EQUITYx: "Why not Black Males?" Leading the Office of Black Male Student Achievement

  • Dr. Michael Walker
  • 5:00-6:00 pm CT
  • January 17, 2024
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When Dr. Michael Walker was asked to create a racial equity initiative for Minneapolis Public Schools, the gap between Black and white males was  26% for graduation, and over 50% on the math, reading, and science portions of the Minnesota state assessment. Black Males were at or near the bottom on every academic success indicator and at the top on every negative behavior indicator. Not knowing what strategies to implement, Minneapolis Public Schools leadership decided to hire a person who could lead, create, and implement a vision to address the myriad of disparities affecting Black male students across the district. 
After being recruited, Dr. Walker undertook a 100-day listening tour through which he gathered the traditionally marginalized community voices and centered them in the programs he developed to transform the educational experiences of Black males in Minneapolis. In this EQUITYx event, Dr. Walker shares his journey as a district level racial equity leader and the practices he used to design and implement the Office of Black Male Student Achievement, a first of its kind strategy in one urban school district, to change academic outcomes for Black Males. Dr. Walker describes how he came to lead the office, why he emphasized relationships as integral to the learning process, as well as how and why he changed school culture to center Black Males. You won’t want to miss this powerful learning experience with one of our nation’s most innovative Culturally Responsive School Leaders.

What is EQUITYx?

In the busy educational professional landscape, we can be overwhelmed by information and struggle to distill the latest research and its implications for socially just practice. EQUITYx solves for this problem by bringing you leading scholars in educational equity, antiracism and social justice in a distilled and practitioner-focused format. Each hour-long EQUITYx session includes:
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Michael Walker, PhD

Associate Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools
Dr. Michael V. Walker brings a career focus on youth development and assisting black youth to achieve success. He earned his undergraduate degree in physical education from Southwest Minnesota State University and his master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls as well as his Administrative and Superintendent License from St. Cloud State. Most recently in January 2022, he completed his PhD at the University of Minnesota in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development.
In 2022, Dr. Walker was appointed the new role of Associate Superintendent for Minneapolis Public Schools. He is the founder and CEO of Critical Questioning consulting where he provides a framework that includes: Becoming an Unapologetic Advocate for Black Students Institute, Accountability Coaching, and groups for Kings and Queens all designed for supporting Black Students in districts across the country.

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