AERA 2019: Social Justice in Education Award Lecture: James L. Moore III


Good evening everyone. [Audience Together] Good evening. Gonna go ahead and get started. I know a couple people who said they were gonna come may saunter in, but we’re gonna go ahead and move forward. Can everyone hear me? More importantly I wanna make sure you can hear him when he comes up. I’m really thrilled to be here at the Social Justice and Education Award lecture and to be able to speak for many people who have, who sent many, many thoughts, information perspectives that really led to kinda what’s happening here tonight. So the Social Justice and Educational Award is awarded by the Social Justice Action Committee to honor a scholar who has made outstanding contributions across their career through their research and scholarship to causes of social justice societally, nationally, internationally and I can say that our honoree tonight, Dr. James Moore III, is such a deserving honoree. My biggest challenge tonight was actually to try to develop a version of his bio that did not take the whole lecture time. That is how much our committee had to work with in terms of both the description of just the things that he is a bit involved in as well as the testaments to the importance and the impacts of this work. And so I’m just gonna give you a snapshot and hopefully, as you’ll see in a few moments, that James himself will remind, or demonstrate, the reason that he is our honoree for tonight. So Dr. James Moore III is an AERA member and holds many, many titles, so that’s starting with one, just reading his titles alone will take awhile, at the Ohio State University. Before I start I always forget to introduce myself and so I’ll do that because I am the Chair of the Social Justice Action Committee, another member, James Earl Davis, is here too, I want to thank my committee. But I am a faculty member, a Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. So that tells you how great James is because despite the hatred that Michigan and Ohio State have for each other that, there was like a no-brainer when it came to the discussion about his accomplishments and his deservingness of this award. He is currently the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the Ohio State University, and he is the Distinguished Professor, the Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Professor of Urban Education, and he is the Executive Director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male which is one of the first centers of its kind to focus on research and practice around the, the positive educational development and support for African American boys and men in the context of education, but also in the context that affect black males and their opportunities for achievement. Because of his excellence in all of these roles he was viewed as an ideal nominee and honoree for the Social Justice and Education Award. He consistently and expertly links his research to the implementation of social justice initiatives and programs. Just to give you a snapshot that he’s had an engaging research career, but I also will describe how some of the ways in which his research has engaged practice and policies and the idea of a scholar who is intellectually curious and rigorous in his work and does work that has practical, and theoretical importance, and applications, is exactly the kind of scholar that we’re looking to honor in this space. Since his early years as an assistant professor he’s been committed to the social and educational advancement of African American students, more broadly, and in particular the experiences in the pathways of African American males at every juncture of their formal learning. So he’s had the unique profile of working broadly, but deeply in the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels contributing work in all of those spaces and contributing knowledge about the experiences of students. His scholarship has focused primarily on identifying challenges and developing strategies for removing educational barriers, including, but not limited to, recruitment and retention issues for students of color in gifted education and other advanced accelerated learning programs. External factors that enhance and impede academic progress for students, particularly, African American males. And the socialization of educational professionals and their influences on student experiences and outcomes. With over a hundred publications, more then that actually, and 200 presentations across the world, he’s a scholar activist. Dr. Moore’s work positively impacts the lives of African American male children, adolescences, and college-age students. According to a recent online version of the Journal of Blacks In Higher Education he’s one of nine African American Distinguished Professors in education across the country. It’s also important to note that along with his national impact that his influence spans more globally. Social scientist and education practitioners in numerous countries have valued, called upon, and applied his work as evidenced by his engagements in Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Indonesia, China and other nations just to name some. The North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Ohio School Association, American College Personnel Association standing committee on Men and Masculinities. The American Educational Research Association in many of its spaces and organizational committees. The National Alliance of Black School Educators. The National Association for Gifted Children. The American Counseling Association and the National Association for Multicultural Education, are just some of the professional societies, not even all, that have formally recognized Dr. Moore’s research achievements focused on African American males. In the context of applying research to policy and practice as the Inaugural Executive Director of the Todd Anthony Bell Resource Center on the African American male, Dr. Moore has secured grant and contract funding in excess of a million dollars to support his mission. Throughout, through the Bell Center he founded the National African American Male Retreat for undergraduate students which attracts over a hundred African American male students across the United States. He also co-founded the International Colloquium for Black Males in Education, an annual meeting focused on black males throughout the globe which attracts social and behavioral scientists, education researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and students. His work on African American males has been acknowledged by other important policy groups in addition to professional scholarly societies such as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities, the College Board, Education Trust, and American College Personnel Association. And has been cited in many, many journals and publications as well as in policy, practice reports, as well as popular media which we know that all types of public engagement are important for scholarly dissemination. Dr. Moore has been described as a servant leader in all the communities in which he identifies. His agenda related to African American males, his work to both, to produce knowledge that is used by other scholars, but his also work to be a part of the dissemination. I think this is really important for education scholars now in thinking about our conference theme around, truth and education research, that more and more we cannot be satisfied with scholars producing the research that others use that we must be a part of the dissemination in order to help ensure that rigorous research helps inform important social and educational decisions that are being made that will have the best chance of it being informed by research and evidence if we also are a part of that. And finally I will just highlight, in addition to, scholarly impact, bringing together other scholars, so leveraging the strings and the synergies of other scholars and the application to research and practice, Dr. Moore has been an exemplary mentor to countless mentees spanning the K through 20 educational system, elementary, to secondary, to higher education and into faculty in the 10-year track and the policy and practice workforce. As you can see, just by this snapshot, that he truly exemplifies the spirit of this award and our committee just really was, came to easy consensus that there was no one as deserving or that there could be not a profile that is more deserving and we just want to honor you tonight and I’m honored to speak for the committee, and for AERA, to congratulate you and to recognize the important work that you’ve done and will continue to do. Thank you, and with that. (clapping) I want to bring on board the main speaker, as you can see that was just a little bit. Thank you.
Dr. Moore, thank you, and without further ado, Dr. Moore. Wow, well thank you for this opportunity first and foremost. I don’t take this lightly. I remember nearly 20 years ago, next year will be 20 years, when I first came to AERA and I’m just as nervous as I was when I came nearly 20 years ago. First of all I wanna just thank all the many people who gave me an opportunity to be able to do the work that I do. And I personally would do the work for free if my wife would’ve let me. And so I wanna acknowledge my wife she lets me do this work and I have four kids and my wife is equally committed as I am to this work and so I wanna just really acknowledge and give her some kudos. Equally as important I just really wanna thank my mother. I wish she was here, living, to hear those words ’cause she was the first to say that a lot was possible for her son. And so I wanna thank all my colleagues that I work with that are here, but I also wanna thank, more importantly, Dr. James Davis, because he provided a roadmap for up-and-coming scholars like myself. And much of what I’m gonna talk about Dr. Davis is a Morehouse man. We hijack everything from Morehouse to kinda create a success model for young men around the country. When I first started doing this work many years ago it felt like I was in a room by myself and the worst, as soon as I express the plight, the challenges as well as the opportunities for black males, it felt like it was coming, I was talking to myself. And, you know, when Dr. Davis first did the work, he was one of the pioneers, he’s a very humble soul, is that he was, him and a few other colleagues they were like some of the first to do the first wave of work. I think they did some commission papers from the U.S. Department of Education at that time. And in my mind, being an educator, a K-12 teacher, I said this cannot be possibly true, there are some people achieving in spite of. And I was like what very little was captured and so I began to develop a quest to do work around that because I got to experience at the local level in Lyman, South Carolina how we all started together, but as we continue to progress through the pipeline so many of us didn’t get to the end. So these issues are, what I like to say, K to gray, kinds of issues, and I’m gonna try my best to kinda do justice. I struggle with what do I wanna talk about when you got so many studies. Then somebody told me you don’t just talk about a study when you get to this juncture so I’m still learning, I’m still a learner, so you all are my test bed with this. My talk is, Embracing K-12 Advanced Academics and Post-Secondary Matriculation. And when I say Advanced Academics, if my colleague, Donna Fore, was here tonight, she would say we still trying to desegregate advanced placement in America in some of our gifted programs. You can go on, and I’m gonna highlight some of those things. And even when the students get to college, even when their families have the means, it’s still just an up-hill battle and that’s what I’m gonna kinda highlight today. How many know that life on the margins is an unpleasant reality for so many young men in America? And there’s a stigma of inferiority that follow black males everywhere they go. Unfortunately they’re seen as a part of a group rather than the individual. And so it doesn’t matter where your mother or father, what they do for a living, or where they live, they’re often times seen as a part of that group. In America I want you to say, most of us have seen these images in some form and when you look at the national data, going back to the ’50s, when we used to keep matriculation data, black women were the only group, when you compare all the other women, that they matriculated at a higher rate for a long period of time, for nearly a hundred years. And white women passed white men in the ’80s. Now if you come to Ohio State there’s not a tremendous gap between those who are enrolled, and between women and men, generally speaking. But you can go to some of our top flagship and public universities, increasingly you see more women than men in college. Now the reality of it is is that I predict in the next 15 to 20 years there will be a new wave of affirmative action, and that new wave will probably be men and I’m gonna highlight some of these kinds of things. In 2004 I think when the Newsweek, The Boy’s Crisis. People began to highlight that the underachievement, and low achievement of white males in America. And you read, I went to a think tank, a conservative think tank, and I was invited to present my research on black males and we brought a gentleman who did work on the Latinx males and we had Dr. Charles Murray there. Dr. Murray was like the bogey man when I was in school because he wrote, The Bell Curve, and some of the ideas that he presented in that book. And at that time his new book came out and he began to describe, if you didn’t know the race or the group many of us might have thought stereotypically that he was talking about black and Latino males. And so many of the kinds of sociological dilemmas that we often associate with black males and Latin males, in his work he began to realize that many working class working for white males were exhibiting some of those same things. I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on that, but I want you to be aware of these things and I’m gonna show you some data as a snapshot. But also this issue around underachievement, and low achievement, for black males, is not just a U.S.A. thing. You can go in Canada, we came to Canada, what two years ago, in the city. You see the same dilemma among black males except their history is not quite the same as black Americans. But you can go even in the UK, and the UK is already exploring affirmative action for males in ways that we’re not paying attention. And in China you can do a Google in China and you can quickly recognize that China is worried about the young Chinese lad because he increasingly, the Chinese male in China, is low achieving and underachieving compared to his counterpart. So these are images, popular images, that people are talking about. But one thing we know that I’ve learned, and I’ll highlight some of these things, you can give women a tenth of what you give men and the gap will be even higher, larger, in many ways. But I want you to see this within the group, and this is just a snapshot of previous years. That you can see women, comparison within groups, and you see the between groups, these are consistent trends across America. And how many here have noticed these trends at your own institutions? Now I’m not suggesting that women, I don’t want nobody to walk out of here to say I’m suggest, ’cause I got three daughters, and I have a wife that slaps me around metaphorically often. You’re supposed to laugh at that, right.
(audience laughing) But there, even though women are matriculating are at a higher rate, but when we look at employment outcomes, they’re vastly different in terms of salaries and pay, and that’s a whole nother issue, but I only have so much time. I wanna highlight some of these contextual factors that is quite important when we think about life-career development, life-academic development. And the first thing is interests. Now there’s a whole body of knowledge around interests. How do we get young men interested in learning, and academics, and there’s a whole body of knowledge which many eminent professors at this meeting have did a lot of work. But where are the big gap when we start talking about interests? Is how do we sustain young people’s interests? See for something, they say at the early elementary years, that many of the young boys are just as eager and excited for learning, but as they continue to progress they become disengaged, disinterested in the schools. Now I’m not gonna blame just totally white teachers because you can go in some of the urban schools, where the teachers look just like ’em, and they equally look, you see the same patterns. So interest is an important thing when we think about learning and education. I know we have several major funding agencies from the government, but more needs to be explored around, how do we sustain this interest for young people? And the next one is preparation. And these preparation is an issue that we see throughout the educational continuum. All AP is not created equally. We see educational malpractice take place at a high level consistently across America and even when you look in communities where it’s very affluent. What people don’t often know, when we talk about gaps, not that I like to talk about educational gaps, but I’m gonna use that as a part of my narrative here, is that the achievement gap is greater for the $100,000 black family versus the $100,000 white family. The gap is not as wide on the low end of the continuum. So that suggest is not just class, like everybody’s comfortable in America to just say, it’s class. It’s the intersectionality of race, class, gender, in some cases geographical location. So preparation is critical and so many of our young men have not been afforded. They take an AP class and they realize when they go to college that is wasn’t quite the same class that some of their peers. In my mind that’s educational malpractice at the highest level. So preparation is very important. And I also wanna back up about preparations, is that when you don’t have the preparation you’re not afforded opportunities in which you can achieve your educational aspirations. The other one is, experiences. How do we ensure that these young men, throughout the continuum, have specific experiences that are indicative of the kind of aspirations that they have, or the educational trajectory that they may pursue? So too many, when you’re not, when you don’t have the right classes, when you don’t have the right teachers, it has rippling effects on the outcomes of many of our young people. Connections, unfortunately when you look at K-12 contexts, many people think the young men just need a mentor, but I’m gonna highlight some important things in some of my work about those connections. Connections give people ability to see and experience things before they even actually experience it, because you have someone who serves as a guide, as a bridge. Opportunity, you can’t even access your opportunities if you don’t have the preparation and the experiences. And so when Ohio State people say, I sent stuff to the young men, but they didn’t respond, or, sometimes they don’t respond because they automatically foreclose on the opportunity because you say you need these certain criteria and they don’t even try. So, these are some trends that we’re seeing in the body of knowledge, that increasingly people are doing, are examining differences in women and men, academic achievement, and you see this proliferation of the literature right now. And even some agencies may say, well we got, we know enough about men, but sometimes the minority males we don’t know as much as we should know about this specific group. National data show there’s distinct differences between males and females in the number of students that are enrolled in STEM majors. Now granted in engineering we see that it’s certainly a overwhelming number of males, but in some of the STEM areas you see vast differences. African Americans are under represented in gifted programs and they typically are overrepresented in special education. The Shaw Foundation did a report, maybe like five years ago, and suggested that over 100,000 black males were misdiagnosed and misplaced in special education. Now what’s the problem, see I’m a counselor by training, if you know anything about this guy named, Clifford Beers, and he wanted to study in the early 1900s, why mental health, psychiatric hospitals, we just get it bad. So he wanted to do a study, he pretended that he was crazy, that he had a mental disorder, I shouldn’t say that, excuse that, not crazy, but he had a mental disorder. And what he discovered in his work even when you don’t have a mental disorder if you stay around the people with a mental disorder long enough you’ll start to act as if you have a mental disorder. So if you put somebody in a program, that they don’t supposed to be in, they’ll start to exhibit when you are testing them for gifted and talented programs that you might say, this is not a good fit for them. So other trends that we see, we see women surpass men in bachelor degree completion for the first time in the mid 1980s, and white women are not looking behind they just further leaving white males behind. But when you look, as I said, when you look at women across race, black women are the only ones who said, we’ve been kicking the black males butt for a long time, and they’re not slowing up at all to the point we’re so desperate in higher education across America, ’cause I have run a lot of programs, we always ask, do we have male representation? And some slots could be almost taken up entirely by women and there’s a whole number of issues that I’ll highlight before it’s over with. Kinda hit this, you see a larger portion of white men completed college than women from 1940 to the 1980, and less than 1% of black men earned a degree in 1940 compared to 2% women, so longstanding. But we know teachers play a critical role and so before I talk about this, it’s not in here, but this is just a stimulus, you can see I’m trying to get warmed up here. Is that I did a study in 2003, it’s in the high school journal, and we wanted to look at educational aspirations of urban learners, urban senior high school students, and we wanted to see what variables impact their education and inspirations. Locus of control, cognitive ability, ’cause we wanted, first we wanted to control, do they have ability to be successful? We looked at income, ’cause everybody say why you don’t do well is because you’re poor, right? Then the next thing we looked at students perceptions, how the teacher perceive them, students perceptions of how the school counselors perceive them. The perceptions impacted the students more than the other variables. In other words, if I perceive you perceiving me not having the ability it had negative effects on my aspirations. For other groups that’s not always the case when you think about Asian students and white students. The effects tend to be more profound for those groups when we’re referencing parents. So, going back to teachers, teachers communicate often whether they’re conscious of it or not, sometimes that student don’t have the ability to be successful. So here’s a study I wanna highlight that kinda connects closely to the study we did in 2003 using the NELS, and now it’s ELS, they dropped the N, was 2002 we used the 1999 data set. A recent study examined a systematic biases of teachers expectations related to demographic match between its teacher and a student. The demographic match meaning, the teacher’s black, the student is black. A mismatch, the student is, the teacher is white and the student is black. The data set included two teachers reported expectations of each student’s ultimate educational attainment, and that’s, as I said, one demographic. The researchers discovered that non-black teachers of black students had significantly lower expectations than black teachers. And the effects were even larger for black males and math teachers. So this is, it has nothing to do with what they actually did it’s just really based on how they perceive them which is powerful and it’s something that we can work on. I do a lot of work in gifted ed, which is important, and a lot of the federal funding agencies don’t quite spend a lot of time with gifted and talented students, and I know it has a long history and some people want to reject it. Now some scholars interchangeably use gifted and high achieving, when they’re not the same. To be gifted there’s a set of criteria that each state outlines for how to meet that criteria. To be a gifted student, it’s interesting, you can grossly underachieve and have the gifted tag, we still call you gifted. In the United States we don’t have a mechanism to take the tag off of you once you get it. What we find what people don’t understand the biggest underachievers, or lower achievers, are gifted students, but we always don’t recognize those things because the curriculum does not always match their capability. So as you can see this is, when we did a study, this is a part of a commission paper that Council Great City Schools asked us to do and this is some of the, I pulled some of the tables out of that publication. As you can see when you’re lower income you’ll probably less likely to be in Gifted and Talented Programs. Now in that commission paper we highlighted some of the things that prevent students from going into Gifted and Talented Programs. And these are some of the examples of some of the criteria that schools use. If you miss a day of school you can’t be in a Gifted and Talented Program. If your parents don’t come to these PTA meetings your child can’t be in the Gifted and Talented Program. If your parents don’t pay the application fee, to submit the paper, they can’t be in a gifted, you will be blown away of the policies that we have across the nation that basically inhibits from students from being able to participate in advanced placement, or gifted programs. Now, I like to use this as an example often times, hopefully, I know they’re video taping this, but I hope my wife doesn’t see it. My wife finally had a greater appreciation for my work, ’cause she thought I was just writing book reports, and that’s what she reduced my work to, but I didn’t try to correct her because, like I said, my wife metaphorically slaps me around. But nevertheless, she became more emersed in this work when they started to mess with her son. He’s my son, but he’s not my son, it’s her son, right, and when you mess with somebody’s, a mom’s son, you gonna have to deal with all types of issues, you just don’t, but nevertheless, she then took an interest in my work and reading the book, so this is what you’ve been talking about, right? Because people didn’t know who his parents were because he was seen as a part of a group rather than an individual. So I was Dennis the Menace when I was a child, but I also loved, Curious George, ’cause it’s my favorite book series. But the words that you used the behaviors were similar, but we use different words to describe those behaviors. In Gifted and Talented Programs we think that’s part of overexcitability, engagement, excitement for enthusiasm, it’s a part of what you see in a Gifted and Talented Program. But in some classes we see it suppressed for young men when they raise their hand, when they engage. In this country, for the middle, we need to radically change education for young men broadly speaking. And I say this because when I go to all of these countries I always wanna see how they do education. And one place, one example in particular, is when I went to Indonesia and it left a stunning lasting impact on me. The school, the classes are quiet, the students are focused, they’re writing notes, I mean they doing, writing their notes, they’re focused on the instruction. But when the kids get out, this was an elementary school, when they leave the classroom to take their break the boys over there tackling someone, they over there wrestling, and I’m walking, teachers just walk right by them, right? And I’m sitting there thinking like, in America if a kid gets out of line a little bit you, the teacher loses his or her mind. Not recognizing that