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The 74, Roland Martin and Partners Bring Town Hall Education Series on School Choice to the National Urban League’s Annual Conference

By The 74 | July 16, 2019

Indianapolis, Indiana

The 74 and prominent African-American journalist Roland Martin are heading back to Indianapolis, where they kicked off their town hall tour back in December, but this time they’ll engage in conversations about educational equity at the 2019 National Urban League conference.

The forum, “School Choice Is the Black Choice: Black Excellence in Education — The Role of Civil Rights and Black Advocacy Organizations,” will be a part of the three-day summit created and led by the National Urban League Young Professionals. The group works to empower young people to create positive change and support educational excellence and opportunity for all children.

The “School Choice Is the Black Choice” town hall series seeks to convene education advocates, faith and civic groups, concerned parents and other stakeholders for a fact-based conversation on high-quality school options for African-American students. Additionally, the town halls look to help local families and stakeholders craft an action plan to follow afterward.

“We cannot continue to use the same model of education we’ve used for the last 80 years, and we’ve essentially, since integration, come back full circle and found ourselves even more segregated than before,” said Carlos Clanton, president of the National Urban League Young Professionals. “Additionally, we must look into other models to address the various barriers our students face and actively work to define ways of making our school districts more equitable.”

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The forum will also feature speakers involved in national education and civil rights issues. In addition to Clanton, speakers include Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP; Tomeka Hart, senior program officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Patricia Brantley, chief executive officer of Friendship Public Charter Schools in Washington, D.C.; and Curtis Valentine, deputy director of Reinventing America’s Schools at the Progressive Policy Institute.

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Launched in 2015, The 74 is a nonprofit digital news site covering education in America. The site’s reporting puts an emphasis on educational approaches and innovative models that are effective at closing achievement gaps between low-income students of color and their white, more well-off peers.

Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League has 90 affiliates serving 300 communities, in 37 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

The National Urban League Young Professionals was formed in 1999. The group is a volunteer auxiliary to the league that targets professionals ages 21-40 to work toward empowering their communities and changing lives.

The forum will be held at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, July 26, at the Indiana Convention Center. Click here to learn more. The tour, which also made stops in Atlanta and Philadelphia this year, will run through 2020.

Disclosure: The Walton Family Foundation is a national partner in The 74 and Roland Martin’s education town hall series. The Walton Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provide financial support to The 74.

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