SDSU to Offer Black Minds Matter Course

The course will be broadcast online and is expected to reach more than 10,000 educators nationwide.

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2017) — Starting in October of this year, San Diego State University professor Luke Wood will offer a nationally broadcast course called Black Minds Matters – A Focus on Black Boys and Men in Education. The course connects themes from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement to issues Black boys and men face in today’s education system.

The class is organized around the BLM movement’s guiding principles of loving engagement, collective value, and restorative justice.

“It’s time to create a paradigm shift in the way educators view their role,” said Wood. “Educators need to understand their new role in training, preparing, and mobilizing their classrooms as sites that promote racial justice for Black males.”

In order to achieve racial justice, Wood is suggesting an approach of civil resistance against unjust policies and practices.

By civil resistance, Wood is referring to teaching strategies that empower students and communicate care, rather than methods that undervalue and criminalize them.

“I think it is important to emphasize that Luke’s research demonstrates that in our educational systems today, Black students, especially boys and men, are among the least likely to succeed by any measure,” said Joseph Johnson, dean of SDSU’s College of Education. “Our College of Education, and Luke’s course specifically, seeks to influence the improvement of educational systems in ways that will generate better outcomes for all students.”

The course has already enrolled more than 10,000 educators who will be participating in the public portion of the class via the internet. Thirty SDSU graduate students, many of whom were part of a group who asked for the course to be established, will be enrolled in the full course.

Wood and his team have established 130 broadcast sites nationwide., including at elementary schools, community centers, colleges, and universities.

The class will feature numerous guest speakers, among them Patrisse Cullors, -co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Ilyasah Shabazz,an educational advocate and daughter of Malcolm X.

The class was developed in collaboration with several outside organizations, including the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Moms of Black Boys United, Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement, Our Scholarship Matters and the Education Trust-West, which released the Black Minds Matter report in 2015.

“Black boys are significantly more likely to be placed into special education or exposed to disciplinary practices such as suspensions or expulsions that remove them from learning environments,” said Wood. “The Black Minds Matter course can help address these concerns by providing educators with strategies and practices that can improve their success with this critical student population.”

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its more than 36,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 95 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, internships and mentoring, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit
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