Raleigh-Durham, NC (May 13, 2019) – The Public School Forum of North Carolina, Duke Policy Bridge at the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, announced today that award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates will headline “Color of Education 2019,” their second annual summit focused on race, equity and education in North Carolina. The inaugural event in October 2018 featured New York Times Magazine reporter and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones. This one day convening will include a full day of workshops and presentations focused on racial equity and eliminating racial disparities in education.

Coates will be reading from his forthcoming book and first novel The Water Dancer slated for release at the end of September.

Color of Education 2019 will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the Raleigh Convention Center. Conference and event registration information will be released soon. This year’s conference is sponsored in part by the Grable Foundation. For more info follow #ColorOfEducation on Twitter and visit our web site at http://colorofeducation.org.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a distinguished writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between The World And Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. Ta-Nehisi is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is also the current author of the Marvel comics The Black Panther and Captain America.

“One of the key goals for Color of Education is to bring educators and practitioners from all across the state who are doing the hard work in the classroom and on the ground to eliminate racial barriers in education together with some of the nation’s best thought leaders and equity leaders for professional development, training, inspiration and motivation,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of NC and Co-Chair of the Color of Education Guiding Committee. “One of the first steps in addressing racial inequities both within and outside of our schools is to have honest and critical conversations about the historical and ongoing realities of systemic racism and Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the country’s most important voices addressing it.”

“The Color of Education was created to transform racial equity dialogue into action-oriented approaches that could be brought back to schools and communities,” said Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards, Associate Director of Research for the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University and Co-Chair of the Color of Education Guiding Committee. “Ta-Nehisi Coates offers thought-provoking insight on the influence of race and racism on access to opportunity—which is pertinent to addressing racial equity and inclusion at the local and national level.”

Prior to Coates’ presentation, a full day of workshops and panel discussions will be offered, focused on strategies for addressing persistent racial inequities in our educational system. Specific topics will include: discipline disparities, curriculum and pedagogy, and racial trauma. Sessions will be open to a wide range of participants, including educators, parents, students, nonprofits, policymakers, researchers, and community groups. Continuing education units (CEUs) will be available for North Carolina educators.


If you’re interested in sponsoring Color of Education 2019, please contact Marisa Bryant at mbryant@ncforum.org.

Color of Education

Color of Education is a collaboration between the Public School Forum of NC, The Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, and Policy Bridge at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Sandra Conway of Conway and Associates provided key partnership design. Color of Education seeks to build deeper connections across the fields of research, policy, and practice and bring together communities, educators, policymakers, experts and other key stakeholders focused on achieving racial equity in education across the state of North Carolina.

The impact of race in education was a central focus of the Public School Forum’s Study Group XVI: Expanding Education Opportunity in North Carolina. The Committee on Racial Equity’s findings and recommendations were published in October 2016. The committee covered issues such as resegregation, teacher diversity, discipline disparity and lack of access to advanced, more rigorous coursework for students of color.


About Public School Forum of North Carolina
Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at https://www.ncforum.org/.

About Duke Policy Bridge at Sanford
Deep engagement with the policy world is one of the Sanford School’s core values. The Policy Bridge was created to promote engagement as a two-way street, amplify the impact of our research to benefit society, and help our faculty and students be more aware of and responsive to the needs of the policy community.

Our aim is that:

  • Duke’s scholarly research gets to policymakers and influencers when and how they need it.
  • The real-world knowledge and questions of these groups informs and strengthens research.

Bridge with us on Twitter @Policy_Bridge

About Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity

The Duke Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity is a scholarly collaborative engaged in the study of the causes and consequences of inequality and in the assessment and redesign of remedies for inequality and its adverse effects. Concerned with the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of uneven and inequitable access to resources, opportunity and capabilities, Cook Center researchers take a cross-national comparative approach to the study of human difference and disparity. Ranging from the global to the local, Cook Center scholars not only address the overarching social problem of general inequality, but they also explore social problems associated with gender, race, ethnicity and religious affiliation. Follow the Cook Center on Twitter @DUSocialEquity and visit our website at https://socialequity.duke.edu/

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