Benjamin E. Mays Lecture Series Event Info


When: Feb. 21, 2018
Where: Student Center East Ballroom
55 Gilmer St., Atlanta, GA 30303

A reception will be held prior to the lecture from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. and goes until 8:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public

Dr. Joyce E. KingJoyce E. King holds the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair of Teaching, Learning and Leadership at George State University, where she is Professor of Educational Policy Studies and affiliated Faculty in the Department of African and African American Studies.

Her research and scholarship deal with how mainstream American education produces dysconsciousness that resists a critically transformative understanding of race and racialized inequity. Education K-16 perpetuates a curriculum that alienates peoples of color from seeing themselves as co-constructors of knowledge and distorts White people’s humanity as well. For example, Dr. King’s research has noted that K-12 textbooks, lesson plans, and teacher preparation routinely start the history of Black people in slavery, not in Africa, and teach that Egypt is located in the Middle East or even Asia rather than in Africa! African American learners are taught they have contributed nothing to the production of knowledge, and that abandonment of all Black cultural identity is key to any success in school. Her scholarship addresses a transformative role for culture in effective teaching and teacher preparation, Black Studies epistemology and curriculum theorizing, community-mediated research, and dysconscious racism, the term she coined. Her scholarship emphasizes cultural well-being as a necessary goal in all successful education, including that of Whites who are mis-educated as well by a competitive educational system that feeds them racially-constructed knowledge as color-blind education.

Her publications can be found in the Harvard Educational Review, The Journal of Negro Education, The Journal of Black Studies, Womanist Theory and Research, numerous book chapters as well as six books: Teaching Diverse Populations; Black Mothers to Sons: Juxtaposing African American Literature with Social Praxis; Preparing Teachers for Diversity and Black Education: A Transformative Research and Action Agenda for the New Century; Re-membering History in Student and Teacher Learning: An African-centered Culturally Informed Praxis; and Dysconscious Racism, Afrocentric Praxis and Education for Human Freedom—Through the Years I Keep on Toiling—The Selected Works of Joyce E. King.

Previously, Dr. King has also served as Provost and Professor of Education at Spelman College, Associate Provost at Medgar Evers College in New York (CUNY), Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Diversity Programs at the University of New Orleans; Director of Teacher Education at Santa Clara University, and Head of the Department of Ethnic Studies, Mills College. Dr. King has international experience teaching, lecturing and providing professional development in Brazil (using Portuguese translations of her publications), Canada, China, England, Jamaica, New Zealand, Mali, Kenya, and Senegal. A recipient of the W.K. Kellogg Fellowship and the American Council on Education Fellowship, she also served on the California State Board of Education Curriculum Commission.

She holds the Ph.D. in the Social Foundations of Education and a B.A. Degree (with Honors), both from Stanford University, and a Certificate in Educational Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. King is immediate past-President of the American Educational Research Association (2014-2015).

Benjamin Mays“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach.” – Benjamin E. Mays

In the spring of 1988, the Benjamin E. Mays Chair of Urban Educational Leadership was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and established in the College of Education at Georgia State University. Its goal was and continues to be the improvement of the quality of educational institutions in urban areas of the country, with special emphasis on the problems faced by the leadership of large city school districts.The founding holder of the Chair, Dr. Alonzo A. Crim, initiated the organization and sponsorship of the annual Benjamin E. Mays Memorial Lecture Series. It began in 1989 with Dr. Charles V. Willie, social scholar at Harvard University, and has continued to this past year’s lecturer, Dr. Jeannie Oakes. By continuing to bring nationally prominent educators to Atlanta, each symposium, conference and lecture encourages the discussion of issues facing urban educational leaders.

This program not only honors the memory of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, but also promotes his philosophy of educational excellence for those typically least served by society.

Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick, PhD, is Dean Emeritus of the Howard University School of Education and a tenured professor of educational policy and leadership. A former Visiting Scholar and Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, Fenwick is currently a Senior Fellow for the McDonald Character Leadership Program at West Point Academy (the United States Military Academy). Additionally, she is a 2014 Salzburg Global Fellow (the cohort was convened in Salzburg, Austria to examine globalization and leadership) and a member of the 1999 cohort of American university administrators invited to the University of Oxford (Exeter College) to discuss ethics and leadership.

A nationally-known education policy and leadership scholar and former urban K-12 school teacher and administrator, Dr. Fenwick is co-founder of the Howard University-American Association of School Administrators (AASA) Urban Superintendents Academy and a past member of the Harvard University Principals Center Advisory Board. Notably, Dr. Fenwick served as an appointed member of the National Research Council committee that produced the National Academy of Sciences’ first study about mayoral control of public schools.

Dr. Fenwick is regularly called upon to testify about educational equity, college access and teacher quality to the U.S. Senate, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Urban League, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Education Writers Association (EWA), National Education Association (NEA), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), and the Washington Policy Seminar. Additionally, she has been an invited speaker at the National Press Club where she discussed federal regulations affecting the nation’s educator workforce.

Dr. Fenwick is the 2011 recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Award for Higher Education Leadership and a contributor to the best-selling book, The Last Word: Controversy and Commentary in American Education and the widely disseminated policy monograph, Who Will Lead? Crisis in the Principal’s Office. Her op-ed articles about education, the economy and urban development have appeared in the Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Education Week, The Huffington Post, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Her research on teacher diversity has been cited by the New York Times and the Center for American Progress. In keeping with her research about teacher quality, during her tenure as dean Dr. Fenwick served as co-PI for the Ready to Teach Program – a $2.1 million innovative teacher preparation program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and lauded as a national model by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Dr. Fenwick also managed an $11 million teacher pipeline initiative in 7 southeastern states when she was a program officer at the Southern Education Foundation (SEF).

Presently, Dr. Fenwick is a member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) which was established by noted historian Dr. John Hope Franklin to set the museum’s intellectual agenda. She also serves on the National Advisory Council for EduTopia and is a past member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) board of directors. A science enthusiast, Dr. Fenwick was appointed by NASA Administrator (director) General Charles Bolden to NASA’s Education and Public Outreach Committee.

Dr. Fenwick earned a PhD in educational policy and leadership from The Ohio State University where she was a Flescher Fellow and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Virginia.

List of Guest Lecturers for:

The Benjamin E. Mays Memorial Lecture Series — Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence

1989 Charles Willie, Social Scholar, Harvard University

1990 Samuel Cook, President, Dilliard University

1991 Samuel Proctor, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University

1992 Julius S. Scott, President, Paine College

1993 Lerone Bennett Jr., Executive Editor, Ebony Magazine

1994 Maynard H. Jackson, Mayor Emeritus of Atlanta

1995 Lisa Delpit, Benjamin Mays Chair for Urban Educational Leadership, Georgia State University

1996 Barbara Sizemore, Dean, College of Education, DePaul University

1997 Asa G. Hilliard, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education, Georgia State University

1998 Robert Franklin, President, Interdenominational Theological Center

1999 Jackie Jordan-Irvine, Charles Chandler, Professor of Urban Education, Emory University

2000 Vincent Harding, Professor Illif College

2001 Johnetta Cole, President, Spelman College

2002 Beverly Tatum, President, Spelman College

2003 Gloria Ladson Billings, Professor, University of Wisconsin

2004 Joyce King, Benjamin Mays Chair for Urban Education, Georgia State University

2005 Beverly Hall, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools

2006 Ronald Ferguson, Economist, Harvard University

2007 Mark Alexander, Endocrinologist, Kaiser Permanente

2008 Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund

2009 Robert Moses, Founder of the Algebra Project

2010 Ela Gandhi, Durban University of Technology

2011 Vanessa Siddle Walker, Emory University

2012 Adelaide Sanford, Former Vice Chancellor New York State Board of Regents

2013 Brian Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative

2014 Jeannie Oakes, Professor Emerita, UCLA, AERA President Elect

2015 Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts Amherst

2016 Noma LeMoine, Chief Editorial Officer, LeMoine and Associates Educational Consulting

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