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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.

See Programs From Past Events

2019 Program

2018 Program

2017 Program

2020 A Dream Deferred Committee

Name Title Institution
Teriah Abrams CTE Dept. Chair/IT Academy Coordinator/Computer Teacher Mather High School
Michael Gantt Senior Assistant Director  University of Georgia
*Adrian Haugabrook Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer LRNG at Southern New Hampshire University
Kashif Henderson K–12 Gifted and Talented Coordinator Pittsburgh Public Schools
Kevin C. Hudson Assistant Director for College Opportunity, Office of the Provost Princeton University
Don Pope-Davis Dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology The Ohio State University
Jacqueline Pridgen Assistant Principal Guidance Frank Sinatra School of the Arts
Kimani Norrington-Sands Licensed Clinical Psychologist Lifting As We Climb Consulting
*Keyana Scales Vice President, Enrollment Management Xavier University of Louisiana
Derek Terrell Senior Assistant Director Caltech
Thomas Witherspoon Associate Dean and Director of MCSA Denison University
Nicole Yarde Director of Programs and Partnerships NYC Department of Education

* 2020 Co-Chairs

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.” 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.


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.

Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award 2020

The 2020 recipient of the Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award is Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe.

Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe

Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe is the founder of the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), a national organization established to enhance the experiences of and instill a "spirit of care" in African American males in high schools, colleges, and universities around the country. Dr. Bledsoe served as vice president for student life and special assistant to the president of The University of Toledo, as well as various other positions for institutions of higher education.

2019-Dr. James L. Moore, The Ohio State University

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

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)

Save the Date

A Dream Deferred 2021 | March 1–3
New York, NY