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Supporting Academic Achievement and Development of Black Boys, A Lecture at Simmons College April 6

Charles Payne, Nationally Known School Reform Scholar, To Speak at "Race, Education & Democracy Lecture Series"

BOSTON (March 31, 2009) — A leading urban school reform expert will explore ways to support the academic achievement of black boys, at a lecture held at Simmons College in Boston, April 6. Charles Payne, the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, will examine the history out of which contemporary black masculinities evolve and look at their implications for academic success.

Payne is speaking as part of the national Race, Education & Democracy book and lecture series, April 6 and 7 at Simmons College. Payne's lectures, sponsored by Simmons College and Beacon Press, will take place from 4-6 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, third floor of the Main College Building at Simmons College, 300 The Fenway in Boston. Admission is free.

Payne's April 6 lecture is titled "Supporting the Achievement and Development of Black Boys." His second lecture, "The Role of Social Support in the Achievement and Development of Urban Youth," takes place April 7, and explores the need for increased social support, rather than just academic support, to bring about optimal development among black students. For more information visit,

Payne is nationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on urban school reform and social equality, and is the award-winning author of "I've Got the Light of Freedom," "So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools," and "Teach Freedom: Education for Liberation in the African American Tradition."

Payne's first 2009 Race, Education & Democracy lecture, "Education for Liberation, Part I — Rationale," occurred March 18. He also delivered  "Education for Liberation, Part II — Teaching the Black Freedom Struggle," on March 19.

Payne is co-founder of the Duke Curriculum Project, which involves university faculty in the professional development of public school teachers. He is co-founder of the John Hope Franklin Scholars, a Saturday college preparatory academy. He is one of the founders of the Education for Liberation Network, which encourages the development of educational initiatives that help young people think critically about social issues and develop their own capacity to address these issues. With the support of the Carnegie Corporation, he is conducting a study of school reform and social inequality in other countries.

The newly released book, titled "Another Kind of Public Education:  Race, Public Education, the Media, and Democratic Possibilities," by last year's Race, Education & Democracy speaker Patricia Hill Collins, the Distinguished Professor of Sociology, at the University of Maryland, College Park, will be available at the April 7 lecture.

Each year, the Simmons College/Beacon Press lecture and book series brings a nationally recognized scholar to Simmons to deliver several lectures, in order to address contemporary understanding and practices in education, which either undermine or affirm the link between public education and participatory democracy. The talks are followed by discussions among education and civic leaders on topics as varied as establishing friendships across the racial divide, and exploring history and research that contradict common misconceptions that African Americans do not value education.

Beacon Press, a historical, highly respected independent publisher based in Boston, publishes the lectures as a book. Beacon Press has published numerous groundbreaking books on a wide range of societal issues, notably Cornel West's "Race Matters," as well as dozens of highly acclaimed works in the field of education.

Theresa Perry, Ed.D., lecture series director and Simmons College professor of Africana studies and education, said the series was conceived "to reestablish for the public the historic connection between public education and the possibility of a robust democracy, against the backdrop of the issue of race in America." The series is funded in part by the Lowell Institute.

To register, visit or call 617-521-2257. Please visit for parking alternatives.