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The first A Dream Deferred™ conference was held in June of 2005 in Los Angeles, Calif. The meeting was organized amid highly evocative conversations surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Since its inception, A Dream Deferred has gathered professionals from throughout the nation who provide insights and ideas to guide us as we continue to advocate for African American students.

The conference is focused on the state of college readiness for African American students and provides a forum for sharing best practices, key data, and research to drive measurable actions to ensure access to opportunity.

2019 A Dream Deferred Committee

Name Title Institution
**Terrance Dixon Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Morehouse College
Berenecea Eanes Vice President Student Affairs California State University, Fullerton
Michael Gantt Senior Assistant Director  University of Georgia
*Adrian Haugabrook Senior Vice President and University Chief of Staff Southern New Hampshire University
Kashif Henderson Gifted and Talented Coordinator, K–12 Pittsburgh Public Schools
Kevin C. Hudson Assistant Director for College Opportunity, Office of the Provost Princeton University
*Camille Jacobs Assistant Principal Queens Collegiate
Adrian Mims Executive Director The Calculus Project
Don Pope-Davis Dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology The Ohio State University
Jacqueline Pridgen Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services Frank Sinatra School of the Arts
Derek Terrell Senior Assistant Director Caltech
Thomas Witherspoon Associate Dean and Director MCSA Denison University
Nicole Yarde Director of Programs and Partnerships NYC Department of Education

* 2019 Co-Chairs
** HBCU Conference Liaison

The Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award

The Dr. Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award will be presented at the A Dream Deferred conference. The award acknowledges individuals or organizations that have encouraged African American students to strive for academic success. These individuals and organizations will have developed successful methodologies that have positively impacted countless African American students. Each should represent a model that can be replicated by others trying to make a difference in the lives of our youth.

About Asa G. Hilliard

In 2007, the theme of our conference was “accepting the challenge to educate all students.” The College Board and the Dream Deferred planning committee were thrilled to welcome Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III to speak on this powerful national objective. Dr. Hilliard devoted his professional life to re-envisioning schooling and methods of instruction, especially for African American students. He challenged widely held ideologies that underestimated the ability of African Americans and other students of color to achieve academic excellence. Hilliard was a preeminent scholar, educational psychologist, historian, and a leading proponent of acquiring greater balance in history curriculums from elementary school through college.

Dr. Hilliard was in Cairo, Egypt, to deliver a keynote lecture at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) when he succumbed to complications from malaria on Aug. 13, 2007. In honor of Dr. Hilliard and his rich legacy, our committee renamed the Model of Excellence Award for the educator whose life’s work exemplifies the spirit of this accolade.


The College Board has recognized these individuals and organizations for their commitment to African American students and families, and honors each as a Dr. Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award winner.

2018— Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., is professor and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She teaches in the Department of Special Education and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Her work focuses on: (1) recruiting and retaining culturally different students in gifted education, (2) multicultural and urban education, (3) achievement gaps, (4) minority student achievement and underachievement, and (5) family involvement. She consults with school districts, educational, and legal organizations in the areas of gifted education, Advanced Placement, and multicultural/urban education.

2017—Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, National Museum of African Art Smithsonian Institution

2016—Dr. Michael L. Lomax, United Negro College Fund

2015—Dr. Calvin Mackie, STEM NOLA

2014—Mary Brown, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, and Dr. Joseph Johnson, Jr., National Center for Urban School Transformation and San Diego State University

2013—Dr. Adrian Mims, Brookline High School and The IMANI (Improving Montclair Achievement Network Initiative)