson


Welcome remarks by Congressman Bobby Scott, and other co-chairs as available

Greetings from Becky Pringle, Vice President, National Education Association

  • Moderator, Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program, National Women’s Law Center
  • Kimberly Bryant, Executive Director & Founder, Black Girls CODE
  • Patrick Oliver, Founder, Say It Loud! Readers and Writers
  • Karla Hernandez-Mats, President, United Teachers of Dade, K-12
  • Fedrick Ingram, Vice President, Florida Education Association
  • Monique Morris, Founder/ President, National Black Women's Justice Institute
  • George McKenna, Ph.D., Vice President, Los Angeles Unified School District


Greetings from Catharine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education

  • Wendell Hall, Ph.D., Senior Director, College Board
  • Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., President, Spelman College
  • Harold Levy, Executive Director, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  • Tracie Washington, Co-Director, Louisiana Justice Institute

Greetings from Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers