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Conference Opening with a Series of Discussions

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
2–5 p.m.

Welcome Remarks

Michael Johnson

Professional football player and founder of the MJ 93-90 Foundation

The MJ 93-90 Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission of educating kids on the importance of capitalizing on their talents and abilities with educational and technological programs. The program also seeks to increase young people’s awareness of proper nutrition and exercise. Michael is also the ambassador for ConnectHomeUSA, an organization working to close the digital divide in HUD-assisted housing in the United States.

Clearing a Path to the Future 

Auditi Chakravarty

Senior Vice President, Learning, Evaluation, and Research, College Board

Auditi will discuss how Pre-AP and AP Programs impact African American students in high school and prepare them for college and careers. Access to challenging material helps students expand their knowledge base, consider more complex concepts, and become open to new horizons. While more African American students are taking AP, there is much more room for growth. Learn what steps are being taken to ensure students are prepared, supported, feel capable, and ultimately have the opportunity to thrive.

Auditi Chakravarty

Auditi leads the College Board’s effort to understand and improve student performance. Her team works across the organization to evaluate College Board programs and measure their impact on student success. Through evidence and analysis, Auditi and her colleagues provide valuable insight that leads to more effective tools for students, parents, and teachers.

The Greatest Story That Has Never Been Told  

David C. Banks

President and CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation

John Campbell

Executive Producer and Writer, The Infamous Future

David Banks and John Campbell discuss the Eagle Academy for Young Men. The Eagle Academy opened in 2004 to uplift young men of color in urban communities. With schools located in each of the five boroughs of Manhattan,  Eagle enrolls young boys from neighborhoods that are feeders for the New York State prison system and develops them into young men committed to the pursuit of academic excellence, strong character, and responsible leadership.

The audience will have an opportunity to view the documentary short: The Infamous Future, a new film that reveals the little-known story of the Eagle Academy for Young Men. After the film will be a question and answer session.

David C. Banks

David C. Banks is the president and CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation. He was the founding principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City. He is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization, which is charged with the replication of the successful Eagle model. Since opening in 2004, the Eagle Academy network has grown to encompass a total of six schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Newark, Harlem, Staten Island, and is expanding nationally. Prior to becoming principal of Eagle, David served as the founding principal of The Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice.

John Campbell

John Campbell is founder of JCINTIME, LLC, a creative management and production company, as well as partner, and head of management for Buffalo 8—a BondIt Media Company, a first-class full-service media company. John manages movie and television directors, writers, and actors, as well as producing award-winning films, including the recent, A Boy, A Girl, A Dream as well as the award-winning feature Destined. John is also a writer and executive producer of the award-winning documentary The Infamous Future highlighting the prolific and inspiring Eagle Academy.

Using Reality Pedagogy to Activate Grit and Resilience in Our Students

Dr. Christopher Emdin

Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University

Dr. Emdin will discuss new ways for education stakeholders to engage with students to empower and inspire them to value education while challenging educator allies to rethink the system of urban education. Emdin is an advocate of Reality Pedagogy, which has a primary goal of meeting students on their cultural and emotional turf. Emdin also challenges often-held perceptions regarding African American students and their potentialities.

Christopher Emdin

Dr. Emdin is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as associate director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. The creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement and Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., author of the award-winning book Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation and the New York Times Best Seller For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y’all Too. Emdin was named the 2015 Multicultural Educator of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Educators and has been honored as a STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House under President Obama. In addition to teaching, he served as a Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Special Event

The Infamous Future: A Documentary Film Screening

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
7–8 p.m.

The Infamous Future is a new documentary film that focuses on the inspiring educators and exceptional students of the Eagle Academy for Young Men schools in New York City. Boys attending the schools are from neighborhoods that unfortunately feed the New York prison system. They receive support at the Eagle Academy that molds them into responsible leaders with a record of academic excellence. Told through the eyes of the teachers, students, and alumni of Eagle Academy schools, it’s a moving story of how the school’s mission to empower and uplift these young men has resulted in great success, and is defying the often-negative narratives conveyed about young black and brown men in America. After the film will be a question and answer session.


David C. Banks

President and CEO, The Eagle Academy Foundation, NY

John Campbell

Executive Producer, The Infamous Future, NY


Keyana Scales

Vice President for Enrollment Management, Xavier University of New Orleans, LA

Keyana Scales is vice president for enrollment management at Xavier University of Louisiana. She’s charged with strengthening the university’s enrollment through effective outreach strategies; overseeing enrollment management, and maintaining high ethical standards in admissions, recruitment, and financial aid policies and practices. She earned a communications BA in and an education master’s degree in counseling from North Carolina State University and is pursuing a Johns Hopkins University doctorate. Scales is a National Board-Certified Counselor, a Harvard Institute of Educational Management alumna, a College Board Southern Regional Council member, and a former Southern Association for College Admission Counseling executive board member.


Opening Plenary

Changing Students Lives:

A Conversation with Carmen Twillie Ambar & Youlonda Copeland-Morgan

Thursday, March 14, 2019
9–10 a.m.

President Ambar will talk about the challenges of extending the opportunity of a first-rate education to historically disadvantaged groups and the “next practices” that education leaders must envision to educate students for the future. President Ambar and Youlonda Copeland-Morgan will then discuss supporting and preparing women to lead in institutions of higher learning.

Carmen Twillie Ambar

President, Oberlin College

Carmen Twillie Ambar is the 15th president of Oberlin College and the first African American leader in the institution’s 184-year history. She was appointed to the post in May 2017. Ambar came to Oberlin after serving for nine years as the president of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Under Ambar’s leadership at Cedar Crest, the college thrived. Her successes included multiple years of multimillion-dollar budget surpluses and a 92 percent growth in the college’s endowment. Prior to her time at Cedar Crest, Ambar had a highly successful tenure as vice president and dean of Douglass College at Rutgers University, where she was the youngest dean in the university’s history.


Youlonda Copeland-Morgan

Vice Provost, Enrollment Management, UCLA

Youlonda Copeland-Morgan serves as the vice provost of enrollment management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She joined UCLA in 2012 and became the first individual entrusted with formulating and achieving the university’s undergraduate enrollment strategy and goals, including oversight of undergraduate admission, financial aid, scholarships, and related community outreach functions. A recognized leader in higher education for more than 35 years, Copeland-Morgan places a strong emphasis on access, equity, and inclusion within higher education. She served nine years on the Board of Trustees of the College Board, including a term as chairman of the board (2008–10).

Lunch Plenary

“The Future Belongs to those Who Believe in the Beauty of Their Dreams”

Thursday, March 14, 2019
12:30–1:30 p.m.

FDR once said, “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.”  What pathways are we creating for African American students to share in the leadership of their communities? Often, their lived experiences are missing from or contradict the curricula and texts that they are exposed to from K–12 through Higher Ed.  Therefore, it is important to create learning experiences that not only prepare African American students to lead but also challenge them to become informed, action-oriented change agents.  This panel of educators along with a campus leader will discuss supporting students and providing opportunities inside and outside of the classroom that inspire them to use their voices to be catalysts for change.


Steve Bumbaugh

Senior Vice President, College & Career Access, College Board

Steve leads work to ensure students access and maximize college and career opportunities. As head of the College and Career Access division, Steve oversees enrollment and financial aid programs including CSS PROFILE, Student Search Service, the Access to Opportunity™ initiative, and scholarship programs. He oversees the partnership with Khan Academy® to provide free, high quality SAT preparation for students, as well as the partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. A former classroom teacher, he led the CityBridge Foundation’s Breakthrough Schools: D.C. competition, which works with public schools to increase achievement through challenging, personalized learning.


Jeffrey Allan Ellis-Lee

New York AP Advocates State Lead, Maxine Greene High School

Jeffrey Ellis-Lee is an AP state lead advocate for the College Board and a 25-year veteran of New York City’s public schools. He has taught AP United States History and AP United States Government and Politics for the last seven years. During that time, he has developed a unique two-year program called Advanced Placement American Studies. This program has been recognized by the state and city of New York as a leading program to advance civic education and empower students.

Stephanie Shonekan

Professor and Chair, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Stephanie Shonekan is professor and chair of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2003, she earned a PhD in ethnomusicology and folklore with a minor in African American studies from Indiana University. From 2003–2011, she taught at Columbia College Chicago, and from 2011–2018, she was a faculty member at the University of Missouri in the Black Studies department and the School of Music. From 2015–2018, she was chair of the Department of Black Studies at the University of Missouri. Her publications explore the intersection where identity, history, culture, and music meet.


Payton Head

Graduate student, University of Chicago (Global Conflict Studies) and Program Coordinator, Obama Foundation Scholars

Payton Head is currently pursuing a master of arts degree in public policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy with a certification in global conflict studies. Head also serves as program coordinator for the Obama Foundation’s inaugural scholars cohort. His work demonstrates a commitment to developing institutional cultures that are grounded in equity and uniting the people of the African diaspora. Head earned a bachelor of arts in political science with a minor in black studies from the University of Missouri in 2016.

2019 in Pictures