how do you create structure and still create meaning in the learning as well. But anyway, as you can see, when you’re lower income you’re less likely to be in the Gifted and Talented Program if you’re an African American male. And as you can see if you live in a rural area you’re less likely compared to all the other social contexts. But this is something that we found that was quite telling, and I know I don’t have a lot of time to spend on this because I wanna highlight some things that you can do and what our research, and what we’ve been doing at the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American male. Even when school districts have a critical mass of black students black males are grossly underrepresented in Gifted and Talented Programs. When you look at some odd 20 larger school districts in America, they’re grossly underrepresented even when they’re in the urban school district, and that’s what we discovered in that commission study that we did. And you probably see some of it, I’ll let you look, I’m not gonna spend ’cause I need, I only have so much time, so you can see some of these school districts. You know the one that stands out, which is a model school district, to some degree, is Montgomery County. And usually most of the time when you look at college boards report they typically highlight Montgomery County Public Schools, not Prince George County Schools, but Montgomery. And as you can see the numbers are pretty high. So there are test beds that we can evaluate and have better understanding. What is it that Montgomery County is doing, county public schools are doing, that Fairfax, where my kids go to school, that are not doing? Now when you go in Fairfax, this is antidotal, but I would image from the places, the little data I’ve seen, you know, increasingly in the D.C. area, I’ll use that as an example. The students may have black on their birth certificate, but often times they’re first generation Americans, right, but they don’t identify as African Americans, but their birth certificate says the same thing as mine. It doesn’t say Ethiopian or Nigerian, you know, those kinds of things. There are a number, these are some of the many factors, and I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on these. Inappropriate early curricular experiences, absence of opportunities to develop appropriate work habits. And so when the students are not in the class we know there’s a school-to-prison pipeline. We see, when you go into, I had a contract, as an example of this, I had a contract when Governor Strickland was the governor in Ohio, and it was an Achievement Gap Initiative, the state put 20 million dollars to kinda improve educational outcomes for black males in the state, and they found that black males in the urban centers, Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown, the big urban areas that are based on the federal classifications. When people talk about class, white males in Apalachee were graduating from high school at a higher rate than the kids in the urban centers. And what we discovered in that evaluation was quite profound. Because it wasn’t, we knew, of course we analyzed the secondary data, we also did site visits and observed and collected data on the sites. And what we discovered in that evaluation, when kids get suspended from school it’s usually the same teachers who suspend the same, who write the sames students up. And so what schools are not learning, when kids are not in the classroom they’re losing important learning because academic achievement is highly correlated with the relationship the student has with the teacher, as well as the number of contact hours with the teacher. So this principal decided, in this one school, ’cause I guess it happened enough, he decided rather than, when the kids needed to go in-school suspension, rather than putting the students in-school suspension for all the classes he did it for that one class, but he made that one teacher go through professional development, right? This just something, that’s a negative to think about, it’s family-culture issues, poverty and economic stress, and so I don’t wanna just pick on people who come from fragile, vulnerable communities, but increasingly we have educated families who increasingly not spending quality time with their kids. Increasingly we have two professionals working and the kids are not getting the same kind of stimulation as you would see with some urban and rural spaces. So stress and poverty sometimes leave debilitating effects on our young people in ways that we haven’t been able to recognize. So these are some of the social community factors. Increasingly, this is one of the things that I’m learning when, even when students matriculate in college, particularly the males, is not having the ability to regulate emotions. And increasingly, just even being at AERA, and the counseling in me, when people talk about imposter syndrome and some of those kinds of things, you can sense a deep level of pain when you’ve been neglected and rejected in some form. And how do we help people cope? How do we help when you come from communities where you’ve had traumatic experiences. I can speak for that pretty clearly particularly with some of my programs we have at Ohio State, how sometimes students self-destruct because of the trauma they experience. So individual factors, problems with unstructured time. How many here know that, has anybody ever evaluated the differences in young men’s notes versus young women notes? Has anybody, one thing is, did the men actually even take notes? And what the notes even look like when they, these are things that you can see, and not only that, when I say pipeline issues, I like to use this as an antidote to make people laugh, my discipline is predominantly women. When the women want my doctoral students come and meet me they gonna say, pull out their laptop, they gonna ask me, can they tape record me on their phone, and when they get home guess what they gonna do? They gonna send me dictated notes to make sure. When my men come in they might look good, they might be dressed better than me, smelling good, nice briefcase, everything, no paper, not writing anything down. They get home, and these are real examples, Dr. Moore, who’s that person you said I need to contact? Now I laugh, if you don’t believe me, see some of these, go to a PTA meeting and watch the dads. I can’t get the research out of me ’cause when I got to PTA my wife say, what are you doing one of your study’s in your head? The mom’s have got the notes, they get the papers, whatever’s handed out, and what is so profound about this IQ is highly correlated with mother’s educational attainment and father’s income. Mom’s still do most of the nurturings in the household. More research needs to be done, when people say, well the person came from a single-parent household, what is the role that dad should be playing in the household ’cause increasingly I’m seeing an uptake of young men who are incarcerated who the dad lives in the home. ‘Cause I had a doc student just finish a dissertation and we noticed that the two-parent households had just as many people who were incarcerated than the single-parent household. So, I’m not gonna, I gotta to something that, my baby, why I won’t leave Ohio State, why it’s personal. So at Ohio State in the early 2000s, like many places and around, it was a consciousness going on in America, you know, the Journal Of Men Study started, you know, I think Dr. Davis you all wrote those papers in 1999, you did a book I think in 2003, it was a, people were beginning to recognize there, more work needs to be done around men broadly, and particularly males of color. At Ohio State in ’19, before 1987 we were an open-admissions institution. In many ways, our Big Ten friends used to laugh at us. There were only two open-admissions institution in the Big Ten and they were always two of the largest schools in the nation, Minnesota and Ohio State. I like to think, and some may disagree, we’re probably more alike than any other place, urban, land-grant, flagship, and there’s a tension between the two. So my former predecessor who had this job, a Morehouse man, worked at Ohio State for 42 years wanted to do something about it. So the thought leaders came together, and I was one of their, on the research team, and we began to recognize we need to do something. Todd Anthony Bell was, if you remember when Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl, and I think that was in ’85. Todd was on holdout and so people like to say, believe, if he weren’t holding out for more money they probably would’ve went undefeated. In 1979 he was a guy who blocked a punt against Michigan that took us to the Rose Bowl. He was All American, I knew you would appreciate that. And when he retired from football he wanted to come back and he worked in the office, but he didn’t know his family history. He was in good shape, he was leaving the gym, he had a heart attack and died. At Ohio State we don’t name anything after you, unless you write a check, and so because of the Vice Provost at that time, said we’ll raise the money, I’m still raising money for it, but we have some endowments that we… And so at that time Dr. Stewart said, we can, and we will, have greater impact in the lives of black males. Ohio State wants to be the world’s land-grant university and solve complex problems. And he felt that this is one, the grand challenges in America with this group. So he asked me to kinda develop a mission and those kinds of things and so our desire, because you look at NIH, they fund centers that focus on women and their health and we wonder why we have no centers that focus on men’s health. So, the center, these are some of our priorities, but I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on there because I know time is of the essence. But what I want you to know it started out as a black male initiative and we started to make change and outcomes. So I have a national mission, but I got a local budget, so I make it look like I got a lot of money, but it doesn’t really take a lot of money and when I show you the data I would argue there’s very few institutions in America have achieved this level of success and I don’t count the ones who just bring five African American males to their school. So, these are some of the things that we focus on at the center. And we wanna create a community of scholars so we stay pretty busy, but we try to study what works with our young men that could be scale and that could be replicated at other institutions. So what we’ve learned in our research these are important attributes for scholastic achievement. Realistic aspirations, now what people don’t know if you look at the social science research, African American students, African Americans in general, have higher aspirations than all other groups. And most people look at me and say, wow. You look at, their aspirations are off the chart, but that doesn’t mean you go to class, that doesn’t mean you do your homework. The aspiration, so it’s what, the term I use, is the knowing-doing gap. I say one thing I do something totally opposite. What we learned in our work, if we can reduce the gap in what you say and aligning with what you do, we get better outcomes. So positive belief in self, academic and career maturity, academic and social confidence, positive early school experiences, strong soft skills, self-regulated and task oriented, and high expectations. But all the students don’t come in with all of that, right, and people say to us, well, you get a better student. So now our average ACT at the university is about a 29.2, but that’s not the average for African American students. When you look at the numbers it’s quite drastically different, but it’s higher than most large public’s. So I wanna show you the data. Well, before I do this, we say competence plus confidence equals achievement attainment. Confidence doesn’t produce competence, but competence produce confidence. So everything I say when I work with school districts, I work with universities, you first gotta focus on achievement. Because when you go back, I’ll go back a little bit, Bandura arguably the most influential social behavioral scientist in America, most people use his work in some form or fashion, at least the constructs. There’s four constructs of efficacy, but most people don’t talk about it, they always talk about efficacy. All of ’em increase efficacy, but we tend to focus on the ones that increase efficacy the lowest, lower than the other. The highest level of efficacy is achievement. Most people when they talk about, you go to these K-12 schools they got young men wearing neckties, they look good, but one of the things that I tell people, if they don’t have the skills, I don’t care how well you dress ’em, their confidence will fade away. Competence produce confidence and I think Dr. Davis understands that being a Morehouse man, right? Social persuasion, I try to tell dads, often time dad say, I’m just gonna go out there and talk to that boy. You might increase efficacy to some degree, but it never increases efficacy like achievement. And then the other one is physiological factors, you know, you heard this speech, or you went to church, or you heard Obama, and everybody thought that, everybody at AERA I think a few people did studies on, the Obama effects, and they realize that he didn’t have no impact. Not that it hurt Obama’s feelings. So national visibility, we’ve had over 50 different universities who have come and visit us, and contacted us, some have been on our campus three or four times ’cause they looking for Superman or the magic wand. So, I’m gonna show you some data. These are some of the many institutions who have contacted us and visited us. But we stold everything from HBCUs. The irony of it is you come to Ohio State and I got everything from HBCUs as if they have nothing to offer. But the paradox of it is, I got everything from Morehouse and now Morehouse called me. That’s the paradox, right? So look at these numbers. I just wanna show you, you can see our numbers, this is not to celebrate, but if you look at our large public, large public flagship institutions, some places I think Shawn Harper, in one of his reports said, we have some places less than 500 black males on a campus. Now I know everybody like to think all of them are athletes. The reality at Ohio State, the black athlete’s only 16%, but they play the sports that make the money for everybody else that make you think that all of the athletes are black. But check this out, these are the retention rates for, that give you a highlight. The blue is the retention rates for the whole entire university that year. The red is the aggregate for all African American males. Usually we bring in about 150 a year and that’s nothing to celebrate, but it’s a little bit better than most places. The EAP is what we call, our Early Arrival Program and it doesn’t focus on deficits, it doesn’t focus on what you don’t have, it’s really recalibrating your mind, that’s what I like to think. It’s helping you to understand how you should approach your academics and then to foster a health competition in academic success. It used to be two days, then we went three days, now we back to two days. We used to have the highest retention rate, one of the highest on campus. And like I said, usually a third of the young men, anywhere between 50 and 60 participate in this program. And as you can see, in many cases, those who participant in the Early Arrival Program did better. We focus on time on tasks. So I asked students, I had NSF-funded project, I got my NSF colleagues in here, I had a question, we had, it was a mixed-method study, and I infused this into our work. We would ask, on a seven day, out of seven days out of the week, not counting homework, how many hours do you spend studying when you take out homework? But these students were computer science, microbiology, engineering. The qualitative data said four hours, the quantitative data said five. We’re talking about the best and brightest. So I would do an exercise when I meet with the students, how many here study at least, until, risk for me wasn’t whether or not, where you went to high school, risk was, for me, was how much time you gonna spend on your tasks, particularly if you’re in a STEM area. The STEM area, research says you should study two hours for every hour that you have. So if you have 14 hours you should study 28 hours a week. We tell our STEM students you need three hours for every hour that you in school and that’s not counting homework. And they look at you and say, oh no, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do that, right? But check this out. This is what I like to celebrate the most. Nearly 50% of our black males on our campus got a 3.0, cumulative, GPA or higher. I would argue there’s few universities in the United States that you can count. When I first started in this quest, we had about 150. Now this is the low expectation is, I guess President Bush would say, low bigotry, but some of it it doesn’t, it comes from people who even look like them. I hate the term, and I do, when people say retention counts, who wants to be retained? I don’t, I wanna be let go, I wanna be free, I wanna be able to reach my dreams and my aspirations. How do you connect opportunities with individual’s aspirations? So what we did we bought a wrestling belt, anybody ever seen a wrestling belt before? And you think, some of these guys can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but they want that wrestling belt. If you ever watch competition, anybody ever seen young men play Spades? It’s pretty lively. Anybody ever seen young men play video games? If you don’t come to my house and watch my son. And now you’ve got these virtual opportunities, all his boys, and as parents we say, well they might as well come over to our house ’cause they gonna be up all night on the games, right? It’s a lot of energy and tenacity. So what we do we put guys into pods, taking ta-raz-mens work, when he talked about calculus. And you can’t put people in groups if you don’t understand where they live in their dormitories. You can’t have a group where the dorm, the dorms on this side and somebody else on this side ’cause it get cold in Columbus, Ohio, they’re not gonna meet with each other. So the force of competition we reward the group, for the highest GPA, but not only that, we reward individuals who get the highest, when they’re a senior, we give two students a year a check for $2,500 who, based on scholarship, because to me I don’t wanna do anything if you don’t, if you don’t have scholastic achievement. The second thing is leadership, service, and ethics. We believe if you have those things, and you build those capacities, you’re gonna have an individual who’s gonna be a soarer. One year I had, this year I have a group of young men, all four, they came in together, and they didn’t live in the same area, they all got accepted into med school, they trying to decide which one. I gotta meet with them and decide, right? Now places like Michigan call us just to specifically recruit our young men because they get into top med schools, Cornell, I’m talking about the top. Now, my philosophy in what we try to do, we coach up. Teachers teach down sometimes, but I ain’t never, I’ve never seen a coach, coach down. Not any of my coaches even when you weren’t not as good as you… So how do you help people coach up and elevate? And so I’d like to give you a couple of nuggets about one guy in particular and his name is, Mart Reese. Mart Reese sent me a picture the other day and he says he was in a Delta plane, ’cause now he’s flying Delta, for Delta, and he lives in Brooklyn. And what I learned about him, and the others, this is the first time in most of these young men’s lives, when they come on our campus, when they see 63 guys, some from urban spaces, some from rural spaces, some might a lived in South Africa. I had some they were American, but their parents were working there and they brought ’em here. That’s the first time in their life that they ever been in a room with someone who looked just like them, that was equally as smart as they were, that’s education mill in practice. When you went through your educational journeys, that you didn’t even have a peer that you can pull from. The problem right now, what I would say, as you can see these are the numbers. Let me go back here. These are the students who are full-time, we have about 500 and I think three who are full-time, but if you see, when you go back, when you count full-time and part-time, we had 632 African American males with accumulative 3.0 or better. So helping African American male students to achieve. Behave as if you expect them to achieve at a high level. Actively to work to remove barriers for their learning. So we first of all have to get them to reimagine and develop the appropriate academic behaviors that are indicative of excellence, and we call it the ethos of excellence, it’s not a destination, it’s a disposition, it’s an attitude, it’s the drive. Teach these students how to help themselves. Too often in schools we do their work and they still are not afforded the opportunity to develop the skills that they need. Teach African Americans, and their families, how to successfully manage the bureaucracy of the system. So when they drop parents, we drop parents off, when the parents leave, when the parents drop their kids off, for the Early Arrival Program, I have a special session for the families, How To Support Your Child For Success From Home. And if they wanna come home, mom, in most cases it’s mom, I’m not trying to be, you have to tell ’em they need to be there. And sometimes it’s hard so you have to coach the parents, especially families, when that child was a significant figure, in some case, the father-figure of the household and you help them to support them and you guide them. If you’re a parent in here and you about ready to send your child to college, they need to learn life skills like learn how to wash their clothes and you’d be surprised. And not only that, if you have a child that don’t like to get up in the morning, that doesn’t like to get up in the morning, you really need to help them develop the skills that prepare them for what the expectations are. You’d be surprised one mom said, is there anybody in your office gonna wake up so-and-so every morning? And then I said, Ms. so-and-so, you make sure you come to my session before you leave, right? Use school data, when you’re in school, to promote system change. Sometimes we look at things, my wife has learned, and now I hear her on the phone talking to a girlfriend, some Delta friends, is that, and it’s like, wow, I’m not getting paid for this and you giving ’em free advise. Is that good schools don’t mean, good schools don’t mean they’re good schools for your kids. And too often we look at the data and say, oh, they got these ACT scores. And I always joke with my wife, well tell me what the young black males have? Tell me how many have actually been in the program? Now, I must say, I have to say I was really impressed with my son, I thought he was gonna cave in to his basketball friends, and he told us he wanted to be in Fairfax ’cause of the politics, they don’t have just, they don’t call it gifted they call it Advanced Academics, they gotta have four tiers, right, one of the few school districts that do it ’cause it’s so political and family’s got money, but that’s a whole nother story. And my son said, no dad, I wanna be the best. And he said, I said, well, what does that mean to be the best? He said, well I wanna go to the best school. And he said, didn’t you say Moore’s do more? I said, yeah, that’s what your grandma said, Moore’s do more. And so, but the fact of the matter is, he has certain behaviors if we don’t correct it’s gonna contribute to his academic demise, right? And the science are there when you do these tests so many of us keep saying, well I don’t like tests, I love tests when they used properly. A test should be a diagnostic where you can make improvements, but not as whether you have it or you don’t have it, and we just don’t use tests right in this country. Okay, I wanna get to the college and I’m gonna stop ’cause I saw my sign. Create Bridge, or Early Arrival Programs, to help African American males smoothly transition into their first year of college. So transition I, you know, in many ways you study yourself through others. I went to college for free, but my parents probably spent $10,000 on telephone bills ’cause I was so homesick, and my mom used to hang up on me when I said I wanted to transfer. Offer ongoing success coaching and support and don’t let students to say they don’t like, or that’s not them, because kids foreclose on options and opportunities when they’ve never been exposed to it. Provide resources and strategies that promote academic excellence. Develop students personal, professional, and leadership skills which we do. And we offer a Leadership Institute and there’s always a waiting list and we don’t give credits for it because the students wanna connect with the kind of people who we bring in contact with them. Initiate the mentoring process with current undergraduate students and faculty. Build solidarity among the males. And I’m finished. Thank you. (clapping)

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