In the News

On October 21st David Johns, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, presented on “Disrupting Implicit Bias and Other Forms of Discrimination to Improve Access, Achievement, and Wellness for Students of Color” at the Delegate Assembly of the Florida Education Association. (Presentation)

On October 2nd The Faith-Based and Community Leaders Early Learning Toolkit was released at the 46th Annual National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) Conference in Orlando, FL. The toolkit is a comprehensive guide for faith-based and community leaders committed to the lifelong success of families and children. It identifies practices from faith-based and community organizations across the Nation and includes tips, best practices, and useful links.  This resource was drafted in collaboration with NBCDI, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education.

On September 14th 18th The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans produced three sessions during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC)  in Washington, D.C. The sessions provided platforms for African American students, caring and concerned adults, and public figures to discuss ways to support African American students. The ALC sessions included the Professional Development Series for Educators and a specific workshop: ESSA – Supporting Student Success, including through the Ensuring Every Student Succeeds Act; Producing STEM STARS: Supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Success among African American Students; and an Emerging Leaders luncheon: Opportunities to Support African American Educational Excellence. Each session placed students’ needs at the center of the discussion, which resulted in though-provoking dialogue between students, educators, and caring and concerned adults. Panels featured high school students, college students, representatives from companies and organizations, as well as public figures. The goal across each session was to ensure attendees walked away with clear, implementable actions they can take to support African American students. (Session Summaries)

On September 16th The Next Generation: A College Completion Toolkit for First-Generation and Non-Traditional Students developed by the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African Americans was released during the US Secretary of Education John King’s Bus Tour as part of the College Completion Fact sheet. The toolkit provides information and support for first-generation students, families, and postsecondary institutions that ensure students receive a quality postsecondary education. Included in this toolkit is a step-by-step guide to help families and communities support first-generation African-American students in preparing for college admission. (Toolkit)

On August 17th The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans hosted the White House Summit on African American Educational Excellence at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, MO in partnership with Teach for America and Wells Fargo & Company. (Article)


Join Us Now for #AfAmEdChat!!

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans hosts a Monthly series from 12PM – 1PM EST using the Twitter platform. We connect communities across the nation discussing and highlighting successful strategies for educational excellence at local, state and national levels. Issues range from introducing young women of color to S.T.E.A.M. careers, to highlighting quality early learning options, to ending the ‘school-to-prison’ pipeline, to investing in and recruiting teachers of colors to enter and remain in the education ecosystem. We will post summaries of past chats here so everyone has access to the ideas and resources shared. Read more…


Upcoming Chats

  • On August 26th The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will host an #AfAmEdChat on student advocacy and campus climate with the Office of the Undersecretary.  The chat will bring together students, faculty, administrators, and community activists to discuss issues pertinent to the well being of African American college students as students prepare for the fall 2016 semester.  The #AfAmEdChat will provide useful information about supporting African American college students on campuses nationwide.

Visit our Storify page by clicking here to view previous chats and twitter events.

Latest news

Watch On the Loudspeaker: David Johns

President Obama’s pick to head the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans knows that all children can succeed if we expect them to. In this interview with Loudspeaker Films’ Kelly Amis, we see David Johns in action, passionately addressing students from pre-K to high school as well as an audience of teachers ready to help transform education in America. We also learn how a young boy growing up in “The Jungles” of Inglewood, California ended up leading this national initiative at the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about Loudspeaker Films, go to

Cinematography: ShakaJamal and Fatima Nasiyr
Editing: ShakaJamal
Original Music: Kev Choice

Amplifying Opportunities to Support the Learning and Development of African American Students

Our staff and stakeholders have been busy magnifying opportunities to meet the needs of African American youth nationwide.  Read more about the work that we are doing below: